Denison graduate proud to call Granville home for Urban Loggers LLC - The Newark Advocate

Summary

A Denison student's entrepreneurial efforts will now take permanent root in Licking County.

Recent Denison graduate Andrew Hughes has decided to make Granville the permanent home of his small business, Urban Loggers LLC.

A Denison student's entrepreneurial efforts will now take permanent root in Licking County.

Recent Denison graduate Andrew Hughes has decided to make Granville the permanent home of his small business, Urban Loggers LLC.

Since 2017, Hughes has owned and operated his arboriculture service between his hometown of Kansas City, and college town in Granville. While studying Global Commerce at Denison, he worked about 20 hours per week during spare time and continued to subcontract work in Kansas City. After graduating on May 14, he feels well-positioned for long-term success in Licking County.

Hughes’ passion for tree care––not just removal but also healthcare including pruning, treatments against invasive species and disease, and installing support cables––began in high school when he was hired to work at an organic farm in Kansas. Managing woodlots and pastures, he wrangled wood until he realized his potential.

“I could be doing essentially the same thing, for residents, for a lot more money,” he said, remembering his decision to start a business of his own. From the start during high school, he was successful, and the work brought him joy.

More:'Denison needs to be the right neighbor': University wants to help Licking County plan for Intel

Denison University supported Hughes, agreeing to let him park his truck and trailer on campus. Although the campus has pockets of empty parking space, strict rules prevent students from operating a business while they live on campus –– and at Denison, all students live on campus. Before making his college decision, Andrew called and stipulated that he would only attend Denison if he’d be permitted to keep his equipment on campus. He was backed by President Adam Weinberg, and Kevin Mercer, Manager of Grounds and Landscape Services.

“They went to bat for me,” Hughes said. “I owe a pretty serious debt of gratitude to them.”

Four all four years, Hughes was a student-entrepreneur, growing a local client network while serving the Granville area.

In the summer, however, tree work was not always his full-time focus. After his sophomore and junior years, Hughes launched from his Global Commerce study into summer internships which did not bring him joy.

Before senior year, he worked a sales internship with a security and cloud, colocation, and compliance software company with offices in Kansas City. Like his previous internship, he “really hated” the work he was doing, even though he was often skilled. He says that each summer, he dealt with an existential crisis, and learned that big business and corporate America would not be the life for him.

Hughes realized he was destined to work with trees.

During last summer’s internship, he committed to scale Urban Loggers to a full-time operation. Between cold calls, he ordered a bucket truck and a wood chipper, using the impressive savings he’d kept from years of part-time work.

He began making full-time hires, offering comprehensive benefits. He worked with Lifted Logic, a KC-based website development company, to upgrade his website. And he decided that with his competitors based in Columbus and New Albany, he would have an advantage by directly serving the Granville area.

“Most of my business is in Granville, Newark, and Heath,” he said. “Pretty much 20 miles in any direction [from Granville].”

For now, he’s keeping his equipment in Alexandria. But Granville will be the long-term home for Urban Loggers.

“I made this decision independently of the Intel factory,” he added. “But when I heard about Intel, it sort of confirmed something I already knew––Granville is going to explode.”

Urban Loggers does more than just removal. Andrew holds an ISA-certification, an industry standard from the International Society of Arboriculture. His company meets a range of client needs, including soil treatments, emergency tree work, and recurring tree care for disease and invasive bugs like the emerald ash borer. Only about 60% of their work is removal and pruning.

The Urban Loggers website includes a clear statement: “we love trees and care deeply about their role in environmental and community health.” Andrew also donates 3% of the profits from every job to the Arbor Day Foundation, and he’s supported their planting of more than 3,000 trees.

Denison graduate proud to call Granville home for Urban Loggers LLC - The Newark Advocate
Photo Credit: The Newark Advocate

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