Season 1 | People You Should Know in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 4

#4 | As a Leader, it’s important to remove barriers and limitations for your team

September 15, 2016 | Bettina Ring

At the time of this interview, Bettina Ring was the State Forester for the Commonwealth of Virginia; however, she has since become Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth. Bettina has a long history in the conservation and forestry sectors. In this week’s episode, Bettina offers advice to forestry and natural resource students who are eager to enter into this field as well as provides some lessons to educate them about leadership. Bettina also shares some of the important lessons in leadership she has learned throughout her career that are relevant to all leaders at all levels.

Key Takeaways:

[2:45] How did Bettina get started in forestry?

[6:40] How does Bettina define leadership?

[8:00] How to learn about becoming a better leaders.

[9:15] Many people enter the forestry business because they love being outdoors and surrounded by nature, but it’s also a people-focused business.

[11:25] Bettina talks about some of her mentors and the people who have inspired her.

[14:45] There are more young women working in forestry today compared to years ago.

[15:05] How has forestry education improved over the years?

[16:35] What advice would Bettina offer a young student?

[21:50] Does Bettina have any regrets?

[23:55] What can young professionals do to become better leaders in forestry?

[25:10] Bettina discusses what foresters are good at and what foresters need to be better at.

[28:50] Remember to be authentic and true to yourself.

[29:10] Final thoughts on leadership.

[32:00] We can always lead and we can always make a difference.

[32:10] What’s Bettina’s favorite book?

[33:05] What are some of Bettina’s favorite quotes?

[33:45] Are leaders born or made?

[35:25] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

State Forester Bettina Ring being interviewed for the Leadership Nature Podcast by the host, Tom Davidson, in her office in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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