Board Member Spotlight - Meet Shawn Wolfinger
Shawn is an owner of Northeast Timberlands, LLC. Shawn and his father also own Northern Forests, LLC. These forestry consulting companies provide timber sales for clients in northern Pennsylvania and western New York. They also manage several thousand acres of family-owned land through Wolfinger Timberlands, LLC. Shawn holds real estate sales licenses in Pennsylvania and New York through Timberland Realty. We asked Shawn a few questions about what inspired him to join AgChoice. Check out his answers below, and be sure to say hello at our next event!
One fun fact about your business or career:
I never expected to be doing what I'm doing. I graduated with an economics degree and my first job was as a manufacturer’s sales rep calling on NAPA auto parts stores. I have no mechanical ability and am not much of a car guy. Eventually, an opportunity presented itself that allowed me to move back near my home and work in the forest products/real estate industry – something that I actually do understand - and I jumped at the chance. On a side note, I’m now able to take my dog, Jack, to work with me every day and that is an added bonus.
Why did you choose to work with AgChoice for your financing needs?
We were working with a local commercial bank when we were told that our timber and land sales company was too "speculative" and that our line of credit would not be renewed. A friend recommended we contact Farm Credit as it specializes in all forms of agriculture. We did, and it was a good fit.
Why did you decide to run for the Board of Directors?
My route to the Board was not typical as I did not initially run in an election. I was asked to interview for a vacant Board seat. After researching the Farm Credit System, I appreciated the lender plays in supporting rural America and realized that serving on the AgChoice Board was a very interesting opportunity. Since that initial term, customer-owners re-elected me twice to continue serving the Association.
Advice you’d share with other customer-owners considering running for the nominating committee or a board seat in the future?
Serving as an AgChoice Board member is a worthwhile and fulfilling endeavor. It’s one of my best professional decisions. I am a much better businessman for it. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with an exceptional group of people – fellow Board members, AgChoice staff and directors from other Farm Credit associations. The experience has been incredibly educational, and I would recommend serving to anyone who has an interest in AgChoice in particular and the Farm Credit System in general. However, as with any meaningful pursuit there is a fair amount of work, particularly reading, involved as well as a significant time commitment. If you’re interested in serving on the Board, do it if you have the time to devote to the Association.
AgChoice has the pleasure of working with a dynamic Board of Directors that helps to provide strategic direction and oversight. Interested in becoming more involved with AgChoice? For more information on becoming a member of the AgChoice Board of Directors, view our Board Leadership Brochure.
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