The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Welcomes Four New Board Members Representing Environmental, Social and Economic Interests

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA, Ontario, April 20, 2015 /CNW/ -- The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is pleased to announce that four leaders have been elected to the independent Board of Directors. Joining the board are Mary Klein, President and CEO, NatureServe; Guy Gleysteen, Senior VP, Time Inc.; Bettina Ring, State Forester, Virginia; and Steve Bullard, Dean, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Stephen F. Austin State University.

"We are so pleased to welcome Mary, Guy, Bettina, and Steve. As a conservationist, a brand manager, a state forester and an academic, their respective experience in the environmental, public and private sectors will be an important asset to our diverse SFI Board," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "They will help SFI further enhance the vital link between healthy forests, responsible purchasing, and sustainable communities."

SFI's 18-member, multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprises three chambers, representing environmental, economic and social interests equally. In addition to the appointment of four new members, Craig Blair, President and CEO of Resources Management Service, LLC, has been elected as Chair and Greg Siekaniec, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada, as Vice-Chair of the Board. The SFI Board's diversity and independence allows it to play a meaningful role at the intersection of sustainable forests and thriving communities.

Mary Klein, President and CEO, NatureServe

Mary Klein will serve on the SFI Board's environmental chamber. Mary has championed the conservation of species and ecosystems for nearly 30 years. In addition to her leadership role at NatureServe, Mary serves on the board of a number of environmental conservation and government organizations, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Governing Board, the IUCN Red List Partnership, the Wildlife Habitat Council Board of Directors, and the Teaming with Wildlife Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, among several others.

At NatureServe, a non-profit organization that provides high-quality scientific expertise for conservation, she leads an international network of more than 1,000 conservation professionals. Her team responds to more than six million information inquiries each year. Mary guides the identification, mapping, and analysis of species and ecosystems. This knowledge is used by governments, companies and conservation organizations to direct limited resources towards the conservation of the earth's most unique and imperiled places.

"Working forest lands provide important habitat for wildlife, and I am proud to support land managers who commit to sustainable forestry through SFI certification," said Klein, "I am looking forward to working with the professional staff at SFI to encourage even broader adoption of the best practices embodied in the certification standard."

Guy Gleysteen, Senior Vice President, Time Inc.

Guy will serve on the SFI Board's economic chamber. He is responsible for strategic sourcing and global production operations at Time Inc. Time Inc. is a founding member of the SFI Forest Partners® program, which invests in the future of our forests by making a five-year commitment to increase forest certification across the U.S. South. The program works to involve more landowners, manufacturers, distributors, customers, conservations groups and government agencies across the supply-chain. Its goal is to certify 10 million acres (4 million hectares) of forests to the SFI standard by 2017.

Guy is also the Chairman of the Board for GreenBlue, a non-profit organization that works with businesses to make products more sustainable. He has also served as Chairman of the IDEAlliance Board of Directors.

"It's a privilege to be joining the Board of SFI Inc.," said Gleysteen. "Their programs, projects and research have established SFI as a leading voice in support of sustainable forestry, and I look forward to the opportunity to help support the Board and SFI achieve their goals."

Bettina Ring, State Forester, Virginia Department of Forestry

Bettina will serve on the SFI Board's social chamber. She and her team are responsible for managing 24 state forests and supporting 373,600 private forest landowners who control the majority of the forestland across Virginia. Prior to becoming State Forester, Bettina served as Senior Vice President of Family Forests at the American Forest Foundation. At the foundation, she was responsible for overseeing the American Tree Farm System®, supporting more than 80,000 family forest owners who collectively manage 27 million acres of certified woodlands.

Bettina has worked in various leadership positions within non-profit organizations focusing on natural resources management and conservation, including the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, The Wilderness Land Trust and the Bay Area Open Space Council.

"The sustainability of forest resources is one of the most important issues facing our nation. SFI has been a long-time leader on sustainability and I'm honored to be on the SFI Board," said Ring. "I look forward to helping SFI advance its conservation goals and further strengthen its partnerships."

Steve Bullard, Dean, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Stephen F. Austin State University

Steve is the immediate past President of the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP) and will serve on the SFI Board's social chamber. As a faculty member and administrator, he has pub­lished more than 130 articles and manuscripts, and coauthored a book on forest valuation and invest­ment analysis. He has taught numerous workshops on forest economics and related topics, and has served as an associate editor for Forest Science, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. Steve is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters, and is a member of the Forest Products Society, the Forest Landowners Association, and the Texas Forestry Association.

"I am truly honored to serve as a member of the SFI Board of Directors. My perspective as an executive committee member of NAUFRP, including serving as president recently, will help me to communicate the rigor and relevance of university-based forestry research, teaching, and service. The overall objective of my service on the Board, of course, will be to help SFI achieve goals and objectives that address forest sustainability across continents," said Bullard.

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)

SFI® Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. Across the United States and Canada, approximately 270 million acres are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber-sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and chain-of-custody claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

For further information: Elizabeth Woodworth, Vice President Communications and Community Engagement, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., Tel: 202-596-3452, media@sfiprogram.org, http://www.sfiprogram.org


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