Your Association’s Staff

Andres Villegas

President & CEO

andres@gfagrow.org


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

Vice President 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:

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

Marilou Myers

Administration & AP/AR Manager

marilou@gfagrow.org


A transplant to Georgia from Long Island, New York, Marilou Myers became a part of the forestry community in 2008. In her capacity at GFA, Marilou handles all in/outbound payments, coordinates financial efforts, and manages the daily operations of the office. 

  • Accounts Payable & Receivable
  • Operations

Michele Lawson

Membership & Events Manager

michele@gfagrow.org


Michele Lawson has been with GFA since 2010. In her capacity as Membership and Events Manager, Michele coordinates all aspects of GFA events and leads the development of membership database systems. 

  • Event Management
  • Membership Data Management 

Mike Gregory

Digital Media Specialist

mike@gfagrow.org


Mike joined the GFA staff in 2019 as Digital Media Specialist. In his capacity, Mike is responsible for management of the Association and Foundation brand and the development of creative and engaging marketing materials, including graphics, video, photography and more. 

  • Videography and Photography 
  • Graphic Design 

Matt Hestad

Executive Director of Communications and Strategy

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 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