Good Earth Power AZ (“GEPAZ”) and its operating entity, NewLife Forest Products (“NewLife”), Arizona’s leading sustainable forest products company, have announced a new leadership team to expand its sustainable forestry management and lumber manufacturing operations. GEPAZ also announced its partnership with Lateral Investment Management (“Lateral”), which led an investment round of $50 million. GEPAZ and NewLife aim to grow and expand their operations by adding 200 new employees over the next 12 months.
New Leadership Team
Ted Dergousoff has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer. His responsibilities will include setting the strategy and leading the transformational development of NewLife’s manufacturing operations. He will focus on developing the largest high-capacity sawmill facility in Arizona.
“The mission of GEPAZ is to restore the health of the forest and protect Arizona from catastrophic wildfires,” said Dergousoff. “At NewLife, we are not only building a great business, but helping to rebuild Arizona’s forestry ecosystem. I look forward to building out our team by hiring 200 people over the next 12 months to accomplish our mission.”
Dergousoff joins NewLife as a 40-year industry veteran of the sustainable forest products industry, leading large multi-facility sawmill and value-added companies. Previously, Dergousoff served as Chief Operating Officer of Terminal Forest Products and also served as Chief Executive Officer of C&C Wood Products.
George Stedeford has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer. His responsibilities will include focusing on finance and day-to-day operations. Stedeford was previously Chief Financial Officer at the Duz Cho Group, where he partnered with the McLeod Lake Indian Band in managing their forestry and logging operations. Stedeford brings decades of experience in finance, logging and sawmilling operations. He has been involved in the forest and bioenergy industries where he was Chief Executive Officer of an independent cooperative dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Partnership with Lateral Investment Management
Along with the appointment of the new executive team, Lateral’s partnership will aid in significantly expanding the infrastructure of GEPAZ and funding growth of the company’s forestry operations. This latest round of financing brings the total investment by Lateral and other funding sources for NewLife and GEPAZ since inception to more than $80 million.
The company recently acquired a 425,000-square-foot facility in Bellemont, Ariz. that will house a new high-capacity sawmill on a 35-acre property. GEPAZ plans to employ approximately 200 people from the local area, with the new facility producing 120 million board feet per year of lumber. Beginning in March, the Bellemont facility will also produce engineered wood products.
“Our additional funding to GEPAZ and NewLife will help to increase the scale of the company’s operations and enable the company to effectively reduce catastrophic wildfires by restoring the forests of Arizona to a healthier state,” said Richard de Silva, Founder and Managing Partner of Lateral Investment Management.
GEPAZ is managing Phase 1 of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) contract with the U.S. Forest Service. The 4FRI program’s mission is to restore the health of 2.4 million acres of Arizona forestland.
Jason Rosamond, who founded GEPAZ and NewLife, will continue as Chairman of the Board. Since inception, Rosamond has spearheaded the company’s mission to create a sustainable model for forest restoration.