Arboriculture in Transmission and Distribution (T&D) is the topic of a new podcast from Houston energy and utility services firm Iapetus Infrastructure Services featuring industry leaders Iapetus Infrastructure Services recently launched the Trees & Lines podcast, sharing expert insights into the future of the utility vegetation management industry.
The podcast is hosted by utility vegetation management (UVM) veteran and past executive director of the Utility Arborists Association, Dr. Phil Charlton, and Iapetus COO, Tejpal Singh. Iapetus Infrastructure Services (Iapetus, pronounced EYE-AP-I-TUHS) offers safety, environmental sustainability, and education in right-of-way (ROW) management services to utilities across the country, including to risk mitigation, inspections, safety, audits, and high-tech imaging and reporting. Iapetus currently services the world’s largest utilities, as well as oil and gas and pipeline/midstream. Iapetus is an operating company of Iapetus Holdings, LLC, a Houston-based privately held portfolio of energy and utility services companies focused on energy sustainability, efficiency, reliability and safety.
Trees and Lines hosts a variety of leaders in UVM. To date, guests include Pam Rauch, VP of External and Government Affairs at NextEra Energy, Sara Sankowich, Director of Sustainability and Shared Services at Unitil, John Goodfellow, Principal at BioCompliance Consulting, Inc. and Lewis Payne, Manager of Rights-of-Way and Environmental Services for the New York Power Authority.
The Trees & Lines guests share deep experience in the electric and gas utility industries in both the private and public sectors. Several have held positions responsible for vegetation management and forestry, T&D operations, maintenance, and engineering as well as renewables and sustainability. The episodes also touch on the need to build the pipeline of diverse and qualified foresters and other professionals in numerous fields to keep up with the growing demand in this fascinating industry. Rauch has been part of the lead team that has pioneered many of the advances of the world’s leading utility, NextEra Energy. Sankowich is currently serving as the president of the New England Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, ISA. She has had an impact in expanding diversity and inclusion in the UVM industry. Goodfellow has been the principal researcher on several research and development projects focusing on the modes and causes of trees cause power interruptions. His work has led to better understanding and the risks of tree-initiated electrical faults on overhead electric distribution lines. Payne’s motto is “managing vegetation with vegetation”. He’s an expert on innovative technology, research on biodiverse habitats and sustainability reporting.
According to Dr. Charlton, “This podcast intends to advocate for the highest standards in UVM and look out for what we should be planning for the future of this fascinating industry most people don’t know about”. Singh added, “The idea of inviting thought leaders in this space is what moved us to kick it off. We want to give a platform to the voices that are shaping the future of how we evolve integrated vegetation management with smarter approaches and technologies.”
Charlton is a pioneer in the field of utility vegetation management (UVM). He graduated West Virginia University with BSF, MSF, and PhD degrees in Forest Science. His career spans over forty years, including a significant tenure as President of ECI (Environmental Consultants, Inc.) where he paved the way for hundreds of electrical companies to develop UVM programs for distribution line clearance and transmission right-of-way (ROW) management. Charlton developed the industry’s first electronic system for performance analytics of external workforce management. He has also served on the Right-of-Way Stewardship Council and is an expert witness for UVM. During his ten-year tenure at the UAA, Charlton grew the association’s financials and membership to over five thousand members.
Singh is an electric engineer and risk management expert. He oversees operations and safety for the world’s largest utilities across the country. He joined the Iapetus group of companies as partner in 2012.
Iapetus Holdings LLC is a privately held, minority and veteran owned portfolio of energy and utility services businesses and alternative investments solving the world’s most urgent needs around energy sustainability, efficiency, reliability, and safety. Iapetus’ diverse lens drives strategic thinking, innovation, and an entrepreneurial vision to utility and energy problems by strengthening infrastructure, electric reliability, the economy, and future generations of professionals. Iapetus teams implement agile strategies to serve energy, utility, commercial and industrial companies.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Iapetus brings an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking approach and a deep bench of experienced individuals with diverse backgrounds in finance, energy, safety, risk management, communications, human resources, and various other spectrums. The Iapetus suite is a multimillion-dollar portfolio with more than 400 employees across eight U.S. offices, efficiently structured to deliver optimum results for clients. Utility and energy clients trust the integrated solutions offered by Iapetus wholly-owned subsidiary companies Iapetus Infrastructure Services, Atlas Field Services, Soaring Eagle Technologies, Gold Coast Utility Specialists, Hyperion Safety Environmental Solutions UATI, Atlas Commodities, and Atlas Retail Energy. Iapetus is creating a legacy forming the next generation of leaders as the proud sponsor of a 501c3 non-profit, AtlasScholars.