Entrepreneur Credits Success to Urban Forestry Program at Tech Center

March 29, 2018

“All of my success is due to the Urban Forestry program,” said Jake DeMasi, owner of the Alpine Tree Service company in Hopewell Junction. The 2014 graduate from The Tech Center at PNW BOCES said the program taught him how to do proper tree climbing, use equipment, and learn about arboriculture.
“I was actually afraid of using a chainsaw when I first started in the Urban Forestry program,” said DeMasi, who was a Lakeland High School student at the time. Once immersed in the program, he was eager to learn all he could about tree variety; moving, cutting down, and pruning trees; and designing and constructing landscapes. He credits teacher John Madden with providing the encouragement and motivation as well as the skills he needed to realize his dream.
“My father also taught me a lot about owning and running my own business,” said DeMasi, whose father, Thomas, owns his own custom-home-building company. The two companies often work collaboratively, with Jake’s company cutting down trees and preparing the site where his father’s company will build.
“I am so proud of Jake,” said his former teacher, Madden. “He fell in love with the program when he was here, and he is so successful now that he is even hiring my students!
“He is also one of my first students to go my alma mater!” Both Madden and DiMasi graduated from the University of Massachusetts’ Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Jake holds three arborist licenses, including an international license.
“Jake still comes back to visit,” said Madden, adding that his current students are excited to have him on campus.  “The next time he comes, he is bringing his new rear-mounted bucket truck to show them!”