Joe Parsons, senior wood procurement manager at Graphic Packaging International, Inc. (GPI), was recently appointed as the 55th GFA Chairman following the successful term of 2014 Chairman Wade Hall of Stuckey Timberlands.
Parsons has held his current position with GPI since 2009 where he is responsible for managing the team that procures wood for GPI’s mill in Macon. Parsons has been a GFA member for most of his professional career, and he served as a GFA Board Member from 1999 to 2006, prior to moving to Virginia. He was elected to serve on the Board again after returning to Georgia in 2009. He has been on the Executive Committee since 2011, serving as Treasurer from 2012 to 2013 and Vice Chair in 2014. GPI has been a member company since 1992.
Parsons is very passionate about the advocacy and grassroots efforts of the Association, and he noted that he is looking forward to capitalizing on those efforts through GFA’s Forestry Day at the Capitol and 2015 Annual Conference.
“I am very excited about this year’s Forestry Day at the Capitol event which will give us the spotlight for a few days to promote forestry and its value to the State of Georgia,” Parsons said. “We have an aggressive legislative agenda this year, and, based on the bills that are introduced, we will have the opportunity to improve the business climate for forestry, or protect it from actions that would harm it.”
Parsons graduated in 1981 from the University of Georgia with a BS in Forest Resources and earned his MBA from UGA in 1982. He is also a graduate of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida, and he recently served as chairman of the Advisory Board for Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry at UGA.
Over his career, Parsons has served in various capacities in the Virginia Forest Council, Virginia Forestry Association, Southern Forest Products Security Group and Alabama Forestry Association. He has also served in number of positions in his churches in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Virginia.
“GFA is the premiere advocacy organization for forestry in Georgia, and I am proud to be a part of it,” Parsons said. “I am honored to continue to work with our Executive Committee and Board of Directors to move our Association forward.”
In addition to Parsons becoming Chairman, Sandersville Landowner Benjie Tarbutton was appointed to Vice Chair; and Hawkinsville Landowner Dr. John Bembry and Hugh Thompson of Pierce Timber Company were elected to serve on the Executive Committee. Also, 2013 Chairman John Godbee of F&W Forestry, Bill Craft of Keadle Lumber Company and Mike Phillips of Georgia Power rolled off the Executive Committee. Click here to see the full list of GFA Executive Committee members.