Deb Headshot

Deb Hawkinson

President

Washington, D.C.
[email protected]
(202) 296-3937

Since joining FRA in July, 2012, Deb has led the organization’s alignment of business and public policy goals and increased members’ political involvement in priority issues at the federal level. While advancing advocacy within the association, she continues to ensure FRA’s strength in addressing forest operations challenges and enhancing supply chain relations.

Deb’s career representing the forest products industry in Washington, D.C. spans more than 20 years as: Executive Director of the Hardwood Federation; director of Operations and Issues Management at the American Forest & Paper Association; and, in Weyerhaeuser Company’s Federal and International Affairs.

Deb holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Development from Regent University, and studied Association Management at George Mason University’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Claire Gedde Headshot

Claire Gedde

Director of Operations

Washington, D.C.
[email protected]
(202) 296-3937

Claire Gedde is the Director of Operations for FRA. She oversees FRA’s financial activities, directs internal and external communications, and manages FRA operations and staff. She effectively interacts with a wide variety of key stakeholders to advance FRA’s objectives: influence public policy, enhance supply chain relations, and address forest operations challenges.

Before joining FRA, Claire spent ten years in the U.S. luxury hotel market in Washington D.C. She then returned to her native country of England for five years, where she held the position of Director of Events at Deloitte in London before joining the pre-opening team of a prestigious hotel company. Claire holds her degree in International Hotel Management and brings a wealth of experience in project management, sales and marketing, budget administration, HR and team development, and event planning.

Vanessa Headshot

Vanessa Connelly

FRA Communications & Marketing Manager

Washington, D.C.
[email protected]
(202) 296-3937

Before joining FRA, Vanessa spent three years dedicated to supporting a national nonprofit by developing and promoting communication strategies to help advance the organization’s efforts to offer charitable solutions to the public. These strategies included web marketing, social media, community outreach, and events. Before that, she spent several years living abroad in Lima, Peru, where she started a Language Consulting company that worked with industries such as hospitality and logistics firms to help top-tier executives improve their intercultural communication skills. She holds a Communications degree from Old Dominion University and brings a positive attitude and experience in community building, storytelling, and design.

Clay Altizer Headshot

Clay Altizer

Southwide Region Manager

Clayton, NC
[email protected]
(662) 312-7934

Clay Altizer has more than 20 years of professional experience supporting the forest products value chain in the Eastern United States. His previous employment experience includes serving as International Marketing Specialist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Utilization Forester with the North Carolina Forest Service, a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources at West Virginia University, and a Research Associate in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University.

Clay received a B.A. in Biology from Virginia Military Institute, an M.S. in Forestry and Forest Products from Virginia Tech, and both an M.P.P.A in Public Policy and Administration and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University. Clay is a native of Christiansburg, VA and currently resides in Clayton, NC.

Eric Kingsley

Northeastern Region Consultant

Portland, ME
[email protected]
(207) 233-9910

Eric Kingsley, a partner in the firm Innovative Natural Resources Solutions, LLC, is FRA’S Northeast Coordinator. Eric brings twenty years of experience in forest industry, both in the Northeast and nationally. Eric has worked extensively on the development of new markets, wood procurement, and strengthening the industry through innovative financing tools.

Eric is the past executive of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, that state’s forest industry and logging association. He is also a past board member of the NH SFI State Implementation Committee, the NH Tree Farm Committee, the Biomass Energy Resource Center, Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, and CEI Capital Management Limited. He currently serves on the board of the Maine Forest Products Council and chairs the Maine Technology Institute’s Forestry and Agriculture Technology Board.

Jeff Jenkins Headshot

Jeff Jenkins

Appalachian Region Consultant

Wheelersburg, OH
[email protected]
(740) 352-6425

After graduating from Virginia Tech University with a BS in forestry, Jeff began his career as a procurement forester with Mead Paper in Chillicothe, OH. While at Mead, Jeff also worked in West Virginia and Alabama. Most recently, Jeff served as the Fiber Supply Director at Glatfelter Paper/Pixelle Specialty Solutions from 2017-2019. After leaving Pixelle, Jeff established Jenkins Forestry Solutions, LLC. in 2020, focusing on chainsaw and logger training and acting as a business consultant.

Jeff currently serves as an Executive Board Member of the Ohio Forestry Association and was a past FRA Board Member and Appalachian Region Steering Committee member. During his career, Jeff had the opportunity to work with Soren Eriksson on the “Game of Logging” chainsaw training, logger efficiency and the de-coupled logging approach.

Tim Ohara

Tim O’Hara

Vice President of Government Affairs, & Manager, Lake States Region

Cloquet, MN
[email protected]
(218) 390-7965

Tim O’Hara has worked for the forest products industry serving in leadership, budgetary and supervisory roles over the past 20 years. Most of those 20 years Tim worked with Minnesota Forest Industries as Vice President of Forest Policy. Most recently, Tim served as Woodlands Manager for Packaging Corporation of America. Earlier in his career he was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University, serving as the assistant state extension forester. Tim attended college at the University of Minnesota where he earned a BS in Forest Management and Administration, and a MS in Economics and Policy.

Vickie Headshot

Vickie Swanton

Western Region Manager

Kennewick, WA
[email protected]
(509) 396-7117

Vickie Swanton has worked in the forest products industry for over 25 years. Since 2006, she has been with the Forest Resources Association. She has served as the region manager for the Lakes States and the Western Region, and for a few years both at the same time. Prior to working for FRA, she held positions in HR, safety, and forest operations with Champion International and International Paper in Quinnesec, Michigan.

Helen Giannini

Administrative Assistant

Beaufort, NC
[email protected]
(540) 589-4170

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