This year’s SAF National Convention was one for the books! Hosted in Sacramento, California, from October 25-28, five members of the SFI Team joined panels, workshops, and discussions exploring the proud legacy of forestry and the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing foresters and natural resources professionals. We were also a proud exhibitor, sharing more about our forest-focused activities and professional development offerings for SAF members and beyond!

We are honored to have been awarded the SAF 2023 Employee Leadership Award for leadership and support of employee participation in SAF and broad engagement in the profession. The award was accepted on behalf of SFI by Nadine Block, Senior VP of Community and Government Relations. The award notes “the symbiotic relationship between SFI and SAF [that] is exhibited not only through shared ideals but also through tangible actions. SFI’s committed workforce, including many dedicated SAF members, demonstrates an unswerving allegiance to the profession. This allegiance is exemplified by widespread support encompassing membership dues, direct engagement, and the bringing together of professional values. SFI has additionally supported specific policy objectives of SAF, which frequently align with SFI objectives.” Watch SFI’s acceptance video, featuring Rocco Saracina, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships, and Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI, to hear more about our commitment to supporting SAF and professional development.

Paul Johnson, SFI’s Vice President, Urban and Community Forestry and Career Pathways, spoke on the “People, Policy, and Popcorn” panel alongside Sharon Jean-Philippe, Professor of Urban Forestry at the University of Tennessee, Caitlyn Pollihan, CEO of the International Society of Arboriculture, and Asia Dowtin, Assistant Professor of Urban and Community Forestry at Michigan State University. Paul also presented “Evolving Urban Forestry,” which focused on the new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard and the value of third-party certifications in providing assurances for city managers and other urban sustainability professionals.

Dr. Darren Sleep, Lead Scientist at SFI, participated in the “Shared Stewardship: Connecting Forestry and Wildlife Conservation” workshop, which explored the perspectives of forestry and wildlife experts as they emphasized the importance of collaborative conservation efforts.

Megan Annis, SFI’s Director of Sales and Marketing, enjoyed talking with students and young adults starting their careers, as well as higher education and community leaders, about Project Learning Tree and the work SFI does across the United States to support forest literacy and environmental education, green career explorationconservation, and community connections to forests.

It was wonderful to participate in the 2023 SAF National Convention and to celebrate the continued partnership and collaboration between SFI and SAF!


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