Course Presenters and Panelists

Lead Instructor: Blake Stansell – President and CEO, The Forestland Group LLC

Mr. Stansell’s expertise lies in forestland acquisition due diligence, valuation modeling, timber and timberland market analysis, and coordination of third-party appraisals. He serves on the Board of Directors or as an officer of some of the fund-affiliated Forestland Interests. Prior to his employment with TFG in 2000, Mr. Stansell was the Senior Associate Appraiser for Canal Forest Resources in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Stansell has a B.S. from Presbyterian College and a Master of Forest Resources from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources in Forest Business Management. He is a Registered Forester in North Carolina.


Joseph BachmanExecutive-in-Residence, Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment

Joseph F. Bachman currently serves as Executive-in-Residence at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, where he helps lead the school’s Natural Resources Finance Initiative. Previously, he served as the global head of asset management and partner at Global Forest Partners LP of Lebanon, New Hampshire. He has also served in a variety of forest management positions with Champion International Corporation, where he managed Champion’s sustainable forestry initiative third-party certification program across the company’s domestic forests. He is a both a registered and Certified Forester. Mr. Bachman holds an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, an M.F. in Forestry from Duke University, and an A.B. in Biology from Dartmouth College.


Robert Bonnie – Rubenstein Fellow, Duke University

Bonnie is currently a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University, where he works on conservation and environmental issues in rural America. Before joining Duke, Bonnie served as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during the second term of the Obama Administration. In this role, he oversaw the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service and was responsible for overseeing a variety of natural resource issues including management of the 193 million-acre National Forest and Grassland System; implementation of Farm Bill conservation programs on America’s farms, ranches, and forests; and climate change. During President Obama’s first term, he served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for environment and climate change. Prior to joining USDA, Bonnie was Vice President for Land Conservation at the Environmental Defense Fund where he focused on developing incentives to reward farmers, ranchers, and forest owners for stewardship activities on private lands. He holds master degrees in forestry and environmental management from the Nicholas School at Duke University.


Brian Dangler – Vice President and Director of the Working Forest Fund, The Conservation Fund

Brian Dangler is Vice President of The Conservation Fund and Director of its Working Forest Fund®. Brian joined the Fund in 2008 and manages its timberland transactions and its growing portfolio of forest management operations across the U.S. He began his career as a field forester with Boise Cascade in Maine, and grew through several forestry, business analysis and real estate positions with International Paper Company. Brian brings more than 29 years of experience in forest management, operations and fiber supply, combined with nationwide expertise in acquisitions, dispositions and entitlement of rural real estate to complement the Fund’s innovative vision for protecting working forests across the U.S. He holds a Master of Forestry Degree from Syracuse and a Master of Business Administration from Thomas College. Brian is based in The Conservation Fund’s North Carolina office and can be reached at


Nick Dilks – Managing Partner, Ecosystem Investment Partners

Nick Dilks has served for over 13 years as a Managing Partner at Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP). Founded in 2006, EIP is the leading private investment firm focused on land-based environmental offset markets. Prior to this, he served as the Vice President of Real Estate for The Conservation Fund. He holds a MBA from the University of Maryland and a B.A. from Duke University. 


Alex Finkral – Chief Forester, The Forestland Group LLC

Dr. Finkral is The Forestland Group’s Chief Forester, with responsibility for advising the TFG regional forestry staff and TFG’s forest management consultants on silvicultural and forest management planning issues. In addition, Dr. Finkral manages research efforts aimed at improving forest management practices on TFG-owned properties. Prior to his employment with TFG, Dr. Finkral was an Assistant Professor of Forest Management at Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry where he taught courses in Forest Stand Dynamics, Forest Ecosystem Assessment, Forest Operations, Silviculture and Fire Applications. Prior to his faculty position at Northern Arizona University, Dr. Finkral was the manager of Yale University’s School Forests. In addition to his experience in North American forests, Dr. Finkral has worked on forestry research and management projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of the Congo, Honduras, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Fiji. Dr. Finkral holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and M.F. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is a Certified Forester in the State of Connecticut, a member of the Forest Stewards Guild and the Society of American Foresters, and a member of the USDA Forestry Research Advisory Council.


