Board of Directors
The members of The Longleaf Alliance’s Board of Directors represent both public and private sectors and all have made significant contributions to the management and recovery of longleaf pine forests. The goal of the Board is to assist The Longleaf Alliance in setting priorities, assist in fund raising efforts, and help us chart the future of the Alliance.
Current Board members include Lynda Guerry Beam, Judd Brooke, Bob Brown, Katherine Eddins, Rhett Johnson, Angus LaFaye, Cody Laird, Barclay McFadden III, Julie Moore, Ken Nichols, Dick Porterfield, Charley Tarver, Beryl Trawick, and Marc Walley.
Lynda Guerry Beam
Lynda is a forest landowner in South Georgia and was named, along with her husband Kirby, as the National Tree Farmers of the Year in 1994. She and Kirby owned and managed "Too Hollie Farm", located near Statesboro, GA, and Lynda has continued the exemplary stewardship of that forest land and remains involved in natural resource issues in Georgia and the region since Kirby's death in 2004. She was a Co-Founder of the Savannah Tree Foundation and is a Director Emeritous of that organization. Lynda is a long time supporter of the Alliance and was the keynote speaker at our inaugural Biennial Regional Conference in 2006 in Mobile, AL.
Judd owns Brookewood Farm, which is located in Northern Hancock County, Mississippi, about 25 miles north of the coast. He manages this 4,000-acre area for timber and wildlife, with an emphasis on restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Hancock-Harrison County Forestry and Wildlife Association, the Steering Committee of the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council, the Board of Trustees of Wildlife Mississippi, and the Woodlands Committee of the American Forest Foundation.
Brookewood’s first parcel of 140 acres was acquired in 1952 by his parents, Clyde and Ruth Brooke. Adjoining parcels were purchased as availability of land and funds allowed. In the mid to late 1950s, Clyde Brooke began a reforestation program on the cutover property, planting approximately 750,000 slash pine seedlings. Unfortunately, these seedlings proved to be very susceptible to disease and were ravaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969. Most of those trees have been harvested so as to allow for either natural regeneration or planting of longleaf pines. Many of the parcels, when purchased, had a stocking of longleaf pines ranging from the grass stage to 40 years of age. These stands were allowed to grow, with only occasional thinning, until Hurricane Katrina ravaged the acreage in 2005. However, the basic goal has continued - to be a model for the restoration of the longleaf ecosystem, and to protect/manage/enhance the associated wildlife.
In March 2009, an interpretive trail sponsored by the American Forest Foundation and other partners was opened on Brookewood. This trail, which is open to the public by appointment, features various aspects of the longleaf ecosystem, with emphasis on fire ecology, invasive species control, and gopher tortoise habitat.
Robert (Bob) D. Brown
Bob, a native of Red Bluff, CA, was raised in Stockton. He attended UC-Davis from 1963-65, and graduated from CSU with a B.S. in Animal Nutrition in 1968. From 1968-71 he served on active duty in the Marine Corps and was wounded twice while serving in Vietnam. He then attended Penn State University where he received a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition and Physiology in 1975. His dissertation was entitled, “The endocrine control of mineral metabolism in white-tailed deer.” From 1975-87, he served on the faculty of Texas A&I University in Kingsville and the Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Dr. Brown’s research focused on the development of antler growth in deer as a model for osteoporosis in elderly humans and on comparative wildlife nutrition and physiology. In 1987 Dr. Brown became Head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at Mississippi State University. In 1993 he became Head of the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Department at Texas A&M University. In 2006 Dr. Brown was appointed Dean of the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. Dr. Brown has published over 120 articles and has edited three books, and he has served as national President of The Wildlife Society. Bob and his wife, Regan, have three sons and live in Cary, NC.
Katherine graduated from the University of Alabama’s School of Law, Juris Doctorate, and subsequently received a master’s degree in forestry from Auburn University, graduating summa cum laude. She has been published in the Journal of Forestry and has practiced law and natural resource management. Katherine is president of the Southeast Watershed Forum and serves on the advisory committee for the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources. She has served as Executive Director for the Georgia Land Trust for more than ten years.
Rhett is a Co-Founder, along with Dean Gjerstad, of the Alliance and has served as its President since its incorporation in 2007. He officially retired from the organization on November 30, 2012 before joining the LLA Board of Directors. Rhett is also Director Emeritus of Auburn University's Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center located near Andalusia, AL. The Dixon Center is a 5300-acre educational, research and working forest located in the heart of south Alabama's longleaf region. Armed with a wildlife biology degree from North Carolina State University and a M.S. degree in forest management from Clemson University, Rhett is a regional leader in promoting forest and wildlife management practices based on sound ecological principles. Rhett's professional interests and expertise include threatened and endangered species, multiple-use forest management, wildlife management, fire ecology, and longleaf pine management and restoration. He has served in many professional leadership poisitions including chair of the Southeastern SAF and president of the Alabama Wildlife Federation.
