National Forest Foundation

National Forest Leadership Council

Bernie Weingardt

Bernie Weingardt retired from the U.S. Forest Service where he served as Pacific Southwest Regional Forester. In this position, he oversaw 18 National Forests in California, which make up 20 million acres covering the North coast, Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges and extending from Big Sur to the Mexican border in the South Coast range. His responsibilities also include assistance to state and private landowners in California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Mr. Weingardt was formerly Deputy Regional Forester for Resources in the Pacific Southwest Region from January 2001 until his current appointment. Before that, he served five years as Forest Supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. He began his Forest Service career in 1970 as a seasonal employee on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado working in recreation and fire.

In 1974 he became a full-time employee, and through a series of natural resource management positions, gained experience and expertise, working his way up to District Ranger on the San Juan National Forest in 1980. A second District Ranger position followed in 1986 on the Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest in Colorado. In 1989 he became the Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington until 1993 when he was appointed as Team Leader for the National Recreation Strategy at the Forest Service’s headquarters in Washington DC. Mr. Weingardt holds a degree in Forest Management Science from Colorado State University. His favorite pastimes include carpentry and skiing, hiking and camping in the great outdoors. He is married and the proud father of a happy, energetic 2 year old.

Kathleen Atkinson

Kathleen Atkinson became the Regional Forester for the Eastern Region in February 2013. Prior to this she spent almost six years in Washington DC, as the Associate Deputy Chief for Business Operations, the Director of Strategic Planning, Budget and Accountability, as well as Budget Coordinator for the National Forest System. Kathleen has worked for the Forest Service for the past 31 years, beginning as a seasonal employee in Wyoming. She has held many assignments over her long career, working in a variety of positions and geographical locations. Kathleen has held several line officer positions, including Forest Supervisor for the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia, Deputy Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Florida, and District Ranger on the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. Before this she was a recreation planner on the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona, a timber management assistant on the Ocala National Forest in Florida, a certified silviculturist on the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota, and worked in several positions on the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. Her education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota. Kathleen grew up on a farm in southwest Michigan. She enjoys bicycling, horseback riding and mosaics.

​Doug Crandall

Doug Crandall is currently the Staff Director for the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health in Washington D.C. For two years previous to that appointment he was Vice President for the National Forest Foundation, a private nonprofit conservation organization that works in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. For four years before that, Doug was again Staff Director for the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. Before working for Congress, Doug spent five years as Director of Federal Forests for the American Forest and Paper Association, where he was responsible for National Forest issues. Prior to that, he spent ten years managing a lumber company -- including mill, remanufacturing facility, and logging operations - in Livingston, Montana. Previous to that, Doug spent four years on the Brazilian Amazon, first as a forester and float-plane pilot, then as a plywood mill manager. Doug graduated with a Bachelors of Science in forestry from Oregon State University in 1979 where he was selected by faculty as the most outstanding graduating senior. He has been a member and officer of numerous forestry, industry, and community organizations.

Brian Ferebee

On September 30, 2016, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell appointed agency veteran Brian Ferebee as the Regional Forester of the Rocky Mountain Region (R2). Prior to this appointment, Brian was serving as the Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System, where he was responsible for the policy, oversight, and direction of the natural resource programs for the 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands. Brian has served in a variety of leadership positions, including Deputy Regional Forester for the Rocky Mountain Region, Forest Supervisor on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Forest Supervisor on the Uinta National Forest, Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and the Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, and District Ranger on the Kamas and Logan Districts of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests.

Earlier assignments include the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest in Idaho; wildlife biologist and district ranger on the Salt Lake, Kamas and Logan Ranger Districts of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest; and Wildlife Program Manager in the Intermountain Region’s Regional Office in Ogden, Utah.

Brian was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina State University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource management. He and his wife, Kate, enjoy outdoor experiences and international travel.

Scott Fossel

Background: Age 51. Scott was born in Connecticut, raised in New Hampshire and now lives in Connecticut and Wyoming with his wife Petria and two children, a daughter (Christina, age 15) and a son (Pieter, age 11). Interests include: politics, flying, investing, skiing, fishing, hiking, bow hunting and mountain climbing. Business: Currently a consultant and private investor. For the prior eleven years he invested equity for Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd. With eleven professional employees, CVC has earned in excess of $2.4 billion for Citicorp over the prior 10 years. Has served on the Boards of Directors of eight public and private companies with sales from $30 million to $2.7 billion. As a director, responsibilities covered all disciplines including finance, operations, marketing, compensation and strategic planning. Scott has worked at Solomon Brothers, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., and Continental Bank. Education: B,A. Lake Forest College. Lake Forest, Illinois.

