Kathy Abusow is President and CEO of SFI Inc., a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. She has held this role since 2007, when Sustainable Forestry Initiative® became a fully independent, non-profit organization. Since joining SFI, Kathy has greatly expanded SFI’s network to include the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities. Read more here.
Chief Executive Officer
Society of American Foresters
Terry Baker is a passionate and long-time SAF member, a seasoned leader, and a powerful advocate for forestry. His entire career has been intertwined with SAF (since 2002); in fact, Terry credits SAF with helping to develop him as a professional and he is paying it forward by mentoring students and young professionals. Baker has a reputation for being a leader who values relationships, a leader who listens, and a leader who takes action. He has experience in building partnerships and strategic alliances to leverage outcomes and is expanding relationships with key partners and stakeholders to strengthen SAF’s voice and advance the profession as well as the members. Terry has worked for the USDA Forest Service as a forester, supervisory forester, District Ranger, and Deputy Forest Supervisor, in Florida, Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona, and Colorado, respectively. He has a Master of Forestry from Yale University (2007), a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida (2004), and a Bachelor of Arts in Agricultural Sciences from Florida A&M University (2004). Baker believes that SAF has a powerful role to play in helping the public understand the valuable role that forestry professionals play in the sustainability of our nation’s forests.
Director, NE Regional Office
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Amanda is the Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Northeastern Regional Office. She develops partnerships and oversees delivery of grant programs throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, which includes over $30 million in annual grantmaking in New England, the Long Island Sound, the Delaware River watershed, the Chesapeake Bay watershed and Central Appalachia. Prior to joining NFWF, Amanda was a senior policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency. She holds a Masters in Public Policy with a focus in environmental policy from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Washington.
Associate Professor, Forest Operations/Engineering
Chad Bolding, PhD
M. Chad Bolding is an Associate Professor of Forest Operations/Engineering in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. Chad teaches courses in Forest Harvesting, Timber Procurement, and Harvesting Systems Evaluation. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in Forestry from Auburn University, and an M.F. in Silviculture and Ph.D. in Forest Engineering from Oregon State University. As Director of the Virginia Tech Forest Operations and Business Research Cooperative, Bolding conducts research in the broad area of forest operations including wood supply chain management, biomass utilization, logger training/safety issues, and the effects of forest operations on the environment/best management practices. His overarching goal as a forester and scientist is to discover knowledge and solve practical problems that will aid in training current and future stewards of our natural resources. This goal also includes providing information to business owners and agencies actively engaged in forest operations that will aid in efficiency, profitability, and environmental sustainability. In addition to teaching and research he is active in professional organizations such as the Society of American Foresters, Virginia Forestry Association, and the Council on Forest Engineering. Bolding currently serves as Associate Editor for Forest Science in the areas of Harvesting, Engineering, and Utilization. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Forest Engineering. Before coming to Virginia Tech in 2008 he was an Assistant Professor of Forest Operations and Harvesting at Clemson University for 2 years.
US Forest Service, State and Private Foresty
Tinelle Bustam, PhD
Dr. Tinelle Bustam is the National Director of Conservation Education for the USDA Forest Service. She has served various capacities in the Forest Service including National Assistant Director of Recreation at the Washington DC office, District Ranger on the Colville (Washington) and Los Padres (California) National Forests, Public Services Staff Officer at El Yunque National Forest (Puerto Rico), as well as duty stations on the Six Rivers and Lassen National Forests (California). She also served in international technical and policy reviews in various locations in Brazil (Brasilia, Manaus, Soure). Tinelle holds a PhD in natural resource recreation (University of Florida), MS in outdoor education (State University of New York), and BS in wildlife biology (University of Montana). She is published in peer-reviewed journals and most recently for the United Nations Development Programme. Currently adjunct faculty at Frostburg State University, Tinelle teaches a graduate course and was named the 2017 FSU Wellner Scholar for her contributions to the field of recreation and student education.
Director, Global Forest Watch
World Resources Institute
Crystal is the Director of Global Forest Watch, a powerful near-real-time forest monitoring system that unites technology and human networks to create never-before-possible transparency on what is happening in forests around the world. She works with companies, governments, and civil society organizations to use better information about forests to mobilize more effective, rights-based conservation and sustainable management.
Crystal previously worked on strengthening forest governance Brazil, Indonesia, and Cameroon with WRI’s Institutions and Governance Program. Prior to joining WRI, she worked in environmental consulting in Half Moon Bay, California.
Crystal holds a B.S. and M.S. in Earth Systems Science from Stanford University. Her research encompassed environmental governance in Uganda and conservation biology in the tropical rainforests of South America and Eastern Africa.
Rob Farrell was appointed as the eighth State Forester of Virginia by Governor Ralph Northam in January 2018. In this role Rob serves as the director of the Virginia Department of Forestry. The department is responsible for protecting the forest resources of Virginia and ensuring that our trees and forests provide the greatest possible sustainable social, ecological, and economic benefits to the Commonwealth.
Rob joined the Department of Forestry as an Area Forester in 2000. He has also served the agency as the first director of the forestland conservation program and as Deputy State Forester.
Prior to the DOF, Rob worked as an arborist and urban forester in Maryland and Virginia. He is a Certified Arborist and has a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry from Virginia Tech.
Rob currently serves on the Resources Committee of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI, Inc.) on behalf of Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Bettina Ring.
