October 13, 2023

    Texas A&M Forest Service kicks off fourth annual Leadership Institute

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Forest Service Leadership Institute hosted the kick-off session for its fourth cohort Oct. 10 to 12 in The Woodlands, Texas. Institute founders strive to provide a transformative experience for participants, with aspirations of leaving a lasting effect on their ability to lead in daily environments.

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

    “We believe that by building the capacity of our partners through leadership training, we can help strengthen their organizations and help further the overall reach and mission of Texas A&M Forest Service,” said Hughes Simpson, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Resource Development Chief Operating Officer.

    This year’s class boasts a diverse group of 24 members from natural resource organizations across the state including presidents, assistant fire chiefs, program leaders and organization executive directors.

    “The Texas A&M Forest Service Leadership Institute had great speakers that facilitated insightful reflection of our current leadership skills as well as how to improve and adapt our style to individuals on our teams and in our communities,” said Erin Herrin, Walsh Timber Company, LLC.

    The vision for the institute is to establish a program that will rally existing and emerging leaders within the fields of natural resources and increase their capacity and ability to enact meaningful change throughout the state of Texas.

    One key to success for the institute is including dynamic and engaging speakers. In this session, participants heard from Frank Keck about building a united team and foundations of leadership, Dr. John Daly about interpersonal leadership and Dr. Richard Grant about personality types.

    “I find the best leaders are the most self-aware  they know who they are and where they’re going,” said Keck, CoreBuild CEO. “Our goal is to really help leaders in different natural resource capacities to develop themselves, to invest in these leaders to make a better Texas.”

    Through the leadership institute, Texas A&M Forest Service hopes to continue to grow and support local leaders while increasing the network of natural resource professionals across the state with each class.

    Over the next several months, the class will participate in monthly lunch and learns, networking opportunities and course activities. The class will graduate from the institute in April, after a second three-day session, which will have a new lineup of speakers and leadership training.

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


    Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:
    Hughes Simpson, Forest Resource Development Chief Operating Officer, 979-458-6658,
    Leighton Chachere, Communications Specialist, 979-458-6606,