Featured Biography: Jim Zwack
The Davey Institute is the research, development, education and training arm of the Davey Tree Expert Company. Davey Tree provides tree care, grounds maintenance, and consulting services for residential, commercial, government, and utility clients. With operations in 45 states and 5 Canadian provinces, Davey has over 7,000 employees and has been employee-owned since 1979.
As the Director of Technical Services for the Davey Institute, I oversee a staff with subject matter expertise in a variety of disciplines that relate to plant health (horticulture, entomology, soils, etc.). One of our primary functions is to provide guidance for Davey’s field staff across North America in diagnosing and prescribing the best products, application procedures, and cultural practices that we use on a daily basis. We also serve as instructors in the Davey Institute’s formal training programs that are designed to teach Davey employees a combination of plant science and pest management techniques.
On an ongoing basis, the Technical Staff is engaged in research projects designed to advance our knowledge about woody plants and turf. This type of innovative work has led to Davey obtaining a variety of patents over its 135 year long history. While the goal of our research is to deliver greater value to our clients, it also differentiates us from our competitors and demonstrates industry leadership. Travel is a significant component of my position, and I am frequently out of the office to provide support for the staff, visit local Davey offices, and speak about our research and work experiences at regional, national, and international conferences.
I am grateful for the strong foundation Iowa State helped me develop for my career. The combination of a first-class research program and a range of opportunities to attend and speak at conferences and professional events has been valuable to this day. My friends and colleagues from Iowa State are an active part of my professional network 15+ years after graduation.