2012 Volunteer Service Award
Thais is a 1981 graduate of Wright State’s MBA program. Upon retirement from Ameritech as a senior sales executive, she joined The Ohio State University Extension’s Master Gardeners program. In 2004, Thais was certified as a tree, insect and emerald ash borer (EAB) specialist and has continued as a volunteer ever since.In additional to teaching, she works with homeowners, municipalities, regional and state organizations to provide information on the EAB. Thais also manages an EAB hot-line, inventories, and develops EAB programs.
A sampling of her initiatives and awards include:
Identified the first known EAB infestation in Greene County.Arranged for Xenia to serve as OSU’s first test community to assess the economic and environmental value of trees.Meet with and keep local governments informed on EAB relevant issues.Sought by local media (print, television and cable)) for EAB information.Organized seminars and over forty group meetings for government leaders, green industry professionals and others. Seminars included vendors and scientists from OSU and WSU. Two sessions were taped for showing on cable TV.Wrote numerous EAB articles and distributed informational displays throughout Greene County.Planned and implemented nine state-wide training programs using web technology. These served as a model for “EAB University” webinar, a joint venture of Michigan State University, OSU and Purdue University.
Received the Master Gardener Volunteer Project of the Year award for raising the level of EAB awareness. The award was presented by First Lady, Frances Strickland.
2011, received third place recognition in “Innovation” at the International Master Gardeners Conference held in West Virginia. Thais’ effort was specifically noted in the award presentation.