Chris Mest ’79

Branching Out

By Donna Parker

Chris Mest

There is no doubt about it—Chris Mest, who received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Trinity in 1979 —loves his job.  As a certified arborist, he works for a full-service tree company and owns a small consulting company, Chicagoland Tree Care Advisor, for which he spends his days examining trees.

“I usually get a call from people having a specific problem with their trees and I look at everything on the property, checking out the position and kind of trees and whether they have health issues with insects and disease and then I make recommendations,” says Chris.

Originally, Chris tried to stay true to his college major, going to work for an oil company right after graduation, but he says, “I saw the treatment of the land and my interest in that line of work didn’t last for long.”

Instead, he focused on his love of the earth and land, specializing in trees.

“We can’t live without trees because the air that we breathe is cleaned by trees, and they provide wood for shelter.  To me, trees are indispensable.  I marvel at trees and how brilliant nature really is.  Guess it shows that I love what I do,” he says, proudly.

Chris spends a good deal of time serving on environmental commissions and talking to elementary students about becoming better stewards of nature.

“I love my work so much that I go out on weekends to parks or arboretums to observe the different kinds of trees.  However, I do make time to watch my two favorite teams—the Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs, whenever they’re on TV!”

At home, Chris spends time with his wife and their pets, tending the garden and his collectible cartoon character figures.  He also serves as a director of the Chicago Alumni Board, helping out with career events and mentoring new graduates who settle in that area.

“Trinity was a great time of life for me,” says Chris.  “It was the ’70s and there was a lot going on around the campus.  School was great and it gave me a chance to grow up and figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

“Drs. Robert Freed and Walt Coppinger, both of the department of geosciences, were great instructors; very engaging and just cared about their students.  I really didn’t realize how much they’d taught me until I speak with others and see how much I do know!”

Chris, who describes himself as having a good sense of humor, loves to make people laugh—and that’s pretty easy when you’re happy doing what you love. 

You may e-mail Chris at chris@treecareadvisor.com.

After reading this story if you feel strongly about any Trinity alumni who the Alumni Office should profile in future AlumNet issues, please submit your suggestions.  We are looking for suggestions in these four categories:  1) recent grads, 2) grads who innovate, 3) grads in business, and 4) grads who serve the world. Feel free to nominate yourself if you fall in these categories. -- AlumNet Moderator