ENDOWMENT ANNOUNCES JURORS FOR INAUGURAL FIRz EVENT –Panel to Choose Presenters for Innovations in the Forest Sector–

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 31, 2019)

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) today announced the establishment of a jury consisting of seven experts for the inaugural Forest Innovation Reviews (FIRz) forum to be held September 18 at the University of Georgia, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources in Athens. FIRz is a forum for innovative ideas for solving some of today’s most significant natural resources challenges. Think TED for Trees or an Aspen Ideas Festival for Forests. The inaugural FIRz event will create a space for presenting well-formed ideas about forests, forest management, forest products, and forest-rich communities, conveyed through short, powerful talks.

Distinguished experts in their respective fields, these jurors will work together to select 16 ideas to be presented at FIRz 2019, along with two alternates:

Dr. Anthony Davis, Interim Dean, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis. When not serving as interim dean, he is the Executive Associate Dean in the College, overseeing the academic programs delivered through the Wood Science and Engineering, Forest Ecosystems and Society, and Forest Resources, Engineering, and Management Departments.

Dr. Dale Greene, Dean, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens. A long-serving faculty member and administrator he was named Dean in June 2015. A professor of forest operations he joined UGA in 1986.

Susan Jones, founder, and principal architect, atelierjones, Seattle. A Stanford and Harvard grad as well as a Fulbright Scholar. Member of the International Codes Council Ad-Hoc Tall Timber Committee, representing American Institute of Architects (AIA) and an AIA Fellow as well as LEED Professional.

Chuck Leavell, Dry Branch, GA. The “sixth” Rolling Stone, for more than 40 years his piano and keyboard work has supported Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, John Mayer, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery- Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and more. He is an author, long-time tree farmer and co-founder of The Mother Nature Network.

Carlton Owen, President & CEO, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC. A forester and wildlife biologist for more than 40 years he has served with industry – Champion International & Potlatch Corporation; non-profits – American Forest Foundation, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, and more.

Tim Punke, Monument Advocacy, Seattle. Former SVP at Plum Creek and then Weyerhaeuser where he oversaw government relations, corporate communications, public affairs, sustainability, and community engagement. Previously he served with MPG and as a partner at K&L Gates. In government, he was an International Trade Advisor in the Clinton White House, Chief International Trade Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, and a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dr. Laura Thompson, 4 Minutes Consulting, Boston. A recognized leader in sustainability and the global paper industry. Worked on mill environmental initiatives, product development for paper and packaging, R&D and sustainable development for over 20 years – SAPPI; Westvaco. As an independent sustainability consultant, she offers a unique perspective on industry best practices and strategic thinking in the sustainability space.

The deadline for nominating yourself or someone else for FIRz 2019 is February 28, 2019. Submissions should be sent by email to info@usendowment.org with the subject “FIRz Submission” and should include a written abstract or concept overview of not more than 500 words along with a short, 2-minute video explaining the concept. (Videos do not need to be of high quality.)

Selected speakers will share their ideas with an audience open to the new, innovative, and in some cases utterly unheard-of thinking. Then those ideas will be shared around the world via video. The presentation voted by FIRz attendees as “most likely to make a lasting difference” will be awarded $10,000. For more information visit www.usendowment.org or email info@usendowment.org.

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For more information contact:

Carlton N. Owen
President & CEO
+1-864-233-7646
carlton@usendowment.org

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities – www.usendowment.org

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