Received prizes as the outstanding freshman and as the Outstanding Senior- President of Student Government, Managing Editor of College newspaper. Editor of Yearbook and College Scholar. MBA Amos Tuck School Dartmouth College in Finance. CIVIC: Formerly the Connecticut State Finance Chairman for Republican Party. Served two terms as director, then President and finally Chairman of the Boys & Girts Club of Greenwich. Just completed second and final term as a trustee of Lake Forest College. Has also served on the board of the Greenwich Land Trust, the Republican Town Committee, and was President of the Board of the Putnam Indian Field School and Chairman of the Properties Commission for Christ Church. He was Campaign manager for a U.S. Senate race and as Chairman of a successful race for State Treasurer.

Russell Fraker

Russell Fraker is an associate at the original environmental law firm, Beveridge & Diamond, PC, in Washington, DC, where he works on domestic, Canadian and Latin American issues. Raised by wildlife biologist parents in western Canada and Alaska, Russell spent much of his youth in remote areas, including several summers in Inuvialuit whaling camps. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Russell worked as a biologist, environmental consultant, commercial fisheries observer, and marine liaison for undersea cables, and in the late 1990s was the National Forest Foundation’s original program manager. A speaker of Portuguese and Spanish and a dedicated traveler, he has worked in over a dozen Latin American countries. Russell has degrees from Reed College, Yale University and Vanderbilt University Law School. He lives in Elkridge, Maryland, with his wife, Johns Hopkins University professor Daniela Barbosa, and their four sons, Mark, Daniel, Alex and Patrick.

Chris French

He began his USDA career in 1991 on the Coronado National Forest in Arizona as volunteer in recreation. From there, he has worked in planning, NEPA, fire, fuels, wildlife, and recreation/wilderness. Prior to his current role, Chris has served in several key Agency Leadership Positions including, Associate Deputy Chief, Director of Ecosystem Management Coordination, and Acting Director of Forest Management. As Acting Deputy Chief, he is responsible for national policy and oversight of the natural resource programs managing 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands.

Chris is a graduate of Arizona State University, an avid outdoor enthusiast, and advocate for our nations public land legacy. He serves as a coach and mentor to several of the agency’s leadership programs and volunteers with several youth conservation programs. He and wife, Jenny live in Northern Virginia and have three children.

W. Grant Gregory, Sr.

W. Grant Gregory, Sr. founded Gregory & Hoenemeyer, Inc., a merchant banking and LBO firm headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. He has particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, LBOs, IPOs, the design of new financial instruments, strategies to increase shareholder value, organization, human resources management and corporate finance. Mr. Gregory retired as Chairman of the Board after completing 24 years with Touche Ross & Co. He developed first-hand business experience in a wide range of industries and countries while servicing the 100 largest clients. Upon becoming Chairman of Touche Ross, Gregory was charged with the responsibility of insuring the firm’s U.S. performance. Mr. Gregory graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska in 1964, where he was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, as well as The Builder Award, the University’s highest non-academic recognition. He has completed advanced management courses at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business, at New York University, and attended the Air Force War College. An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Gregory’s special interests include golf, wildlife habitat management, skiing, sporting clays, fly-fishing and Labradors. Mr. Gregory is a member of the Blind Brook Club, Round Hill Club, GlenArbor Golf Club, The Links Club, Clove Valley, and Round Hill Community Church. Mr. Gregory, his wife, and family reside in Greenwich, Connecticut and Buffalo, Wyoming.

Spencer B. Haber

Spencer B. Haber is Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of H/2 Capital Partners, a multi-billion dollar alternative investment management business in real estate. Mr. Haber was responsible for the Firm's formation, and oversees all aspects of the H/2 funds' investment, financing and risk management activities, with a primary emphasis on identifying and evaluating potential investments and managing risk. Mr. Haber was formerly President and a member of the Board of Directors of iStar Financial Inc. (NYSE: SFI), the largest independent commercial real estate finance company in the U.S. Having spent the past 18 years active across all aspects of real estate capital markets and investment finance, Mr. Haber is a recognized industry figure and has structured, originated or invested in a wide array of structured and corporate real estate fixed income instruments.

