2024 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

TUESDAY, JUNE 4

ALL TIMES EDT

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM EDT  |  SFI Implementation Committee General Session

Open to SIC members and partners.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT  |  TRADITIONAL WELCOME AND OPENING SESSION: CREATING FORESTS FOR THE FUTURE

The importance of forests for the well-being of people and the planet is clear. We are looking to the future and the change we want to make through forest-focused collaboration. Join us to kick off the 2024 SFI Annual Conference with forest sector leaders and local representatives.

Kathy Abusow

President & CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Michael P. Doss

President and CEO
Graphic Packaging International Inc., and
Chair, SFI Board of Directors

Tim Lowrimore

Director
Georgia Forestry Commission

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM EDT  |  LEADERSHIP IN CONSERVATION AWARD

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM EDT  |  BREAK

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM EDT  |  SOLUTIONS TO AVOIDING DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION

Numerous public and private initiatives are focused on the topic of avoiding deforestation and forest degradation, including the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). Learn about SFI and PEFC standard developments that provide opportunities to align with the EUDR and solutions to geolocation requirements.

Michael Berger

Secretary General/CEO
PEFC International

Pete Stewart

President and CEO
ResourceWise

Jason Metnick

Senior VP, Customer Affairs
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

4:15 PM – 4:45 PM EDT  |  ROLE OF FOREST CERTIFICATION IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

Certified forests and products are powerful tools for addressing global sustainability priorities and building transparency and trust in the marketplace. Speakers will highlight tools and solutions that demonstrate progress on key sustainability issues in forest supply chains.

Christy Slay

CEO and VP, Science & Impact
The Sustainability Consortium

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT  |  OPENING RECEPTION

Celebrate the opening day of the conference with other members of the SFI networks. Meet someone new, introduce yourself to a student or young professional, and enjoy food and beverages.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5

ALL TIMES EDT

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM EDT  |  FUN RUN

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM EDT  |  BUFFET BREAKFAST

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM EDT  |  HOW MASS TIMBER BUILDINGS IMPROVE OUR CLIMATE AND OUR COMMUNITIES

Demand is growing for mass timber, and SFI-certified wood is increasingly sought to demonstrate the environmental and social benefits. This session highlights success stories like Georgia’s first locally grown and sourced 619 Ponce mass timber building, and advancements in specifying SFI-certified mass timber for projects within new market segments. Hear from representatives involved in the building and the efforts to educate Fortune 100 businesses and political leaders about the benefits of mass timber for our climate and our communities.

Troy Harris

Managing Director of Timberland and Innovative Wood Products
Jamestown

Nick Milestone

Vice President, Projects and Construction
Mercer Mass Timber

Andres Villegas

President and CEO
Georgia Forestry Association

Annie Perkins

Senior Director, Green Building and Supply Chain
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM EDT  |  PRESIDENT’S AWARD

10:15 AM – 10:45 PM EDT  |  BREAK

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM EDT  |  CONSERVATION OF SPECIES AT RISK IN SFI-CERTIFIED FORESTS

Over the last several decades, implementation of forest management and procurement practices catalyzed by SFI standards have led to the improvement of wildlife habitat that is increasingly recognized for its conservation value.

Through innovative policy solutions and novel technological approaches to species monitoring, the Wildlife Conservation Initiative is demonstrating those conservation values in action in managed forests across the nation. Hear from scientists, industry leaders, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service about on-the-ground regulatory, tech, and partnership breakthroughs in managing forests for the co-benefits of species at risk

Dr. JJ Apodaca

Executive Director
Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy

Mike Oetker

Director, Southeastern Region,
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

John Tirpak

Chief, Division of Conservation and Classification – Ecological Services
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Jimmy Bullock

Senior Vice President, Forest Sustainability
Resource Management Service, LLC

Dr. Healy Hamilton

Chief Scientist
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT  |  BUFFET LUNCH

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT  |  CLIMATE AND FIRE RESILIENCY BEST PRACTICES

Gain insights into advancements in climate smart forestry and fire resiliency management practices. Scientists and practitioners will share strategies for addressing the relevant requirements in the SFI Forest Management Standard, focusing on climate adaptation strategies and mitigation opportunities. The session will include a discussion on a soon-to-be-released report from Michigan State University, showcase public climate reporting approaches, and explore the status of current fire behavior research.

Dr. Jen Beverly

Associate Professor, Department of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta

Alice Ewen

Assistant Director Cooperative Forestry
USDA Forest Service

Brandon Lewis

Director, Sustainability
Manulife Investment Management

Chad Papa

Research Assistant
Michigan State University

Lauren Cooper

Chief Conservation Officer
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT  |  CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE WITH COMMUNITIES

Communities – from rural to urban – rely on forests for social, environmental, and economic benefits. These links between people and forests are even more relevant in an increasingly connected and changing world. Gain insights on practical strategies and initiatives that create positive change with communities, especially urban and Indigenous communities.

