New officers were elected at the January 27 board meeting of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) held at the state forestry headquarters in Montgomery. The Commissioners elected Donald W. Heath of Hoover as the new Chair and Johnny McReynolds of Russellville as Vice-Chair. Heath has served on the Commission since April 2005 and McReynolds since November 2008.
Don Heath, a registered forester in Alabama and graduate of Auburn University, has over 36 years of forestry experience. He is Senior Vice President of Natural Resources and Real Estate with Regions Bank, and currently serves on the boards of directors for White Smith Land Company and Kaul Land Company. Active with the Cahaba Chapter of the Society of American Foresters and the Alabama Forestry Association, he is also a member of the Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Advisory Council. Mr. Heath formerly served as AFC Board Chairman from 2006 through 2007, providing exemplary leadership.
Johnny McReynolds, a registered forester in both Alabama and Mississippi, is a 1971 graduate of Mississippi State University (MSU) with a Bachelors of Science in Forest Management. He also has a B.A. degree in Business Administration and Economics from MSU. Mr. McReynolds has a total of 38 years of forestry experience. He is currently Vice President of Homan Industries where he has been employed for the last 22 years. This company operates two sawmills, one of which is located in Muscle Shoals. Previously, he served as President and Forestry Consultant of Woodlands Managers, Inc. in Russellville. From 1971 through 1985, he was employed as Procurement Manager with Champion International in Courtland, Alabama.
Other members of the Alabama Forestry Commission include immediate past chair Melisa Love of Opelika; Jett Freeman of Spanish Fort; Randy Gilmore of McCalla; Kenneth Real of Detroit; and Jerry Smith of Vernon. This seven-member board, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate, is responsible for setting policy for the Forestry Commission, a state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama's forest resources. To learn more about the AFC, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.