We are in the process of creating a dynamic agenda and sessions for the Virginia conference in 2019. Stay tuned for updates, and have a browse through last year’s great sessions.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

1:30-5:00 PM

Session: Welcome and Opening Remarks

We will be welcoming a wide range of attendees, including CEOs of multinational companies, conservationists, community representatives, Indigenous leaders, forest managers, university faculty and students, government officials, and many more. This year’s agenda has something for everyone.

Mike Lester
State Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
Mark Rodgers
President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada and SFI Board Chairman
Kathy Abusow
President and CEO, SFI Inc.
Session: SFI’s Future – A Board of Directors’ Perspective

Meet SFI’s newest board members. Gain valuable perspective on the ongoing evolution of SFI as our new board members share insights on our strategic direction and future outlook. Pose questions and spark discussion on topics of interest to you, your organization and the SFI community.

James D. Irving
Co-CEO, JD Irving Ltd.
Lennard Joe
President, Nicola Tribal Association
Mike Parr
President, American Bird Conservancy
Jaime Yraguen
President, Associated Oregon Loggers
Keynote Address: Dan Lambe, President, Arbor Day Foundation

If ever there was a time to plant trees, now is that time. Dan Lambe will highlight the creative and thoughtful pathways the Arbor Day Foundation and SFI are pursuing. The two organizations are heightening awareness around the thoughtful use of trees and forests as a solution for new public and private partnerships. The Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) and SFI share common interests and goals connected to creating healthy thriving managed forests and building a deeper understanding of the value and importance of trees. Together, ADF and SFI are driving forward with efforts to advance tree planting and strategic management of forests as a means to address corporate sustainability objectives and new youth engagement opportunities. The two organizations celebrate their complementary strengths and unique leadership roles as they push forward with an ambitious collaboration elevating the power of trees and forests.

Dan Lambe
President, Arbor Day Foundation
Session: Role of Technology in Sustainable Forests and Supply Chains

New and innovative technology in the forest sector, from forests to manufacturing to purchasing, is key to transitioning towards a more sustainable society. This panel will explore how innovation in current and emerging markets is driving responsible forest supply chains and playing a strategic role in topics ranging from sustainable purchasing policies and land use to green building.

Philip Curtis, Co-founder, Juniata Analytics, will discuss how SFI has been working with a network of partners, including The Sustainability Consortium, to visualize and communicate about certified forests across Canada. Hear about the project, and what Philip envisions as the future role of technology in supply chain transparency.
Mark Rossolo, Public Affairs Director, Environment, UL LLC, will profile SFI and UL Environment’s partnership to make it easier for the design community, professional purchasers and others to identify wood and paper products certified to the SFI Standard. Hear from Mark on how UL Environment’s SPOT web-based sustainability information tool is connecting the supply chain to help purchasers identify products that meet their sustainable purchasing policies.

5:00-7:00 PM

President’s Reception

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

7:00-8:30 AM

5K Run and Yoga

7:30-9:00 AM

Continental Breakfast

9:00-12:00 PM

Session: The Conservation Impact of Sustainable Supply Chains

The SFI Conservation Impact Project is quantifying the conservation benefits of SFI’s work and the connection between sustainable supply chains and important conservation outcomes. The project has three key research focus areas: water, carbon storage and biodiversity. Hear from project leaders and members of the Sounding Board, describing some early results from projects across the focal areas of water, climate change and biodiversity.

Jad Daley
President and CEO, American Forests
Healy Hamilton
Chief Scientist, NatureServe
Puneet Dwivedi
Assistant Professor, Sustainability Sciences, University of Georgia
Session: Reflections and Actions on Forestry and Conservation

Sustainable forests render a multitude of outcomes that matter to a wide range of stakeholders, requiring long-term vision and thoughtful attention that span ecological, economic and social outcomes. This session will bring together leaders from the forestry and conservation sectors, whose work and collaborations help position forests as the answer to ensuring a sustainable future.

