The Forum for Forest Executives

1-4 May 2023, Lake Maggiore, Italy

Are you an Executive of a forest company in tropical developing geographies? 

  • Are you alone in executing strategic decisions for your business and leading the day-to-day?
  • Have you learned how to lead on the job, with no time or opportunity for professional development that is relevant for you and your business?
  • Could you benefit from the time and space to dive deep on big picture challenges and opportunities with your peers?

If so, then you will benefit from The Forum for Forest Executives which will take place between 1-4 May 2023, at the Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees in Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The Forum will be facilitated by Shauna Matkovich, Founder of The ForestLink, and will include peer-to-peer learning led by Executive Coach, Rita Jupe.

Over the course of 3 days you will connect with like-minded executives in an honest, experience-rich, and collaborative peer-to-peer learning event. The aim of the forum is to lift and connect leadership, reduce business risk, and create more forest investment success stories in the tropics.

Early bird applications are now open

Highlights of The Forum include:

🌱 Curated group to eliminate competition and foster open dialogue

🌱 Participants blended across business stage, end markets, and global tropical geographies to ensure rich and diverse discussions

🌱 Plenty of social time among peers

🌱 Executive coaching from Rita Jupe

🌱 Dive deep on specialist topics not found in typical forest working groups or conferences

🌱 Out-of-the box industry tour.

Event Information

Date: The Forum will commence on the evening of Monday 1st May and run until the afternoon of Thursday 4th May.

Venue: Lago Maggiore, Italy at the Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees

Lead Facilitator: Shauna Matkovich

Lead Executive Coach: Rita Jupe

Leadership Trainers: TBD, will be confirmed upon review of participant needs

What To Expect

The program will start the evening before the scheduled program with a group dinner to get acquainted.

The first two days of the program will each run approximately 8-hours, with the third and final day finishing mid-afternoon.

Participants will benefit from a distinctive program that combines:

  • Peer-to-peer learning and insights, focusing on industry trends, challenges and opportunities
  • Advanced leadership skill workshops tailored to participants’ professional and business goals
  • Executive coaching (group format and for individuals)
  • Social and industry-specific activities

The full agenda will be circulated before the Forum.

The Venue

The Forum will take place at the Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees overlooking the shore of Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy.

Apply by 23 February to book at the early-bird rate

Introducing The Forum Team

Shauna Matkovich, Founder of The ForestLink

Shauna Matkovich is a Forester and Sustainability expert with more than 15 years working in cross-continental sustainable forest management, global forest investment management, and agricultural development with an expertise in tropical developing countries. Shauna is the Founding Director of The ForestLink, a consultancy and advisory firm that works with investors and forest businesses to fill the gaps currently preventing the flow of private capital to impactful forest investment in the tropics. In her career working across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia she has seen the huge potential for leaders of forest companies to come together and share solutions and strategies for creating more forest investment success stories – a gap that she is looking to fill with the Forum. Shauna has worked as an operational forester in Canada and New Zealand, and in Forest Investment Management in the tropics for a leading global forest investment company. She has a double Master of Science in Agricultural Development from the University of Copenhagen, and Tropical Forest Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of British Columbia. Shauna is Canadian and lives together with her family in Northern Italy.

Rita Jupe, Executive Coach

At The Jupe Group we believe everyone has the potential to influence the workplace for the better, and to grow. Rita Jupe, founder of The Jupe Group, is a certified coach who partners with executives and emerging leaders to help them achieve their leadership potential and strengthen the performance of their organizations. As a director of communication and marketing at the International Fertilizer Association, Rita worked in collective leadership to advance sector-wide transformation in the area of sustainability. Previously, she worked at the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. A variety of roles included speechwriter to the CEO, adviser to executives on organization transformation and change management, and internal coach and facilitator. Previously, Rita worked in crisis management after a career in journalism in the U.K. and U.S., including CNN. She earned certificates in mediation, organization development and human resources. She lives with her family in the Washington, DC, area.

Why I am launching The Forum

There are many moving parts in a forest operation, but in most cases, there is one person who holds the key to success.

The CEO, Managing Director – whatever the title, this is the person making decisions on the ground regarding how the business will be run. They are responsible for building, and leading a skilled team, executing top-notch forest management, accessing, and in some cases generating wood markets, strategizing with investors, maintaining healthy stakeholder relationships and so on.

In the context of forest investments in the tropics, a forest business with a skilled and well-rounded executive at the reigns is a valuable asset. Forest businesses in the context of emerging markets are subject to several challenges. Having (and keeping) an executive that can navigate the complexity in these regions with skill and ease will not only remedy risks but enable the business to thrive.

But it’s not that easy. Executives in the space will be the first to tell you how isolated they are. These leaders are often talented expat foresters or ambitious entrepreneurs with little opportunity for growth as an executive professional. The remote settings of the businesses they run make it difficult for them to find a network of peers to learn from and exchange. The industry’s niche characteristics can create an air of competition among executives operating in similar markets, investor-pools and even continents.

These executives are essentially on their own, living and working in a foreign cultural context, caught between shareholder expectations and local realities. And all too often, they move on – a missed opportunity for both the professional and the business.

That's why I'm launching the Forum - to provide a collaborative and growth-oriented space. Want to be a part of it?

We hope to see you there,


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