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.
Dean, College of Natural Resources University of Idaho
Dennis is professor and dean of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. He previously served as director of the Policy Analysis Group in the college from 2015-2018, and prior to that was an associate professor of natural resource policy at the University of Minnesota. He received a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences from the University of Idaho in 2002, was a postdoctoral fellow with the USDA Forest Service, and a Fulbright Fellow in Norway. Dennis’s research focuses on policy development, evaluation, and analysis of social and economic impacts in the areas of forest management, bioenergy and related natural resource topics.
Vicki serves as Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, leading a workforce of more than 25,000 permanent employees who steward 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands; support the world’s largest forestry research organization; and work with states, tribes and others to sustain all forests so they can benefit all citizens, today and in the future. Her commitment to the core values of the Forest Service, which are conservation, service, interdependence, diversity and safety, is evident in the priorities she sets for the agency. As Chief, Vicki is leading agency efforts to improve the conditions of America’s forests and grasslands by modernizing how they do business to increase active forest management and deliver landscape conservation through shared stewardship with local, state and national partners and tribes. Prior to joining the Forest Service in 2010, she served as the Arizona State Forester and director of the Arizona Division of Forestry, where she was responsible for the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands in Arizona. She had previously served as the Washington State Forester, the culmination of a 26-year career with Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
President and CEO American Forests, and SFI Board Member
Jad has played a leading role in authoring and enacting federal legislation to establish forest programs such as the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program. He is also a widely published writer on conservation topics and has an active presence on the online publishing platform Medium.
Jad has served on the SFI External Review Panel and the SFI Conservation Impact Sounding Board. The panel provides ongoing, independent review of SFI. SFI’s Conservation Impact project is quantifying the conservation benefits of SFI’s work.
He assumed his current role in 2018 after a year of leading the organization forward on issues like climate change and carbon storage in forest products. Between 2008 and 2017, Jad launched and developed the Climate Conservation Program at The Trust for Public Land and eventually served as Vice President for Program Development.
Director of K-12 Education Oregon Forest Resources Institute
Norie is the director of K-12 education at Oregon Forest Resources Institute and is responsible for the development and implementation of programs for students and professional development for teachers. She has worked in education for more than 30 years including teaching at the K-12 and university levels and in environmental education programs. She has master’s degrees from Portland State University in both science education and adult education and has been a PLT facilitator for more than 20 years. In 2011, she was given the Gold Star Award for her work with Project Learning Tree and in 2011, she received the Oregon State Forester’s award for excellence in forestry education.
President and CEO Graphic Packaging International and SFI Board Vice-Chair
Graphic Packaging is a leading provider of packaging solutions to a wide variety of companies in the food, beverage and other consumer products sectors. With over $4.4 billion in sales, it is one of the largest global producers of folding cartons and it holds a leading market position in coated-unbleached kraft and coated-recycled paper board. Mike has held several positions of commercial and operational leadership during his 25-year career with Graphic Packaging. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer in November 2013, taking responsibility for the global expansion and re-focusing of Graphic Packaging’s portfolio. In May 2015, Mike was named President and CEO and was elected to the board of directors. Mike serves on the board of directors for the American Forest & Paper Association, the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and on the Paper and Packaging Board’s Check-off campaign. He is also active in the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Ara serves as Director of Corporate Sustainability at Weyerhaeuser. Her team is responsible for developing the company’s sustainability strategy, managing and reporting on progress, and ensuring a sustainable supply chain for the company’s timber and wood products customers. Prior to joining Weyerhaeuser, she directed a community-based urban forest restoration program and worked as an environmental researcher and consultant.
Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity University of Kentucky, and National MANRRS President
Mia currently serves as the Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity at the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE). She also serves as the National President of MANRRS – Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences. She received the 2017 National MANRRS Advisor of the Year Award, was recently nominated as one of the Top 22 under 40 recipients at Murray State University. Mia graduated from the University of Kentucky (UK) with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, obtained her Master of Science in Human Development Leadership with a concentration in College Student Personnel from Murray State University (MSU), and her EdD from Murray State University in the P-20 Community and Leadership Program with a concentration in Agriculture.
Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment USDA
Chris French is currently the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment at the United States Department of Agriculture. His permanent position is Deputy Chief of National Forest System for the USDA Forest Service Washington D.C. In this role, Chris is responsible for policy, oversight and direction for the natural resource and public service delivery programs across the 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands that comprise the National Forest System. Prior to his current position, Chris served as Associate Deputy Chief of National Forest System, Director of the Ecosystem Management Coordination (EMC) Staff, Deputy Director of Forest Management, and Assistant Director for Planning. In these positions he has led the agency’s implementation of forest management, range management, land management planning, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), administrative reviews, land management litigation, monitoring, timber sales, stewardship contracting, reforestation, and nursery programs.
During her 20-year career, Karla has established herself as a respected international conservation leader. Ducks Unlimited Canada is the country’s leading wetland conservation organization. It is powered by a grassroots conservation community made up of more than 130,000 people who are taking conservation action to support wetlands, wildlife, and people.
Karla firmly believes SFI and Ducks Unlimited have an opportunity like never before to foster positive change for wetlands, for forests, for wildlife, and for our communities. Ducks Unlimited Canada won the SFI President’s Award in 2014 for consistently showing leadership on behalf of wetlands that support millions of ducks, geese, and other wildlife.
Prior to becoming CEO, Karla served as the organization’s National Director of Conservation. To this day, nothing motivates her more than conserving the natural world.
As Chief Sustainability Officer for Private Markets, Brian is responsible for directing Manulife Investment Management’s private markets global sustainability strategy across timberland, agriculture, real estate, infrastructure equity, and private equity and credit asset classes. Sustainability strategies include strategic framing of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, coordinating sustainability practices internally, and promoting Manulife’s brand externally. Also responsible for leading global stewardship programs, development of policies and environmental compliance mechanisms, and government relations, and supporting alternative revenue development and conservation transactions for timberland and agricultural assets.
Senior Research Scientist Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada)
Dr. Werner Kurz
Dr. Werner Kurz is a Senior Research Scientist at the Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada) in Victoria, BC. He leads the development of Canada’s National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System and the Forest Carbon Management Project of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. His research focuses on carbon dynamics in forests and harvested wood products and the opportunities of the forest sector to contribute to climate change mitigation. He serves as adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and at Simon Fraser University. He obtained his PhD in Forest Ecology from UBC and an honorary doctorate from the Swedish Land University. He is an International Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.
President Arbor Day Foundation, and SFI Board Vice-Chair
Dan oversees the innovative programs and partnerships through which the Arbor Day Foundation strives to educate, recognize, and empower people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. Dan works with corporate and government leaders to use trees to help find positive solutions to sustainability, engagement, and marketing challenges.
Dan’s leadership is helping people understand how responsible forestry and tree-planting helps to address pollution, water quality, climate change, hunger, and poverty.
Dan joined the Arbor Day Foundation in 2005 and was named president in 2014. He has served as a member of the Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests Task Force and the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council. He currently serves on the SFI Educational Operating Committee and the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition Steering Committee.
Responsible Sourcing Manager, Global Sustainability and Compliance Costco Wholesale Corporation
Tonette is the Responsible Sourcing Manager for Costco Wholesale Corporation, a membership warehouse club dedicated to bringing their members the best possible prices on quality, brand-name merchandise. Tonette is responsible for managing the sustainability of various value chains of the products that Costco sells to their members. Tonette has over 15 years of experience and expertise in the area of social compliance, training, risk assessment, risk mitigation, and product traceability in food and non-food industries. She had previously worked with UL managing global auditor training and regional responsible sourcing operations in Southeast Asia, and the Seafood Taskforce where she was the Director for Supply Chain Oversight.
