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Colin Donohue, Executive Director

Colin Donohue serves the National Network of Forest Practitioners as the Executive Director, helping NNFP to nurture sustainable relationships between people and forests by supporting organizations and individuals that help create sustainable forest-related income and livelihoods.

Colin has been involved with a wide variety of forest-related organizations, activities, and issues for over 17 years, most notably, he developed the Sustainable Forest Economies program at Rural Action, bringing it to national prominence in his 9 years there. Rural Action worked with private landowners on a variety of projects from cultivation and sustainable use of Non-Timber Forest Products to innovative projects (Call Before You Cut and New Landowner Welcome Wagon), and development of forest landowner cooperatives to sustainably manage land and market their wood.

He lives in Athens County Ohio in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains with his wife, Ana and his cat Kisa. He enjoys playing bluegrass music and hiking.

Chris Demel, Financial Manager

James Ford, Director of the Southeastern Forest Landowner Outreach Initiative

James has 42 years of experience working with rural landowners. For 38 years he was employed with USDA; Soil Conservation Service/ Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). From 1997 -2006, he was the State Conservationist for USDA; NRCS in Tennessee. For the last four years, he has worked in the southeast with nonprofit organizations helping to build resilient rural communities.

James’ family has been involved in forest and farm operation for four generations. Currently he is the absentee manager for his family farm in Georgia. His hometown community of family farmers still relies on him for conservation and natural resource advice.

James community service involves participation in many farm and conservation organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors of Land Between the Lakes, Georgia Agri-Leaders Forum, Georgia Crop Advisors, and University of Tennessee/Tennessee State Extension Advisory Committee. Currently he is a member of EPA’s Farm Ranch and Rural Community Committee, and 1890 Land Grant Council for Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching.

James has a B.S. Degree in Agriculture Education from Fort Valley State University, and a M.S Degree in Public Administration from Georgia College, and State University. He was recognized by President Clinton Administration for work on flood recovery. He also received national recognition from U.S. Forest Service for Community Outreach.

James is married and has three children and five grandchildren. He resides in Hermitage, Tennessee.

Bryce Oates, Co-op and Business Specialist

Bryce has an extensive background with business development and management, particularly co-op development, mostly focused on agriculture and forestry. This experience ranges from helping a pork producers’ cooperative develop which now sells to Chipotle restaurants to developing a carbon credit business which provided payments to tens of thousands of acres worth of family forest owners. He lives on his family’s farm in Western Missouri and spends his extensive free time (yeah, right!) with his wife and two sons and working with his father on their livestock operation.