Conference Speakers

The below speakers will be presenting at this conference.


Ian Blanden
Director of Forestry, Stora Enso, Beihai, Guangx, China

Ian has over 25 years experience in the management of commercial plantation eucalypt businesses
He is currently the General Manager for Stora Enso’s forestry business, the global renewable materials company, based in the southern province of Guangxi in the People’s Republic of China. Stora Enso’s forestry business in Guangxi comprises of two Joint Ventures with local Chinese partners. Ian provides leadership to a workforce of 600 employees that harvest, manage and maintain a plantation estate of approx. 82,000 ha certified to both FSC and CFCC/PEFC.
Ian manages all aspects of forest operations including government affairs, wood supply and sales & marketing. The business currently supplies over 1 million m3 p.a. to into both the local rotary veneer log market as well as it’s own BCTMP Mill (opened in Q4 of 2016). Stora Enso Guangxi are leaders in the sustainable forest management of eucalypts, as well as mechanisation of both harvesting and silviculture, in China. He has previously been responsible for managing plantation estates in excess of 300,000 hectares and has previously worked for the Gunns Limited Group of companies, North Forest Products and APPM.



David Brand
CEO, New Forests, Australia

David Brand is the founder and CEO of New Forests, an international investment management business with offices in Sydney, Singapore and San Francisco.

New Forests manages $AU2.8 billion in forestry investment funds on behalf of institutional investors. Dr. Brand chairs the investment committee and management committee of New Forests, and chairs portfolio companies Timberlink, a leading sawmilling business, and Forico, the largest forestry management business in Tasmania. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Washington, DC based NGO Forest Trends.

He previously worked as an investment program Director at Hancock Natural Resource Group, as Executive General Manager of State Forests of NSW, and as Director General of Science and Sustainable Development for the Canadian Federal Department of Forestry. He has a B.Sc. in Forestry from the University of Toronto, and a Ph. D in Forestry from the University of British Columbia.


Kevin Burns
Economist, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

Kevin has a range of experience across forestry, land use and climate change disciplines within ABARES. These have included analysing the impacts of Regional Forest Agreements, advising governments on climate change mitigation polices, and estimating reforestation potential under a range of policy scenarios.

Currently he manages the development of spatial modelling frameworks in the Forestry Economics Section, which are used to analyse the economic impacts of various market, policy and environmental factors on land and forest resources and wood processing industries in Australia. This included the development of the Forest Resource Use Model (FORUM) to develop long-term scenarios of investment and resource allocation in Australia’s forestry sector. ABARES also undertakes a variety of surveys of Australia’s forest industries to develop comprehensive datasets and profiles of the sector.


Sviatoslav Bychkov
Managing Director, Communications, ILIM Timber, Russia

Sviatoslav Bychkov is involved with forestry, pulp & paper and wood working industry for the past 15 years. He is currently working for the biggest Russian sawn wood and softwood plywood producer with extensive international operations in Germany and strong presence on all major international sawn timber markets focusing on China. He is primarily responsible for Public Affairs, Government Relations and Strategic business development.

Mr. Bychkov is actively participating in a number of industry related activities:
• Member of the Working Group on Forestry State Policies within Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia;
• Member of the Forest based industries section of Biotech 2030 program under Ministry of Industry and Trade;
• Chairman of the Council of the Russian Economy in Germany;
• Member of Russia Working Group within European Organization of the Sawmill industry.

Ilim Timber Industries has over 3,000 employees and is a leading [exporter of logs] and a global manufacturer of sawn goods, deep processed timber products and softwood plywood.


Andrew Crisp
Principal, Pöyry Management Consulting, London, UK

Andrew Crisp has a BSc (Forestry) and BEcon from Australian National University, and has worked for Pöyry in their Beijing, Shanghai, Melbourne, Singapore and London offices.


Andrew has 18 years of experience in the forest industry and has previously worked for State Forests New South Wales as a resources forester and merchandising forester. He has undertaken a number of feasibility studies, wood market reviews, forest valuations and due diligence exercises. 


Andrew has also undertaken fieldwork on a number of projects in both plantation and natural forests in China, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Russia, Congo, Suriname and Guyana. He has a deep understanding of the main forestry regions and resources in the world and end product markets in China.



Harley Dale
Chief Economist, HIA and ACI, Australia

Harley Dale has 25 years’ experience as an economist, working in academia, consultancy, banking and finance, education, and industry. He has held a wide variety of roles across New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.

