JOEY SEMEL, Editor-in-Chief—We often hear about the athletes and the performers, but Denison has a lot of students who are talented in other areas of life.

Take Andrew Hughes for example. He runs and operates his own company, Urban Loggers. The company operates in Missouri, Kansas, and here in Ohio. Their basic job: residential tree removal. 

“It sort of started by accident,” Hughes said. “I was working on organic farms when I was younger, and I spent a lot of time clearing tree lines. Once I was comfortable, I figured I could take that to the residential markets.”

 Once Hughes got it up and running, the company took off. After about a year, he was doing larger jobs and bought a truck. It made the decision easy to bring it to Denison with him once he left for college.

“Financial security is a big part of it. I was raised by a single mother, and it feels good to be self sufficient. We were always comfortable, but a little stressed. It’s hard to think about going back to that.”

What’s also important is how much Hughes enjoys his work.

“It just keeps you entertained. It provides me with so much more experience than I’d get just sitting in a classroom.”

The company started as a family affair, as Hughes’ mother played a huge role in getting it off of the ground. 

Hughes tells the story, “She’s been in marketing consulting for a long time. She was behind the idea, and encouraged me to continue it. But safety was her main concern. Logging is dangerous work and she wanted to make sure I understood that.”

In tree removal, it’s easy to create a lot of waste, but what makes Hughes’ company different is that they do everything they can to limit the amount of waste. On the Urban Loggers website, it reads. “Urban Loggers takes pride in the fact that it produces virtually no waste and keeps every log out of the landfills.  Brush and other small organic material is taken to recycling plants to be processed into mulch, while all logs are either milled into high-quality lumber to be sold or used to make live edge furniture from local trees. That which cannot be used as lumber is frequently split into firewood and sold.”

How does Hughes balance balance running his own business and school work? Well, according to him it’s easier than you might think.

“It’s not that bad. You find your ways around it. I’m here to be learning not to build a resume.”

To learn more, check out the Urban Loggers website at