February 2019 Note from the Chairs

As you may have heard, after the honor of serving as your SUFC co-chairs, the time has come for both of us to pass the torch to new SUFC co-chairs. We’re pleased to announce that following the endorsement of SUFC members, Mark Garvin and Jennifer Hinrichs will be serving as our new SUFC co-chairs. Both have long been involved with SUFC and many of you know them well. 

Mark Garvin has been involved with the Coalition for the past nine years, representing his association in the Coalition, participating on two committees, and serving as a member of the Steering Committee. Mark is thoroughly familiar with the mission of the Coalition and its value proposition. He believes the Coalition’s strengths are its broad advocacy potential and the opportunity for collaboration it affords all member organizations.

Mark Garvin, incoming SUFC co-chair

Mark worked for the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) for more than 22 years, serving as the association’s president & CEO for nine years. TCIA is a trade association of more than 2,400 commercial tree care firms and affiliated companies. It provides accreditation to tree care companies, develops safety and education programs, establishes standards of tree care practices, and provides management information for arboriculture firms around the world.

Now that he’s retired from TCIA, Mark has the time he considers necessary to devote to the co-chair position and looks forward to continuing to work for an expanded and greener urban forest.

Jennifer Judd Hinrichs and SUFC have been connected in some way since the Coalition’s early days. In fact, she hired SUFC’s first convener over 13 years ago when it was affiliated with the National Tree Trust and later served as its convener and interim director for nine years, growing it from 20 to over 35 national members. For the last two years Jen has served in a voluntary capacity as an adviser to the Steering Committee. Stepping into a co-chair role, she has a deep affinity for this work. “SUFC is an amazing group of thoughts leaders but also doers. This dynamic network is deep and wide and has demonstrated great potential to make positive change.”

Jennifer Judd Hinrichs, incoming SUFC co-chair

Jen has experienced how SUFC can be a powerful catalyst for change and growth by looking at emerging trends, leveraging the talents around the collective table, and facilitating new and ongoing partnerships. As co-chair with Mark, Jen will strive to bring an even greater sense of transparency, inclusiveness and impact to SUFC’s work.

Running her own consulting practice, Jen is a partnership builder who connects ideas, passions, and solutions into clear, practical strategies and action. She has over 25 years of non-profit management and consulting experience for positive social change that includes NGO leadership, coalition capacity building, and communication expertise in both the private and public sectors.

We have the highest confidence in Mark and Jen’s ability to lead the SUFC and wish them success in their new roles. We will officially transition to our new co-chairs at the Annual Meeting on March 6, and we hope that you’ll join us for the meeting at The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, Virginia. Registration for the all-day event includes a lunch featuring special speaker Gordon Feller, Founder of Meeting of the Minds, a non-profit organization focused on the future of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable cities. The day will conclude with our networking reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden. (Please RSVP for the reception at [email protected]). 

Policy Update

FY20 Appropriations
SUFC began work this month on our FY20 Appropriations asks. Stay tuned for updates in upcoming newsletters.

Farm Bill
The Farm Bill passed Congress in mid-December. Nothing in the bill directly addresses urban forests — sometimes no news is a positive thing! 

Roots and Branches

The L.A. Times editorialized recently on the essential nature of the city’s trees, and the need to treat them as a critical part of the municipal infrastructure.

The PBS NewsHour featured a contribution from Sonia Dumpelmann, author of “Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin,” highlighting how the first concerted urban tree-planting efforts came to be in the late 1800s through the 20th century. 


Paul Ries and Gerry Gray
SUFC Co-Chairs