SFI Board Welcomes New Chair and Three Forest and Conservation Leaders to Help Address Global Sustainability Challenges

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Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, ON—The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is pleased to announce Karla Guyn, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada, as the new Chair of the SFI Board of Directors, and the election of three new board members.

The SFI Board of Directors provides leadership that helps SFI fulfill its mission to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaboration. Guyn will serve a one-year term. The three new board members, Catherine Grenier, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ellen Shultzabarger, State Forester and Director, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, and Don Kayne, CEO, Canfor Corporation and Canfor Pulp, will serve three-year terms.

“The SFI Board of Directors is diverse in experience and perspectives. Karla’s leadership, along with these new board members, enhances our ability to deliver on our mission at this critical time,” says Kathy Abusow, SFI’s President and CEO. “I look forward to the contributions of these leaders in helping to ensure that SFI continues to provide better choices for our planet and our communities.”

Board chair: Karla Guyn, CEO, Ducks Unlimited Canada—Karla Guyn is a respected conservation leader with more than 20 years of experience in the environmental sector. She is a leading voice on current and future conservation issues and her accomplishments were recognized by The Wildlife Society in 2016 with its Fellows Award. Karla joined the SFI Board in 2017, previously serving as Vice-Chair and Chair of Project Learning Tree Canada. Karla holds a PhD in biology and leads all aspects of Ducks Unlimited Canada’s operations including strategic planning, habitat conservation, and fundraising. Ducks Unlimited Canada is one of the country’s largest and longest-standing conservation organizations. Its 83-year history is marked by conservation achievements in every province and territory and the more than 6.5 million acres (2.6 million hectares) of critical habitats under its care.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is a longstanding partner of SFI, collaborating on the establishment of best management practices and sustainability standards for the forest sector as well as youth mentorship. Specific initiatives include working together with others on a field guide that offers best management practices to mitigate the impacts of forest roads on wetlands, and developing a protocol to measure carbon stores in boreal wetlands. Ducks Unlimited Canada is currently working with SFI and other partners to highlight the role of managed forests in contributing to the Pathway to Canada Target 1 of protecting 25% of its terrestrial land base by 2025 for the conservation of biodiversity. Ducks Unlimited Canada has also provided valuable input to the SFI standards revision process and was the recipient of the SFI President’s Award in 2014 for consistently showing leadership on behalf of wetlands that support millions of ducks, geese, and other wildlife.

“I’m pleased to assume the role as Board Chair for SFI. There has never been a more important time in history for all sectors and citizens to come together and advance the ways in which our environment and economy intersect. And, thanks to the incredible diversity of talent, knowledge and experience that exists on the SFI Board, I’m confident that we can make historic advancements in biodiversity, sustainability and landscape resiliency that will shape the future,”
Guyn says. 

Environmental sector: Catherine Grenier, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada—Catherine Grenier joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), as President and CEO in September 2020. NCC is a national not-for-profit that drives conservation impact. For nearly 60 years NCC has mobilized Canadians to protect and care for the natural areas that sustain us all. Through partnership NCC has protected more than 14 million hectares to date, that is an area about the size of Greece.

Grenier’s passion, experience and connections will benefit SFI’s conservation work. She has held executive positions with some of Canada’s foremost nature conservation organizations. Prior to joining NCC she was vice president of national park operations for Sépaq. With Parks Canada she led the process to create Canada’s first national urban park, in Toronto’s Rouge Valley. She received the 2016 Award of Excellence from the Canadian Parks Council in recognition of her community leadership. Her work in protected areas has been recognized with several awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Grenier is excited to be working in collaboration with SFI, Project Learning Tree Canada, the Canadian Parks Council and others to place 1,700 young people aged 15-30 into Green Jobs in the forest and conservation sector by March 2022. This partnership will be carried out under a $12.8 million funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

“I value great partnerships. SFI and NCC already work together on numerous fronts, as our visions are well aligned. I look forward to working with my SFI Board colleagues to achieve ambitious goals, build upon our shared learnings, and to advance nature-based solutions. I’m energized by the challenge of working together to build resiliency. NCC and SFI share a commitment to conservation impact for the sake of people and the planet,” says Grenier.

Social sector: Ellen Shultzabarger, State Forester and Director, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry—Ellen Shultzabarger was appointed in 2018 as the Pennsylvania State Forester working in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Bureau of Forestry. She provides oversight of 2.2 million acres of State Forest lands, all of which are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard.

Her work is focused on a variety of critical issues across Pennsylvania including wildland fire management, forest insect and disease control, watershed and biodiversity conservation and promoting the conservation and stewardship of Pennsylvania’s over 16 million acres of forest land—both public and private.

She is the first woman to hold the position of State Forester in Pennsylvania and previously worked in a variety of roles including forest resources planning, forest ecology and wildlife management. Shultzabarger has served on SFI’s Education Operating Committee, the Project Learning Tree (PLT) advisory group, since the fall of 2019. Her academic background includes urban environmental planning and natural resources management. She can often be found hiking, biking and running outside in Penn’s Woods.

“While working closely with SFI over the years, I have enjoyed seeing and being part of the great progress they have made in sustainable forestry, conservation, and education.  I am excited to provide a forestry agency perspective to the board and look forward to being part of SFI’s strategic direction,” Shultzabarger says.

Economic sector: Don Kayne, CEO, Canfor Corporation and Canfor Pulp—Don Kayne was appointed President and CEO of Canfor Corporation in 2011 and the CEO of Canfor Pulp in 2012. Canfor has forests and mills certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard and the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard in both Canada and the United States along with multiple mills in Sweden. Kayne brings a global perspective to the SFI Board having started his career at Canfor as a regional sales representative in 1979 and spending 10 years as Canfor’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he became one of the lead architects of Asian market development for British Columbia lumber. Kayne’s work growing global markets for Canfor’s products has provided him with deep connections to markets and customers. 

Canfor is keen to support the growth of the work SFI does across its four pillars: standards, conservation, community, and education. Canfor is particularly focused on the community and education areas of SFI’s work. As a PLT Canada Green Jobs employer, Canfor has placed almost 100 youth in Green Jobs over the last three years, including doubling their placements in 2020. Kayne will concurrently serve a three-year term on the PLT Canada Board to support the goal of helping to ensure a diverse and resilient workforce for the future of the forest sector.

“I am very pleased to be joining the SFI Board and look forward to working in collaboration with the team to ensure the sustainability of our forests while also supporting the production of renewable forest products that are contributing to the global low carbon economy,” Kayne says.  

Guyn was first elected to the SFI Board in 2016. Mike Doss, President and CEO, Graphic Packaging International Inc., takes over her role of Vice-Chair, effective immediately. Kevin Edgson, President and CEO, EACOM Timber Corporation, will serve as Secretary-Treasurer until October 2021 when Brent Keefer, CEO, American Forest Management, Inc. takes over the role.


Source: The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI)