People

The following summarizes biographical information for Senior Executives and select Non-Executive Personnel of TFG:

  Executive Team
  Other Senior Staff Members

  Forestry Positions

  Financial Positions

 



Dr. Chris Zinkhan

Chairman

Dr. Zinkhan provides input into the overall strategic direction of the firm.  He was one of the founders of TFG. Chris is a member of the Management Committee and the Investment Committee.

He has been one of the industry’s primary speakers and authors related to timberland investments.  Chris  is the co-author of Timberland Investments: A Portfolio Perspective (Timber Press, 1992), the first book to address forestland as a separate asset class for the portfolios of individual and institutional investors, and the investments chapter contained in the text, Forests in a Market Economy (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003).  His option pricing application to land valuation was cited in Dr. Robert Merton’s 1997 Nobel Prize economics lecture.  Chris holds a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, M.F. (in forest management) and M.B.A. degrees from Duke University, and a D.B.A. in finance from Mississippi State University.

Among his other positions: Holding Professor of Finance and Dean of Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, analyst of First National Bank of Maryland, director of Johnson C. Smith University’s Center of Banking and Finance, and faculties of University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources, Alice Lloyd College, North Carolina State University’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Among other activities, Dr. Zinkhan is on boards or advisory committees: Immediate Past Chair of the Forest History Society, University of Georgia’s Harley Langdale Jr. Center for Forest Business, the International Society of Forest Resources Economics, Mississippi State University’s Department of Forestry, and West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design.

 

Hunter Jenkins

Managing Director and Senior Vice President – Dispositions

Mr. Jenkins has primary responsibility for coordinating negotiations and due diligence for Forestland dispositions. Hunter was the first professional employee hired by TFG in 1996 and has served in a number of roles since the firm’s inception. Hunter serves on TFG’s Management Committee and Investment Committee.

Hunter holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a M.S. in Management from North Carolina State University, with a focus in forest economics and timberland investments. Hunter’s entire professional career has been in the institutional timberland sector.

Hunter has served in the US Army Reserves as an intelligence analyst and marksmanship instructor. Hunter is a member of the Society of American Foresters and numerous conservation organizations and serves on the Board of the Natural Resources Foundation for the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. In addition, Hunter sits on committees and boards for various civic and church related charities and is active with the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Mike Hincher

Senior Vice President – Forest Operations

Mr. Hincher has primary responsibility for overseeing forest management activities on all properties. He has direct responsibility for each Regional Director of Forestland Operations in the Great Lakes, Appalachia, Northeast, South and Central America. Mike is a member of TFG’s Investment Committee.

Mike holds a B.S. in forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to joining TFG in 1998, Mike served as Forest Resource Manager for Pittston Coal Company and as Procurement Forester for Louisiana-Pacific Corporation where he was responsible for wood procurement across a five-state area.

Mike is actively involved in various state forestry associations and the Society of American Foresters. Mike serves on the Board of the Powell River Project and is a member of the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Mike also serves on the Board of the Holston Conference Foundation, a United Methodist Church planned giving and financial preservation non-profit organization.

 

Blake Stansell

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Stansell oversees investments and operations, implements investment strategy and chairs the Management Committee and the Investment Committee. Prior to his current role he served as the Senior Vice President of Investments with primarily responsibilities related to timberland acquisitions.

Blake holds a B.S. from Presbyterian College and a Master of Forest Resources from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources in Forest Business Management. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and a Registered Forester in the State of North Carolina.

Prior to joining TFG in 2000, Blake was the Senior Associate Appraiser for Canal Forest Resources in Charlotte, North Carolina. At Canal, Blake completed a variety of timberland valuation and investment analysis projects including developing valuation analysis for specific properties, writing appraisal reports, and tracking timberland market trends.

Blake serves on several non-profit Boards including Open Table Ministries, Inc., a local charitable organization serving the homeless community in Durham, NC, and Yolany’s Hope, Inc., an international non-profit focused on support and education for children in Latin America.

