GTF Board

New GTF board (from left) Andreas von Möller, George White, Francisco Grotewold, Rachel Butler, John Halkett, Cindy Squires, and Françoise Van de Ven.

New GTF board (from left) Andreas von Möller, George White, Francisco Grotewold, Rachel Butler, John Halkett, Cindy Squires, and Françoise Van de Ven.

GTF’s international panel of industry organisation representatives was replaced by a board of directors during the second Rome summit in May 2016. The board comprises GTF Chair Cindy Squires, Executive Director of the International Wood Products Association; GTF Treasurer Andreas von Möller, President of the European Timber Trade Federation; and GTF Directors: John Halkett, General Manager of the Australian Timber Importers Federation; Françoise Van de Ven, Secretary General of the Gabonese Forest Industries and Managers Association (UFIGA); and Francisco Grotewold, Executive Director of the Guatemalan Forestry Union (Gremial). It additionally includes Executive Director Rachel Butler and Operations Director George White.

The Board

Rachel Butler, GTF Executive Director

Rachel Butler has worked extensively in both the private and public sectors; developing policies and programmes as well as implementing them. She has a proven track record in international development of forestry and timber supply chains, ensuring sustainability goals are met while working within commercial realities. She worked initially in the public sector, undertaking development and funding roles, before she moved to the timber trade in 2001, working for seven years for the UK’s largest timber importer. Rachel advises many international institutions and stakeholders including governments, trade associations and NGOs. She has travelled extensively, particularly in South East Asia, with experience in Africa and South America. She is at the forefront of forging partnerships with stakeholders, recently initiating the Global Timber Forum to foster greater information sharing and collaboration across the wood-processing sector.

George White, Operations Director

George White has spent over 25 years in and around the forest industry sector and accumulated broad experience from both the industry and NGO perspective. He currently works as independent consultant to a range of international clients, and his career over the previous fifteen years has given him a broad ranging view of the global forest products trade and market forces that constantly shape it. He has been involved in forest certification since 1993 and closely followed developments in market based legislation and associated international processes that have also moulded the landscape over the past decade. For ten years George was a key player in the WWF Global Forest & Trade Network programme (GFTN), latterly as Head. Prior to this he was a consultant, working with a range of clients from NGOs to major retailers. George’s range of experience covers forestry, timber, paper, building products, and retail sectors, including work in responsible purchasing and related supply chain issues.

Cindy Squires, GTF Chair

Cindy Squires joined the International Wood Products Association (IWPA) as Executive Director in March of 2013.  As the chief executive for the leading international trade association for the North American imported wood products industry, Cindy represents companies and trade organizations engaged in import and use of hardwoods and softwoods from sustainably managed forests in over 30 nations across the globe. She also serves on the boards of the American Hardwood Export Council, the Tropical Forest Foundation, and the American Boat and Yacht Council. For nearly ten years, Cindy directed the regulatory, legal and trade programs for the recreational boating industry as the Chief Counsel of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and spent nearly 10 years on agricultural policy, representing the Executive branch during Clinton Administration as a legislative liaison and regulatory analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service and as a U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee legislative staffer for then Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy. Cindy practiced environmental and administrative law at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and is admitted to the Maryland and the District of Columbia bars, having graduated cum laude from the Washington College of Law, American University. She has a B.A. in International Relations from George Mason University.

Andreas von Möller, GTF Treasurer

Andreas von Möller started his career 1975 as Trader for Deutsche Conti Handels GmbH, Hamburg and Continental Grain, Geneva.From 1977 to 1984 he was Manager of the wood sector of J.F. Müller & Sohn, Hamburg. Since 1984 he is Managing Partner of Jacob Jürgensen Forest Products, a Wood and Paper import and distribution company, based in Hamburg. He holds various honorary positions e. g. as member of the Foreign Trade Committee at the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg. Chairman of the Economic Policy Committee at the AGA Wholesale Employer Association, Hamburg. President of ETTF, European Timber Trade Federation, Brussels.

John Halkett, GTF Director 

Managing director of Forestlands Consulting John Halkett’s educational credentials include tertiary qualifications in forest science and public policy. He has held senior positions in government forest and conservation agencies in Australia and New Zealand. In addition he has worked in the United States of America, Canada, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, China, Africa and South America. John also acts as the technical manager for the Australian Timber Importers Federation www.atif.asn.au and is a director of specialist forest carbon development, management and trading company Leaf Carbon. He is a member of the peak Australian forest industry advisory group to the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Forest and Wood Products Council and is a member of the New South Wales Forest Industries Taskforce. He writes extensively for trade publications in Australasia and elsewhere. He has written numerous scientific papers and has authored or co authored four books. His latest book Trees that call Australia home is currently on sale.

Françoise Van de Ven, GTF Director 

Françoise Van de Ven has worked in the forest sector for over 37 years, whereof 19 years in Africa, respectively Democratic Republic of Congo and since October 2015 in Gabon. Active in the timber/forest sector since 1979, she has acquired a large experience in various functions, as well in Europe as in Africa. As from January 2006 she acted as Secretary General of the Timber Industrial Federation, Fédération des Industriels du Bois in D.R.C. and since October 2015, UFIGA – Union des Forestiers Industriels du Gabon et Amenagistes. As Board member of ATIBT (Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux), representing the African timber federations of the Congo Bassin, she is actively implicated in several projects where governance, transparency and legality are top priority.

Francisco Grotewold, GTF Director

FranciscoFrancisco Escobedo Grotewold graduated from Zamorano University in Honduras with a degree in Agricultural Engineering and also holds a Master’s degree in Forest Management & Economics from Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. He has been Director of the Guatemalan Forestry Association (Gremial Forestal de Guatemala) since 2006 and used to be a board member of the Guatemalan Agricultural Chamber (Cámara del Agro de Guatemala), the National Agricultural School (Escuela Nacional Central de Agricultura –ENCA), and the Guatemalan National Forestry Institute (Instituto Nacional de Bosques –INAB). Gremial Forestal de Guatemala focuses on promoting sustainable forestry, industrialisation, adding value and commercialisation of forestry products in the region, with the overall aim to promote the development of individuals, companies, and the country. Most of the organisation’s time is devoted to creating a good business climate for actors involved in the forestry sector.