Angus B. Lafaye - Chairman of the Board
Angus brings a perspective to our Board that has been lacking: that of a working professional forestry consultant. Although most of the current Board Members have forestry degrees and backgrounds, we have moved away from the day-to-day business of managing forest resources. Angus is the President of Milliken Forestry, Inc., which has its principal office in Columbia, South Carolina. Angus earned his B.S. in Forest Management at Clemson University in 1965 and has over 40 years of hands-on experience as a consulting forester and appraiser in the Southeast. He is a long-standing member of the Association of Consulting Foresters, the Society of American Foresters, and is a past chairman of the South Carolina Forestry Association. He is a Registered Forester in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina and a licensed realtor in South and North Carolina. Milliken, under Angus’ leadership, has considerable experience and expertise in managing longleaf forests and is a strong supporter of The Longleaf Alliance’s mission.
E. Cody Laird, Jr.
Cody is Managing Partner of Oakridge Farms in Worth County Georgia. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation, Inc.
He was associated with Life Insurance Company of Georgia from 1964 to 1980 and then, after the sale to ING, with ING America until retiring in 1991. He has served on the Board of Directors of ING America, Life of Georgia, Southland Life, and Security Life of Denver and as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Life Insurance Company of Georgia board.
Prior to joining Life Insurance Company of Georgia, he served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force as Base Police Officer of Travis Air Force Base, California and, thereafter, as Facilities Officer with the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Mr. Laird is past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Speech School, past member of the Board of Trustees of the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee and past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Westminster Schools in Atlanta.
He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Conservancy and current member of the Georgia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; and a member of the board of the Path Foundation. He is a past President and current board member of the Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia.
He and his sister own Oakridge Farms, a 3200 acre property in southern Worth County Georgia, where they are working to restore the longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem. A conservation easement was placed on the property with The Nature Conservancy.
A native of Atlanta, Cody is a 1957 graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering. Cody and his wife, Linda, live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Barclay McFadden III - Vice-Chairman of the Board
Barclay is currently Chairman of the Board of Code Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah and American Stainless, Cheraw, South Carolina. Code Corporation is a manufacturer of advanced bar code readers and American Stainless is a distributor of pipe, valves and fittings to industrial customers in the Southeast. He was Chairman and CEO of Stow Mills, a specialty food distributor, from 1976 until 1997. He is also involved with the Jefferson Scholars program at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He is the President of Carolina Quail whose mission is to educate landowners on the methods to restore quail habitat. Mr. McFadden attended the University of Virginia where he was an Echols Scholar. He received a B.A. in 1972 and a M.B.A. in 1976 from the University. He resides in Charleston, SC with his wife Jane Perry. The McFaddens have been restoring the longleaf savannah at their property in the low country of South Carolina since 1992. They estimate that they have planted over 1-million longleaf seedlings since the restoration project began.
Julie works in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) with the Branch of Candidate Conservation in the Endangered Species Program. She is national coordinator for Safe Harbor and Candidate Conservation Agreements and has participated in the development of the Healthy Forest Reserve Program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Before transferring to the FWS, she was an endangered species biologist with the Bureau of Land Management for three years.
She has worked on variety of southern forest ecosystems, most recently with longleaf pine forests and the many associated plant and animal species. Before moving to the Washington area in early 2001, she worked in the piney woods of southern Mississippi for the MS Natural Heritage Program and the MS office of TNC coordinating a Department of Defense funded biological inventory of Camp Shelby National Guard Training Site from 1995 through 1999. She is the author of “Managing the Forest and the Trees,” a guide for longleaf forest landowners funded by TNC, the LLA, and the Southern Group of State Foresters.
She was with the NC Natural Heritage Program for over a dozen years as a botanist and ecologist specializing in fire dependent systems and working with private landowners. As director of conservation at Tall Timbers Research Station, she initiated a conservation easement program for the Red Hills region of south Georgia and the Florida panhandle.
In 2000, Julie planted 70 acres of longleaf pine on family timberland in east TX that she manages. She is active in native plant conservation organizations, is past president of the Botanical Society of Washington, D.C., and has served as a board member of the LLA and on the operation committee of the American Forest Foundation’s Center for Conservation Solutions. She is co-author of “Southeastern Summer Flower Finder” to be published in 2009 by Nature Study Guild Publishers. Julie received a B.S. in biology from Tulane Univ. and an M.S. in botany from the University of North Carolina.
Kenwood Nichols – Secretary / Treasurer
Ken first became interested in a career in the forestry business while growing up on a family farm in Dallas County, Alabama. He began planting pine seedlings, cutting pulpwood, improving timber stands and wildlife habitat on the farm at age 14 under the guidance of his vocational agricultural teacher. He attended Auburn University on an academic scholarship, graduating with a B.S. in Forest Management in 1961. After military service in the U.S. Army, he earned an M.S. in Business Management from Duke University in 1964.