 

Lin Thornton

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Thornton has primary responsibility for financial management and administration. Lin engages in selected acquisitions/dispositions involving specialized financial management issues, and oversees all financial-related matters for TFG. Lin serves on TFG’s Investment Committee.

Lin holds a B.B.A. in Trust Management from Campbell University and a B.S. in Accounting from Methodist College. He earned an M.B.A. from Campbell University and a Masters of Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prior to joining TFG in 2001, Lin served as Vice President and CFO of Carolina Packers, Inc., a North-Carolina-based agribusiness concern. Lin was previously employed as a Senior Accountant at Coopers & Lybrand, LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina. Lin served eight years both as an active duty and reserve officer in the United States Army Field Artillery.

Lin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. Lin also serves on the Board of Directors of Carolina Packers, Inc.

Kaarsten Turner Dalby

Senior Vice President – Ecological Services

Ms. Turner Dalby’s primary responsibilities include oversight of the FSC certification program and TFG’s efforts to generate increased revenues from a diversity of ecological services including sales of carbon credits, working-forest conservation easements, wind-energy rights, and monetization of other non-timber attributes of forestland ownership. Kaarsten is a member of TFG’s Investment Committee.

Kaarsten holds a B.A. from Smith College, an M.S. from the University of Montana School of Forestry, and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. Prior to joining TFG in 1998, Kaarsten worked for a Boston-based TIMO and has worked for a number of domestic and international conservation organizations on public and private land management issues.

Kaarsten has professional affiliations with the Society of American Foresters and is Treasurer of the Forest Stewards Guild. Currently, Kaarsten serves on the Board of Directors of the World Forestry Center.

 

Dr. Alex Finkral

Chief Forester

Dr. Finkral’s primary responsibility is advising the TFG regional forestry staff and TFG’s forest management consultants on silvicultural and forest management planning issues. In addition, Alex manages research efforts aimed at improving forest management practices on TFG-owned properties.

Dr. Finkral holds a B.S in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and M.F. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is a certified Forester in the State of Connecticut.

Prior to joining TFG, Alex was an Assistant Professor of Forest Management at Northern Arizona University School of Forestry. Prior to his faculty position, Alex served as the manager of Yale University’s School Forests. In addition to his work in the US, Dr. Finkral has worked on forestry research and management projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of the Congo, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Fiji.

Alex is a member of the Forest Stewards Guild, the Society of American Foresters, and a member of the USDA Forestry Research Advisory Committee.

 

Benjamin Tarbutton

Vice President – Investor Relations

Mr. Tarbutton’s primary responsibility is overseeing business development, marketing and investor relations. Benjie holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a JD/MBA from the University of Georgia.

Prior to joining TFG, Benjie served as co-owner and manager of Seaboard Operating Company, a family owned investment vehicle overseeing the management of significant timberlands in central and southeast Georgia. From 1996-2006, Benjie was an attorney with Sutherland in Atlanta, Georgia, where he focused on a wide array of commercial real estate transactions, including institutional timberland transactions. During this time, he represented TFG in multiple transactions.

Benjie is past Chair and serves on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Forestry Association, is a member of the Upper Oconee Regional Water Council and is a former Board member of the Georgia Lottery Corporation. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and serves on the University of Georgia Law School Alumni Council and is a former member of the Episcopal High School Alumni Council.

 

Shawn Hagan

Senior Director of Forest Operations – Great Lakes Region

Mr. Hagan is Senior Director of Forest Operations for the Great Lakes Region with responsibility for overseeing the on-the-ground management activities for the approximately 400,000 acres owned by the Prior Affiliated Funds in the region.

