Nunes leaving Pope Resources for Rayonier

Pope Resources CEO David Nunes, center in blue shirt, joins principal partners in the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project at an October 2011 celebration of an option agreement to buy Pope
Pope Resources CEO David Nunes, center in blue shirt, joins principal partners in the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project at an October 2011 celebration of an option agreement to buy Pope's 7,000 acres of North Kitsap forestland for public open space. From left, Port Gamble S’Klallam Chairman Jeromy Sullivan; Gene Duvernoy, president of Cascade Land Conservancy (now Forterra); Nunes; Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder, and Suquamish Chairman Leonard Forsman.
— image credit: Donna Etchey / Herald 2011

POULSBO — David L. Nunes, president and CEO of Pope Resources since 2000, moves to Rayonier (  as chief operating officer on June 9.

Following Rayonier’s separation into two companies — Rayonier, a land resources company; and Rayonier Advanced Materials, a special chemical company — Nunes will become the new Rayonier’s president and CEO.

In a written statement, Nunes said the opportunity was “too good to pass up.” He will lead a company that manages 2.6 million acres in the southern U.S., Washington state, and New Zealand.

“While I am excited by the professional challenges associated with this new position and company, I am also saddened to be leaving Pope Resources. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 17 years with the company and have been blessed with the opportunity to lead this organization for the past 12 years. I’m very proud of what our team has accomplished in terms of growing each of our business lines as well as in the success our unit-holders have enjoyed.”

The board of Pope Resources ( named Tom Ringo as interim CEO while the company conducts a search for a new CEO. This search expected to take approximately three months and will involve both internal and external candidates, according to Nunes. Ringo is currently Pope’s vice president and chief financial officer.

Pope Resources is a publicly traded company and owns 113,000 acres of productive fee timberland, a 15 percent co-investment in 90,000 timberland acres, and 2,900 acres of development property, including Harbor Hill in Gig Harbor, Wright Creek in Bremerton, Arborwood in Kingston, Port Gamble, and Skamania/Swift.

Pope Resources’ Olympic Property Group manages land development activities on a number of real estate properties, and manages the historic town of Port Gamble. Pope Resources’ Olympic Resource Management manages Pope’s   timberland and timber investments.

“This is an exciting time to join Rayonier,” Nunes said. “Rayonier is an industry leader with top talent and an outstanding timberland portfolio serving U.S. and Pacific Rim markets … [and] is well-positioned to capitalize on the rebounding economy and housing markets.” Paul Boynton, Rayonier's current chairman, president and CEO, becomes chairman, president and CEO of Rayonier Advanced Materials when his company separates.

“Dave will provide strong leadership and direction to the new Rayonier,” Boynton said in the written statement. “With 30 years of industry experience, he will continue Rayonier’s long legacy of growing shareholder value and provide strategic direction to one of the best teams of timber and real estate professionals in our industry.”

Nunes brings three decades of timber and real estate industry leadership to his new role, including more than 15 years as a senior executive.  Nunes joined Pope Resources in 1997 as director of portfolio management, working with prospective investors on developing timberland investment portfolios. He became vice president of portfolio development, and then served two years as senior vice president of acquisitions and portfolio development.

He was named president and chief operating officer in 2000, and president and CEO in 2002. He launched the company’s private equity timber fund business, which manages timberlands in three funds.

Previously, Nunes spent nine years with Weyerhaeuser Company, joining the company in 1988 as a business analyst and advancing through a number of leadership roles to become director of corporate strategic planning.

Nunes said he leaves Pope Resources as the company finishes one of the strongest quarters in its history. “[We] are poised to have our strongest year ever … As we continue to place capital from our private equity timber fund business, our timberland base will continue to grow, providing for additional harvest volume and revenues, and with it new opportunities for our employees. Our real estate segment, following years of investment in entitlement efforts, is delivering significant revenues and cash flows that will help fund the company’s growth objectives.”


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