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The SFI Team

President and CEO

Kathy Abusow is President and CEO of SFI Inc., a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. She has held this role since 2007, when Sustainable Forestry Initiative® became a fully independent, non-profit organization. Since joining SFI, Kathy has greatly expanded SFI’s network to include the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities. Read more here. 

Kathy Abusow est présidente-directrice générale de la société SFI, un chef de file du développement durable qui soutient les forêts de l’avenir. Elle occupe ce poste depuis 2007, lorsque la Sustainable Forestry Initiative® est devenue un organisme sans but lucratif pleinement indépendant. Depuis lors, elle a considérablement élargi le réseau de SFI pour y inclure le secteur forestier, les propriétaires de marques, les groupes de conservation, les spécialistes des ressources naturelles, les propriétaires fonciers, les éducateurs, les collectivités locales, les Autochtones, les gouvernements et les universités. Lire la suite ici

Executive Assistant to
President and CEO, Kathy Abusow

Jennifer is on maternity leave until October 2019.




COO and Senior VP, Government Affairs

Nadine is responsible for federal, state, and international government activities related to forest management, green building, bioenergy, environmental purchasing, and combating illegal logging. Nadine also oversees organizational operations related to finance, HR, and other business matters. Prior to joining SFI in 2010, she held positions as Director of Forest Policy at the American Forest & Paper Association and Program Manager at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. Nadine has over 20 years of experience in natural resource policy focusing on public and private forest management, climate change, renewable energy, and international forest policy. Nadine holds a master of forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Williams College. 



Chief Conservation Officer


Paul provides leadership for SFI’s conservation programs, principal liaison with conservation organizations, and guidance toward the development of standards and programs that ensure the attainment of conservation objectives. He works to maintain partnerships, grow the network of conservation organizations involved in the SFI Program, and to ensure relevance of SFI’s work in promoting sustainable supply chains and responsible sourcing. Paul oversees SFI’s Conservation Impact initiative and its Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. He monitors conservation research developments and advancements in sustainable forestry to identify opportunities to further the SFI Program and activities of SFI Program Participants. Paul brings nearly 30 years of experience in forestry, non-profit management, forest certification, collaborative partnerships, and landscape-scale conservation. Before joining SFI, Paul was Director of Southern Forest Conservation for the American Forest Foundation. Prior to AFF, Paul held numerous positions with The Nature Conservancy for almost 20 years, including roles in executive management, and nearly 10 years directing forest conservation strategies in the southeastern United States. Paul has a B.S. in Forest Resource Management from Virginia Tech, and a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University.



Chief Education Officer

Melina Gerosa Bellows serves as SFI's Chief Education Officer. She is responsible for the strategy and implementation of SFI's Education pillar. A member of the senior leadership team, her job is to lead and grow SFI's award-winning environmental education program, Project Learning Tree® (PLT), by cultivating partnerships, and creating additional revenue streams. Prior to SFI, Melina worked at National Geographic for 17 years where she served as Chief Education Officer, overseeing the children's businesses. She received a BA from Boston College.



Senior VP, Customer Affairs

Jason leads the supply chain assurance work related to demonstrating SFI Standards as proof points for responsible forestry. This also includes increasing certified supply and enhancing the sourcing of products from sustainable sources. Jason works directly with companies in the wood and paper supply chain including forest landowners, manufacturers, merchants, lumberyards, dealers, wholesalers, printers and end users.  Jason also leads efforts on SFI recognition in green building rating tools and oversees the Office of Label Use and Licensing, which administers the rules and procedures for SFI on-product label usage.  Jason has worked at SFI since 2001, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University.  He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and sits on a number of committees related to forest certification and labeling.