Prior to his employment with TFG in 1999, Mr. Hagan served as District Lands Manager for Mead Corporation where he managed over 100,000 acres of forestlands.  Mr. Hagan’s experience also includes teaching natural resources management at Northland College and work for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Mr. Hagan has a B.S. in forestry and an M.S. in forest ecology from Michigan Technological University.  He is a Registered Forester in Michigan and a member of the Society of American Foresters, for which he received the President’s Award-“Outstanding Field Forester” in 2010.  He serves on the Advisory Board to the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University, the Wisconsin Private Forestry Advisory Committee and the Iron County Deer Advisory Council.  Mr. Hagan has served on several Michigan and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources committees and is a past president of Copper Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited and served on the Elm River Township board as Planning Commission Chair and Supervisor.

 

Matt Sampson

Senior Director of Forest Operations – Northeast Region

Mr. Sampson is Senior Director of Forest Operations for the Northeast Region with responsibility for overseeing the on-the-ground management activities for the approximately 597,000 acres owned by the Prior Affiliated Funds in the region.

Prior to his employment with TFG in 2000, Mr. Sampson served as a Forest Management Analyst for Westvaco Corporation’s Appalachian Forest Operations. In addition, Mr. Sampson served as a Cooperative Forest Management Forester at Westvaco where he directed forest management regimes for non-industrial private landowners. Earlier in his career, Mr. Sampson worked as an associate forester with a leading forestry consulting firm.

Mr. Sampson has a B.S. in Industrial Forest Operations and an M.B.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters.

 

Elizabeth Martinez

Senior Director of Geographic Information Systems/Information Technology

Ms. Martinez is the Senior Director of Geographic Information Systems and Information Technology with management responsibility for TFG’s operational plans and data integration for research and reporting. Responsibilities include digital mapping and reporting for fund properties, acquisition due-diligence mapping, mobile mapping, in-house technology training and technical support, and integration of GIS with the FIP system. Her IT responsibilities include maintenance and updating of hardware and software, server integration and remote access, disaster recovery plans, technology purchasing and IT support.

Prior to her employment with TFG in 1997, Ms. Martinez was a Research Associate at The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, focusing on the development and testing of national surveys. Prior to RTI, Ms. Martinez was with the Ministry of Works Head Office in Wellington, New Zealand, and was responsible for resource planning for Northland, New Zealand.

Ms. Martinez has a B.A. in Environmental Planning from the University of California Santa Cruz and an M.R.P. (Planning) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Martinez is a Certified Geographic Information Science Professional (GISP) and Vice President of the ESRI Forestry Group.

 

Thresa Henderson

Senior Director of Forest Information Systems

Ms. Henderson serves as the Senior Director of Forest Information Systems (FIS). Her responsibilities include comprehensive inventory database management which includes establishing initial volumes by species at the time of property acquisition, maintaining current inventory volume through harvest removals, recognition of biological growth, property additions, management cruise volume updates, and disposition removals. In addition, Ms. Henderson works as a liaison for TFG as a member of the Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium. In this capacity, she provides information to the Chief Forester for potential research projects, and assists the Senior Vice President of Forest Operations in communicating with this organization. Previously, Ms. Henderson served as the Director of Forest Information Systems and assisted the former Director of FIS as a consultant to TFG in 2003 until being hired as a permanent employee in July of 2004.

Prior to her employment with TFG in 2004, Ms. Henderson was the Controller for the North Carolina office of a Pennsylvania-based information technology corporation. She worked in an accounting capacity for 15 years prior to returning to school for post-graduate work in forestry.

Ms. Henderson has a B.S. in Business Administration from Appalachian State University, and a Master of Forestry from North Carolina State University. She is a professional member of the Society of American Foresters. She is the 2016 Chair of the North Carolina Division of the Appalachian Society of American Foresters.

 

Dave Fehringer

Regional Director – Great Lakes Region

Mr. Fehringer is Regional Director of Forest Operations for the Great Lakes Region with reporting responsibility to the Senior VP Forest Operations in overseeing the on-the-ground management activities for the approximately 620,000 acres owned by the Prior Affiliated Funds in the region.

Prior to his employment with TFG in 2003, Mr. Fehringer served as Forestry Coordinator and District Manager for International Paper Company where he directed harvesting and forestry operations on 230,000 acres of forestlands. Mr. Fehringer’s experience also includes forestry instruction at Michigan Technological University.