Vice-president, Conservation Planning and Policy Nature Conservancy Canada
Lisa joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in 1999. She has held a variety of positions ranging from stewardship assistant to chief conservation officer. Currently, Lisa is the vice-president of conservation policy & planning for NCC. She is responsible for ensuring that NCC’s land, acquisition and management activities are guided by strategic priorities informed by the best-available information. She is the lead liaison with many of NCC’s national and international partners, including government and not-for-profit organizations. A biologist (BSc) and rural planner (MSc) by training, Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience in the management of conservation lands and the governance of private land conservation organizations. She has been a board member of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, vice-chair of the Canadian Land Trust Alliance, is currently a steering committee member of the International Land Conservation Network, a member of the Privately Protected Areas working group of the World Commission on Protected Areas, and serves as board chair of the Canadian Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Forester Province of British Columbia
Diane has been the appointed ADM, Chief Forester for British Columbia since February 2016. A Registered Professional Forester, she began her career as a forest technician from BCIT. She then continued her studies at the University of Alberta and completed at the University of British Columbia. Diane’s varied background including consulting, industry, and government, has given her a great deal of experiential knowledge of the forest sector and the collaborative work that must go hand in hand with forest management. Awarded the Distinguished Forest Professional in 2019, Diane has proven her leadership by always looking ahead for new ideas and solutions. The Office of the Chief Forester has the mission of “Caring for BC’s Forests”. Diane’s vision for the forests of BC encompasses the needs and wants of the many people who live and work in this great province.
Minister of Natural Resources Government of Canada
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan
Minister O’Regan was appointed Minister of Natural Resources in 2019 with a mandate to put Canada’s natural resource sectors at the forefront of the fight against climate change. This mandate includes planting two billion trees over 10 years, developing low- and zero-emission fuels for widespread adoption, and retrofitting homes and infrastructure to ensure peak energy efficiency.
Prior to this role, Minister O’Regan served as the Minister of Indigenous Services, where he oversaw the passage and implementation of laws affirming Indigenous jurisdiction over child and family services.
Minister O’Regan’s first Cabinet position was Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, where he reinstated lifelong pensions and introduced an Education and Training Benefit for Veterans.
Minister O’Regan is from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and was raised in Goose Bay, Labrador. He studied politics at St. Francis Xavier University and University College Dublin and marketing strategies at the INSEAD Business School near Paris.
He received his master of philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, where he wrote his dissertation on Indigenous participation in large-scale natural resource development.
Minister O’Regan began his career in politics as Executive Assistant to the Minister of Justice, and he later served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
He is known to many Canadians for his 10 years as co-host of the country’s top morning news program, Canada AM.
Over the years, he has championed causes dear to him, namely mental health, the arts and the environment, sitting on the Board of WWF-Canada.
CEO and Executive Director International Society of Arboriculture
Caitlyn Pollihan serves as CEO and Executive Director for the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). She began her role as Executive Director in 2017, with the Board adding the CEO title in 2020 to better reflect Caitlyn’s leadership responsibilities. During her tenure Caitlyn has successfully led the organization’s relocation to Atlanta, GA US, initiated the modernization of ISA systems and operations, and has increased the global connectivity and accessibility of the association.
Saulteaux Ojibway and proud member of the Cote First Nation in Treaty 4, Amy Rose is dedicated to building relationships with Indigenous peoples and has been identifying, developing and promoting capacity enhancement opportunities in different sectors for over 10 years. Amy attended Vancouver Island University with a Bachelor of Arts in a Major in First Nations Studies and a Minor in Political Science. Amy is a board member of Indigenous Works, nationally recognized for leadership in workplace inclusion and facilitating stronger Indigenous inclusion strategies in Canadian corporations. Amy currently works at Canfor and leads Indigenous Strategic Initiatives with the goal of increasing Indigenous representation within its workforce.