Vice President, Community Engagement

Jess is working to expand SFI’s Project Learning Tree (PLT) initiative in Canada. She is also responsible for overseeing Indigenous relations and other aspects of SFI’s community engagement portfolio. Jess brings strong strategic thinking, project management and fundraising skills to her role. She has won several awards in recognition of her achievements including the Canadian Forest Industries’ Top 10 under 40 award. She is also the proud co-founder of Women in Wood: Canada, a networking group aimed at bringing together women who work in, with and for the woods. Prior to joining SFI, Jess was with Forests Ontario, where she developed and expanded their education and awareness programs. Some of her most noteworthy successes include the It Takes A Forest campaign, Forestry Connects, and Ontario Envirothon. Jess holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto. 



VP, Communications

Daniel works with the team to communicate SFI’s dynamic story to diverse audiences and stakeholders. Daniel’s career has been spent at the intersection of business interests and sustainability efforts with a focus on developing diverse communication strategies that build reputation, support business goals, and impact social and environmental change. He has previously worked for several communications and public affairs agencies and for PepsiCo. He started his career in the Peace Corps where he led grassroots community development projects in Ghana and has earned an MBA and MA in International Affairs from American University.



Senior Director Education Programs

Esther guides PLT’s organizational management, strategic direction, governance, and evaluation. She is also responsible for directing PLT’s program development, state network capacity building, and operations. Esther has worked as an educator, program designer, executive director, and evaluator in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years at the state and national levels. She is experienced in the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental and place-based education curriculum and professional development programs, with a particular emphasis on changes in knowledge, skills, and behaviors of participating educators. She is also experienced in applying research and evaluation to strategic planning and organizational development. Her skills are deeply rooted in participatory involvement and building collaborative processes and partnerships. Esther holds a Masters of Education in Instruction and Curriculum from Plymouth State College and BA in Economics from the University of New Hampshire.



Senior Director Standards

Gregor supports the SFI Standard review process, pilot projects and task forces, and serves as staff liaison for the External Review Panel and the SFI Resources Committee. He manages auditor accreditation programs, coordinates the complaint process and deals with interpretations of SFI certification standards. Gregor also serves as SFI’s technical liaison to the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification. Gregor joined SFI after many years working in the field of forest certification auditing where his focus areas included environmental and sustainable forest management performance, chain of custody auditing and forest carbon accounting. He has professional experience in the United States, Canada and China. Gregor is a Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters and holds the SAF Certified Forestry Auditor designation.


Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships

Annie seeks to elevate the use of certified, sustainable forestry materials and products in the green building industry. Her experience in product transparency, labels and certifications, climate change and resiliency, coupled with her passion to improve communities globally, supports that mission. As an accredited LEED Green Associate with the U.S. Green Building Council, she sits on the Midwest’s Market Leadership Advisory Board and is engaged with the emerging WELL Standard. She contributed to the development of the window industry’s product category rule and the release of the industry’s first environmental product declaration. Annie uses her experience to support her civic engagements as a City of Afton, Minnesota council member and as a management board member of her local watershed.  



Senior Director, Conservation Strategies

Darren focuses on growing SFI’s conservation and science credentials and on increasing our capacity to develop and manage conservation projects in Canada and the United States. Darren also draws on a solid  background in fieldwork. He has designed and implemented ecological studies and conducted bird banding, small mammal trapping, and radio-telemetry tracking of bats and owls. Darren sits on a Government of Quebec caribou advisory committee and is a member of the Government of Canada’s Species at Risk Advisory Committee. Prior to joining SFI, Darren worked as Project Leader in forest ecology at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, where he drew on his knowledge of forest ecology and endangered species and his strong connections with the scientific and conservation biology community. Darren holds a PhD in Zoology from the University of Guelph.


Director, Communications and Marketing

Vanessa develops and executes communications and marketing strategies for Project Learning Tree to raise awareness of the importance of environmental education and learning outdoors, and publicizes the resources, training, and support available to teachers through a variety of digital, print and traditional media. Previously Vanessa was publicist at the National Geographic Society where she promoted documentary films, television specials, and classroom educational videos about the world's culture, history and natural world. Vanessa has a B.S. in Biology from Nottingham University in England. 


