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ROSEBURG — The Douglas Timber Operators Board of Directors is announcing the appointment of Matt Hill as DTO’s new Executive Director. Bob Ragon served as DTO’s previous Executive Director since 2000, and retired at the end of the 2017.

Gabe Crane, President of the DTO Board of Directors, thanked Bob Ragon for his years of service: “Bob’s leadership grew DTO into a broad-based organization unlike any other. We are deeply grateful for his years of dedication and service to our industry, community and the jobs that sustain it.”

Matt Hill was born and raised in Roseburg, graduating from Roseburg High School in 1994. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

After college, Matt remained in Washington, D.C. and worked for U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) for nearly a decade. As a legislative advisEr to Sen. Smith from 1999-2008, Matt worked closely with DTO and Oregon’s timber products industry on federal forest management issues. After Sen. Smith’s departure from the Senate, Matt formed a government affairs consulting business representing Oregon-based tribal and timber interests.

“Matt combines homegrown knowledge of our community with nearly two decades of policy experience and key relationships in Washington, D.C. That’s a perfect fit for DTO and the path ahead for our organization,” said Gabe Crane.

Doug Robertson, former County Commissioner (1981-214) said “Matt Hill takes over the reins of DTO at a challenging time, not only for the timber industry, but also for our resource dependent counties and communities. I had the opportunity to work with Matt for many years, and the good news is he brings a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experience, not only to meet those challenges, but to also move DTO forward and strengthen its relationships with other groups and organizations throughout the region. Simply put, Matt is the right person, at the right time, and will do a great job!”

Of his selection as executive director, Matt Hill stated: “I’m honored to be working with DTO and to amplify the community’s voice on how our forests can be better managed.”

Six generations ago, his ancestors homesteaded on the North Umpqua River in the late 1800’s, and built fish hatcheries at Rock Creek and Steamboat. Most of his family continues to reside in Douglas County.

He started his work this month and will be spending time in both Roseburg and Washington, D.C., where he currently lives with his wife, Elizabeth Hill, of Coos Bay.

ABOUT DTO: Formed in 1968, Douglas Timber Operators represents more than 140 manufacturing, logging, trucking, and supportive businesses, and private landowners and individuals throughout southwestern Oregon. A central feature of our mission is to help our members and the public better understand the forest products industry and forest-related issues.

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Umpqua Post Editor