Darren Sleep, Senior Director, Conservation Strategies, SFI Inc. In addition to his role with SFI, Darren sits on Canada’s Species at Risk Advisory Committee (SARAC), providing insight and advice to the federal government on managing species at risk across Canada. Darren will discuss his work in advancing creative solutions for species protection, including the assurances provided by forest certification standards, and other approaches to ensure efficiency and scale.
Dave Tenny, President & CEO, National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) will address priority topics facing forest owners across the United States including how they are collaborating with SFI Program Participants to work on important issues such as endangered species management, the role of healthy working forests in carbon sequestration, or the importance of managed forests to water quality.
Sean O’Brien, President and CEO, NatureServe, will share his perspective on the role of partnerships to achieve conservation outcomes, and his vision for the future of NatureServe. As NatureServe’s newest President and CEO, Sean oversees their respected database of information on rare species and natural communities, and provides critical analyses to guide conservation.
Rod Taylor, Global Forests Director, World Resources Institute, oversees the Global Forest Watch, the Forest Legality Initiative and the Global Restoration Initiative. Rod will share his thoughts on how we should work together to center forests as the answer to a low-carbon future.

12:00-1:30 PM

Awards Luncheon

1:45-3:30 PM

Session: Engaging Youth Through Collaborative Partnerships

Our forests are a vibrant source of reflection and a place for youth to grow. Hear how partner organizations are charting new paths forward to increase diversity and inspire future forest and conservation leaders.

David Bradley, Regional Manager, Indigenous Youth Employment Program, Outland, will discuss how Outland is providing hundreds of Indigenous youth with unique career-building experiences by immersing them in hands-on, experiential learning. Hear how Outland is working to provide opportunities for Indigenous youth, to build future forest and conservation leaders.
Guy Sabin, Vice President, Forestry Association of South Carolina and Coordinator, South Carolina SIC, will profile how the South Carolina SIC and their partners are connecting PLT-trained teachers and forest landowners, and ultimately giving kids real-world examples of forest sustainability.
Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, will present innovative opportunities to engage students with forests and biodiversity using the power of citizen science. Hear how the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s new NestWatch curriculum, supported through SFI’s Community Partnerships Grant Program, will enable youth to build a nest box for native birds from sustainable lumber, and then report their nesting activity for scientists.
Session: Emerging Opportunities for Responsible Wood in Off-Site Construction

Entekra™ is a design, engineering and manufacturing company providing a fully integrated off-site solution (FIOSS™) for both residential and commercial construction. Unique to the U.S. market, Entekra’s FIOSS streamlines the construction process by leveraging the integration and application of software, engineering, technology and modern methods of construction to consolidate a multitude of tasks. Learn about this new market opportunity and how responsible sourcing of wood products and reduced waste is part of the equation.

Gerard McCaughey
Chief Executive and Chairman, Entekra Inc.

3:30-5:30 PM

SFI Implementation Committee Plenary

6:00-10:00 PM

SFI Reception and Dinner

Thursday, October 18, 2018

7:30-9:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

9:00-12:00 PM

Session: Communicating the Value of Forests

Communicating about the forest sector can be challenging. Long-held misperceptions, a diversity of stakeholders, and a lack of understanding about the dynamic benefits that forests provide complicate communications efforts. This communications session will share lessons about how effective communications can help increase the understanding of how forests are the answer to many global challenges.

Moderator: Daniel Pellegrom, Vice President, Communications, SFI Inc

Kai Lintunen, Head of International Communications, Finnish Forest Association, will discuss how using fresh approaches to images and language can meet the challenge of delivering an effective and impactful message.
Maria De Cristofaro, Outreach and Capacity Building, UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) Forestry Department, will explore opportunities for inspiring change and shifting mindsets by appealing to emotions to influence behaviour.
Session: Green Building Innovation with Mass Timber

As an advocate for the design and utilization of wood products, Peter MacKeith is leading the way in fostering innovation in both the economic and environmental qualities of mass-timber construction and cross‑laminated timber. Learn how University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design is creating an awareness of new materials, modifying architecture and engineering curriculums to incorporate mass-timber knowledge and collaborating across the local timber supply chain.

