With more than 41 years of experience in all aspects of forestland management, Tom Trembath is responsible for timberland management on client properties in the eastern half of the southern U.S. for Forest Investment Associates (FIA). Tom arrived at FIA in 1993 and has also held positions of Management Forester and Region Manager. In addition, Tom coordinates the firm’s forest certification and cooperative forestry research activities.
Previously, Tom spent 6 years in the forest products industry working with Stone Container Corporation near Savannah, GA, where he was an Area Manager in Woodlands Management. He was also employed at Clemson University for 2 years on the University’s 17,500-acre experimental forest in Georgetown SC, and for 5 years with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service on the Payette National Forest in Idaho.
Business Philosophy – Surround yourself with the right people and give them the appropriate authority to go along with their responsibilities. Together you’ll be successful.
Why did you choose this field/career path? I grew up in an urban environment but spent my family vacations at cabins in the woods and most of my free time outdoors, so a career in forestry sounded appealing to me.
After a round of industry consolidation in the early 1990’s I began looking to change my career path. A colleague let me know of an opportunity with an investment firm in Atlanta (FIA) that managed timberland. I pursued this position and was fortunate to be hired. Prior to me being hired, FIA had purchased company timberlands lands from Stone for their clients. I spent my first few weeks at Stone inventorying this property, then subsequently ended up managing those same lands for FIA.
What is one of the best lessons you’ve learned during your career? Be a good manager of people, as well as the processes, and treat them as you would want to be treated.