Welcome to the GAA

A resource for tree care professionals and the public to protect and care for Georgia's trees.


    At the November membership meeting, elections were held for the 2019 GAA Board (officers and delegates). Congratulations to the new GAA Board, as follows:

    Christie Bryant, President
    Christie was a delegate for 3 years and served as the VP for one before becoming president. She started her green industry career as a Landscaper and while getting her degree in Environmental Horticulture. She has also trained as a Horticultural Therapist and is currently running the Tree Health care division of Gunnison Tree Specialist. 

    Brian Ziegler, Vice President 
    is general manager fro AKA Tree Removal. He has worked for both Davey Tree and Bartlett Tree in the greater Chicago Area. He also served as a Foreman for Asplundh Tree Expert Co. for ten years. He has his degree in Project Management from Waubonsee Community College.

    Scott Offen, Treasurer
    Scott Offen is the Arborist for Bold Spring Nursery. He has worked at Valley Crest and Brightview as chief purchasing agent of all “Green” goods for jobs around the southeast. He has BBA/Marketing from the University of Georgia and has served in the US Army. He is an Atlanta native and has been a certified arborist since 2002.

    Joelette Bembry, Secretary
    Joelette has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry Science from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.  Joelette has over 12 years of experience in Invasive Plant Control, GIS database and Natural Resource Management.  In Joelette's current position as the Agricultural and Natural Resource Agent with DeKalb Co. Extension, she has been responsible for assisting homeowners with trouble shooting landscape issues, conducting workshops on relevant landscape topics, plant and insect ID, and providing recommendation and management to homeowners for their landscape. 

    Rusty Lee, Past President
    Rusty has served on the GAA board for 5 years.Rusty has been employed in the green industry for 30 years. He is currently the Sr. VP of Gunnison Tree Specialist. He was employed with Downey Trees for 18.5 years, and previously worked in the landscape industry with Weeks Landscape and Nature Scapes as well as owning his own company. Rusty's degree is in Environmental Horticulture. He is a GA Certified Landscape Professional, GA Certified Pesticide License holder, GA Certified Turfgrass Professional, and an ISA-Certified Arborist as well as TRAQ Certified. Rusty has served on the board of directors of the GUFC from 2007 -2011, including two terms as President in 2010 and 2011).


    Mike Pavlis is the owner of Ossabaw Consulting, an arboriculture consulting firm based out of Savannah. He has a Bachelor's in Science degree from West Virginia University, a MS from Virginia Tech and is an ISA-Certified Arborist. Michael is also the President of the Coastal Arborist Association, serves on the Tybee Island Tree Board and is a community lacrosse coach for area youth and high school programs.

    Josh Goodman
    Josh is is a utility Arborist for the Northwest Region for the Southern Company. He has his Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources. He became certified as an ISA Arborist in 2015.

    Braden Smith has been in the Green Industry for seven years. His family had a small landscape company where he worked with for five years. He has been with Arbor Equity full time for 2 years and has been a Certified Arborist for one year.  He loves being outdoors and enjoying nature and coaching youth academy soccer. He is recently married and living in Covington with his wife and two dogs.

    Roland Orellana

     is the Urban Water management/Irrigation Agent for the college of  Agriculture and Environmental Service. Rolando has been working in the industry since 2002 and has a degree in agriculture engineering from Universidad Nacional de Agricultura, Honduras.

    Jason Anderson has worked in the tree care industry for the past 17 years. He has managed businesses in both the utility sector of the industry, and the commercial/residential sector. Jason has worked in GA, FL, SC, and CO recently returning to GA with SavATree as Branch Manager. Jason has a passion for safety and customer service which he has studied at length. Jason attended Georgia Southern University where he majored in Building, Contracting, and Construction.  Jason holds an ISA Certification, TRAQ Certification, CTSP, MOT, and EHAP credential in the field of professional arboriculture. He has been happily married to his wife Casie of 12 years and has a 7 year old son. Hobbies and interests include hunting, fishing, offroad vehicles, football, reading, golf, and family.

    Dr. Ellen Bauske joined UGA’s Center for Urban Agriculture as a program coordinator in 2005 and is a member of the Department of Plant Pathology. She coordinates Center programs in urban water, safety training, local food, turfgrass, and arboriculture. Her primary charge is to increase the impact of UGA Extension outreach in Georgia’s urban areas.  She has her PhD from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

    Georgia Arborist Association

    Email:  info@georgiaarborist.org
    Phone:  (404) 913-1422
    Address:  GAA ~ P.O. Box 2516~ Decatur, GA  30031

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