Harley began his career focusing on the international economy and retains a keen interest and focus on global economic developments and research. Over more than 17 years now Harley has focused primarily on Australia's construction industry, especially residential. Harley is a highly regarded public speaker and is a regular media commentator.

He joined HIA as the organisation’s Senior Economist in September 2003 and has held the position of Chief Economist since November 2007. Harley manages HIA Economics, and its consultancy arm - Australian Construction Insights, which was launched in late 2014 – and brings together a very experienced team focused on policy research, industry briefings, analysis, and forecasts, augmented by a wide suite of reports and communications together with a demonstrated ability to deliver tailored market research. HIA Economics and Australian Construction Insights combines to be Australia’s market leader in research and forecasts related to both residential and non-residential construction markets, while continuing to provide HIA members with the most comprehensive economic support available anywhere in Australia.


Rob de Fégely
Director, Margules Groome Consulting, Australia

Rob de Fégely is a founding Director of Margules Groome Consulting P/L a forest and forest
industry consulting company based in Australia and New Zealand.

Rob is also a Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Governments’ Forest Industry Advisory Council with Senator The Hon Anne Ruston and he is also the Forestry representative on the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council. He is Chairman of Cape York Timber in far north Queensland and formerly a Director of VicForests, and also the National President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and on the Victorian Advisory Board of Greening Australia.

Rob has worked in the Australian forest industry for 35 years and he is a Registered Professional Forester with a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) degree from the Australian National University and a Master of Science (Forest Business Management) from Aberdeen University in the United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Rural Leadership Program.


John Halkett
Managing Director, Forestlands Consulting, Australia

John Halkett is the managing director of Sydney-based Forestlands Consulting.  The company has expertise in temperate and tropical forest management and forest-based industries. 


He is also the chief executive of the Australian Timber Importers Federation and a director of forest carbon company Leaf Carbon.  John serves on the Board of the Global Timber Forum and is a member of the NSW Forest Industries Taskforce.


He has held senior positions in government forest and conservation agencies in Australia and New Zealand.  John has also worked in the United States, Canada, Papua New Guinea, across Southeast Asia, Myanmar, China, Chile and Africa.  He has written six books on tree-related topics and numerous scientific papers.



Xiaodong (Gavin) Hao
Consultant / Partner, GingKo Consulting, China

Gavin Hao started GingKo Consulting, in Shanghai China, June 2019.


Gavin has worked in the forestry/pulp/paper industry since 2005. He has focused on wood products market research, due diligence, and also has experience in forestry management development, forestry valuation, cost and price benchmarking.


During his time in the industry, Gavin has undertaken projects in China, Russia, South East Asia, Oceania, and Latin America. He has an excellent understanding of the pulp/paper & wood related industries especially in China.


Prior to starting up GingKo Consulting, Gavin was employed in senior positions in China with several international forestry industry companies including: Forestry Consultant with FastMarkets RISI, 2010 – 2019; Consultant at Poyry, 2009 – 2010; and Manager of Stora Enso, 2005 – 2009.


Gavin holds a Masters of Science (Ecology) and Bachelor of Arts (Forestry) from Beijing Forestry University in China



Paul Jannke
Principal, Lumber, Forest Economic Advisors LLC, USA

Paul Jannke is a Principal of Forest Economic Advisors LLC, the premier source for North American wood products analysis and information.

Paul’s main area of expertise is North American lumber markets. Having spent the past 20 years' analyzing lumber markets and providing reliable, insightful forecasts, Paul has become the industry's top economic analyst.

Paul is the author of FEA's "Lumber Advisor" and "Lumber Quarterly Forecasting Service" publications. These publications are the industry's leading sources for forecasts and analysis of the North American lumber markets. In addition, Paul has co-authored numerous studies on the international lumber, timber, bio-energy, and panel industries. Paul has presented at many international conferences on the markets for lumber, engineered wood products and structural panels and he is recognized as a leading expert in these areas.


Geoff Manners
International Director, Chandler Fraser Keating Ltd, New Zealand

Geoff is currently the International Director for Chandler Fraser Keating Ltd. Chandler Fraser Keating Ltd is an Asia Pacific forest consultancy and regularly undertakes resource assessments and forest appraisals for clients in the region.

