Message from CEO Terry Baker 

October 1, 2018

As your new CEO, I want to take the time to introduce myself during my first few days in this chair. Unfortunately, I am not the “Terry Baker” that won the Heisman Trophy at Oregon State University in 1962. I am from a small city in the Panhandle of Florida called Marianna. I spent most of my childhood on a small farm with my grandfather. When I wasn’t in school or on the farm, he and I were fishing. I have one slightly older brother, but I am obviously the more mature of the two. This story will sound like many foresters.’ I had no idea that the profession existed! A US Forest Service recruiter randomly reached out to me about my interest in an internship program and I was hooked. These days, I still enjoy fishing, but it can be hard to find the time. My wife, Jessica, and I love to travel both nationally and internationally. We spent our honeymoon on a Mediterranean cruise.

Now that you know a little about me, I want to share a little about my thoughts on being CEO and the role of SAF moving forward. I have been a member since 2002 and have been engaged in multiple local Chapters, but more so as a national volunteer. I left federal service for the opportunity to lead the profession and its Society through defining and communicating the next chapter of our story. 

Coming from another organization with a long history, I firmly believe that change does not require discarding our past or our imperfections. Those lessons, along with our successes, are what brought us to where we stand today. Our history and our achievements have created a strong foundation that we will expand to create future opportunities and accomplishments through technology and innovation. We will make mistakes and surely be judged along the way, but those are the realities of being a community that is proud of what it has to offer to the nation.

SAF President, David S. Lewis, ACF, CF, RF said, “We are excited to have someone with Terry’s breadth of experience in leading large organizations, as well as his intimate knowledge and expertise in forestry and the larger community of natural resource management. Terry has a reputation for being a leader who values relationships, a leader who listens, and a leader who takes action. He has experience in building partnerships and strategic alliances to leverage outcomes. Terry will expand relationships with key partners and stakeholders to strengthen SAF’s voice and advance the profession for our members.”

These are truly humbling words. I will work on your behalf to uphold these expectations and gain your trust and respect. Forestry is the centerpiece to effective land management. SAF has a powerful role to play in helping stakeholders and the public understand how important forestry and forestry professionals are, and will continue to be, to the sustainability of our nation’s natural resources. 

As your CEO, I am in service to you as members. As members, volunteer leadership, and staff, we are all in service to our profession.

Take care and I hope to meet many of you at Convention in Portland!

Terry Baker

Click here for a detailed biography.