Meet Our Team

Jack Richardson

Jack Richardson

Jack is the owner of Guardian Tree Experts. Originally from Arlington, VA, he is a graduate of Trinity College (Hartford, CT) where he majored in history and played four years of baseball. He began his career in Northern Virginia with Bartlett Tree Experts, an international company recognized for its scientific approach to tree care and its firm commitment to safety and training. Jack moved to town in 2004 with his wife, Emily Wilson-Tobin, and started the company in 2008.

He is an ISA Certified Arborist, a TCIA Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP), and a four-time Michigan Tree Climbing Champion and competitor in the International Tree Climbing Championships (ITCC). He enjoys the challenges and variety that comes with running a business successfully, but his favorite place to be is still high up in the trees working alongside the crew. Staying in touch with the trees helps him continue to learn, and it affords him the opportunity to share his experience and knowledge with the crew and watch them find enjoyment and take pride in their progression.


Kris Adler

Kris Adler

Kris began his career in arboriculture in 1995 with The Care of Trees in Chicago and has worked as a certified arborist in the Ann Arbor area since 2000. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in forestry from Michigan State University. In addition to his extensive training and experience, he is our area's only ISA Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) and ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) arborist.

Kris is passionate about trees and their proper care. He spends the majority of his time working with our clients to help them manage their trees and properties successfully. When he's not diagnosing issues or making recommendations to our clients, he works with our staff in the field to increase their knowledge, experience, and efficiency.

Outside work, he spends most of his time with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys heading into the woods to recharge whenever possible, as well as more adventurous pursuits. In 2013, he made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Garrett Brun

Garrett Brun

Garrett graduated from Michigan State University in 2005. After graduation, he worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a Civilian Conservation Corps Crew Leader, and then as a park officer prior to joining Guardian.

He is an ISA Certified Arborist and a Certified Wildlife Protector. As the manager of our plant health care department, he works closely with Kris, Brian, and Jack to ensure that our clients' trees receive the proper treatments at the correct times of the year. During the winter months, he assists the rest of the crew with pruning, cabling, and removal work. When not at work, Garrett enjoys gaming, playing drums, and spending time with his wife and son.


Jen Bachman

Jen Bachman

If you call the main number or send us an email, you will most likely reach Jen. She is our office manager and handles everything from setting appointments to sending out invoices. She's especially good at listening to our clients' requests and communicating that to our staff so that we can offer the right solutions to their problems. Her attention to detail, ability to multi-task, and overall care for our clients are some of the main reasons why people continue to work with us on a regular basis.

She lives in Ann Arbor with her canine companion, Lily, who accompanies her to work everyday. When the work day is over, chances are Jen is eating or creating a delicious meal. Great food is one of her passions.


Charity Barnes

Charity Barnes

Charity's positive attitude, enthusiasm, humor, and cheerful demeanor are contagious, and we're happy to catch the bug on a daily basis. She inspires us to have fun, enjoy each other's company, and complete each day's work regardless of the challenges we encounter.

Charity has a B.S. in Conservation with a minor in Geology from Northern Michigan University and is an ISA Certified Arborist, a Michigan Pesticide Licensed Applicator, and a two-time Michigan Tree Climbing Competition Champion. At Guardian, she spends most of her time out on the crew climbing and working with trees, but she also performs pesticide applications, runs the air-spade, and manages the maintenance of our tools, equipment, and shop.

After a full day of work, she moves on to managing the logistics of raising three children with her husband, Eric, at their home in the Dexter area. Whenever possible, she heads up north (where she grew up) to recharge her battery, visit friends, and spend time outdoors - especially on the water. Whether up north or at home, she enjoys active adventures, unexpected surprises, a good book, a well-deserved beer, and sharing memorable experiences with friends, family, and co-workers. Her ability to balance work, personal fulfillment, and family is impressive.


Moses Hubing-Cooper

Moses Hubing-Cooper

Moses is our most experienced crew leader. He's an excellent climber with a consistently positive attitude who brings out the best in our crew. He works well with our clients to ensure the crew accomplishes the work as outlined, but he also assists Jack with training in order to maintain a culture of safety, professionalism, and advancement in our office.

In addition to being an ISA Certified Arborist and holding numerous safety and rescue certifications, Moses is a graduate of Warren Wilson College and Colorado Mountain College where he earned degrees in Outdoor Leadership. He has guided many different groups on outdoor trips, which has honed his leadership skills and fostered a strong appreciation for environmental stewardship.

Prior to his arrival at Guardian, Moses was working out west as a contract climber, engaged primarily in forestry work. He grew up nearby in Manchester and decided to join our team to learn more about arboriculture, improve his technical and leadership skills, and be closer to his family.

