Eastern Leaders convene at the Forest Products Laboratory

Leadership teams from Region 9, Northeastern Area, the Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory gathered last week for the Combined Eastern Leadership Team meeting at FPL to deepen the relationships between their units. This annual gathering is an opportunity to share information on ongoing collaborative action items such as our cross-Deputy efforts to steward natural resources from our major metropolitan areas like New York City and Chicago to our work protecting watersheds and revitalizing small town America.

Objectives of the meeting included finding common ground and increasing collaboration, developing leadership skills around inclusion, life-work balance and leading through times of transition. Presentations highlighted examples where we successfully leverage the strengths, expertise and authorities of State and Private Forestry, National Forest System and Research and Development within a common landscape. Specific examples included the Forest Service’s work related to clean water for the Chesapeake Bay, oak-hickory management in southeast Ohio, and our collective emphasis on reaching and serving urban areas through efforts like the urban field stations.

Dr. Martha Barry, racial justice director for the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, addresses the combined eastern leadership team on the topic of inclusive work environments
Dr. Martha Barry, racial justice director for the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, addresses the combined eastern leadership team on the topic of inclusive work environments

Washington Office leadership, including Beth Pendleton, Acting Associate Chief, and Vicki Christiansen, Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry, addressed the group from a national perspective. They emphasized the importance of stewarding all forests from urban to rural as well as an appreciation for the role of science in decision-making Participants in the Middle Leader Program (MLP) were also at FPL for the week, and joined the leadership teams for a day of collaboration and learning.

This is the fifth consecutive year holding the CELT and MPL meetings at FPL.