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When it was time for Patrick (Pat) Paternostro to choose his college major, he set off on the path to becoming a teacher — like his father who was an elementary teacher for 40 years. His father also inspired his love for the outdoors, trees, and birds. Ultimately, Paternostro’s passion for the outdoors outweighed his desire to teach, so he changed his major, and ultimately earned a degree in forestry.
Shortly after graduating in 1992, Paternostro saw an ad for a job at ACRT in Indiana – an opportunity that would define his career in vegetation management. Now, two decades later, Paternostro serves as an operations manager and mentor at ACRT.
Over the years, he’s nurtured hundreds of employees and helped turn their time in this industry from a job into a career.
“It’s important to enlighten them on the importance of what we do, the criticalness of this role, and the role ACRT provides to not just the utilities, but the utilities’ customers. While this field entails using skills in trees, tree identification, assessing trees for health, and so on, we’re also one of the first lines of people and entities that talk to the customers. This job is as much a customer service job as it is a forestry-related job,” explains Paternostro.
Despite choosing to pivot his original career path, Paternostro’s role as an educator has come full circle over the years.
“Ironically enough, I spend a lot of time teaching, so that early education portion of my college time helped aid me,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of people develop under me who have moved up into bigger roles — not just at ACRT but nationwide — and I really take that as a badge of pride for myself.”
People like Pat are vital to our success at ACRT. Learn more about our family of companies.
ACRT is the largest independent utility consulting company in the U.S. and empowers utilities to proactively manage vegetation across their entire rights-of-way. We consistently stay on top of and share relevant industry content with our employees and customers around the country.