We Save Trees!
Caleb Whitman is an Arborist Trainee at Sonshine Tree Care.
Previously Caleb worked as an instructor at an adventure camp in the forests of Northwest Montana where he taught outdoor adventure skills to youth, college students and summer staff. As a wilderness instructor Caleb led outdoor skills training on week-long backcountry canoe trips, rock climbing trips and extended wilderness backpacking trips teaching staff and students outdoor skills. Caleb instructed “leave no trace” principles, and how to protect and care for the environment. This desire to teach about the environment and care for it is what drew him to arboriculture.
In 2017 Caleb started working for a tree care company in Montana where he learned to prune and care for fruit trees. This increased his desire to learn about and care for all kinds of trees. When Caleb moved to Washington in 2019 he started looking for a company that had the same desire to care for trees and that would provide opportunity to learn to climb and care for trees safely.
Caleb found Sonshine Tree Care and joined their team in October 2019. As an Arborist Trainee for Sonshine Tree Care, Caleb has learned to better care for trees and the environment, and to educate others. His rock climbing background has helped him fast track his tree climbing work for Sonshine as their newest Climber Trainee.
I love working at Sonshine Tree Care because of its educational environment and the high standard it sets for its employees.
Although I’ve had several years of customer service experience, I am still new in the arboricultural world. Currently, I am being mentored by the lovely Gena Sussman, doing secretarial work. I feel like I am truly a part of the team. I have learned a lot.
I am the happiest when I feel that I am growing, and Sonshine Tree Care provides not only that, but a warm, and safe environment to do so.
Outside of working for Sonshine Tree Care, I enjoy reading, nutritional education, tactile design, traveling, and hiking.
“Some things that truly resonate with me about the Sonshine Tree Care Company, is not just their commitment to their customers, and obligation to the trees, but also the way they continue to show up for their employees as family. Day in and day out, they put in the time and do the work, and it shows in all of those areas. Sonshine Tree Care has made an impact and continues to make a difference.“
Gena has been working part-time for Sonshine Tree Care since it started in 2012.
In March 2020 she stepped up as our interim Office Manager while we sought to fill the position. In August, 2020 she determined that she would fill the position indefinitely.
Gena has always been interested the environment, but it wasn’t until she married Evan Sussman that she began to understand the importance of trees and how we need to be good stewards of them.
Gena enjoys working for Sonshine Tree Care because she believes that Sonshine cares deeply about their clients and their trees and helps them create a harmonious relationship.
Outside of working for Sonshine Tree Care she enjoys working with clients at the YMCA as their personal trainer and fitness instructor. She also enjoys gardening, DIY projects, and spending time with her family and friends.
“Some of the things I love about working at Sonshine Tree Care are the great clients that I have come to know through the years, the amazing staff that have become like family, and knowing that we are putting some good back into the world.”
Evan Sussman is the owner of Sonshine Tree Care. Evan’s career in arboriculture began in the tropical climate of Hawai’i on Maui. In 2012 Evan moved to the Pacific Northwest and started Sonshine Tree Care.
Evan is actively involved in the furthering of the arboriculture profession in region through community engagement, as a professional tree worker instructor, and in the development of arborist apprenticeship programs.
Evan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture as the President Elect.
“I started Sonshine Tree Care because I wanted to work for a company that set the bar for professionalism, safety, and the proper practice of arboriculture. When I didn’t find that, I decided to start Sonshine Tree Care.”
Andrea has been working with Sonshine since 2017. Her path to arboriculture began with her schooling from the University of Washington where she got her BS in Environmental Science: Restoration Ecology.
Upon graduation, Andrea began working with the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) on an Urban Forestry crew. There she began learning about the fundamentals of tree planting, pruning, and care in conjunction with her love for restoration. During her time with the WCC she teamed up with the City of Everett and their Urban Forestry crew. It was this connection that was made through the WCC that later led her to work for the city as a seasonal employee. After a wonderful summer with the city learning more and more about trees and their impact on the urban environment Andrea went to work with Evan at Sonshine Tree Care with the goal of turning her focus to arboriculture.
Since her start at Sonshine, Andrea has gone from an apprentice doing groundwork to a certified arborist, who does groundwork, climbs, and consults. She is currently working to expand her knowledge in her new duty of doing consulting. She hopes to one day be able to combine all of her passions to create restoration projects for customers that include wildlife habitat and well managed trees.
“I love working for Sonshine Tree Care because of the safe and educational atmosphere. I am proud to be a part of a team that is committed to doing quality work that’s beneficial to both trees and people.”