Local businesses provide employment for area residents and products and services close to home. Mid-county Memo Business Memos celebrate news, advancements, promotions, retirements, expansions and other noteworthy events at these cornerstones of our community. To share news of your business with our readers, Business Memo submissions for the May issue are due by Sunday, April 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at editor@midcountymemo.com. You may also mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, dial 503-287-8904.

Honl Tree Care relocates to Parkrose
“It’s kind of like a tree. Who knows when it’s going to stop growing?”

Even if you don’t know what an arborist is, you might know the feeling of running a booming business. This February, Chad Honl relocated the base office of his local tree service Honl Tree Care to a spacious warehouse off Northeast 105th Avenue. “It’s a bigger and better space, as it’s more industrial,” says Honl. “In the old area off 82nd [Avenue] and [Southeast] Division [Street], I wouldn’t have been able to run chainsaws because of the noise. There’s more flexibility for stuff we can do now. The new space is the best.”

Honl’s business runs three primary operations, covering the entirety of a given tree’s life cycle. Honl Tree Care specializes in planting trees, tree care and pruning throughout their lives and tree removal. It’s a business that almost always possesses a professional arborist on hand at its storefront (6310 S.E. Ivon St.) with indispensable tips for tree owners. Honl himself has been certified for 17 years. Before that, he was a middle-school math and science teacher. “A teacher wanted me to do her tree, so I got licensed,” explains Honl, looking back on his origin story. “I grew up over in North Portland by Columbia Park, and I got my master’s in teaching at Portland State. Then I was a middle-school math and science teacher, implementing garden-based education programs, as well as community gardens. I wrote a lot of grants. Eventually, my wife wanted to go get her doctorate, and I quit teaching.”

After becoming certified as an arborist, Honl dove into the nonprofit world. He ran Friends of Trees from 2001 through 2006. He opened Honl Tree Care in 2009. Initially, he was the only worker. Now he commands about 18 employees, eight of whom are also certified arborists. Honl hires based on an employee’s education. “I’m less and less involved in doing tree work myself,” says Honl. “Now I’m more into managing employees, but everything has gone pretty smoothly. Lots of growth and great employees. Educating the public on what’s proper tree pruning has been challenging at times, but I haven’t had too many headaches.”

While it’s unlikely that Honl thought “arborist” when questioning what he wanted to do for a career as a child or even as a young man, he has entertained much success over the last decade. For their part, his customers seem to agree.

“We get lots of people who have us come back to prune their trees after planting them, three or more years later. It’s great to go back to clients you already have a relationship with. We try to retain business over the long-term.”

Learn more about Honl Tree Care at honltreecare.com or call the business at 503-200-0709.

Mt. Hood Community College narrows choices for president
The Mt. Hood Community College board of education has announced the selection of five finalists for the presidency of the Gresham school. The finalists are the result of a nationwide search in efforts to replace retiring president Dr. Debra Derr, who leaves office June 30. “We recruited a highly competitive and strong pool of candidates from throughout the state, region and nation,” said Tami Arnold, board of education chair. “The accomplishments and dedication by staff toward providing a quality education were instrumental in attracting highly competitive candidates.” The finalist, in alphabetical order, are: 

Lisa Avery, President, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus. 

Utpal K. Goswami brings more than 34 years of higher education experience equally divided between classroom practice and administration at colleges and universities in Texas, California, Arizona and Missouri.

Paul Jarrell currently serves as executive vice president of educational programs at Santa Barbara City College. 

Krista Johns is the vice chancellor of educational services and student success at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District in Dublin, California. 

Lisa Skari has spent 26 years in the community college system and is dedicated to increasing access and outcomes for students.

The board plans to announce its selection this month. 

Columbia Christian Schools Principal Ami Vensel to serve on ACSI council. COURTESY JASON HOUSLEY

Columbia Christian Schools Principal Ami Vensel to serve on ACSI council.

Principal Vensel appointed to ACSI district council
Ami Vensel, principal at Columbia Christian Schools, 413 N.E. 91st Ave., has been appointed to serve as the Association of Christian Schools International district 2B representative. 

ACSI Regional Director Deborah Miller announced the appointment, saying, “In my short tenure as regional director, previously when I had student teachers in my Multnomah program in her building and then as a fellow administrator while at Westside Christian High School, I have found Ami to be energetic, optimistic, service-oriented, collaborative, honest, visionary and godly. I am thankful to have her leadership in our region.”

ACSI is the largest private school accreditation body in the world. Columbia Christian is accredited by ACSI and AdvancED.

Columbia President Marquita Moss commended Vensel on her appointment, noting that she has served on accreditation teams at other schools and has demonstrated her commitment to high accreditation standards and excellence in education.

U-Haul comes to Parkrose 
Tobacco Land, 11626 NE Sandy Blvd., is now offering U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, moving supplies and in-store pick-up for boxes. Normal business hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Reserve U-Haul products at this Parkrose location by calling 503-775-1476 or visiting uhaul.com/Locations/Truck-Rentals-near-Portland-OR-97220/034058/.

The arrival of U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 is revolutionizing the moving industry through its more convenient, more secure way to pick up and return a truck. U-Haul live verification technology allows rental transactions to be carried out entirely on a smartphone at any hour–day or night. There are no membership fees. Simply visit uhaul.com to create an online account today. 

Memo Reporter Jack Rushall contributed to this report