By: The Working Forest Staff
Ottawa, ON and Washington D.C. — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has announced the election of four new members to its board of directors: Lillian “Ebonie” Alexander, Executive Director, Black Family Land Trust; Kevin Edgson, President and CEO, EACOM Timber Corporation; Brent Keefer, President, Hancock Timber Resource Group; and Dan Lambe, President, Arbor Day Foundation. These new board members will not only advance SFI’s work within its four pillars – standards, conservation, education, and community — but will strengthen the intersections between them.
“These four board members join us at a critical juncture given SFI’s current work to set our strategic direction for the next five years. I’m looking forward to working closely with each of them and am confident that their diverse experience and leadership skills will bring fresh perspective to SFI’s future plans,” said Mark Rodgers, president, and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada and Chair of the SFI Board of Directors.
Lillian “Ebonie” Alexander, executive director, Black Family Land Trust (representing the social chamber).
Ebonie leads one of the United States’ only conservation land trusts dedicated to the preservation and protection of African-American and other historically underserved landowners’ assets. Black Family Land Trust programs are designed to engage landowners about conservation, natural resources, and environmental protection. Since joining the Black Family Land Trust in 2009, Ebonie has helped countless families retain their land assets. Ebonie is passionate in her belief that land is a tangible asset, with economic, human, and spiritual value, which connects African Americans with their rich history.
“I am excited and pleased to have been elected to serve on the SFI board of directors; both my professional and my personal interest are very much aligned with SFI’s mission. I strongly believe that private land ownership, particularly wooded land is an essential element in asset protection and intergenerational wealth creation. Our collective work is important to ensure that there will be a next generation of private land and sustainable woodland ownership. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve, learn and share,” Alexander said.
Kevin Edgson, president and CEO, EACOM Timber Corporation (representing the economic chamber).
Kevin leads the second largest lumber producer in Eastern Canada. Kevin is a proven leader with more than 30-years’ experience in multiple sectors, provincial jurisdictions, and roles in the Canadian forest products industry. He is committed to meeting the highest standards for forest, environmental, and quality management. Since 2015, EACOM has worked to expand certification to the SFI Forest Management, Fiber Sourcing, and Chain-of-Custody standards across its Ontario and Quebec operations.
“As our company grows, so does our commitment to promoting sustainable forest management and driving continuous improvement for our sector. SFI’s collaborative engagement with countless communities, organizations and individuals resonates with EACOM’s desire to share our passion for forests and engage others in responsible resource management,” Edgson said.
Brent Keefer, president, Hancock Timber Resource Group (representing the economic chamber).
Brent is responsible for overall investment management of the Hancock Timber Resource Group. For more than 30 years, Brent’s career has carried him around the globe and has included forest operations, resource planning and analysis, timberland valuation, timberland acquisitions and dispositions, economic research, client relations, and investment management. Connecting his passion for sustainable forest management and financial investing has always strongly motivated Brent.
“As a proud and founding member of SFI, we are very pleased to have Brent Keefer elected as a member of SFI’s board of directors,” said Bill Peressini, president, and chief executive officer of the Hancock Natural Resource Group. “Brent’s extensive experience in the forest industry, his commitment and our commitment to stewardship and sustainability make him a valued addition to the board.”
Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation (representing the environmental chamber).
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 has spent more than 25 years creating and directing programs to advance conservation and consumer-related issues across the United States and around the world. His leadership is helping people understand how responsible forestry and tree-planting helps to address pollution, water quality, climate change, hunger, and poverty.
“I’m looking forward to serving on the board and providing an environmental perspective for SFI’s direction over the next five years. It is a great opportunity to advance our common message around trees and managed forests as a solution for sustainability,” said Lambe.
SFI’s 18-member, multi-stakeholder board of directors comprises three chambers, representing environmental, economic and social interests equally. SFI board members include executive-level representatives of conservation organizations, academic institutions, Indigenous communities, family forest owners, public officials, workers, and the forest products sector.
“The diversity and independence of our board is one of SFI’s defining characteristics and a foundation for our success. Each board member brings a range of impressive talents and skills to the table and I’m eager to see us all working together on behalf of sustainable forests,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.