Over that time, he has also developed wide-ranging relationships with the major market participants in the finance and real estate industries, and is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences, panels and other events. Mr. Haber holds a bachelors degree in economics summa cum laude and a masters degree in business administration from the Wharton School, where he graduated a Palmer Scholar. Mr. Haber is a member of various industry associations, including the Pension Real Estate Association, Urban Land Institute, Commercial Mortgage Securities Association, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and Wharton Real Estate Center. Mr. Haber lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, and is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Bruce Museum and the Greenwich Land Trust.

Calvin N. Joyner

Cal Joyner is the Regional Forester of the Southwestern Region, US Forest Service. He has more than 38 years with the agency, beginning his career in 1980 as a hydrologist and environmental coordinator in Oregon. He has held numerous positions at all levels of the Forest Service, in both the eastern and western United States, including the Southwest, where he served as Associate Forest Supervisor of the San Juan-Rio Grande National Forests and Area Manager of the San Juan Resource Area of BLM-Colorado in 1995. Joyner assumed his current position in 2013. Prior to that, he was an Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System in the Washington, D.C., office.

David McIntyre

David McIntyre is a retired paper industry executive and was born in Munising, Michigan on the south shore of Lake Superior. His life long love of the outdoors began there and it was the opportunity to be outdoors and in the forest that attracted him to a career in the paper industry. Little did he know that a large portion of his career would be in New York City! He retired from Westvaco Corporation in 2002 where he was Group Vice President and General Manager of their Packaging Group. He also served as their Senior Vice President of Operations. David previously worked for Bowater Incorporated as Senior Vice President of Operations and prior to that worked in various technical and manufacturing positions with St. Regis, Champion, and Hammermill corporations. David earned his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He also completed the Stanford University Executive Program. He served in many industry associations and was Chairman of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Paper Science and Technology. He and his wife Barbara (who he met skiing) enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, boating, and fishing (mostly by David) and spend a remarkable amount of time in our National Forests. They reside on Dewees Island, South Carolina.

Randy Moore

Randy Moore became Pacific Southwest Regional Forester in October 2007, giving him overall responsibility for 18 National Forests in California, covering one-fifth of the state or 20 million acres of land, as well as responsibility for State & Private Forestry programs in Hawaii and the affiliated Pacific Islands. He was previously the Regional Forester for the Eastern Region headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a position he took in 2002.

A native of Bastrop, Louisiana, Moore graduated from Southern University and began his federal career with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service in North Dakota. He started his U.S. Forest Service career on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests in Colorado, and the Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands in Kansas. He served as Deputy Forest Supervisor on the National Forest of North Carolina and the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, before serving as the Forest Supervisor of the Mark Twain National Forest.

He served in numerous other assignments at the local, regional, and national levels, and has been a catalyst for change and creativity in how the Agency does its business of caring for the land and serving people.

Moore also has national-level experience in Washington, D.C., serving as acting Associate Deputy Chief and the National Deputy Soils Program Manager. He also served in the Legislative Fellows Program working with former U.S. Senator Johnston (D-LA).

Randy and his wife Antoinette have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.

Beth Pendleton

Beth Pendleton, retired as Alaska Regional Forester in 2018 following a 33-year career with the U.S. Forest Service and natural resources sector. As Regional Forester, Pendleton oversaw management of more than 22 million acres of National Forest System lands in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska. She worked closely with the region’s diverse stakeholders and communities of interest, especially on issues related to forest restoration and strengthening rural community health. She holds a bachelor’s in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont, a master’s in wildlife and fisheries from South Dakota State University and a master’s in communications from the University of Wyoming. She is a graduate of Harvard’s Senior Executive Fellows Program and American University’s Key Leadership program. She brings natural resources management and communications expertise to the NFF NFLC, as well as, a passion for ensuring the health and vitality of the Nation’s forests and grasslands for present and future generations.

