I am a proud member of the Illinois Arborist Association! They are an excellent State Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. The IAA focuses heavily on the continuing education component so critical to the Arboricultural Industry. I am now attained the advanced credential of BCMA (Board Certified Master Arborist) and credit much of my most recent professional achievement not only to his 30 years in the green collar profession, but the Illinois Arborist Association’s many advanced educational opportunities he has participated in that were made available through its membership. Much of the knowledge to pass this test he was made aware of and learned through these classes. They offer an inclusive environment for either the novice new to our Industry, large companies with decades of service in our communities and the municipal sectors state wide. It is headed and managed by individuals with either a lifetime in our Industry or decades but all with a passion for the Urban Forest and our Green Spaces even beyond the Urban environment. Everyone of them, committed to seeing our Industry and its members reach the pinnacle of professionalism. Some of the largest companies in the State are members and extremely involved, offering their own employees as instructors and volunteering equipment for hands on advanced training classes. The Industry of Arboriculture is a trade and the IAA promotes the ability to attain the level of a Highly Skilled professional raising the bar of our Industry. That alone is enough reason to become a member not to mention the phenomenal opportunities to connect with local Industry leaders and academics who have the science to back the facts of our practice and adhere to the philosophy that there is no profit in hoarding knowledge and much to gain by sharing it.