Peter MacKeith
Dean and Professor of Architecture, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas
Session: Inspiring Women Leaders in Sustainability

Hear women leaders in government agencies discuss responsible forest management, forest health and the role women are playing on a range of sustainability issues. Speakers will also share their inspiring stories about encouraging women to take on leadership roles.

Bettina Ring
Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and SFI Board Member
Vicki Christiansen
Interim Chief, USDA Forest Service
Beth MacNeil
Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Service
Lisa Allen
State Forester, Missouri Department of Conservation
Laura Schweitzer
Executive Director, Council of Western State Foresters/Western Forestry Leadership Coalition

12:00-1:00 PM

Closing Luncheon

1:00-5:00 PM

Conservation Impact Sounding Board Meeting

For more information on the Conservation Impact Sounding Board meeting, contact Rocco Saracina.

and Side Events

SFI is pleased to collaborate with a number of organizations to create side meetings that enhance the SFI community. If you are interested in coordinating a side event at the 2018 SFI Annual Conference, please contact Amy Doty at 202-596-3458 or vial email: Continue to check back later for events that you may be interested in participating in.

Making the Most of Large-Scale Regional Risk Assessments in the Forest Sector
October 16, 9:00-12:00 PM MT
Where: SFI Annual Conference
Hosted by: Sustainable Biomass Program
Location: The Westin Westminster (Room TBD)

Anyone interested in exploring risk assessments in North America, including auditors, public agency foresters, consulting foresters, sustainability experts, trade and export specialists, should attend.

The forest products industry is frequently required, on numerous levels, to prove that the wood companies source is “low-risk.” The EU Timber Regulation, the Lacey Act, green building requirements, and market-driven supply chain transparency all require supply chain assurances. But what does low-risk mean in practice and what are certification bodies, government officials, and forest products companies’ experiences of a risk-assessment approach? Ultimately, what scale of risk assessment works and how can risk assessments best deliver credible and efficient assurances? Hear from some of the foremost experts from various sectors, public and private, and join in on the conversation. This discussion will provide you with a better understanding of risk assessments, what has been done in the past, and how we might approach them in the future given new technologies and understanding at the forest level.

Confirmed speakers:

Simon Armstrong – Technical Director, SBP
Nicolas Blanchette – President, INCOS Stratégies
Ara Erickson – Director of Corporate Sustainability, Weyerhaeuser
Kathryn Fernholz – Executive Director, Dovetail Partners Inc.
Dr. Healy Hamilton – Chief Scientist & Vice President for Conservation Science, NatureServe
Dr. Laura Thompson – Sustainability Expert & Consultant, 4Minutes LLC

Growing Future Forest Leaders and Developing Green Career Pathways
October 16, 10:00-12:00 PM MT
Where: SFI Annual Conference
Hosted by: SFI Inc. and Forest Products Society Education Committee

Join the Forest Products Society (FPS) and SFI for a dialogue on building collaborative approaches to educating students about the benefits of renewable resources, and the advantages of pursuing careers in forest sustainability. This two-hour workshop will explore strategies to raise the visibility of renewable forest materials and the conservation benefits of well-managed forests; increase excitement about careers in natural resources; and consider what resources are needed to meet these goals. The session should help envision partnership opportunities and clarify alignment between organizational goals of FPS, SFI, and other organizations interested in promoting sustainable forestry education. This session is open to all conference attendees. To register or learn more, email Rocco Saracina at

SFI Conservation Impact Sounding Board Workshop
October 18, 1:00-5:00 PM MT

SFI’s Conservation Impact Sounding Board is an informal group that helps SFI identify and review projects to clarify the contribution of forestlands certified to SFI. This workshop will review early results from selected projects and cover some creative methodologies to achieve scale. There will be an opportunity to identify potential projects across thematic areas. Communications opportunities to ensure the relevancy and utility of Conservation Impact outcomes will also be discussed.

To attend the workshop email Rocco Saracina, Manager, Conservation Partnerships, no later than September 14.