Tom Armstrong - A Passion for Safety and Tree Preservation
Talk to Tom Armstrong for just a few minutes and his passion for employee safety and tree preservation is obvious. That genuine love for people and the environment, paired with an unwavering work ethic and 25+ years’ experience working in the tree care/landscaping industry, is what makes Tom the perfect fit as Monster Tree Service’s President of Business Development.
Tom is proud to join Josh Skolnick’s rapidly growing team (check out our recent interview with Tom’s colleague, Valerie Bowser, here) and is excited to help the nation’s first and fastest growing tree service franchise make 2018 the best year yet.
We recently talked with Tom about his unique qualifications for his job, where he sees the company going in the next 10 years…and why he never looks at his watch!
Monster Tree Service (MTS): Tom, I hear you really wanted to be a farmer!
Tom Armstrong (TA): I did. I had worked on farms since I was 12, doing just about every job there is. I loved it! In fact, Agriculture was my first major in school. But it takes owning land to be a farmer. My family didn’t have that, so I switched my major to Landscaping and Horticulture. After I graduated, I eventually started my own landscaping company. It was great, but I was spending every waking moment on the job, and not enough time at home. So, after 20 years, I sold the business.
MTS: It couldn’t have taken you long to find another job.
TA: No, fortunately not. And it all happened from the very first resume I ever put together!
A tree service company reached out to me after seeing the resume and offered me an opportunity. After spending so much time planting trees, I was excited to see what maintaining trees was all about. I started in sales and moved up the ladder quickly. At one point, I was managing two branches for the company, bringing in $6-7 Million in sales.
MTS: What is it about trees that you seem to enjoy so much?
TA: First, I just love working outdoors – helping preserve and beautify the environment by taking care of the beautiful trees we have left. I worry there’s too much clear-cutting going on, stripping out our woodlands too fast, just to put up more houses. I’d like to see more of a balance by doing more “outdoor investing” in our natural resources here and around the globe.
MTS: What attracted you to Monster Tree Service?
TA: I had been watching Josh Skolnick and Monster Tree Service from afar for a while. Obviously, his new venture was competition for my company, so I was paying attention. I also really liked the concept: franchising a tree service business; having individual owners who really wanted to approach the business in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. It was exciting to watch. With my background, I thought I might be a good fit for Monster Tree Service at some point.
I joined the company last year, and it’s even more exciting working on THIS side! Josh has tasked me with transferring my excitement about Monster Tree Service to franchise candidates. I show them the services and support Monster Tree Service can provide while they’re getting their business off the ground. I also help them uncover just how viable and scalable the business model can be.
MTS: But you also have another role to play, correct?
TA: Yes, and it is crucial. While Monster Tree Service has always been a safety leader in the industry, I have helped enhance the safety culture of the company. Part of my job is to make sure all of us, at the corporate and franchisee level, are conscience of this very important job component, every day.
As a franchise system I believe this is an area where Monster Tree Service truly separate itself, and we’re already seeing tangible results. Our teams all have proper licensing and insurance and are thoroughly checked out as far as intense training. We also always use personal protection gear, such as goggles and chaps, and ensure all equipment is operating correctly prior to use.
Many companies, especially smaller, local operations with less resources, don’t put a lot of emphasis on this area. At Monster Tree Service, we pride ourselves on working to ensure everyone’s safety.
MTS: Tell us more about the Monster Tree Service difference when it comes to customer service.
TA: First, our trained, knowledgeable arborists study every project on an individual basis, looking at all the options. We’re not “slashers” – we don’t think every tree needs to be removed. We think “preservation, first”. We can save many diseased trees with proper care strategies, such as pruning and treatment. That’s why our clients call us for repeat business and refer us to neighbors: they know we will offer them proven strategies that help them make informed decisions.
MTS: Why do you love working at Monster Tree Service?
TA: I really enjoy what I do. I have a fantastic opportunity to help Josh, our corporate team, and our franchisees make Monster Tree Service a household name from coast to coast while continuing to work with clients and crews on an individual basis. I’m helping to build something bigger in arboriculture while following my passion - protecting people and the environment.
I wake up every day with a smile on my face, and rarely check my watch while I’m at work! Why slow down to check the time when you’re having a blast while working your tail off?
If you are interested in an opportunity to be involved with the country’s first, and fastest growing professional, tree service, Monster Tree Service wants to talk to you! You, too, could be creating a healthier, more beautiful environment, with greater potential for success as a member of the Monster Tree Service team.
For more information about careers with Monster Tree Service, please visit https://www.whymonster.com/about-us/careers/.
And for more information on franchise opportunities with the nation’s ONLY franchised tree service businesses, please visit www.monstertreefranchising.com.