Director, SFI Forest Partners® Program

Barry Graden oversees the SFI Forest Partners® Program aimed at growing SFI certification among medium sized landowners and mills, and supports the SFI program's community activities and SFI’s partnership with Boy Scouts of America. Before joining SFI Barry accumulated over three decades of experience working in the forest products industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Iowa State University and an MBA from Winthrop University. He is an Eagle Scout, a Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters and a licensed Forester in the state of South Carolina.



Director, Marketing and Design

Monika directs and develops the marketing and corporate brand identity for the SFI Program. She designs and produces a range of print and interactive material including SFI’s annual progress report, fact sheets, brochures, posters, infographics and outgoing communications. Monika also produces the collateral material for SFI’s annual conference, and collaborates with the SFI community and stakeholders to assist in developing material. She holds an BA in business, with a minor in Spanish, and an MBA, both from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.



Director, SFI Program Participant Relations

Gordy engages the SFI community to leverage the work of SFI Implementation Committees across the U.S. and Canada. He focuses on demonstrating the value of this work for SFI Program Participants. His career in forest certification began in 2004 and includes experience on both sides of the border. He led certification efforts that implemented chain-of-custody, fiber sourcing and forest management certifications at Stora Enso, NewPage and Verso. Gordy has served on 11 different SFI Implementation Committees throughout the Great Lakes region, the U.S. East Coast and Southeast. Gordy is a graduate of Michigan Technological University's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.      



Director of Curriculum and Partnerships

Jackie oversees Project Learning Tree’s PreK-12 environmental education materials, as well as other SFI instructional materials and resources. In addition, Jackie manages partnerships and strategic alliances with other environmental education and sustainability resource providers at the national level. She also presents and exhibits PLT’s curriculum and SFI programs at education and conservation conferences across the country. Jackie holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and a M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. 



SFI Manager, Office of Label Use and Licensing


Rachel has been with SFI since 2007 during which she served as the PEFC US National Governing Body secretary and represented SFI on several PEFC Working Groups and SFI Standard Revision Task Groups. She currently leads SFI’s Office of Label Use & Licensing, which administers the rules and procedures for SFI on-product label use and off-product marks. She works directly with companies and certification bodies in the wood and paper supply chain with forest management and chain-of-custody certification, addressing label use, standards and certification issues. Rachel also works as a project manager with SFI. She specializes in large-scale projects related to data analysis for programmatic strategic outcomes, particularly supporting SFI’s supply chain assurances. She holds a Master of Science from Albert-Ludwigs-University and speaks German fluently.



Senior Manager, Community Engagement

Amy plans and directs meetings to ensure strong opportunities to engage the SFI community. Key events include the SFI Annual Conference, committee meetings and workshops. Amy also manages the SFI Community Partnerships Grant Program, which engages local communities through a variety of initiatives including youth outreach, forest education programs, and green building projects for low-income families. Amy is also the first point of contact for organizations interested in participating in the SFI Program. Amy received her bachelor of science in natural resource recreation from Virginia Tech, with a minor in forest resource management.


Manager, Indigenous and Youth Relations

Paul plays a central role in SFI’s partnerships with Indigenous communities. He has a wealth of experience in supporting Indigenous rights recognition, relationship building and socioeconomic development. Paul’s work also has a specific focus on understanding the unique realities faced by First Nation, Métis and Inuit youth. As both a professional and an elected community official, Paul has worked to build greater understanding and collaboration between Indigenous communities across Canada and the industry actors operating within their territories. Paul holds a Master of Science in Forestry from Lakehead University and a Forest Technician Diploma and Certificate in Aboriginal‑Canadian Relations from Confederation College. Paul is a recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal and the J. Michael Waldram Memorial Fellowship, recognizing his work as an emerging young Indigenous leader in the natural resources field. 



