Forest Landowner Association 2009 Awards Announced at Annual Meeting

Forest Landowner Association 2009 Awards Announced at Annual Meeting

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The Forest Landowners Association (FLA) honored families and distinguished members of the forestry community during the 2009 National Forest Landowners Conference, May 27 to 29, in Amelia Island, Florida.

The family with the most members present at the conference, the Hall family of Meridian, Mississippi, with 10 family members present, was recognized. Other awards given were the Lifetime Achievement award, FLA Leadership award, Forest Landowner of the Year award, Young Forest Landowner of the Year award, and Extension Forester of the Year award. Lifetime Achievement award: Bobby NeillLeadership award: Kirk RodgersForest Landowner of the Year award: Joy HodgesYoung Forest Landowner of the Year award: Derek DoughertyExtension Forester of the Year: Craig McKinley Lifetime AchievementThe Forest Landowners Associations Awards Committee, along with the Executive Committee and Board, were motivated this year by the lifetime achievements of the late Bobby Neill. The Lifetime Achievement Award, accepted on behalf of Mr. Neill by his wife Laura, is given to someone who has demonstrated tireless leadership and influence among forest landowners, promoting better public understanding of forest practices and policies, and outstanding stewardship of forest resources. The award is the highest honor that FLA can bestow to an individual who has given a lifetime of service.A long-time member of FLA, Neill served as president from 1995 to 1996. He led the association through the name change from the Forest Farmers Association to the Forest Landowners Association. Past FLA president Otis Ingram noted, "Bobby Neill, as president, showed great leadership and vision in changing our name from Forest Farmers to Forest Landowners Association. In addition to Bobby being an astute businessman, he was a southern gentleman in every way. He loved his family and forestry, as anyone would know if you talked to Bobby even for a short time. He was always very encouraging to me as a young forest landowner to stay involved in the association." As the owner of a consulting firm in Magnolia, Arkansas, Neill also assisted countless landowners with the proper management of their timberlands throughout the South. Active in his local community, Neill served as president of the Magnolia Rotary Club, on the board of Farmers Bank and Trust in Magnolia, Arkansas, and the Arkansas Childrens Hospital Foundation. Neill also served on the board of the Arkansas Forestry Association and was a member of the Louisiana Forestry Association, the Society of American Foresters, and the Association of Consulting Foresters.back to top LeadershipFLAs Executive Committee created a special award this year to recognize the achievements and contribution to forest landowners by a fellow landowner and leader in the forestry community. The Forest Landowners Association is pleased to announce Kirk Rodgers as the recipient of the Leadership Award. Past president Phil Hardin noted, "Kirk was responsible for much of the background work that helps FLA be the successful association it is. He introduced many of the structural improvements in the organization, and is primarily responsible for our long range planning process. In the time since he was president, Kirk has continued to be a valuable source of new ideas, good judgment, and wise counsel."A third generation landowner, Rodgers is president of his familys timber corporation, the largest family forest ownership in Maryland. He currently serves as an FLA regional vice president, and is a past president of FLA. He is also a past president of the Maryland Forestry Association and a past director of Sustainable Development and the Environment for the Organization of American States. Rodgers served as a consultant to international organizations, including the Commission of Environmental Cooperation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for his lifetime achievements.back to topForest Landowner of the YearThe Forest Landowners Association is pleased to announce Joy Hodges as the recipient of the Forest Landowner of the Year award. This award is given to an individual who promotes landownership with forestry expertise, and who is involved in the advocacy of landowner concerns.Awards Committee Chair Steve Loveland commented, "Joys leadership in Louisiana and her wealth of experience in the forestry community made her a natural choice for the Forest Landowner of the Year award. She has given much of her time and expertise to the Forest Landowners Association, serving on various committees, and continues to contribute to the association as an active board member in the southwest region."A leader in Louisianas forest landowner community, Hodges is a managing partner for family-owned enterprises, and for 27 years, she has been a director and vice president of W.H. Hodges & Company. Hodges is a member of the Louisiana Forestry Association, where she served consecutive terms as the first female president and was named the "First Lady of Louisiana Forestry." She was recently honored as an outstanding Louisiana citizen by Louisiana Friends of Public Broadcasting. Hodges is also a member of FLAs Board of Directors, and has served on the Government Affairs, Nominating, and Personnel Committees.back to topYoung Forest Landowner of the YearThe Forest Landowners Association is pleased to announce Derek Dougherty as the recipient of the Young Forest Landowner of the Year award. This award is given to an individual under the age of 50 who is a landowner or someone who works in a family business with land, and is actively involved in the management of the forestland and in their local community. "We were honored this year to present the Young Forest Landowner of the Year award to a very deserving person," said Awards Committee Chair Steve Loveland. "Derek shows great leadership in both the forestry community and in his role as an FLA board member. His dedication to private forest landowners, and to providing them with resources to make better decisions about their land, serves as a model for others in the forestry community. As FLAs incoming president, we look forward to Dereks leadership and direction."Dougherty, along with his wife Julie, owns a forestry consulting firm serving forest landowners in the southeastern U.S. As CEO, Dougherty has gone above and beyond to educate forest landowners by putting on seminars and field tours for any landowner interested in attending. As a private forest landowner himself, he is dedicated to continuing education for private landowners and getting research and technology to those who need it the most: the landowner. Dougherty is a registered forester in five states and a real estate broker in three states. He also serves as manager of Progressive Realty Services, LLC, and co-manager of Progressive Forest Properties Group, LLC. Dougherty serves on multiple committees of FLAs Board of Directors and is the current incoming president. He has been very active, helping to organize many local FLA meetings and conferences for landowners to the benefit of both the landowner and FLA.back to topExtension Forester of the YearThe Forest Landowners Association is pleased to announce Dr. Craig McKinley as the recipient of the Extension Forester of the Year award. This award recognizes an extension forester for exceptional contributions to forest landowner issues and education. "Extension foresters play a vital role in the success of FLA, and in the advancement of forestry around the country," said Awards Committee Chair Steve Loveland. "Dr. McKinleys intensive work with landowner education and outreach, as well as his leadership in local forestry programs, embodies the qualities that FLA seeks for this award," Loveland said. "The dedication he has shown to landowners over many years and the esteem his colleagues hold for him set him apart from the other nominees this year."Dr. McKinley has been responsible for developing extension forestry programs in two states. He works intensively with landowner and resource manager education, youth education, commodity group outreach, and adult education. Dr. McKinley has been very active with the Oklahoma Woodland Owners Association, the state 4-H Forestry Program, and the Oklahoma Youth Forestry and Wildlife Camps. He does not just participate in these activities, but is often the leader and organizer. Dr. McKinley also provides leadership to the Society of American Foresters and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.back to top The power of recognition is in your hands. Think of the great people who have made a difference in the forest landowner community. Now the Forest Landowners Association is counting on you to nominate these outstanding leaders in the forestry community. This is your opportunity to help us give the highest praise and recognition to the people you admire and count on. For more information about the Forest Landowner awards, please visit the Conference Awards section of the FLA website.The 2010 Forest Landowner awards will be given at the 2010 National Forest Landowners Conference, June 2 - 4, at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington.

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