Season 5 | Professionals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 11

#78 | If you don’t see yourself as a leader, you’ll probably never be one

August 29, 2018 | Travis Perry

Travis Perry is a Forester and currently Territory Manager for Weyerhaeuser Company. He was introduced to his career as a young teenager in high school by attending a Natural Resources Careers Camp sponsored by Westvaco in South Carolina. Travis went on to finish his BS in Forest Resources Management at Clemson University, then his MBA at East Carolina University. In this episode, Travis discusses what it was like to be the only African American in forestry school, how he got started in the field and transitioned to different kinds of business roles, what leadership lessons he’s learned over the years, and the challenges of including more minorities in the field of forestry. One bit of advice he gives to students on this show is, “Get out there and shadow under someone to better understand what the job entails.” Listen to the whole show for more wisdom and good advice now!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:35] A quick intro about Travis’s background.

[3:40] How did Travis get into forestry and natural resources?

[7:40] By going to camp, Travis was exposed to the importance of forestry, and it introduced him to the profession at a young age.

[9:25] Travis shares his experience as the only African American at Clemson University.

[17:40] Because Travis was the only one, he had to work harder to prove his worth and capabilities.

[20:45] The extra pressure taught Travis how to be a better leader and take situations like this as challenges to be better.

[29:10] When Travis goes back to Clemson, the talent that stands out the most are the students who really want to learn and not just get a job.

[31:15] How did Travis make the transition into what he’s doing today?

[42:10] What has been the most fun about Travis’s career so far?

[50:15] Travis discusses some of the challenges of introducing more minorities to forestry.

[58:35] Why is Travis not a doctor or a lawyer or even an engineer?

[1:03:40] You gotta ask the hard questions and also be conscious of what those answers might mean.

Mentioned in This Episode:
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, by John C. Maxwell

Travis assisting students at NY City College of Technology as they participate in the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is an international collegiate competition to design and build an energy-efficient home.

Travis visiting a logging job in Southern Washington as a young forester working for Weyerhaeuser’s Mount St. Helens Tree Farm.


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.