Your Association’s Staff

Andres Villegas

President & CEO

Andres Villegas is President and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association. In this capacity he is responsible for advocating for the Georgia’s $35.9 billion forest products industry. Through his leadership, the Georgia Forestry Association is focused on creating value for the entire forestry supply chain and ensuring that Georgia’s 22 million acres of working forests continue to contribute jobs, clean air, drinking water and wildlife habitat to the citizens of the state and nation.

Andres has extensive private, public and NGO sector experience in forestry and natural resources having held domestic and international positions with Weyerhaeuser, Chevron, The Langdale Company, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

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 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:

  • State, Federal and Local Advocacy
  • Policy Development & Strategy
  • ForestPAC (GFA’s political action committee)
  • Forest Resource Teams (FORT)

Marilou Myers

Operations and Membership Manager

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.

  • Accounts Payable & Receivable
  • Membership Renewals
  • Facilities Manager

Michele Dunham

Office Manager

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.

  • Event Management
  • Assistant to the President & Officers
  • General Information and Administration

Matt Hestad

Executive Director of Communications and Strategy

Matt has more than seven years of marketing, public relations and business strategy experience in the natural resource sector, keenly focused on forestry and natural resources. 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.

  • Communications Strategy and Engagement 
  • Media Relations 
  • Social Media 
  • Georgia Forestry Magazine