Larry Spillers is Georgia’s Procurement and Government Affairs Manager at Jordan Forest Products. He has over four decades experience in the forest industry and is a timberland owner of a working forest within the state. He sits on the board of directors for the Georgia Forestry Association and is a former chairman of the Georgia Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee. He and his wife, Pam, have two children and six grandchildren. They live in Crawford County where they own and operate a cattle and poultry farm.
Sandie Sparks is the sales manager for Sparks Lumber Company and oversees log procurement. She is a former chair of the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association and is a member of the Georgia Forestry Association and the Forest Landowners Association. She sits on the regional advisory board for BB&T Bank and on the board of directors for the Elsie Gillam Home. Sparks is a graduate of Haywood Community College and Truett McConnell University. She and her husband, Jerry, have one child. They reside in Ellijay.
Ember Bishop Bentley
Bentley is the Chief of Staff and Government Relations Officer of Middle Georgia State University. She was previously executive director of the Georgia Forestry Foundation, deputy commissioner for international relations for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and served as Chief of Staff to First Lady Sandra Deal. Bentley sits on the boards of the Jekyll Island Foundation, Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority, Academy for Classical Education, NewTown Macon, Macon Chamber of Commerce, and the International Cherry Blossom Festival. She is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Council, Georgia Chamber Government Affairs Council, Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association, Rotary Club of Macon, and an Atrium Navicent Ambassador. Bentley is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, Protocol Partners, and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Shorter University and a master’s degree from Georgia College and State University in the field of Public Administration. Ember and her husband, Will, and their daughter, reside in Macon and attend North Macon Presbyterian Church.
J. Chad Nimmer
Chad Nimmer is the owner of Suwanee Forest Products, co-owner of JCL Logging, and a procurement forester for Pierce Timber Company. Nimmer has a passion for the outdoors and has dedicated his life to serving as a voice for Georgia’s natural resources at the local, state and national levels. He is a long-time board member of the Georgia Forestry Association and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. Nimmer was an eight-year member of the Georgia House of Representatives. He studied forestry at Okefenokee Technical College and is married to Amy. They have four children.
Robert Pollard is the president of Pollard Lumber Co., Inc. and Pollard Land Co., Inc. He is the chairman of the Southeastern Bank Financial Corporation and the vice chairman of the Georgia Bank & Trust Co. Pollard sits on the boards of the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association and the Georgia Forestry Association. He is a deacon at Kiokee Baptist Church. Pollard earned a bachelor’s degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Tricia, have three children and six grandchildren. They reside in Appling.
Kenneth Sheppard is the president of KS Harvesters, Inc., Sheppard Farms LLC, and KSH Contracting Services, all in Vidalia. Ken was named 2010 Georgia Logger of the Year. He recently served on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Wood Producers Association. He has one daughter, and he and his wife, Susan, live in Vidalia.
Benjamin Gillis is the CEO for Gillis Ag & Timber, a business responsible for providing timber procurement throughout Georgia and South Carolina. He is a board member of the Georgia Forestry Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Georgia Southern University. He has been a tree farmer since 1990. He and his wife, Robin, have two children, and they reside in Dublin.