June 14, 2017
By Tom Davidson
Kathy Abusow is the President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI®), a non-profit organization dedicated to responsible forestry. SFI’s success is founded on their conservation research, community partnerships and third party certification to the SFI Standard on approximately 200 million acres of forest land across North America. Under Kathy’s leadership, SFI Inc. established a multi-million dollar conservation research grant program, which included funding the World Resources Institute’s risk information tool to assist with the avoidance of illegal logging. Kathy earned an undergraduate degree from McGill University and a M.A. from Harvard University with a concentration in sustainable development of natural resources. A sought after speaker and thought leader, Kathy is also Chair of the PEFC US Governing Body.
[1:10] A quick intro about Kathy’s background.
[4:00] How did Kathy get started in natural resources?
[9:30] How did Kathy first enter formal leadership positions?
[13:15] Kathy discusses some of her role models and mentors that have made a big impact on her.
[14:34] Kathy points out that you can rise and you can fall to people’s expectations.
[16:16] If you’re not in the right position for you, then you’ve got the power to get someplace where you can thrive!
[16:45] How does SFI help students?
[20:35] SFI is not only affecting the forest supply chain but the people supply chain in natural resources.
[21:25] After being in this industry for over 25 years, Kathy has seen a shift in the demographics of the forestry community. She used to be the only woman in the room in this sector!
[25:30] What do future leaders need to know about forestry in the coming years?
[27:40] What leadership lessons did Kathy wish she had learned earlier in her career?
[32:00] When you can see yourself in an organization, you’re more likely to be attracted to that profession.
[33:25] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!
Mentioned in This Episode:
Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice, by Pamela Matson, William C. Clark, and Krister Andersson