Conference Speakers

The below speakers will be presenting at this conference.


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.


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



Robin Jack
Founder and recently retired CEO/Director, XLam, New Zealand

Robin Jack drew on decades of experience with timber processing equipment at the helm of W & R Jack Ltd to establish XLam NZ Ltd, the first and still the only manufacturer of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in the southern hemisphere.

Although CLT has a 20+ year track record as a structural system in Europe, adaption was needed to suit Australasia’s species and building systems. That work is largely complete and locally manufactured CLT is now experiencing good take-up in residential and commercial markets on both sides of the Tasman.

Championing change in the conservative construction industry is not for the faint-hearted, and Robin has this month retired from XLam, his mission completed. He will talk about the XLam story and the company’s exciting plans for expansion.


Don Johnson
Marketing Manager, Pan Pac Forest Products Lumber Division, New Zealand

Don Johnson has been involved with the New Zealand timber industry for more that thirty years, focusing on market development predominantly in the Asian regions.

His roles have included development of treated programmes into Australia, early development of structural programmes into Thailand and chairman of Wood Innovations (China). He has led several trade missions to Asian countries and has presented in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Don is currently Marketing Manager for Pan Pac Forest Products Lumber Division and chairman of the exporting group NZPEC.


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.


Jacob Mannothra
Managing Director, Zindia Ltd, New Zealand

Jacob has played a key role in developing the Indian market for Radiata Pine logs, lumber, MDF and LVL from New Zealand since 1997. He also promoted pine from Germany, Canada and USA to India, China, Korea, Japan, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, and was instrumental in developing the Mundra port in North and Tuticorin port in South India for softwoods.

Zindia is one of the most experienced softwood forest product exporter's to India from New Zealand and was awarded for its role in developing the Indian market. Zindia is partnering SCION, New Zealand's Crown forest research institute to promote high tech products and services to India. Zindia is a trading partner of ITOCHU of Japan. Zindia group of companies manage about 14,000 acres of plantations in New Zealand.

Jacob is a member of the Forest Product Export Committee of New Zealand. A scientist by profession, he was previously an adviser to the board of Agricultural & Processed Food Export Development Authority of India and a member of the Global Rubberwood Development programme of ITC/UNCTAD/WTO.


Hon Todd McClay MP
Minister of Trade, New Zealand

Hon Todd McClay was first elected to Parliament in 2008.  In 2013 he was made a Minister and has held the positions of Minister of Revenue, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister of Trade.  In 2014 he was promoted to Cabinet and in 2015 he became Minister of Trade and retained the portfolio of Minister for State Owned Enterprises. 


Prior to entering Parliament, Mr McClay has had an extensive career in international business, politics and lobbying and in diplomacy.   In 2000, he was appointed the Cook Islands and Niue Ambassador to the European Union, serving these governments in Brussels.



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.



Nick Russell
Partner, Chen Palmer Partners, New Zealand

Nick Russell is a partner at Chen Palmer Partners, based in Wellington.

Nick has practised law since 1997 and has a LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland. He is an experienced public law litigator who has appeared as counsel in a range of key cases at the High Court, Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court and Privy Council, as well as in various alternative dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration.

Nick is an expert on the Overseas Investment Act 2005 and advises overseas investors on applications and compliance in a wide range of matters from farms to complex international commercial transactions


Art Schmon
Partner, Forest Economic Advisors, Vancouver, Canada

Art Schmon has more than 40 years of experience with engineered lumber products.


He managed the market research, product testing, commercial development and market roll-out for MacMillan Bloedel’s $150 million commercialization of Parallam® PSL. Subsequently, as General Manager of European Operations for Trus Joist MacMillan, he managed the start-up and commercial development of that company's European and Middle East Operations, introducing LVL, PSL, LSL and I-joists to the European market as well as the Middle East.


Since 2009, Art and FEA Principal Paul Jannke have co-authored The Quarterly Engineered Lumber Forecast. He also regularly leads multi-client and proprietary single-client studies for leading firms in the industry. 


Most recently, Art was the lead author on FEA’s Global Outlook for Engineered Lumber Products, 2005 - 2021. This widely acclaimed 609 page study devotes over 100 pages to the mass timber movement and new, potentially transformative industrialized housing technologies. Art has presented at numerous international conferences on the markets and technologies for engineered lumber products and is recognized as an expert in his field.



Hal Stebbins
Director - Supply Chain and Customer Service, Accsys Technologies, Texas, USA

Hal Stebbins began his career with the United States Forest Service.

Upon completion of his MBA in international management he joined IBM serving forest products manufacturers managing enterprise resource planning and plant integration systems offerings worldwide, rising to the position of Solutions Director of Global Process Industries .

Hal joined Accsys Technologies in 2007 and has served in a variety of positions in marketing, sales and licensing management as the company has grown to a leading position in sustainable building materials with its wood modification technologies.


Te Taru White
Director, Totiu Te Waonui Ltd, New Zealand

Te Taru is of Te Arawa, Tainui and Ngati Porou descent. He has over 30 years senior executive experience across a range of fields including Science, Human Resource management, indigenous socio-economic and cultural development nationally and internationally.

He began his professional career as an Engineering Geologist, has held senior portfolios within the Ministry of Maori Developments Regional and Economic development portfolios and has been the Co-leader of the National Museum of New Zealand,Te Papa, and the CEO of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, Te Puia based in his hometown of Rotorua.

He has maintained active roles for over 20 years as a Chairman and Trustee on a number of Maori land-based Trusts and Incorporation's particularly in farming and forestry and has established strong relationships with First Nations in Canada over this period with a focus on complimentary development opportunities.

He is a Director on the Board of Totiu Te Waonui Limited which is a Maori-led initiative to establish a National Maori Forestry Co-operative with a particular focus on engaging under-utilised Maori land and exploring downstream added value opportunities.


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