Randy Peterson

Randy J Peterson has recently retired from Land’s End where he was Vice President and led the Engineering, Corporate Services and Sustainability groups for over 15 years. During that period Randy provided leadership for a diverse group responsible for global facilities (planning, design & construction/project management, real estate), process/systems engineering, administrative services and enterprise wide sustainability. Randy also currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Clean Lakes Alliance in Madison, Wisconsin. With over 25 years of increasingly responsible engineering, project management and corporate leadership roles with companies such as Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, and Sperry; Randy brought to Lands' End and the Clean Lake Alliance a variety of experiences, and knowledge of some leading practices in industrial engineering, facilities management, accountable leadership, and corporate social responsibility. Currently, Randy is the Principle consultant for LRP Consultants LLC.

Randy possesses a B.S. from the College of Engineering, Arizona State University an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Lake Forest, Illinois, and a professional certification for Georgia Institute of Technology in Supply Chain and Logistics.

An avid sportsman, Randy enjoys fishing in any of Wisconsin's many lakes and golfing pretty much anywhere around the country. He and his wife Linda enjoy traveling to exciting places in the U.S. and abroad. They have three adult-aged children who all lead very successful careers of their own.

Leslie Weldon

Leslie Weldon is the Deputy Chief for National Forest System with the USDA Forest Service. In this role, Leslie is the executive responsible for National policy, oversight and direction for the natural resource programs managing 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands. These programs provide vision and transformational initiatives for an agency with multiple missions, including outdoor recreation, watershed and forest health, land management planning, wilderness, fisheries and wildlife habitat, realty, fire management, forest products, grazing, energy and minerals, forest roads, data and information and facilities; so they best demonstrate sustainable multiple-use management, using an ecological approach, to provide benefits to citizens.

From 2009 – 2011, Leslie served as Regional Forester for the Northern Region of the Forest Service. In this position she provided oversight for management of 28 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands as well as State & Private Forestry programs in Northern Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.

From June 2000 through June 2007, Leslie served as Forest Supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest in Bend, Oregon. Leslie led management of natural resources, business operations and customer service for the 1.6 million acre Deschutes National Forest in the rapidly growing community of Bend. The Deschutes National Forest is defined by robust programs including premiere year-round outdoor recreation, watershed and aquatic restoration, forest health restoration and fire management on complex fire-adapted ecosystems and commercial forest products. Programs also include heritage resources, transportation and facilities management, geology and minerals, fish and wildlife, and extensive outreach and partnership programs. Leslie worked closely with people and organizations interested in the stewardship of the forest for various uses including strong interagency programs with the Bureau of Land Management.

Leslie held the position of External Affairs Officer in the Office of the Chief from June 2007 - October 2009. During this time she was responsible for several national programs including Legislative Affairs, Office of Communication, Press Office, and the National Partnership Office.

Leslie’s 36 year career with the Forest Service began in 1981 as a summer hire monitoring seedlings, fighting forest fires, and surveying spotted owls on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington. During this time she began training in fisheries through the coop-education program. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech (1983), she was hired as a fisheries biologist for three districts on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest where she worked restoring habitat for salmon and steelhead.

Between 1987 and 1991, Leslie served as Assistant National Fisheries Program Manager and as a staff biologist for the Northern Region. She was Assistant Ranger and District Ranger on the Stevensville Ranger District, Bitterroot National Forest from 1992 – 1996 where she led extensive local public involvement efforts to implement collaborative, ecosystem-based management of forestlands. From mid-1996 through 1998, Leslie served with the Northeastern Area, State & Private Forestry, as Forest Service Liaison to the U.S. Army Environmental Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In this role, she pioneered an interagency partnership for technical assistance in natural and cultural resource management on U.S. Army bases and other military installations state-side and overseas. From 1998 through 2000, Leslie served as Executive Policy Assistant to Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck. As executive policy assistant, Leslie assisted in managing operational priorities for the Chief, across programs for National Forest Systems, Legislative Affairs, Research and Development, State & Private Forestry, International Programs, Business Operations, Civil Rights, and Financial Management.

She has participated on numerous national and international technical and policy review activities including Congo Basin, Brazil, Peru, China, Argentina and Germany. Her work has involved identifying shared solutions and working closely with partners from academia, conservation, as well as environmental and community groups, local government, and natural resource related businesses. She is a committed leader to workforce diversity, leadership development, and civil rights.

Leslie is married to Michael Weldon. They have adult twin sons - Joseph and Kevin.