Beattra Wilson

Assistant Director, Urban & Community Forestry
USDA US Forest Service

Dan Lambe

Chief Executive, Arbor Day Foundation
SFI Board Member

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM EDT  |  BREAK

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM EDT  |  CONCURRENT SESSIONS

A. URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY: BENEFITS AND BEST PRACTICES

Urban forests and trees are vital for community well-being, health, resiliency, and sustainability. Gain insights into the new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard, the diversity of interest in using the standard, and benefits for communities.

Pat Layton

Director, Wood Utilization + Design Institute, Clemson University
and SFI Board of Director

Caitlyn Pollihan

CEO and Executive Director,
ISA

Paul Johnson

Vice President, Urban and Community Forestry and Career Pathways
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

B. TRIBAL ENGAGEMENT IN THE US: BENEFITS AND BEST PRACTICES

SFI is committed to building and promoting forest-focused collaborations rooted in recognition and respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional knowledge. Learn how inclusive, collaborative approaches to policy, program and relationship development lead to real progress on the ground and a positive difference in people’s lives.

Bryan Van Stippen

Program Director
National Indian Carbon Coalition

Paul Robitaille

Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT  |  LOCAL URBAN TOURS

SPACES ARE LIMITED, REGISTRATION REQUIRED

A. TREES ATLANTA WALKING TOUR

Enjoy the fresh air on a leisurely stroll with city views as the backdrop of Atlanta’s popular linear arboretum. The tour guide will share fascinating Atlanta history and guide you through the current season of horticulture interest on the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. The tour will start at the conference hotel at 4 pm, last approximately 1.5 hours and cover approximately 3 miles, ending at the evening dinner event location (Ponce City Market), so bring your walking shoes!

B. 619 PONCE TOUR

Come with us for a tour led by Jamestown LP of 619 Ponce, a four-story mass timber loft office building at Ponce City Market. 619 Ponce is the first mass timber building in Georgia constructed with timber sourced and produced locally and will be featured in Wednesday morning’s plenary session. Attendees will learn about the building’s design, construction, and sustainability features.

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT  |  SFI ROOFTOP DINNER & PARTY

Relax and unwind with a view of Atlanta’s downtown. Catch up with colleagues and meet new ones over great food and drinks. The location is a 30-minute walk from the conference hotel or a short shuttle ride.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6

ALL TIMES EDT

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM EDT  |  BUFFET BREAKFAST

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM EDT  |  DAY 3 WELCOME AND OPENING SESSION

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM EDT  |  INNOVATION IN FOREST SUPPLY CHAINS

Learn about innovative uses of technology in forest supply chains by spotlighting pioneering products and their sustainability impacts. The session will also explore how organizations can adapt, adopt, and develop technologies and innovations to improve the forest sector’s sustainability.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM EDT  |  SIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM EDT  |  BREAK

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM EDT  |  HOW TO BUILD A DIVERSE AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE

The forest sector is facing workforce challenges, which are coupled with a general lack of awareness of green jobs among diverse communities. Hear about the experiences of young professionals and those who work with them to gain ideas on successful ways to engage young people and support them with meaningful career experiences.

Sharon Jean-Philippe

Professor of Urban Forestry
The University of Tennessee

Michelle Cole

Academic Administrator III
Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment

Steven Tien

Field Engineer,
Capacity Forest Management

Chad Washington

Manager of U.S. Sustainability for the Timberland group
Nuveen Natural Capital

Jerri Taylor

Senior Director, Diversity and Career Pathways
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM EDT  |  CLOSING SESSION

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT  |  BUFFET LUNCH

1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT  |  SFI-CERTIFIED FOREST AND FIBER SOURCING FIELD TRIP

Sold Out/Waiting List Only

Take a field tour to Weyerhaeuser’s SFI-certified Chattahoochee Forest Area, spanning 305,000 acres across three states. Learn about the management of southern yellow pine on a landscape scale and see how SFI Forest Management Standard requirements are implemented at various stages of a stand’s rotation. A final stop will highlight a unique stand undergoing native plant restoration activities. You will also learn how, by implementing the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, Weyerhaeuser achieves biodiversity when sourcing from other landowners.

The field trip is thematically linked to the SFI Conservation Impact Workshop on the morning of Friday, June 7, discussing how biodiversity data supports the conservation objectives of the SFI standard.

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM EDT  |  AUDITORS FORUM (Open only to auditors)

FRIDAY, JUNE 7

ALL TIMES EDT

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT  |  SFI CONSERVATION IMPACT WORKSHOP

The SFI Conservation Impact Workshop will focus on biodiversity data to support the conservation objectives of the SFI standards.

In Part I of the event, discussion topics will include access to and application of biodiversity data that underpins the standards, how to prioritize, collect, and share data, new knowledge products on species and habitats of concern, and improvements in tools for ease of data use and reporting.

Part II will provide an update on the evolving direction of the SFI Conservation Impact Project and include a participatory feedback session.

This event is open to all and free to attend! The event occurs immediately after the SFI Annual Conference but does not overlap. Participants are encouraged to attend both, but conference participation is not required to join the Conservation Impact Workshop.

Click here for more information.