Pat Covey and Davey Tree learn and grow through strategic acquisitions

The Covey File

NAME: Pat Covey
TITLE: President and COO of U.S. operations
COMPANY: Davey Tree Expert Co.

Born: Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Education: Earned a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus in finance and accounting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

It’s hard to find much about you on the Web. Why are you so absent from the Internet? The social media thing has never really caught my attention that much. I tend to try and keep my private life private, and I just don’t really like the idea of Facebooking a lot, or Twittering. I personally don’t find myself all that interesting that I think everybody’s going to want to know what I’m doing all the time, and I’d rather just keep it more private.

Assume that time travel is possible, and you have a chance to go back in time and observe, but not affect, any moment. What would you like to see and why?  I think the thing that would really be interesting to me is the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I think that whole environment around how the U.S. came about, and the revolution, and ultimately the documents that we use to define our democracy, and the way we live, the people involved with that and the way it went about, I think, would be really very interesting.

We’ve come to try and interpret what they were trying to do, and I think to be able to go back and see exactly what they were trying to do and how they came to conclusions on things would be kind of interesting, given our current political environment where everybody has, I think, their own interpretation based on whether they’re on the right or left of the equation.

What are your plans for the first year of retirement? I would definitely like to travel. I took a year in college and went to England and worked in a pub, traveled around, hitchhiked and rode trains. And I look back on that and — well, I probably had about $50 in my pocket — it was one of the better experiences, and one of the things that really helped define me as a person.  And I would definitely go back to that kind of carefree, don’t know where I’m going, go to the train station and see what train is leaving, and jump on and go — just kind of free travel in Europe or Asia or South America.