During the past 20 years, Geoff has undertaken forest industry strategic planning, harvesting and transport, marketing, valuation and acquisition assignments throughout South East Asia, China, Russia and Latin America. His appraisal work includes both financial reporting and forest acquisition appraisals in both plantations and natural forests.


Andrew Metcalfe
Partner, Ernst & Young, Australia

Andrew is a partner in Ernst & Young’s Government and Public Sector advisory practice, based in Canberra, Australia.

He is involved in working with a number of public sector clients in Australia and overseas at a strategic level. Andrew is a member of Ernst & Young’s Oceania Government and Public Sector Advisory Board and he is Ernst & Young’s Agribusiness leader for Oceania. Andrew’s appointment to Ernst & Young in 2014 followed an extensive career at the highest levels of the Australian Government, including as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

Andrew was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2012 for his distinguished public service leadership. He was recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia in 2010 as the ‘Federal Government Leader of the Year’.


Dennis Neilson
Director, DANA (NZ) Ltd, New Zealand

Dennis is a Director of the New Zealand based forest industry advisory, publishing and conference and industry tour organising company, DANA (NZ) Limited.


Dennis has had previous experience in almost all aspects of the forestry and forest products sector working for Fletcher Challenge, and regularly travels to several overseas countries to update his information base on the industry. He has been a Director of TIMO, a eucalyptus plantation- owning company, and a wood export company.


Dennis has been the author/co-author of eleven editions of the New Zealand Forest Industry Sector Review, the most recent published in 2018. He co-authored the 2017 Global Tree Farm Review published by Boston based RISI. Most recently Dennis co-authored a Special Market Analysis Study entitled “Russian Timber: A Growing Force in World Trade” which was published by Fastmarkets RISI in early 2019.


In 2018 Dennis and DANA (NZ) Ltd planned and organised Conferences and Field Trips in Taupo, New Zealand; Launceston, Australia; Villahermosa and Cancun, Mexico; and a co-organised Conference with RISI in New York City; as well as an Industry Tour to China.


2019 – 2020 DANA Events include a co-organised 3- event week with Fastmarkets RISI in the United Kingdom; a Forestry & Agri-Business Investors Tour to Ecuador; Industry Tours in Japan; and Conference and Field Trips in Brisbane, Australia; Shanghai, China; Helsinki, Finland (a Russian Forest Industry Event); Gisborne, New Zealand; and Durban, South Africa.



Tony Price
Managing Director, Midway Ltd, Australia

Tony Price is Managing Director of Midway Ltd, a forestry business with harvesting, processing and export woodchip operations in Victoria, SA, NSW and QLD.
Before joining Midway he has held a number of senior management positions in the hardwood plantation sector and has also run his own consultancy business. Tony has over 30 years experience in the forestry sector and has been involved in all sectors of the industry from plantation establishment through to marketing.
Mr Price holds a Bachelor of Science (Forestry), a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, has attended the International Executive Programme at INSEAD in France and is a graduate member of the AICD .



Ric Sinclair
Managing Director, Forest & Wood Products Australia Ltd (FWPA), Australia

Ric Sinclair is Managing Director for Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA), which is the industry-owned services company responsible for R&D investments, wood promotion and standards co-ordination, and statistics collection for the sector.

Innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement are the cornerstone of all FWPA activities. Over the last eight years, the company has substantially lifted support for forest and wood products, by both consumers and building specifiers, through its research, market development and promotion activities.

Ric has broad industry experience in both the forest and wood products sector and the food sector in the area of public policy, operations, corporate finance and strategy. He has a forestry degree from ANU and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.



Marty Verry
CEO-Chair, Red Stag Group, Rotorua, New Zealand

Marty is the CEO and Chair of Red Stag group, a vertically integrated wood processing group based in Rotorua. The Red Stag group runs the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sawmill, as well as vertically integrated forest, frame and truss, pre-fabrication and property development businesses. A new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) plant is also being commissioned for opening in 2019. 


The Red Stag Timber mill has doubled per employee productivity in the last decade and tripled annual production to 550,000m3, with 900,000 tonnes of logs. 2018 sees the site hit 600,000m3 production from 1 million tonnes of log input. 


Marty facilitates the industry-government working group to implement the coalition government’s wood first programme. His talk will cover the pathway Red Stag has taken and plans underway to make ‘Wood the Norm in Mid-Rise By 2030’ in New Zealand.



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