Your Association’s Staff

Andres Villegas

President & CEO

andres@gfagrow.org


Andres Villegas brings to the Association more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in a variety of positions with Weyerhaeuser, Langdale Industries and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Prior to serving as plant manager for Weyerhaeuser beginning in April 2014, Andres was the president of Catchlight Energy LLC, a joint venture between Chevron and Weyerhaeuser. He was responsible for positioning Catchlight Energy as the preferred partner for advanced biofuels producers utilizing forest-based feed stocks and guiding the commercial, technical and administrative operations of the company. Andres also previously worked for Weyerhaeuser in North Carolina and Uruguay in harvesting logistics and industrial development management roles respectively.

Andres received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from The University of Georgia and an Executive Certificate of Management and Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management.

  • Executive Committee
  • Board of Directors
  • Georgia Forestry Foundation
  • Government and regulatory affairs
  • Strategic planning
  • ForestPAC
  • Staff development
  • Wise Owl Award Committee

Tom Beyer

Director of Government Affairs

tom@gfagrow.org


Tom joins the Association following four years of service on U.S. Representative Rob Woodall’s (GA-07) Washington, D.C. staff, most recently serving as a policy adviser to the Congressman with a focus on agriculture and natural resources issues, including policies affecting our nation’s forests. Prior to his time working for the Congressman, Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. Tom’s responsibilities include:

  • Engagement with elected officials at the federal, state and county levels
  • Development of short and long term policy strategies
  • Event planning and management
  • Support of the activities of the ForestPAC (GFA’s political action committee)
  • Management of member engagement through Forest Resource Teams, or FORT

Marilou Myers

Director of Membership

marilou@gfagrow.org


A transplant to Georgia from Long Island, New York, Marilou Myers became a part of the forestry community in 2008. With an associate degree in business from Middle Georgia College, Marilou serves as the Director of Membership for the association. Her primary areas of work include membership recruitment and retention and coordinating the day-to-day financial operations of the Association.

  • Annual Membership
  • Hunt Club Insurance
  • ForestPAC
  • Data Management
  • New member recruitment
  • Finances

Michele Dunham

Executive Assistant

michele@gfagrow.org


Michele Dunham has been with GFA since 2010. A native of Dooly County, her roots are in the forest and agriculture industry. Chances are, if you have ever called the GFA office, Michele has answered your call and put you in touch with the person who can answer your question. She is a key member of the day-to-day Association operations team and serves as the go-to person for Association related questions and issues.

  • President’s Assistant
  • General information and administration

Matt Hestad

Director of Communications & Public Outreach

matt@gfagrow.org


Matt has more than seven years of marketing, public relations and business strategy experience in the natural resource sector, keenly focused on Georgia’s working forests. Since 2013, Matt has worked closely with the Georgia Forestry Association to manage and execute a communications strategy, which is focused on developing and maintaining relationships with media professionals and policymakers throughout the state. Matt’s responsibilities with GFA include the creation of compelling content to be shared on a variety of channels, grassroots development and member engagement in the political process, and issues management related to legislative developments at the state and federal level. Matt also serves as the editor of Georgia Forestry Magazine, a statewide publication that celebrates Georgia’s working forests and forest product industries. 

Matt works with the Georgia Forestry Association through HL Strategy, a public relations and communications consultancy based in Atlanta. The HL Strategy team working with GFA includes Howard Lalli and Brady Hummel.