June 27, 2018
By Tom Davidson
Alex Harvey is a forestry consultant, a Registered Professional Forester in Mississippi and Alabama, a USDA Technical Service Provider, a Wildlife Biologist, and President of Legacy Land Management, LLC, in Longbeach, Mississippi. A graduate of Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources and Wildlife, Alex began his professional career with the Florida Division of Forestry before serving with the U.S. Forest Service on the Allegheny National Forest in Northwest Pennsylvania and then returning to the South to help to develop and pilot the African American Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Program. On today’s show, Alex explains how enriching his work has been, how he sees his work as legacy building for many, and what would help improve the diversity of the forestry profession.
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In addition to the interview, Alex said the following: “If I could offer any advice to my younger self or to anyone who may travel a similar path behind me, I would remind them that being successful and being a leader comes with tremendous responsibility and that the future has a lot in store that you’ve never seen. Failure will happen. Allow it to transform you. Even though, it may not be your failure, it’s still your lesson. There were times early on in my career when I was tasked to either work with or lead a team. Frankly, some of the people who I worked with – people who had seniority – could have been more effective in their roles, which would have reflected on the entire team and/or on me. Having been an African American who had graduated from Mississippi State’s College of Forest Resources, which was the top natural resources management school within the profession in the U.S. at that time, I was very proud and had accomplished what many had told me that I wouldn’t. I had endured and overcome a very challenging and socially difficult environment that wasn’t always welcoming or often helpful and that could be quite hostile. I couldn’t accept the obvious, in that failure or at least the perception thereof at some point as inevitable.”
For much more, please enjoy the full interview below.
[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.
[3:45] How did Alex get started in forestry?
[8:40] Alex shares what it was like to get his first job in forestry.
[13:25] Alex is very proud to have worked with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities and with African American landowners in Alabama and Mississippi.
[18:25] What has been the most memorable or fun job Alex has had so far?
[20:40] What kind of mentors has Alex had over the years?
[28:45] How can we improve diversity in the forestry profession?
[34:30] If you want to be successful in forestry, you have to be able to connect with people in an organic way. Nature unites us!
[39:20] Why did Alex have to build trust with landowners about the forestry profession?
[42:55] What kind of challenges has Alex faced as a person of color in the the profession?
[45:00] Alex shares some of his leadership experiences and the first time he got a leadership role.
[49:15] What advice does Alex have for young forestry professionals?
[53:50] Remember, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to!
Mentioned in This Episode:
Alex on LinkedIn
The Movie: Crimson Tide