Business Manager

Julia manages the Washington, DC office and administers all accounting functions for SFI Inc. She also develops and implements the SFI tradeshow strategy and supports other marketing initiatives like managing major mailings. Julia’s responsibilities also include ensuring legal and operational compliance, including managing tax filings and other operational filings. Accounts payable and receivable, annual financial audits, and budget tracking are also part of her work along with managing service providers and human resources. She holds a bachelor of arts in music from Goshen College in Indiana. 



Coordinator, Statistics and Label Use

Rachel supports the SFI Office of Label Use and Licensing, managing label requests, certificate information, audit reports and special projects. Rachel received her bachelor of science in wildlife science from Virginia Tech, with minors in biology and natural resource recreation. She earned a master of science in biology from the University of Western Ontario.



Program Coordinator

Rachel provides support to the entire Project Learning Tree team, including curriculum, professional development, network, and communications. Rachel holds a M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.


Manager, Professional Development and Instructional Design

Ana designs and develops high-quality professional development materials and programming to prepare educators to integrate PLT environmental education materials into their teaching. Ana is focused on helping educators become comfortable teaching outdoors in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Ana creates engaging and hands-on online courses and supports the PLT network in delivering in-person professional development using best practices in educator professional development. Previously she worked as an instructional designer in various industries, designing online professional development courses for a diverse audience, including K-8 STEM teachers in Latin America. Ana holds an Ed.M. in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University, an MBA from Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil, and a B.A. in Psychology from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.



Manager of Service Learning and Community Engagement

James manages Project Learning Tree’s GreenSchools program that helps teachers, students, and schools adopt practices to make their campuses more green and incorporate environmental education into their teaching. He also manages PLT’s GreenWorks! grants for youth environmental service-learning projects. James started his career as an education specialist for the District of Columbia’s Board of Education, then went into the classroom to teach 3rd-12th grades. Later he was Director of After School programs and Principal for both the middle school and the adult education program at the Friendship Edison Junior Academy in Washington, DC. James holds a B.S. in Early Education from the University of the District of Columbia and Masters of Public Administration from Baruch College in New York, NY.


Business Operations Coordinator

Amandine supports the accounting and operations functions of SFI, Inc., and provides office support for the Washington DC office. Her first language is French and she holds a B.A. (Hons) in International Business Communication from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK.



Manager, Conservation Partnerships

Rocco plays a key role in strengthening SFI’s relationships with conservation organizations and universities. He administers SFI’s Conservation and Community Partnership Grant Program, which funds innovative projects that advance understanding of sustainable forestry practices. Rocco leads SFI’s efforts to engage the next generation in becoming future forest leaders by administering SFI’s Student Sponsorship Program which supports student engagement at SFI conferences including student mentorship. Rocco’s role includes conducting research on a wide range of topics including environmental policy, conservation, bioenergy and green building. Outside SFI, Rocco serves as the Chair-Elect of the National Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, where he is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership. Rocco earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a minor in wildland soil science from Humboldt State University. He is currently enrolled in Virginia Tech’s executive master of natural resources program, with a concentration in sustainability leadership. Rocco’s extensive travel in Honduras has informed his view of the relationship between the economy and the environment.



Manager, PLT State Network

Everette supports PLT’s dynamic network of state and international partners (over 80 state agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, trade associations, and others) who deliver PLT’s curriculum materials, professional development, and other programming to educators across the country and around the world. She provides guidance to the PLT network in program development and operations, oversees grants and other capacity-building initiatives, and manages PLT’s annual International Coordinators’ Conference. Everette has a M.S. in Peace Operations from George Mason University in Arlington, VA. 



Manager, Green Jobs

Zac manages the Green Jobs in Green Spaces Summer Work Experience Program, with the goal of placing over 1,600 students in Green Jobs over the summers of 2018 and 2019, for Project Learning Tree Canada. Zac received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Ottawa in 2015.



U.S. Mailing Address:
Canadian Mailing Address:

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
2121 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC  20037

Phone: 202-596-3450
Fax: 202-596-3451

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
1306 Wellington Street West, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON  K1Y 3B2

Phone: 613-747-2454
Fax: 613-747-2453




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