Board Members

 

2017 NWSA Board Of Directors


Rick Dice - NWSA President

In 1971 he started in Business as a partner in PatRick Environmental.  In 1974 it was incorporated and Rick has held the position of President since that time.

PatRick was the first private sector Corporation to successfully complete prescribed fire contracts with USFS and BLM in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Rick served in Vietnam in the Army as an SSG.  He attended Portland Community College, Portland State and University of Oregon.  His major was education.

PatRick Corporation is the current name of the business and Rick still resides as President. His company currently has Type 2 IA Hand Crews, Type 2 Regional Crews, and Waterhandling Equipment with bases in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and North Carolina.

Rick’s fire experience started in 1966 and continues today.  Rick is a Founding member of the National Wildfire Suppression Association, was Chairman of the Training Committee from 1989-1993.  Rick has been President of NWSA for eight of the last 12 years.   Rick’s commitment to the “Big Picture” for the industry has helped NWSA gain it’s recognition on a national level.

He is committed to the success of the private Wildland fire services nationally and has spent tireless hours promoting the industry as a whole.


Claren Nilsson - NWSA Vice President

Claren spent 9 years working for the Department of Interior when she married Winston Nilsson of Tulelake California. She transferred to work as an Engine Captain at Lava Beds National Monument where she helped develop and implement prescribed fire.

In 1995 Founded Lost River Fire Management Services, Inc. which is a multi-faceted forestry service company, created to help fill the niche created by federal downsizing and on-site operations are conducted under her supervision to ensure the highest job quality, responsible for all contracts, bidding, hiring, training and implementation of all crew projects. Claren is an RXB1, OPSC2 and ICT3. She is a firm believer in “lead by example.” Located on the state line between R5 and R6 the company has the unique opportunity to understand working requirements of both regions.

She has been a NWSA member since 1995, R5 Chapter Chair in 2010 and NWSA Board Member since 2005.


Lee Miller - NWSA Secretary/Treasurer -  NWSA PNW Crew Chapter Chair

Lee founded Miller Timber Services, Inc. in 1982. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry Engineering from Oregon Status University. He was awarded OSU College of Forestry’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2011 and was named Associated Oregon Loggers’ Logger of the Year for 2010. Today, Lee acts as president of Miller Timber Services and is an active member of the Oregon forestry community. Lee oversees and is actively engaged in all aspects of the wildland fire suppression effort at Miller Timber Services, from planning through execution. He also acts as a Single Resource Boss during fire season.

Miller Timber Services is a family-owned, small business with 31 years of forest management experience. Miller Timber is a well-diversified forestry services company, providing comprehensive professional forestry and emergency services for private landowners and government agencies. Fire suppression resources provided my Miller Timber Services include hand crews, engines, water tenders, professional timber fallers, heavy equipment and equipment transport.


Mike Edrington - Board Member at Large

Mike currently is a partner with Organizational Quality Associates, and spends a signicant amount of his time teaching.  He retired from his role in Region as the USFS Fire & Aviation Director.

Mike has spent many years trying to improve the quality, safety and professionalism of the wildland fire services. 

Mike holds a degree in forest recreation from Colorado State University with a minor in forestry (1968). Graduate course work in forest recreation at Utah State University and forest protection at Colorado State University. Graduate of Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Incident leadership and command. Ten years as single resource and unit
leader, 12 years as Type I and II Incident Commander and command and
general staff, 16 years as a National Area Commander and 17 years as a
MAC Group Coordinator.

Seventeen years as instructor and unit leader for the NWCG courses of
S-520 and S-620 (Advanced Incident Management and Area Command).
Instructor and course coordinator for NWCG course of S-420 (Command
and General Staff).


Jess Wills - NWSA Board Member at Large

As the current President and Operations Manager for Firestorm, Jess started with his father Jim in 1997 right after high school graduation. Jess started as a rookie on a 20 person handcrew and within six years was a certified Single Resource Crew Boss running his own twenty person crew while working double duty to take over the operation management position. In 2007, Jess was able to relinquish his Crew Superintendent position to other up and coming young leaders in the organization, whom he had helped train, and then stepped into the role as the Business and Operations Manager.

Jess still enjoys getting out and working with the firefighters on the ground, but as Firestorm has become much more than just a wildland firefighting agency, most of his time is found working on the future of Firestorm and being one step ahead. Jess sits on the Board and Advisory Board for Firestorm. He also serves as a Board Member for the National Wildfire Suppression Association.

Jess is a graduate of California State University Chico with a degree in Business Administration and Operations Management. Jess is married to his wonderful wife Leah, and they have one son.


Robin Winston - NWSA Board Member at Large

Robin was born, and grew up in Winston, Oregon (yes – there is a pioneer connection). He is 55 and has been married to his wife Kathy for 10 years.

Robin has been involved with the NWSA since its inception. He has been in business as Owner of C & R Reforestation since 1980.

Robin sponsored and organized the first Forest Fire Suppression Seminars in 1989 in Roseburg, Oregon where over 300 fire fighters from the logging, reforestation and local construction industry were able to receive a certificate for entry level firefighting using instructors from the Forest Service, BLM, and Oregon Department of Forestry.

Robin has been active in Kiwanis, Roseburg Moose Lodge, was Past Alumni Board President of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Oregon State University and Past Advisor for Douglas County Search and Rescue, Explorer Post. He has been a Lead Instructor for Wildland Fire training with the NWSA since 1990, currently serving on the NWSA Training Committee. Hobbies include fishing, spending time at his home and garden on 4 acres in Aurora, Oregon and helping those in need in his community.


Don Pollard - Board Member at Large

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, OWNER - GFP Enterprises Inc.

Leader with vision responsible for all operations of four corporations focused on wild land firefighting, remote and emergency base camps, specialized organized labor, and the trenchless pipeline construction and rehabilitation industry. Key role in establishing and achieving organizational goals and achieving sustainability. Primary player in developing and maintaining Company culture of safety, performance, and professionalism, with a centralized focus on customer satisfaction. Oversee all operations of Companies and in charge of all hiring and firing.

GFP Enterprises has multiple types of resources that response to natural disasters of all kinds across the United States.

Don gradualted from Linfield College McMinnville, Oregon in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science:  Accounting and a minor in Speech Communication.


Mike Sulffridge - NWSA Board Member at Large

Mike Sulffridge and his brother established a forestry business in May of 1980. Mike and his brother are owner/operators of Diamond Road Inc. and Diamond Fire and have three locations in region 6.

Mike has 32 years of contracting experience, he started out in forestry; piling brush, constructing fire trail, prescribed burning, and progressed into fire suppression and forest road maintenance. He started contracting when he was 18 and his belief is; “If you are going to do it, then do it right”.

In 1983 Mike began providing crews and one engine to the local Forest Service for fire suppression. Then he began contracting with Oregon Department of Forestry to supply fire crews in 1988, the first year of the ODF agreement, and in 1991 signed up engines on the Forest Service engine and tender agreement.

Mike continues to perform fuels management, road maintenance, and provides crews and engines for fire suppression. