CONGRESSMAN BRUCE WESTERMAN
Arkansas's Fourth Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman is a Hot Springs native currently serving his third term as representative from the Fourth District of Arkansas, having first been elected in 2014. Westerman serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he is Ranking Member of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. Westerman also serves on the Minority Whip Team under the leadership of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise. Prior to serving in Congress, Westerman was elected to two terms in the Arkansas General Assembly, where he was the state’s first Republican House Majority Leader since Reconstruction following the 2013 GOP takeover of the Arkansas House of Representatives. An engineer and forester by trade, Westerman worked for 22 years at Mid-South Engineering in Hot Springs. He was named Engineer of the Year by the Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers in 2013. A 1990 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Westerman was a four-year walk-on member of the Razorback football team. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2005 and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. Westerman is also a graduate of Yale University, earning a Master of Forestry degree in 2001. Westerman lives in Hot Springs with his wife, Sharon, and their four children. He enjoys hunting and fishing.
President - U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
Pete Madden has recently joined the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities as President based in Greenville, SC. Pete has worked in the forest industry for over 30 years in land management, procurement, business development, finance, acquisitions & divestitures, renewable energy and supply chain logistics. Pete is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Drax Biomass Inc. In this role, he oversaw the company’s global supply chain operations that include several manufacturing facilities and an export terminal in the Southeastern United States. Drax Biomass is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Drax Group plc, a major electricity generator in the United Kingdom. Pete graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marlboro College in Vermont. He also earned a Master of Science in Forestry and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Hampshire. He currently serves on the board of directors for Keweenaw Land Association and is a member of the Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Energy
House Editor - The Cook Political Report
David Wasserman is House Editor for The Cook Political Report, where he is responsible for analyzing U.S. House Races and is recognized as one of the nation's top election forecasters. Founded in 1984, The Cook Political Report provides analyses of Presidential, U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial races. The New York Times has called the Report "a newsletter both parties regard as authoritative." Prior to joining The Cook Political Report in June 2007, David served for three years as House Editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a widely respected political analysis newsletter and website founded by renowned Prof. Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. A native of New Jersey, David holds a B.A. in Government with distinction from the University of Virginia and was awarded the 2006 Emmerich-Wright Outstanding Thesis prize for his study of congressional redistricting standards.
Executive Vice-President for Advocacy - American Trucking Associations
Bill Sullivan is the Executive Vice President of Advocacy for the American Trucking Associations, the nation’s leading organization representing the interests of the trucking industry. Sullivan leads ATA’s efforts to advance a pro-trucking, pro-safety, pro-efficiency agenda on Capitol Hill, before federal regulators and in state capitals around the country. Before joining ATA, Sullivan was legislative director for Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), overseeing and managing the senator’s legislative staff and efforts. Previously, Sullivan was appropriations liaison for the Department of Justice and worked for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Trout Unlimited. Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.
Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota
Charlie Blinn is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, conducts research and provides outreach education for loggers and natural resource professionals. His research interests are broadly focused on forest management which are designed to enhance the productivity, profitability and health of managed forest lands.
ROY O. MARTIN III
President, CEO, and CFO - RoyOMartin
Roy O. Martin III is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Financial Officer for RoyOMartin. A third-generation leader, Roy spent much of his youth and young-adult life working in various locations of the family business. After earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, Roy joined the company full time in 1985 and later completed his Master of Business Administration at LSU. The grandson of Roy O. Martin, Sr., he grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana, as the only son of Roy O. Martin, Jr. (Roy O. Martin Lumber Company President from 1962-1978).
Forest Certification & Quality Assurance Group Manager - F&W Forestry Services, Inc.
Stephen Logan heads up F&W’s Forest Certification and Environmental Compliance Group and helps clients navigate the forest certification process. Along with his work providing silvicultural expertise and policy support for clients, he also provides technical support for F&W’s South American operations. Logan has a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia, and an M.S. in Forest Biometrics also from the University of Georgia.
Partnerships Manager - Samsara
Kate Collyer has spent her career in partnerships, building creative solutions to fit the needs of her customers. At Samsara, Kate has committed the last two years to work closely with insurance companies to understand risk on the road and how telematics & dashcams play an integral role in risk prevention. She now works hand in hand with insurers to create proactive solutions to protect, defend and advocate on behalf of fleets and drivers to help exonerate drivers and reduce frequency & severity of accidents.
Executive Director - Maine Forest Products Council
Patrick Strauch received his B.S. degree in forest management and his master’s in silviculture from the University of Maine. He began his career as a forester for St. Regis Paper Co. and U.S. Gypsum Company in Maine and then moved to manage recycling and trucking companies, becoming a regional vice president of Casella Waste Systems and director of the Sawyer Companies in Bangor. He returned to the forest industry in 2001 as coordinator of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). In January 2004, he became the executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council (MFPC), a not-for-profit trade association that has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy since 1961. The MFPC speaks for about 300 member companies, including all segments of the diverse forest products community, at the Maine Legislature, across the state and in Washington D.C. In 2014, he received the W.D. Hagenstein Communicators Award from the Society of American Foresters, which recognizes a member “who displays the ability, talent, and skill to lead innovative and exemplary communications initiatives and programs that increase the general public’s understanding of forestry and natural resources at the local, regional, or national level.” Farm Credit of Maine gave him its “Distinguished Service Award” in 2012. Patrick resides on a farm in Exeter, Maine, with his wife Nancy and their three children.
Program Director, Forest Economy Roadmap, Maine Forest Products Council
As Program Director for FOR/Maine Brianna supports a cross-sector collaboration between industry, communities, government, education, and non-profits working together to realize the next generation of Maine’s forest economy. She holds a Master’s in International Development from the University of Denver, and a BA in Peace Studies from Goucher College. Earlier in her career, Brianna’s work focused on working lands as an engine for community and economic development. She managed national training and technical assistance networks for beginning farmer training programs at the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, and has consulted with food councils, cooperative businesses and climate organizations throughout Maine. Brianna is active in Portland’s art community and volunteers as a DJ at her local radio station.
Executive Director - #ForestProud
Will Novy-Hildesley has extensive experience with the forest sector, developing new initiatives, and leading multi-stakeholder brand initiatives that bridge for-profit/non-profit, and government. Since 2000, he served as Founder and CEO of Quicksilver Foundry, a strategic planning and branding firm whose recent clients include the Department of Defense, Intel, Deloitte/Monitor, The Unitarian Church, Social Venture Partners, Easter Seals, The Society of American Foresters, Vistage and Surfline.com. Prior to that, he worked at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund. He has a Master’s of Science in Tropical Coastal Zone Management from Newcastle University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Durham University.