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SAF National Convention
SAF National Convention
SAF National Convention
Print Version

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Keynote Address

Nainoa Thompson, Program Director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society

Over the last 35 years, Nainoa Thompson has inspired and led a revival of traditional voyaging arts in Hawai'i and Polynesia-arts which have been lost for centuries due to the cessation of such voyaging and the colonization and Westernization of Polynesia. In 1980, Thompson became the first Hawaiian to practice the art of wayfinding on long distance ocean voyages since voyaging ended between Hawai'i and Tahiti around the 14th century. Thompson has developed a system of wayfinding, or non-instrument navigation, synthesizing traditional principles of ancient Pacific navigation and modern scientific knowledge.

Thompson is currently Program Director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, using his accomplishments of the past several decades to develop multi-disciplined, culturally relevant educational programs in partnership with other educational institutions, organizations and agencies. He is a member of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and is on the
Advisory Council of the Ocean Policy Institute. A former U.S. Merchant Marine Officer, Thompson is a certified Advanced Diver, Red Cross Lifeguard and Commercial Pilot. He is a 1972 graduate of Punahou School and earned a BA in Ocean Science in 1986 from the University of Hawai'i.

Thompson's current interest is an educational program for the schoolchildren of Hawai'i to teach them about Polynesian voyaging traditions and instill them with pride in their ancient seafaring heritage. The program emphasizes not just knowledge about ancient traditions, but also modern scientific knowledge about the ocean and sky and environmental principles based on traditional values for insuring the conservation of resources and a safe, healthy, sustainable future for Hawai'i.

In addition to being a navigator and a leader with a vision, Thompson is a charismatic, spell-binding storyteller.

Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief – US Forest Service
International Year of Forests: Linking Global, Regional and Local Solutions

During his 33 years in the Forest Service, Tidwell has served as a district ranger, forest supervisor, and legislative affairs specialist in the Washington Office. In 2009, after being named Chief, Tidwell began implementing the Secretary’s vision for America’s forests. Under his leadership, the Forest Service is restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems—ecosystems that can sustain all the benefits that Americans get from their wildlands, including plentiful supplies of clean water, abundant habitat for wildlife and fish, renewable supplies of wood and energy, and more. Under Tidwell’s leadership, the Forest Service has charted a national roadmap for addressing climate change through adaptation and mitigation. The Forest Service is helping ecosystems adapt to the effects of a changing climate while also taking action to mitigate climate change, partly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He facilitated an all-lands approach to addressing the challenges facing America’s forests and grasslands, including the overarching challenge of climate change. The Forest Service is working with states, Tribes, private landowners, and other partners for landscape-scale conservation and restoration.

Chief Tidwell will deliver a closing keynote address.

Plenary Session Speakers

Suzanne Case, Director — The Nature Conservancy Hawaii

Few places on Earth can rival Hawaii's amazing exuberance of life. On just eight main islands, with a combined land area of only 6,500 square miles, are all of the world’s major ecological zones and more unique species than any place of similar size on Earth. Ancient Hawaiian life was based around the ahupua'a system of land management, which evolved to protect the upland water resources that sustained human life. A typical ahupua'a, or land division, was wedge-shaped and extended from the mountains to the sea. As water flowed from the upland forest, down through the ahupua'a, it passed from the wao akua, the realm of the gods, to the wao kanaka, the realm of humans, where it sustained agriculture, aquaculture, and other human uses. Water was considered a gift from the gods, and all Hawaiians took an active part in its use and conservation.

Resource managers in Hawaii today still take an active part in watershed conservation and management. Ms. Case will discuss how Hawaii’s watershed partnerships offer a working model for large-scale forest protection in Hawai'i and beyond.

John Bain, Forest Entomologist – Scion
Biosecurity and Trade in the South Pacific

A New Zealand Crown Research Institute, Scion undertakes research, science and technology development in forestry, wood products, biomaterials and bioenergy. Scion's work contributes to beneficial economic, environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand. Bain, Scion forest entomologist for over 40 years, has extensive experience with insect pests in pine and eucalypt plantations. His assignments have included North and South America, Australia, Fiji, Japan and Russia. He has particular interests in biosecurity, pest incursion response and insect diagnostic work. He was a member of the Operation Ever Green team that eradicated the white-spotted tussock moth from Auckland's eastern suburbs in the late 1990s. He is a New Zealand representative on Research working Group 7 (Forest Health), Australian Standing Committee on Forestry. He has also served several scientific advisory panels in New Zealand and Australia convened for new pest incursions. Bain will discuss forest biosecurity and trade with emphasis on the South Pacific.

Frances Seymour, Director General – Center for International Forestry Research
Linking Local to Global

Prior to becoming CIFOR’s Director General, Ms. Seymour founded and directed the Institutions and Governance Program at the World Resources Institute, where she guided the launch of The Access Initiative, a coalition promoting citizen involvement in environment-related decisions. She previously served as Director of Development Assistance Policy at World Wildlife Fund, spent five years in Indonesia with the Ford Foundation and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees, including those of World Neighbors, the African Centre for Technology Studies, and the Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge in China. Ms. Seymour will discuss linking local to global challenges.

Robert (Robin) M. Jolley, Chief Executive Officer/Director, Investment Services – American Forest Management
Fitting All the Pieces in a Global Marketplace

AFM is one of the largest forest consulting and real estate brokerage firms in the US. They manage more than 4.5 million acres of privately owned timberland and provide a complete range of forestry services. Jolley brings 35 years of experience to his position as Chief Executive Officer/Director, Investment Services. He oversees AFM core operations including timberland acquisition and sales services, due diligence services, environmental assessment and investment services. His experience includes 19 years with Scott Paper Company where his duties involved land management, technical services, procurement and marine fleet, and export operations; 5 years with Potlatch as Resource Manager and as Vice President of Operations. In 1999, he joined Canal Forest Resources as President. Robin earned his BS from Catawba College and his Master of Forestry from Duke University. Robin is a member of the Forest Resources Association, the Society of American Foresters and the North Carolina Forestry Association. Jolley will discuss ways that technology can support and enhance the practice of 21st century forest management.

Marvin (Ray) Risco, President, Weyerhaeuser Solutions, Inc. and Vice President, International Timberlands, has over two decades experience operating international businesses in executive, general management, and financial roles. Currently, Ray is responsible for launching and leading the new Weyerhaeuser Solutions, a consulting and management business, focused on proprietary technical timberlands products, forestry consulting services and alternative energy, including biomass procurement and supply, wind and geothermal energy. In addition, Ray is responsible for Weyerhaeuser's International Timberlands Operations, including strategic direction setting, mergers and acquisitions, and managing the international forest products operations. Weyerhaeuser's International operations encompass manufacturing in Uruguay and Brazil, timberlands in Asia and South America, distribution and sales in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Prior to joining Weyerhaeuser in 1998, Ray worked for ARCO and Gillette in various US and international roles, primarily focused in financial leadership roles. Ray is fluent in English and Spanish, conversational in Portuguese and has managed businesses in North America, South America, Asia and Europe. Ray attained his MBA from Pepperdine University and his BA degree with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration from Vanguard University.


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