For the next 36 years, Kenwood worked for companies in the timber and forest products industry. Champion International Corporation - a major timberlands, paper, and wood products firm with significant operations in the United States, Brazil and Canada - was his employer for the last 28 of those years. At Champion, Kenwood became Vice Chairman and Executive Officer. In that capacity he was responsible for all of Champion’s businesses in Brazil and Canada, and for the company’s timberland and wood products operations in the United States. In addition, he was responsible for many of the Corporation’s central staff units, including finance, accounting, tax, audit, legal affairs, management information systems, real estate, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. He served as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors, and also served on the Board at Weldwood of Canada, a Champion International subsidiary.
After leaving Champion, Kenwood moved back to Alabama where he lives with his family on the home farm where he was born and grew up. He now owns and manages farm and timberland acreage in the area and does volunteer work for The Longleaf Alliance, the Alabama/Georgia Land Trust, Auburn University and other organizations.
Dick grew up on a farm in central Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University in forestry and business administration (B.S.). Graduate school included North Carolina State University (M.S.) and Yale University in economics and forestry (Ph.D.). Dick also graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard School of Business (1998).
Work experience includes research and instruction at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (1973-75) and Mississippi State University (1975-79). Forest industry work experience was with Champion International Corporation (1979-2000); last serving as Executive Vice President of uncoated papers. He has also served as Dean of the School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia (2004-06). Dick and his wife Rita reside in Williamsburg, VA.
Charley is a forester and the founder of Forest Investment Associates (FIA), a Registered Investment Advisory firm, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Until his recent retirement he served as the firm’s President and CEO. FIA specializes in timberland investment management for large institutional investors. Its clients include the retirement funds of major corporations, states, municipalities, university endowments, foundations and large family trusts. With additional offices in Pennsylvania and Mississippi, FIA manages timberland investments throughout the country totaling approximately two million acres, with a market value in excess of $2.5 Billion.
Charley has been in the timberland investment business since 1979 and pioneered the business for tax-exempt institutions, beginning with the development of the country’s first pooled timberland investment fund while employed at the First National Bank of Atlanta. Charley is a Registered Forester with experience in banking and finance. He serves on the boards of directors of The Longleaf Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, the Forest History Society and is a member of the Society of American Foresters, the Association of Consulting Foresters, and is a past president of the American Forestry Association, the nation’s oldest citizen conservation organization. He helped form and is past Chairman of the Forest Landowners Tax Council. Charley has served on the boards and executive committees of the Georgia Forestry Association and the Forest Landowners Association. He has authored forestry investment and appraisal articles and has been a featured speaker at numerous forestry investment seminars and workshops.
Charley is a Vietnam veteran, and served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He is a graduate of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University, where he has served on the Advisory Council and Development Committee. The University named him outstanding alumnus in 1992.
He and his wife, Susan, now reside at Palmetto Bluff in the Low Country of South Carolina, but also spend much of their time on their timberland in Southwest Georgia, where they are actively involved in the restoration and protection of the longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem.
Beryl and her family are reforesting their property in Louisiana with longleaf because of its ecosystem benefits: it provides the best habitat for native species, its strength is a buffer against storms, its straw is most beneficial mulch for gardens, it survives drought and fire disease better than any other pine, and it is an original to the area. Beryl describes the history of their property:
“My great, great, great grandfather was a shipbuilder and settled here in the 1700s to harvest the longleaf pines for masts for his ships or so I was told. More recently my father operated a sawmill for many years and always bemoaned the loss of the cypress and longleaf forests that he remembered from his boyhood. When I returned to Louisiana in 1990, I had no thoughts of returning the land to a longleaf ecosystem, but the idea of the longleaf pine forest was not unknown to me. Following a huge breakout of the pine bark beetle, the land I call the farm, was pocked with bare circles where all infested trees had been removed to stop the spread of this invasive pest. I remember about this time attending a local forestry seminar and the last speaker that day was Mark Hainds. His talk on longleaf and offer to help get them started was what I needed to begin planting longleaf seedlings in those bare circles. We planted bareroot (those were the only longleaf seedlings available), and most foresters thought that was either dumb or ignorant or both because they didn't believe longleaf had a chance in the flat savannah land we call the farm. We started with those bare circles with bareroots sometimes 18 inches long and I think we planted about a thousand. We planted a 15-acre field a few years later, machine planting about half with bareroot and the rest with containerized. In 2003, we planted a 30-acre cutover with containerized seedlings. In 2007, we planted about 300 acres using a planting contractor who said that since Katrina he'd gone from planting 90% loblolly to 90% longleaf. The longleaf are thriving here and although there is no growth uniformity a lot of the 2 year olds are over 5 feet, and we can see a new forest rising on the farm.”
Marc is an Auburn University forestry graduate and is now a principal in Forest Investment Associates (FIA), a leading timberland investment and management organization. Marc's title at the firm, where he has been employed since 1994, is Executive Vice-President of Timberland Management. The Atlanta, GA based company is and has been both a pioneer and a leader in the field of timberland investment since its inception in 1986 and was one of the early firms in the field. Today, FIA manages over 2-million acres of timberland for institutional investors with over $3 billion in assets located across the United States.