John Bright
Trees Forever Marketing & Communications Manager

Trees Forever names three to board of directors

MARION, Iowa (December 19, 2022) – Trees Forever, a multistate nonprofit committed to connecting people to the environment through the planting and care of trees, prairies and other natural areas, has named three new directors to its governing board.

Barry Sackett, Sioux Falls, S.D.
A native of the Iowa Great Lakes region, Sackett is an attorney and Sioux Falls Managing Partner with Goosmann Law Firm. His broad business and legal expertise stems from years as a business owner, chief financial officer, in-house counsel, assistant county attorney and legal consultant. He has served in leadership positions on a variety of nonprofit boards, including the Bedell Family YMCA, Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. He is an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and ultradistance races.

Bill Stamats, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Stamats is Executive Vice President at Stamats Communications, a digital and data-driven marketing company. A working artist who exhibits his work on an ongoing basis, Stamats has served as president of the board of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and also on the boards of Indian Creek Nature Center and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. He was previously chairman of the Cedar Rapids Visual Arts Commission and vice chair of the Linn County Public Art Commission.

Grant Thompson, Ph.D, Ames, Iowa
With broad experience in landscape horticulture and landscape architecture, Thompson is a licensed landscape architect with Genus Landscape Architects. His projects have ranged from less than an acre to spanning seven counties of the Loess Hills region in Western Iowa. He was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. His research and practice career have included nursery and urban/community forestry topics supporting Community Visioning, Trees Forever, and the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Lynn Manternach, Ph. D, chairperson of the Trees Forever Board of Directors, said that the new board members bring a broad range of skills and experience that will be valuable as Trees Forever broadens both its programming and service area.

“Trees Forever is a volunteer-led organization with a challenging vision to plant several million trees within the next two decades,” Manternach said. “We are honored that Barry, Bill and Grant share in that vision and are ready to give of their time and talents to help move it forward.”

About Trees Forever
Trees Forever is a nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Marion, Iowa. Its mission – to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community, and promoting stewardship – is fulfilled through cutting-edge programs and innovative practices. Trained and experienced staff have assisted community leaders and landowners across Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and beyond with thousands of planting projects. Each year, on average, Trees Forever works with and engages more than 7,000 volunteers who give generously of their time and talents. To date, they’ve helped plant more than 3 million trees.


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Barry Sackett

Bill Stamats

Grant Thompson