Employer Leadership Award

This award recognizes an employer of SAF members that demonstrates leadership by consistently and significantly supporting their employees’ participation in SAF and broader engagement in the profession. Note that this employer may or may not be an SAF member him/herself.   

The award includes a $500 honorarium for the recipient’s training and development fund, one complimentary SAF convention registration, and up to $500 to offset convention travel expenses. The award is presented at the SAF National Convention.


Nominees must be employers of SAF members, and may be any type of organization, public or private, or any subunit thereof that has primary headquarters in the United States. Nominations may come from within the organization. 


Evaluation will be based on meeting the following criteria:


Nominees shall be acknowledged organizational leaders who have demonstrated leadership and initiative in supporting their employees’ engagement and active involvement in SAF and the broader profession at multiple levels.


As a direct result of their employee support activities, nominees shall have had a significant positive effect on employee participation in SAF, including support of employees taking leadership roles within the society. Evidence of impact may include but is not limited to documentation of current employee SAF membership relative to the total number of natural resource professionals employed by the organization.


Nominees shall have demonstrated strict adherence to high professional standards. Evidence of quality may include but is not limited to the receipt of awards or recognition from other organizations or groups.

Level of Activity

Nominees shall have a demonstrated record of accomplishments related to employee support of SAF activities and involvement. Evaluation of nominee activity will include the following key elements: 
     •  An established, documented employer support policy and/or procedures that is well understood across the organization and can be effectively utilized and referenced by employees on a regular basis. These documents typically provide clear parameters of support and set expectations for all employees; 
     •  From the top of the organization down through the managers and supervisors in the chain of command, the policy is articulated and implemented consistently and professional involvement is encouraged; 
     •  The top forestry/natural resource leaders of the organization actually participate and are involved in SAF themselves: attending meetings, serving as officers, making presentations, and generally “leading by example.”
     •  An established, documented employer policy that supports and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organization, including a commitment to equal opportunity employment.


Your nomination packet must be submitted through the online submission portal site and include:
     •  Nominator and Nominee information will be completed online.
     •  A letter from the nominator demonstrating that the nominee meets the award criteria. Each of the criterion must be addressed separately in a brief paragraph.
     •  Letters of endorsement, not to exceed three (in addition to the nomination letter), on the nominee's achievements with the award criteria. At least one of these letters must be from an SAF member that is an employee of the nominee, detailing specifically how the nominee has empowered him/her, personally, to serve SAF and the profession.
     •  A brief description of the organization being nominated, not to exceed one page.
     •  A current organization logo of a minimum 300 dpi.

Employer Leadership Award Recipients

Award YearRecipient
2023Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.67047
2022Weyerhaeuser Company64664
2021Virginia Cooperative Extension67156
2020Resource Management Service, LLC67341
2019Gelbert, Fullbright & Randolph Forestry67246
2018Lone Rock Timber Management Company63906
2017Starker Forests, Inc.64251