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Posted: February 10, 2022

Kent, Ohio – The Davey Tree Expert Company is proud to announce the promotion of three in Davey’s Southeast Residential/Commercial (R/C) services; Chris Heim, operations manager, Southeast operating group; Jamie Blackburn, market manager, Southeast operations; Joel Twist, district manager, North Atlanta R/C office.

Chris Heim

Heim joined Davey in 1983 as a trimmer trainee in the North Atlanta R/C office. In 1989, Heim was promoted to sales arborist of the Akron R/C office, then in 1993 to assistant district manager of the same office. In 1997, he was promoted to district manager of the North Atlanta R/C office. 

“Chris has a history of making steady, reliable and impactful contributions, which I have every reason to believe will resonate with the ‘next generation’ of Davey leadership,” said Jim Stief, executive vice president, R/C services “I had the pleasure of working with Chris in the North Atlanta market when he first joined Davey and was lucky enough to watch Chris develop into one of the finest arborists I have witnessed in all my years with the Davey Company.” 

Chris, Jamie and Joel portraits

In 1986, Heim graduated from the Davey Institute of Tree Sciences (D.I.T.S.), which is Davey’s flagship training program in biological sciences, safety, tree and plant care and management techniques. He holds an associate degree in forestry from Hocking Technical College and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Kent State University. 

Jamie Blackburn 

Blackburn joined Davey in 2017 when Davey acquired Arborguard Tree Specialists, a Davey company, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He had been with Arborguard since 2013. Prior to joining Arborguard, Blackburn was the curator for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for seven years.

“Jamie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with nearly 25 years in the green industry in urban forestry and botanical garden and nursery/landscape management,” said Keith Francies, operations manager, Southeast R/C services. “This experience will be invaluable in his new position, as well as being part of a substantial acquisition.”

Blackburn is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist® and holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University. He is also an active board member of the Georgia Tree Council.

Joel Twist 

Twist joined Davey in 2001 as an intern in the Baltimore R/C office. After graduating from Allegany College with an associate degree in forest technology, he joined Davey full-time as a climber and plant health care technician. In 2007, he transferred to the Greensboro R/C office where he held the same position. In 2010, Twist was promoted to sales arborist of the North Atlanta R/C office and then in 2015 was promoted to assistant district manager of the same office.

“Besides managing a high-end sales market in the Atlanta area, Joel has led our safety, training and compliance for the last several years with great success,” said Heim. “Joel has proven to be a great leader who shows extreme consideration for clients and employees, so I have no doubt he will continue to grow the Atlanta office while being a great role model for his office.”

Twist is an ISA Certified Arborist®, a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP) and is ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ). In 2003, he graduated from the Davey Institute of Horticulture Sciences (D.I.H.S), then in 2004 from D.I.T.S.


The Davey Tree Expert Company, established in 1880 and headquartered in Kent, Ohio, provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada. With 11,000 employees, Davey Tree is the eighth largest employee-owned company in the U.S. Visit to learn more about Davey Tree and discover your next career opportunity.

The Davey Tree Expert Company, established in 1880 and headquartered in Kent, Ohio, provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada. With 11,000 employees, Davey Tree is the eighth largest employee-owned company in the U.S.

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