Mr. Fehringer has a B.S. in forestry from Michigan Technological University, where he also pursued post-graduate studies in Wildlife Management. He is a Registered Forester in Michigan and a member of the Society of American Foresters.

 

Greg Wilhelm

Regional Director – Appalachian Region

Mr. Wilhelm is Regional Director of Forest Operations for the Appalachian Region with reporting responsibility to the Senior VP Forest Operations in overseeing the on-the-ground management activities for approximately 280,000 of the acres owned by the Prior Affiliated Funds in the region.

Prior to his employment with TFG in 2003, Mr. Wilhelm served as Forest Technician II for MeadWestvaco where he directed harvesting and forestry operations on 140,000 acres of forestlands. Mr. Wilhelm’s responsibilities also included oversight of boundary line maintenance, road construction and tree planting programs.

Mr. Wilhelm has an A.A.S. in Forestry from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. He is a Registered Forest Technician in West Virginia, a member of the Society of American Foresters and serves as a West Virginia Forestry Association Board Member.

  

Greg Bailey

Regional Director – Southern Region

Mr. Bailey is Regional Director of Forest Operations for the Southern Region with reporting responsibility to the Senior VP Forest Operations in overseeing the on-the-ground management activities for approximately 630,000 of the acres in the region.

Prior to his employment with TFG, Mr. Bailey served as a Forester and GIS/Data Specialist for American Forest Management, Inc.  Mr. Bailey’s responsibilities included property management, GIS operations and mapping, forest inventory and auditing, and data management.

Mr. Bailey has a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry from the University of Tennessee. He is a Registered Forester in North Carolina and member of the Forestry Associations in Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. He is an active member of the Society of American Foresters, where he has served as East Tennessee Chapter Chair and Treasurer, Secretary/Treasurer, and Newsletter Editor for the Kentucky-Tennessee State Region. Mr. Bailey is also a proud Veteran of the United States Army ( 1987-92).

 

Sam Rorabaugh

Director Timberland Transactions

Mr. Rorabaugh is Director Timberland Transactions and is involved with Forestland acquisition due diligence and valuation modeling as well as valuation and marketing activities related to Forestland dispositions. He also coordinates third-party appraisals and timber and timberland market analysis. Prior to his current role, Mr. Rorabaugh served as Forestland Analyst.

While in undergraduate and graduate schools, Mr. Rorabaugh held a diverse array of internships and other temporary positions, including timberland market and country risk analysis for First Forest GmbH in Munich, Germany, southern pine management for Weyerhaeuser Co.’s North Carolina Timberlands, consulting forestry work in Pennsylvania, and procurement and operations work for his family’s hardwood lumber mill in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Rorabaugh has a B.S. in Forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Master of Forest Resources from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources in Forest Business Management. Professionally, Mr. Rorabaugh has presented research through the Southern Forest Economist Workers (SOFEW) organization and at the Center for Forest Business at the University of Georgia’s Timberland Investment Conference.

 

Joe Schwartz

Forestland Analyst

Mr. Schwartz is the Forestland Analyst, engaged in forestland acquisition due diligence and valuation modeling. He coordinates third-party appraisals and property-level timber inventories and provides fund-level budgeting support. In addition, he assists with timber-market analysis; supports efforts involving the forest information database and GIS system; and serves as a link between the operations, accounting, and transactional arms of the firm. Prior to his current role, Mr. Schwartz served as the Assistant Regional Director in the Southern Region.

Prior to his employment with TFG in 2012, Mr. Schwartz served as Resource Forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation where he assisted in the marketing and promotion of the state’s various timber products. He was also responsible for the management of state-owned forestlands, private landowner assistance, wildland-fire suppression, and other forestry-related public outreach assistance in a three-county district. Before his public-sector position, Mr. Schwartz worked for a private forestry consulting firm where, among other duties, he was responsible for the management of a TFG-managed property in Missouri. Mr. Schwartz also held a temporary position with MeadWestvaco’s Forest Research Division in northern Michigan and worked as a private forestry inventory and GIS contractor in the Central and Lake States.

