Natick, Massachusetts ––– Lenny Cleaves, owner of Cleaves Company, Inc. in Needham, Mass., was named the 2017 VISTA Award winner by the Massachusetts Arborists Association (MAA).  Lenny was honored for his lifetime commitment to his customers in the field of arboriculture.

“It is an incredible achievement to be selected as a VISTA Award winner and with more than 30 years of service to the industry, Lenny Cleaves is a very worthy recipient,” said Jay Ippolito, President of MAA. “His commitment and professionalism set a very high standard of excellence.”

 “I am deeply honored and grateful to accept this prestigious award,” said Mr. Cleaves. “It is enormously satisfying to have a built a career working with this fantastic community of tree care professionals.”

About Cleaves Company, Inc.
Cleaves Company, Inc. is a leading supplier of tree care and landscape equipment, accessories and tools in the Northeast. Carrying well known brands such as Bandit, Echo, Rayco, Honda and Stihl, with a full fledge service department to maintain equipment and tackle any issue that may arise from commercial use of equipmentMore info at

VISTA Award Overview

The VISTA award is the most important honor the association can bestow upon one of its members.  It was created to recognize truly outstanding tree care professionals whose acts and deeds serve as a guide and challenge for all members of the industry. 

The award’s title is an acronym for Vision, Integrity, Service, Talent, and Action – the leadership qualities inherent in all award recipients.


MAA members are encouraged to nominate colleagues for VISTA award consideration.  Please write a letter to the MAA board of directors with the name of your nominee and include the reasons why you believe he/she should receive the VISTA award.  Take the award’s purpose and title into consideration when crafting your nomination letter.  Be specific, cite examples, include details and, if possible, ask for letters of support for your nominee from other members.  

Nomination letters may be sent via regular mail or e-mail to:

VISTA Award 
MAA Board of Directors
8-D Pleasant Street South
Natick, MA  01760  (“VISTA Award” in Subject Line please)


  • October 10 - Deadline for submission of VISTA nominees and letters of support
  • Late October - Board members review nominations and deliberate
  • Early November - Final decision is made regarding VISTA recipient
  • Nov/Dec - VISTA recipient is notified/presenter selected
  • February - VISTA recipient announced at annual meeting
  • March - Announcement made via meeting notice/speech written
  • April - VISTA Award presented at membership meeting


2000 - Mark Tobin, MCA
2001 - Ron Despres, MCA
2002 - Matt Foti, MCA
2003 - Dennis Ryan, MCA
2004 - Will Maley, MCA
2005 - M. Virginia Wood, CMP
2006 - George Mellick, MCA
2007 - Henry Davis III, MCA (Ret.)
2008 - Cricket Vlass, MCA
2009 - Carl A. Cathcart, MCA
2010 - James Abusamra, MCA
2011 - Ellis Allen, MCA
2012 - Robert Childs
2013 - Mike Lueders, MCA, MCLP
2014 - Scott McPhee, MCA
2016 - Ron Yaple, MCA
2017 - Lenny Cleaves, MCA