Posted: October 11, 2019

Outgoing Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) President Richard Lewis reflects on his four years in leadership of the organization.

At the September 28 Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) Annual Symposium (previously called our Annual Meeting) in State College, I passed the PFA president's gavel to your next president.

The last four years - two years as your Vice President, and two years as your President - have been an interesting and very rewarding time for me. I appreciate the trust that you placed in me over the past four years to help move PFA forward with a series of aggressive changes designed to bring PFA up to modern association management standards.

Our four-color Pennsylvania Forests magazine is the envy of many state forestry associations in the US. We now have a "Member Clicks" association membership database management system that helps us track communications, dues, meeting attendance, finances, and other important association management functions. We reduced the number of our yearly face-to-face board meetings from four to two but retained the ability to move ahead quickly and effectively on PFA projects, activities, and issues through frequent Executive Committee conference call meetings between board meetings.

Our e-newsletter, Forestry News You Can Use, is widely read and circulated and our PFA Facebook page now has almost 2,000 followers.

We now have 14 committees and two task groups actively functioning in a wide range of projects and issue areas including deer browsing impacts, family forest carbon credits, annual symposium, annual conservation banquet fundraiser, awards, Walk in Penn's Woods Program, Pennsylvania Farm Show and Pennsylvania Ag Progress Days exhibits, Pennsylvania's Forest Heritage Discovery Center, Pennsylvania Big Tree Program, membership recruitment and retention, planning conferences and workshops, and Tree Farm field days.

Our contracted association management company, Versant Strategies, continues its excellent work managing the everyday affairs, finances, programs, and activities of our association. Versant Strategies Chief Executive Officer Caleb Wright, who serves as our Executive Director, has become very knowledgeable about Pennsylvania's forestry programs, activities, and issues over the past two-plus years since he inherited our account from retiring Walt Peechatka.

We are now recognized at the national level because of our participation in the National Council of Forestry Association Executives.

I could go on… but I will simply say it is with great pride that I look back on the last four years of my leadership participation in PFA. I thank you for allowing a relative "newcomer" to the Pennsylvania forestry community to take the leadership reins of PFA over the past few years. For someone who has always served in an "executive director" role during his 50-plus-year forestry career, it was a very different assignment to serve as your elected President.

Together we have accomplished much. I have met many new wonderful, talented, and capable people in the Pennsylvania forestry community. Each one of you has enriched my life.

With best wishes from your friend in Gettysburg,
Richard Lewis

For more information about the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, visit the website or call 800-835-8065.

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802