Mr. Schwartz holds a B.S. in Forest Science from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science in Forestry from Michigan Technological University. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters.

 

Erika Viall, CPA, CGMA

Chief Accounting Officer

Ms. Viall is Chief Accounting Officer with overall responsibility for financial reporting, managerial accounting, and financial operations for the investment funds administered by TFG. Her primary financial management responsibilities are quarterly financial reporting, including fair value and foreign-exchange matters; financial return analysis; ensuring debt financing compliance; coordination of the annual audit; maintenance of an adequate system of accounting records; and ensuring that the fund’s accounting procedures conform to generally accepted accounting principles.

Prior to her employment with TFG in 2001, Ms. Viall was a Senior Accountant with Ernst & Young, LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina. At Ernst & Young, she performed all phases of financial audits for a diverse client base, including TFG. Previously, Ms. Viall was employed in accounting functions at regional public accounting firms in Louisville, Kentucky and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. In addition, Ms. Viall was an Assistant Accountant with Duke Energy in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Ms. Viall has a B.S. in Accounting from North Carolina State University. Ms. Viall is a Certified Public Accountant in North Carolina, a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants.

 

Valerie Holt Leary, CPA, CGMA

Financial Reporting Director

Ms. Leary is the Financial Reporting Director with primary responsibility for managing cash flow functions and associated treasury operations. In addition, she reports directly to the Senior Director of Financial Operations providing primary support in quarterly financial reporting and annual audits across all TFG affiliated Funds.

Ms. Leary began her career with TFG in 1998 and has worked as a Staff and Senior Accountant and Financial Reporting Manager across various accounting functions.

Ms. Leary holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, and a separate Accounting Concentration from North Carolina State University. Ms. Leary is a Certified Public Accountant in North Carolina and a member of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where she serves as a panel discussion leader. Ms. Leary is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

 

Glenn Wallace, CPA

Senior Director of Risk Management and Taxation

Mr. Wallace is Senior Director of Risk Management and Taxation with primary responsibility for coordinating the Prior Affiliated Funds’ income tax reporting and compliance. He also serves on TFG’s financial reporting team. Areas of responsibility include investment return analysis, associated compliance with the New Markets Tax Credit debt financing program, REIT qualification testing, and chairing of the firm’s Risk Management Committee.

Mr. Wallace has over 22 years of financial accounting and corporate tax experience with public and private companies. Prior to his employment with TFG in 2010, Mr. Wallace was the Controller for Pappas Ventures, a life science biotechnology venture capital firm with approximately $350 million under management. At Pappas Ventures, Mr. Wallace was responsible for financial and tax reporting as well as portfolio company valuations, liquidation and reserve analysis, management reporting to the firm’s investment committee, and various special projects related to the disposition of the firm’s portfolio companies.

Prior to Pappas Ventures, Mr. Wallace was the Controller for Southeast Interactive Technology Funds, a technology focused venture firm that had approximately $175 million under management. He has also served as the Assistant Controller for AAIPharma, a publicly traded pharmaceutical development company, where he focused on corporate accounting and SEC reporting.

Prior to AAIPharma, Mr. Wallace was a senior corporate tax consultant and financial analyst with Qualex, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company’s largest domestic subsidiary with over one billion dollars in annual revenue. At Qualex, Mr. Wallace spent three years in the corporate tax department focusing on federal and multistate tax planning and compliance before transitioning to the corporate finance department where he was responsible for the financial analysis of Colortron Photo Services Ltd., Qualex Inc.’s wholly owned Canadian subsidiary with approximately $50 million (Canadian) in annual revenues.

Mr. Wallace began his career as a Tax Staff Accountant and Senior Tax Accountant with Ernst and Young, LLP.

Mr. Wallace has a B.S. in Business Administration and a Masters in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and an associate member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.