He raced mountain bikes competitively at Warren Wilson, and he enjoys many other adventurous outdoor pursuits, as well as traveling the world in search of new avenues of challenge.


Brian Rathbun

Brian Rathbun

Brian is also an ISA Certified Arborist with a Michigan Pesticide Applicator's license, and he holds a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics from the University of Michigan, as well as an Associate's degree in Landscape Horticulture from Oakland Community College.

His degree from OCC has provided him with an excellent knowledge of arboriculture, and he has furthered that knowledge by working as a climber and as a plant health care technician here at Guardian. He is now working primarily with clients as an arborist representative in the same capacity as Kris.

Brian played rugby at U of M and is now an avid runner. He runs marathons and can put 13 miles or more behind him without breaking a sweat... even after a long day of tree work. When he's not working or running, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son.


Ben Tatara

Ben Tatara

Ben is one of our most experienced tree climbers and came to us after working for several years as a climber for the University of Michigan's crew. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and has a B.S. in Forestry from Michigan Tech, which makes him a knowledgeable arborist as well. He spends most of his time working in the trees and using the experience he has gained over the years to help our crews stay safe and work creatively.

Ben lives with his wife and daughters in the Dexter area. In addition to enjoying tree work, he has fun searching for buried treasure with his metal detector and making contact with people around the world on his short-wave radio.


Matt Prince

Matt Prince

Matt grew up in the greater Ann Arbor area and graduated from Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Earth Science and a minor in GIS. While up in Marquette, Matt's passion for the outdoors flourished, which led to a ten month position working with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa after graduation. After this position came to a close, Matt moved back to Chelsea and reached out to us with an interest in becoming a climbing arborist.

He has been making big strides as a climber in record time and is a great addition to our team. Having played a lot of hockey throughout his life, he understands what it takes to work together towards a common goal and how to overcome adversity to achieve goals.

Like many of us, he enjoys adventurous outdoor pursuits like biking, fishing, etc.


Bethany Kemppainen

Bethany Kemppainen

Bethany is also a graduate of Michigan Tech, where she finished with a B.S. in Applied Ecology & Environmental Studies. During her time at school, she had the opportunity to assist with research that required her to climb large sugar maples to prune out leaf samples. This experience helped to turn her interest more towards trees and the science involved in their care.

While working in town at the Great Lakes Zoological Society, she reached out to us to learn more about the possibility of becoming an arborist and joining our team. We were happy to offer her a position as a plant health care technician, and she is learning the trade quickly with help from Garrett, Kris, and Brian, due to her intelligence, curiosity, and drive. She's always got a smile on her face and a great attitude too, which helps keep the day to day work enjoyable.


Josh Gleason

Josh Gleason

As one of our ISA Certified Arborists, Josh spends most of his time meeting with our clients to discuss the care of their trees and the problems they would like solved. After those meetings, he drafts proposals that meet the objectives he and our clients have agreed upon and works with our crews to ensure that the work goes smoothly.

Josh joined Guardian after spending a year at Davey Tree Experts as a plant health care technician. In addition to his time at Davey, Josh has worked in the green industry for over seven years and holds a certificate from the Institute of Agriculture Technology at Michigan State University. He is excited to work in the field of arboriculture, and his enthusiasm, hard work ethic, and desire to keep learning about the care of trees helps us provide sound advice and quality work for our clients.

Outside of work, Josh enjoys running long distances, racquetball, watching sports (MSU sports especially), and service to others. He has traveled extensively to help those in need. One such trip was spending a year with AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity where he helped to rebuild a city block in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, but he has also been to Haiti and Mexico. He lives in the Ann Arbor area with his wife Crystal and their beloved animals.


Christopher Ridgard

Christopher Ridgard

Chris holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and worked for years in the automotive and medical device industries as a designer prior to joining our company. He also spent a year as a carpenter as he looked to transition out of the mechanical engineering field and into a profession that might be a better fit for his interests. His education and experience in these two fields has been a huge asset to our company, and his wit and sense of humor help keep our work fun every day.

Born in Jamaica, Chris moved to Washington state when he was eleven and spent time in New York, Florida, and Texas before moving to Michigan for work. He competed collegiately in track and cycling winning accolades in both sports at the national level. In addition to running and biking, Chris enjoys clam chowder, reading, writing, poppies, canned sardines, photography, cooking, whiskey, San Pellegrino, sporty cars, motorcycles, salami, bacon, good bread, foggy weather, heavy storms, and of course, the outdoors.

Jack is extremely knowledgeable, skilled, careful & thorough. — Karen M.