April 13, 2023

    Texas A&M Forest Service Leadership Institute graduates third class

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Forest Service Leadership Institute’s third cohort graduated today, following the completion of its final session in College Station. The institute is a leadership program that aims to be a transformative experience for participants, hoping to leave a lasting effect on their ability to lead in daily environments.

    The leadership institute offers a constructive and inspiring learning environment, enabling opportunity for personal and professional growth by giving participants access to tools and speakers that will strengthen their leadership skills.

    “The vision of the institute was to establish a program that rallies existing and emerging leaders within the fields of natural resources and increases their capacity and ability to enact meaningful change throughout the state of Texas,” said Hughes Simpson, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Resource Development Chief Operating Officer.

    This is the third class of the institute. This year’s class included a diverse group of 17 graduates from natural resource organizations across the state, including nonprofit professionals, fire chiefs, conservation managers and chief executive officers.

    “I love the diversity of the group and team members and all of the different perspectives,” said Devin Ginther, 2022 – 2023 class graduate. “I’ve been involved in several of these, but this was the most effective for me because of the diversity of the group and all of the different organizations involved.”

    The leadership institute offers training and professional development to members of organizations that share the Texas A&M Forest Service mission while building capacity and cohesion within working alliances of other entities who serve our same customers.

    Over the course of several months, the class participated in two, three-day training sessions, monthly lunch and learns, networking opportunities and course activities.

    “The Texas A&M Forest Service Leadership Institute was insightful, engaging and motivating,” said Suzanne Simpson, 2022 – 2023 class graduate. “It was inspiring to learn from other leaders in the natural resource industry.”

    One key to success for the institute is dynamic and engaging speakers. In the final session, participants heard from Frank Keck about motivating volunteers, Dr. John Daly about leadership and engagement, Dr. Steven Beebe about listening in leadership, and Jessica Sager about personality types.

    Each year, the leadership institute aims to continue to grow and support local leaders while increasing the network of natural resource professionals across the state.

    To learn more about the Texas A&M Forest Service Leadership Institute, the speakers and how to participate, visit

    Hughes Simpson, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Systems Department Head, 979-458-6658,
    Leighton Chachere, Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Specialist, 979-458-6606,