THE EARLY DAYS
By Dr. Ray Dickens


Our first meeting was held in February of 1983 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery Alabama. It was extremely cold and our only heat was an open fireplace. Due to the cold weather, the barbecue chicken was not ready by lunch time. Add to that the water leak that covered the floor, and you had 165 cold folks with wet feet eating half cooked barbecue! Obviously, we had not formally organized at that point.

After the cold start, we switched to a summer meeting and moved to the stock barn on the fair grounds near the Montgomery Coliseum for the 1984 and 1985 meetings. We had vendors inside and equipment demonstrations outside. Attendance ran about 200 for these two meetings with several attendees from supporting industries.

In 1986 the meeting site was moved to the Civic Center in Montgomery and attendance increased to 300. After this summer meeting, we switched to spring dates due to conflicts in work schedules.

1989 was an interesting year. Don Siegelman was invited to address the group and was very complimentary of the organization and the services performed by our members for the citizens of Alabama. Ann Thompson of Auburn's Cooperative Extension spoke at the Luncheon.

By 1994 interest had grown to the extent that concurrent sessions for roadsides and utilities were initiated.

The meeting site was moved to the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa in 1998. The move has been successful; attendance at the annual conference continues  to grow and now exceeds 500.

In 2000 the Distinguished Service Award was initiated to recognize and honor members who, over a sustained period of time, have demonstrated exceptional commitment to and support for the discipline of vegetation management and the Society.

 

Past Presidents

  • 2014 - Jacob Hodnett
  • 2013 - Tim Messick
  • 2012 - Kaye Oden
  • 2011 - Ron Newsome
  • 2010 - Barry Isbell
  • 2009 - Paul Garmon
  • 2008 - Ricky Smith
  • 2007 - Howard Peavey
  • 2006 - Ted Kapera
  • 2005 - Josh Reynolds
  • 2004 - Jay Golz
  • 2003 - Al Menifield
  • 2002 - Keith Sowell
  • 2001 - Dustin Heitschmidt
 

 

 

 

 

  • 2000 - Neil Loggans
  • 1999 - Steve Bostock
  • 1998 - Ray Dickens
  • 1997 - Scott McDaniel
  • 1996 - John Reynolds
  • 1995 - Malcolm Thompson
  • 1994 - Herschel Hale
  • 1993 - James Shropshire
  • 1992 - Charles Markert
  • 1991 - Jim Austin
  • 1990 - Don Arnold
  • 1989 - Randy Estes
  • 1988 - Mike Zarichnak
  • 1987 - Mike Zarichnak
  • 1986 - Clif Dixon

Distinguished Service Award Recipients
 

  • 2010- Jimmie Cobb
  • 2009- Ivey Minghini
  • 2008- Dr. David Teem
  • 2007- Randy Estes
  • 2006- John Reynolds
  • 2005- Charles Markert
 

 

 

  • 2004 - Herschel Hale
  • 2003- Mike Burford
  • 2002- Larry Reynolds
  • 2001- Dr. Ray Dickens
  • 2000- Scott McDaniel

"Beautiful Roadsides -The Key to a Beautiful America"