Season 5 | Professionals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 18

#85 | Fear is a choice

November 7, 2018 | Alex Singleton

Alex Singleton is Fiber Specialist at International Paper’s Port Wentworth Cellulose Fibers Mill in Georgia. He is responsible for the overall management of wood purchases and deliveries into the mill and wet storage yard, as well as the managing the on-site chip mill. Prior to this, Alex was a Procurement Forester for Weyerhaeuser and a Harvest Manager for Mead Westvaco Paper to name a few positions. His professional preparation includes a BS in forest resource management from Clemson University and an MBA from Charleston Southern University. Not only is he Past Board Chair for the Center of Heirs Property Preservation, Alex also started a minority career camp for MeadWestvaco that exposed over 100 students to careers in natural resources. On today’s episode, Alex discusses how he got introduced to forestry, what he learned from his experiences, his enthusiasm for the profession, and his hope and advice for others entering the field. “When you’re breaking down barriers,” he says, “Don’t let that little voice deter you from doing something great.” Listen to the whole interview now below, and subscribe to the podcast on the right!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:35] A quick intro to Alex’s background.

[3:25] How did Alex get into forestry and natural resources?

[8:50] Alex grew up with forestry all around him, and he didn’t even know it!

[11:55] What was it like going to college for forestry?

[18:20] Alex never felt out of place while he was in school despite being one of very few black students.

[19:55] What was Alex’s first job outside of school like?

[27:20] Alex became a District Forester when he was only in his 20s!

[33:25] Never stop networking! It will set you up for success no matter what field you’re in.

[37:50] What does Alex do in his current role at International Paper?

[42:25] Alex is so proud that he is able to share what he knows with African American students and young professionals in natural resources.

[47:05] In the beginning, it was a struggle trying to recruit young folks into the industry.

[53:05] Learn about why Alex had a parent thank him for saving their child’s life!

[59:40] You can become paralyzed by the big choices that are facing you, but you gotta square up to things and just move forward.

Mentioned in This Episode:
Alex on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-singleton-20a149127/
The Movie: After Earth, starring Will Smith
The Book: Invictus, by William Ernest Henley


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