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Spotlight: Women in the Green Industry

March 23, 2021

Originally featured in SingleOps’ March 2021 Customer Newsletter 

Written by Emily Traxler, VP of Customer Success at SingleOps.

Heather Dirksen

From the very first time I met Heather Dirksen, President of Arbor Masters, I respected her. When asked how she has been able to add so much value to Arbor Masters and be an effective leader, she simply said, “…consistency, always show up, be on time, and give solid direction no matter what the ups and downs of life or business.”  Heather is a humble leader of this third generation family business. She always always empowers her team and approaches each day with a growth mindset.

Heather Dirksen in the field

Kris Josey

Kris Josey Arbor

I’m not sure there is a warmer person in Idaho than Kris Josey, Owner of Arborcare Resources and recipient of the PNW-ISA President’s Citation award. She creates an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Getting buy-in from her team is a crucial part of her success.By collaborating with her team, she’s developed decades-long relationships with her employees. She says, “They’ve watched my kids grow up, and now I am watching theirs. It is a pretty cool thing. We are a family.”

Joining the Green Industry

Traditionally, women in the green industry start their careers at a young age while working in their family’s business. Both Heather and Kris took a different path that led them to where they are today.

Heather Dirksen started as a pilot whose love for the outdoors was instilled in her by her mother’s gardening  and her father’s profession as a woodworker. “I like to stay busy,” says Heather. It was natural for her to begin working at a high-end landscaping company while also continuing her career as a pilot. There she learned the ropes of the tree care business.Eventually, she returned to Kansas due to health complications. Shortly after, she began working alongside her now-husband at a landscape company doing pruning.. Eventually, they grew the company to a point where she could focus on business development  before joining  Arbor Masters.

Kris Josey began her green industry career after moving from Boulder, Colorado and working for a big eight accounting firm. Her husband, a climber with a forestry degree, started Arborcare Resources 25 years ago.  The company was small to start but continued to double every year! Kris was a critical part of their success running their business operations and even working as ground crew. 

Finding Community

Both Heather and Kris mentioned how important and rewarding it is to get involved in the green industry community and how supportive the TCIA is, particularly to women in the industry.  These groups discuss challenges and strategies and seek new ways to attract more women to the industry. Krise suggested finding a mentor in one of these groups to help build your confidence and help direct you in growing and learning.

Advice to Other Women

Heather: “I want them to know that the sky’s the limit. Our culture at Arbor Masters is such that we accept everyone of all different backgrounds, and our company is benefiting and growing. I challenge women to stop underestimating themselves and know they are capable.  Women have attributes naturally that make them great leaders, like employee development.”

Kris: “Get involved in the organizations that support your industry. There is so much knowledge to gain and people to meet. Gaining confidence is key to whatever you do, and it is equally important to surround yourself with people who boost you up rather than take you down.” 

While I was only able to write about a few women here, I know there are many more in the green industry to be celebrated!  Please send us an email or message on social media to nominate someone to highlight our social media!