In this month's member spotlight we introduce you to Cody Jepson, the owner and operator of family-run Jepson Arbor Specialists based in Milwaukie, Oregon. Cody is a Certified Arborist with more than 20 years of experience, and he manages crews who are committed to safety and efficiency when working on projects in the Pacific Northwest.

Read on to learn how badly January ice storms impacted the Portland community and his crew's deployment for emergency tree removal.  He also has good insights on using HMI Connects, our mobile app. Learn about Cody and his experience by reading our Q&A below.




How have HMI referrals and support impacted your business?

My business has grown by 20% since we started working with HMI, and it’s been absolutely incredible to have them as an asset and support team.


What advice would you give arborists new to the HMI program that may help them be successful?

The advice I give new arborists would be to make sure you're okay with a fair amount of paperwork per job request, and then utilize the mobile app as much as possible to assist with that paperwork in the field. It streamlines the process and makes life much easier if you're a smaller family owned business. Also, that you should always focus on quality work over quantity of referrals.


What challenges have you overcome when you first started handling HMI referrals?

The ice storm that hit Portland in January has been the worst I’ve ever seen, and I’m 46 years of age. I've been in the industry for going on 28 years, in which I’ve not seen the amount of trees down in such a short period of time for a relatively short storm duration.

It’s been an a very difficult experience but amazing to overcome some extremely challenging conditions and issues. We are learning every day and utilizing all of the resources we have in our arsenal was a daily experience for us during and after the ice storm.

Thankfully, we were able to help many clients with the assistance of HMI during this process. It's extremely gratifying to help folks that had been subject to various circumstances, ranging from multiple trees through their homes to minor damages but still had large trees impacted their homes.

We assisted with a very difficult job, thankfully with minimal damage. Other companies didn’t want to give it a go, and we came in and helped the client under very difficult circumstances while avoiding any additional damage. It was an amazing experience, and we wouldn’t have had the opportunity without HMI.


What makes your company distinct in your market?

Our company is unique in the fact that we’re a smaller, family-owned and run business. We offer high-end services, large and small, without the higher costs of larger companies. There are very rare exceptions to when we cannot get a job done. We do all we can to treat each property and client as if the property and their trees were our own.


What else would you like us to highlight about your business?

We respect all of our customers and the people working for us, and most of all we try to have fun. Keeping a positive mindset with the daily routine my best advice for our team. I look forward to working on the challenging projects to continue to grow as an arborist. This is all of our mindsets throughout our company. I have two sons that work daily with me along with other amazing people.


How does HMI’s mobile app help you in your business?

I highly recommend using the mobile app. It’s much more streamlined once you get used to the process. I'm looking forward to using it to help clients for many years to come.


Don’t hesitate to reach out to Cody for advice about working with HMI or questions about the profession.