To All Authorized Members,

I realize it’s been a short time since HMI’s last newsletter graced your inbox.  Since only a few weeks have elapsed since my last letter, you would think that would mean this one will be shorter.  Of course, that’s not how I roll.  This is my opportunity to reflect on everything that we accomplished together with HMI’s Authorized Member Network (the network) last year.  It was another successful year for HMI with continued growth in our core services and investments in new initiatives, please read below for a quick roll-up of 2022.

HMI’s emergency tree removal service was in high demand last year.  2022 started with a major snowstorm in the mid-Atlantic states in January and ended with our network responding to the atmospheric river that brought six major storms into California.  In between, HMI and its network assisted clients following February’s major ice storm in Tennessee, repeated spring/summer thunderstorms across the south, midwest and northeast, Hurricane Ian in late September, and the epic snow event that buried Buffalo and other major metropolitan areas in December.  At the end of the year, network members sold nearly 50% more emergency tree removal work than they did in 2021.  An amazing year by any standard!

There isn’t much more I can say about the professionalism, commitment, and customer service exhibited by our members every day.  Providing first responder services is oftentimes stressful and always critically important work.  HMI is proud to work together with the best tree care companies in the industry to provide the highest quality service available, at a time when homeowners (and insurance carriers) need it the most.  I’m happy to report that this year we’re off to a fast start already.  January of 2023 trails only January of 2022 for the most active in HMI’s history.

Supporting our network is the best back-office team that HMI has ever had.  Gretchen Piechottka and the customer service group have added a level of support that elevates the entire program.  By setting clear expectations with clients and supporting our network members with training and assistance with coverage questions and claim approvals, the team is helping reduce cycle times and improve conversion rates.  The finance team is also working hard to reduce payment cycle times on claims.  I’m thrilled to report that over 95% of all claims from Hurricane Ian have been paid.  An extraordinary feat that required quality files to be submitted quickly by our members, rapid processing by HMI’s audit team, and diligent follow-up and check processing by the finance team. Let’s not forget the quality insurance carrier partners that processed HMI’s files while dealing with a massive volume of claims.

Outside of our tree removal service, we have also been actively investing in the expansion of the company’s consulting and contract services.  You are all aware of the work Doug Malawsky’s team gets involved in.  You may, however, not be aware of how much work his team generates for members of HMI’s network.  Over 25% of the companies in the network were called on to support HMI’s consulting and contract services sales last year.  The companies were hired to provide pre/post loss tree inspections, damaged plant inventories, plant health and general tree care services, storm response services on commercial and municipal properties, landscaping design/build services, and more.

Like our tree removal service, consulting and contract services are also off to a very fast start in 2023.  HMI network members are currently working on projects in Florida, Texas, Colorado, and California.  The team is investing more than ever in lead generation activity to increase opportunities.  HMI is building a database of members who wish to participate in these opportunities. Please contact Gretchen Piechottka if you want to be included in this database but haven’t heard from us already.

As we all look forward to 2023 – HMI’s 20th anniversary year, you should expect more from your membership in the network than ever before.  Not only are we making significant investments in marketing and lead generation as described above, but we are also continuing to invest in technology that will continue to reduce the amount of time it takes to process an HMI referral.  As always, do not hesitate to reach out to anyone at HMI if you have questions about your membership, would like some additional training for you or your team, or if you have any suggestions on how we can better support your business.


Thank you all.  Stay safe!





Doug Cowles