Tom Johnson – Managing Director, Client Service and Business Development, Timberland Investment Resources LLC

Tom is responsible for all client relationship management and he directs the firm’s domestic and international business development efforts. He was a founding member of TIR and plays key roles in shaping its strategic direction and overseeing the implementation of its core investment strategy on behalf of clients. Prior to joining TIR, Tom was a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting. In that role, he was an industry advisor to global investment management firms, managing major projects that influenced the implementation of clients’ business operations and marketing functions. In addition to his years of experience in the institutional investment arena, Tom is a forester who grew up in a saw-milling family in North Carolina. This background gives him a unique perspective on the timberland asset class – enabling him to provide valuable counsel to TIR with regard to the firm’s strategic direction and to consistently reflect and represent the needs and interests of its clients. Tom is a graduate of Appalachian State University where he earned a BSBA in finance. He earned his MBA and MFR in forest resources, with honors, at the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forest Resource. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and serves on the advisory committee for the University of Georgia’s Center for Forest Business. Tom also holds the designation of chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIASM) and is on the CAIA Real Assets Committee.


Scott R. Jones – President, Forest Capital Partners – Retired

Scott R. Jones has been president of Forest Capital Partners, a forest investment firm, since 2000. Prior to joining Forest Capital Partners, he was president and CEO at Timberland Growth Corporation, a timberland REIT joint venture, from 1998 to 2000; director of business development and acquisitions at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company from 1988 to 1998; and currently is a director with the publicly traded timberland REIT, Rayonier. Upon completion of his graduate studies in forestry from Duke University, Jones first pursued a career as a field forester in Florida with a pulp and paper company. Jones is one of our country’s foremost experts in the field of forest investment and has acquired millions of acres over his career on behalf of institutional investors. His company, Forest Capital Partners, was the fifth largest private landowner in the country. Jones holds an undergraduate degree from Elizabethtown College, a master’s degree in forestry from Duke University and a master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.


Daniel R. McKeithen  Partner, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

Danny McKeithen advises clients on federal tax planning and controversies, real estate structuring and transactions, partnerships, fund formations, and inbound and outbound direct investments. He counsels both public and private real estate investment trusts (REITs), including clients that use these structures in the timber and forest products industry. In the corporate area, Danny structures taxable and tax-free mergers and acquisitions, liquidations, recapitalizations, and spin-offs and other distributions. His work has included innovative transactions using Up-C and UPREIT structures, installment sales and multi-party like-kind exchanges. His clients include large multinational corporations as well as closely held companies of all sizes, including several large S corporations. He has been named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of litigation & controversy – tax (2012-2018), tax law (2008-2018), and timber law (2008-2018).


Jonathan Prather – Partner, Advisory, Perella Weinberg Partners

Mr. Prather is a Partner in Perella Weinberg Partners’ Advisory business.  He focuses on advising clients in the Industrials sector. Mr. Prather has 18 years of investment banking experience assisting companies on a wide range of financial and strategic matters.  During his tenure at Perella Weinberg Partners (“PWP”), he has advised on multiple transactions for clients including Campbell Global on the sale of Crown Pine Timber (1.1 million acres) to CatchMark Timber Trust for $1.39 billion; Pittsburgh Corning on the sale of the company for $0.6 billion to Owens Corning; Hancock Natural Resource Group on multiple transactions including its Texarkana and Alexandria timberland sales; Millar Western on its restructuring and majority stake sale to Atlas Holdings LLC; RMS on the sale of timberland assets to Potlatch Corporation, and International Paper on the spin off and merger of its Xpedx division with Unisource.

Prior to joining PWP in November of 2013, Mr. Prather worked at Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2013 where he most recently served as a Managing Director responsible for paper, packaging and forest products industry client coverage.  He was previously a Director of UBS Investment Bank.  Mr. Prather began his career at Simpson Investment Company, a privately-held timberland owner based in Seattle, WA.

