Welcome from Conference Chair, Mike Palat

Mike PalatI look forward to sharing my love for San Diego with the members of the western chapter! We are very excited to host the 83rd Annual Western Chapter ISA conference. Paradise Found: Plans, Partners and Progress is this year’s theme. Our urban forests are ever changing along with our knowledge on how to better manage them. With the vision and leadership of our President Lisa Smith, we have a great conference line up that is going to be one that should not be missed. The program committee led by Jeremy Barrick, has been hard at work securing a cadre of excellent presenters that will leave attendees both inspired and informed.

The general session will include a couple of celebrated presenters including Andy Lipkis, a practical visionary who has dedicated his life to healing the environment while improving the lives of individuals and communities. He founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 18 and continues to serve as its President. We will also have the pleasure of learning about trees from the prospective of David Zucker, the American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Associated mostly with parody comedies, Zucker is mostly recognized as the director and writer of the critically successful 1980 film Airplane! as well as being the creator of the Naked Gun franchise. These two presenters are just a couple of the examples of what will be a memorable, noteworthy event. The other portions of the program will leave all attendees with a comprehensive overview of Plans, Partnerships and Progress in our exciting industry. Expect to be enriched, entertained and educated after this one!

Besides the amazing program, there are many other things to get excited about for this conference. Starting with this year’s venue. Paradise Point, San Diego’s island resort. It is a private 44-acre island tucked away on gentle Mission Bay, minutes from the heart of downtown San Diego and adjacent to the famous SeaWorld San Diego. This San Diego hotel located near SeaWorld features comfortable, California beach bungalow-style guest rooms amidst lush, tropical gardens and meandering lagoons. As a fellow tree nerd, we feel that this venue is the perfect backdrop to our conference. This Southern California resort features over 460 guestrooms, including everything from spacious suites to lanai patio and garden rooms. You’re sure to relax between sessions comfortably in the tranquil bayside bungalows, featuring breezy patios with striking views. Other exciting opportunities include the Britton fund ride led by Bob Squibb and Doug Anderson. This year’s route will lead riders on an exciting, invigorating adventure meandering through San Diego’s most beautiful and challenging roadways. If bike riding doesn’t interest you, there is the famous conference Golf event led by both Al Epperson and Mark Hosford. It is tough to beat a round of golf in San Diego. As for the spouses program, there are so many entertaining and exciting opportunities that San Diego offers. It would be a shame for a spouse to miss out on this opportunity.

On a personal note, I am honored to be this year’s Conference Chairman. Along with our A team of committee members and leaders, we are all excited to make this year’s conference comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.

See ya in San Diego!

Michael Palat

2017 WCISA Conference Chairman


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