Director of Forestry Research, Southeastern U.S. NCASI
Dr. Erik Schilling
As Director of Forestry Research for the Southeastern U.S., Dr. Schilling leads the Eastern Sustainable Forestry Program and oversees the development and implementation of its Technical Studies Program. He enjoys fostering communication and collaboration among NCASI member company repre¬sentatives, university research partners, and regulatory agencies to strengthen the value of the NCASI Forestry Technical Studies Program. As a forest hydrologist, Dr. Schilling’s research interests encompass a variety of broad topics related to forest hydrology, forest soils, management of forested wetlands, and sustainable wood procurement. He has been with NCASI since 2005.
Danielle has worked in the not-for-profit sector for 20 years and has acquired a deep knowledge of the development and implementation of a broad range of strategies including communications and marketing, fundraising, sponsorship, and events. She held a leadership position as Vice-President of Communications and Marketing at Trans Canada Trail, where she was responsible for raising the profile and increasing the reach of the national environmental organization. She began her career as Publicist at United Way Ottawa before moving on to the Canadian Wildlife Federation, where she managed the rebrand and re-launch of the iconic Hinterland Who’s Who (HWW) educational program. She has an MBA from the Telfer School of Business and is a member of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society College of Fellows.
President and CEO National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO)
Dave Tenny is the founding President and CEO of NAFO. Under his leadership, NAFO has grown from 14 initial members in 2008 to 47 member companies that own and manage more than 46 million acres of private working forests and 30 state and national associations that represent tens of millions of additional acres. Dave’s passion for building trust and pursuing solutions-based advocacy has helped NAFO become a leading national advocate for the economic, environmental and social benefits of America’s sustainably managed private forests.
Dave previously served as Vice President for Forestry and Wood Products for the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) and as Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the United States Department of Agriculture where he had responsibility for the U.S. Forest Service. He got his start in the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as Counsel and Natural Resources Policy Advisor for the House Committee on Agriculture and as Counsel for U.S. Representative Wally Herger of California.
A native of Boise, Idaho, he earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and a law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
VP, Sustainable Manufacturing & Canadian Operations NCASI
Kirsten launched NCASI’s operations in Canada in 2002 and is responsible for the overall direction of NCASI’s research in Canada, including mill environment and forestry program design and execution, along with the management of interrelationships with Canadian Member Companies, trade associations, governments, and academic researchers. She is also responsible for the overall direction of NCASI’s Sustainable Manufacturing & Climate Program, providing practical support and strategic perspective to Member Companies on the full spectrum of sustainability- and climate-related issues facing their manufacturing and forestry operations.
Thomas J. Vilsack was confirmed as the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 23, 2021 by the U.S. Senate.
He was nominated by President Joe Biden to return to a role where he served for eight years under President Barack Obama.
As leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the 30th Secretary of Agriculture between 2009-2017, Vilsack worked hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for innovation in rural America. He fought to put Americans back to work by investing in rural infrastructure, renewable energy and large-scale conservation partnerships. Under his leadership, USDA supported America’s farmers, ranchers and growers who drove the rural economy forward, set records for U.S. agricultural exports, provided food assistance to millions of Americans, and helped provide a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people. USDA introduced healthier food choices in school meals to benefit 50 million children during Vilsack’s tenure and expanded free and reduced-price lunches for millions of kids.
Hardy brings extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of engineered and commodity wood products to Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation. Having served in key positions in some of the industry’s largest companies before joining Structurlam, Hardy’s previous experience includes senior executive positions with Tolko Industries and Weyerhaeuser Building Materials, Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and in other positions with Weyerhaeuser’s OSB business and its European operations with Trus Joist in Belgium. Based on his extensive industry experience, Hardy has developed strategic plans to drive CLT growth, identify target market and customer segments and introduce developer outreach programs that validate midrise construction opportunities for mass timber products.
Vice President, Southeast Region American Bird Conservancy
Emily Jo Williams
EJ is working to stop the decline of migratory birds and enable conservation throughout their life cycle. She served as an Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. EJ also worked for The Longleaf Alliance, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, and as state Partners in Flight Coordinator. EJ earned BS and MS degrees in Wildlife Biology from the University of Georgia, is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, and graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute.
Senior VP, Community and Government Relations
SFI UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.email@example.com.