At Goldman Sachs and UBS, he actively worked with multiple clients including advising International Paper on its $6.6 billion timberlands sale; Temple-Inland on its strategic transformation and $2.4 billion timberlands sale; Bowater on its $6.0 billion merger of equals with Abitibi-Consolidated; and MeadWestvaco on multiple transactions including the spin-off and merger of its Office Products division with Acco Brands, the $2.4 billion sale of its Coated Paper division to Cerberus, and the $1.1 billion sale of its Community Development and Land Management division to Plum Creek Timber. Over his career, Mr. Prather has advised on the sale of approximately $20 billion of timberland assets totaling over 17 million acres. Mr. Prather earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in history and international affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.  He serves on the Board of the Forest History Society.


Sam Radcliffe

Mr. Radcliffe is a forest economist with extensive experience in valuation and price analysis. He holds a BS in forest management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and an MS in forest economics from the University of California at Berkeley. From 2005 through 2018 Mr. Radcliffe was Vice President of Prentiss & Carlisle Management Company (P&C), where he directed valuation services and played a leading role in business development. Prior to P&C’s acquisition of George Banzhaf & Company (GB&CO) in September 2005, he had been President of GB&CO for 17 years, and its chief timber industry analyst since 1980. Before joining George Banzhaf & Company in 1980, Mr. Radcliffe was a Research Fellow in the Forest Economics and Policy Program of Resources for the Future, a non-profit research organization located in Washington, DC. His professional experience also includes several positions with the USDA Forest Service. In 2009 Mr. Radcliffe was named a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters (SAF), in which he has held a number of elected and appointed positions: Forest Policy specialist on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forestry, Chair of the Wisconsin SAF, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Land Ethic Implementation, member of the first Task Force on Strategic Planning, Chair of the District V Fellows Committee and Chair of the National Ethics Committee. Mr. Radcliffe was a member of: the Technical Advisory Committee for the Lake States Forest Assessment; the Scientific Roundtable on Socio-Economic Issues for the Wisconsin National Forests, Board of Directors, Forest Landowners Tax Council, and the National Blue Ribbon Panel on Forest Inventory and Analysis (AF&PA). He is a Certified General Appraiser (Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin). Mr. Radcliffe is an accomplished writer and speaker. He developed and edited P&C’s popular “Timberland Investment” news site ( In addition to more than 200 proprietary client reports, he has authored the numerous published papers.


Kevin Thomas – Partner, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

Kevin Thomas is a partner in the Real Estate Practice Group and currently leads Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP’s Middle East and Africa Initiatives. Kevin represents institutional and entrepreneurial clients in virtually all types of commercial real estate projects, including, retail, multi-family, office and mixed-use projects. Kevin has substantial experience related to timberland and agribusiness investing. Kevin regularly represented clients in the development of retail-focused, multi-use projects. These representations have spanned all phases of the projects, including, joint- venture formation and dissolution, site acquisition, construction, and permanent financing, leasing and sales. As a partner on the Timber and Forest Products team, Kevin has been involved in many of the most significant timberland transactions of the last decade. Kevin has extensive experience advising Timberland Investment Management Organizations in all aspects of timberland projects, including acquisitions, dispositions, timber deeds and leases, long-term supply agreements, conservation easements and carbon sequestration projects, as well as financing related to these projects.


Cakey Worthington – Director of Implementation, BlueSource

Cakey Worthington is a Forest Carbon Specialist working to identify, contract, and develop new carbon projects for Bluesource’s forestry team. Cakey coordinates project timelines and manages carbon and financial analyses through every project stage, from evaluation to monitoring. She liaises communication and decision-making between regulatory bodies (registries and California ARB), verification teams, field crews, landowners, and legal counsel. She also oversees the forest carbon inventory and verification process including development of inventory methodology, securing and managing third-party contractors, training field crews on site, processing data for analysis, and developing site prescriptions.

Prior to Bluesource, Cakey worked in various roles both in forest conservation and ecosystem service markets. This includes projects on forest carbon, mitigation banking, conservation easements, longleaf pine restoration, prescribed burning, and habitat protection. Cakey holds a BS in Biology from Davidson College as well as a Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry (SAF Accredited) from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Cakey is also an SAF Candidate Certified Forester.