Will Gardiner is the CEO of Drax Group. As part of Drax’s wide portfolio of assets and businesses, Drax operates the UK’s largest single site renewable electricity producer and Europe’s largest decarbonisation project – Drax Power Station. Having successfully upgraded half of the power station from coal to sustainably sourced biomass, in 2018, Drax Power Station generated 6% of the UK’s electricity and 12% of its total renewable electricity.
In December 2018, Drax expanded its portfolio to include flexible, renewable and low carbon generating assets from pumped storage, run-of-river hydro and gas. As a result, Drax can now supply power to 8.3 million UK homes as well as an increased range of system services such as flexibility and inertia. Furthermore, Drax is trialling world leading carbon capture technology with bioenergy (BECCS), which if successful could enable Drax to become carbon negative.
Drax also includes Haven Power and Opus Energy which supply energy and energy services to over 300,000 UK businesses. In 2018 Drax helped its customers sell 1 TWh of their own renewable power back to the grid.
Will is a Commissioner of the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), a coalition of industry, government and NGO experts working together to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy and a member of the Board of the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP), a woody biomass certification system focused on building environmentally and socially sustainable supply chains.
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications
U.S. Green Building Council
Taryn Holowka is the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the U.S. Green Building Council. Taryn joined the Council in 2002 and oversees the
marketing and communications activities for USGBC and its associated programs. With 20 years of experience, Taryn’s core areas of expertise are strategic communications planning, messaging and brand management. Taryn heads up all global marketing, communications and public affairs efforts for USGBC and its popular LEED green building program.
Taryn is responsible for the successful development, implementation and measurement of product and mission-marketing initiatives. Taryn holds a Masters in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. She has been a LEED AP since 2004. Prior to joining USGBC, Taryn worked at the National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI) overseeing an EPA grant as part of the Clean Air Act. She was also with the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) handling membership administration.
Chief Sustainability Officer & Director of Policy
Hancock Natural Resource Group
As Chief Sustainability Officer and Managing Director of Environment and Policy, Brian is responsible for HNRG’s sustainability & responsible investing program and public policy engagement across both of its businesses – forestry and agriculture. In this role, Brian directs Hancock Natural Resource Group’s global sustainability program, develops policies and environmental compliance mechanisms, and is responsible for government relations concerning business and environmental strategies. Brian also overseas environmental stewardship support for forestry and farming operations in North America while supporting ecosystem services revenue development and conservation transactions.
Brian is a director of PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) International and member of the Operating Committee of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI). Brian is a certified wildlife biologist and holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Wildlife Management from South Dakota State University.
Casey Malmquist, founder and CEO of SmartLam, has served in this position since SmartLam’s inception in January of 2012. Mr. Malmquist has led the SmartLam team from a ground level startup to becoming a globally-recognized producer of Cross-Laminated Timber products.
Jim Porter is president of Business Development and Latin America. In this role, he oversees WestRock’s ongoing development of new business opportunities and management responsibility for the company’s operations in Latin America. Jim is also responsible for WestRock’s fiber procurement including global forest and recycled fiber supply. Previously, he held the role of president, Paper Solutions, and president, Corrugated Packaging, at WestRock. He joined RockTenn in 2008 with the acquisition of Southern Container Corp., where he was president and chief operating officer.
G. Anne Nelson Richardson was elected the first woman Chief to lead a tribe in Virginia since the 18th century in 1998. She is a fourth generation chief in her family. Under her tenure as Chief, in 1998, the Tribe purchased 140 acres to establish a land trust, cultural center, and housing development. In 2017, Chief Anne accepted a donation of a 1-acre parcel facilitated by Chesapeake Conservancy to return her tribe to their ancestral lands along Fones Cliffs.
Under her leadership, the Rappahannocks are currently engaged in a number of projects ranging from cultural and educational to social and economic development programs including their Return to the River Project which is a youth leadership program. She has been an engaged partner in Chesapeake Conservancy’s campaign to protect our natural resources from unsustainable development.
In 1989, Chief Anne helped to organize the United Indians of Virginia, which was established as an intertribal organization represented by all Virginia Chiefs. In 1991, Richardson became executive director of Mattaponi-Pamunkey-Monacan, Inc., which provides training and employment services for Virginia Indians. In her work with the Department of Labor, she was appointed by the Secretary to serve on the Native American Advisory Council. She was also elected as Chairman of that Council while working with the Secretary to further the goals of Indian Country through Labor Programs.
Chief Richardson ran for the State Delegate of her district and was named one of the Virginia Women in History in 2006.
Director, Forest Solutions Group,
World Business Council on Sustainable Development
Luis Rochartreis the Director of the Forest Solutions at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led, global coalition of some 200 leading corporations. The Council is the leading voice of business supporting companies in scaling up true value-adding business solutions to some of the most pressing global sustainability issues and in creating the conditions where more sustainable companies will succeed and be recognized.
Luisleads the Forest Solutions Group (FSG), the global platform for the forest sector value chain. Building and sharing business solutions to lead sustainable development in the forest products sector. FSG’s mission is to advance the bio-economy and a thriving forest sector that sustains healthy productive forests and people’s well-being.
Luis joined WBCSD in 2018. He holds a Forestry Degree from UTAD in Portugal and postgraduate Studies in Sustainability at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. He has extensive experience working on forest industries, forest owners’ associations, sustainability and management.
Suzanne Shelton is President/CEO of Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications agency focused exclusively on energy and the environment. Shelton Group creates a market advantage for organizations that are creating a sustainable, energy responsible future. Shelton’s clients include Consumers Energy, Ecolab, Environmental Defense Fund, Fannie Mae & Rheem.