Ken Higginbotham takes on new role as Chair of the BC Forest Safety Council

The Board of the BC Forest Safety Council is pleased to announce that Kenneth (Ken) Higginbotham has accepted the role as Chair of the organization, effective October 1, 2015.

Ken is no stranger to safety or the forest industry having served numerous forestry and wood manufacturing entities throughout his noteworthy career. Ken most recently has been the facilitator for two key industry safety groups – the Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG) and the Coast Harvesting Advisory Group (CHAG).

One of Ken’s first orders of business in his new role, after orientation, will be to lead the search committee to hire a new CEO to replace Reynold Hert, who is leaving the Council at the end of March, 2016.

Reynold has been with the organization for more than six years, in roles as CEO, Board Chair, and most recently Chair and CEO. Both he and the rest of the Board felt it was timely to separate the roles going forward.

“I am pleased to be handing over the Chair reins to Ken. Ken has a solid reputation with manufacturing and harvesting and is a pleasure to work with,” said Reynold.

“I am looking forward to taking on this role and the new challenges that will come with it. Industry has made significant progress on safety to date. I look forward to working with the Board to support initiatives as identified by industry for continuous safety improvements from planting to harvesting and milling,” said Ken. “As an industry, we are not competitors when it comes to safety. We all share one focus: to ensure every forestry worker goes home safe at the end of each shift.”

Ken holds a MS in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Botany (Ecology) and has been both an academic (assistant and associate professorships) in Botany and Forestry at two universities, one in the US and one in Canada, before becoming the Director of Research, Alberta Forest Service; Assistant Deputy Minister of Forests, Alberta Government; and then Vice President Forestry at Canfor Corporation from 1995-2012, focused largely on government relations. Since then, Ken has consulted, including providing management services for a sawmill safety organization, MAG, made up of 10 companies and facilitation of CHAG, a coastal logging safety organization, consisting of five of the largest coastal companies.

A dual Canadian-US citizen, Ken was born in Denver, Colorado and is currently a resident of Surrey, BC. When he is not consulting and championing safety, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife, five children and 13 grandchildren.

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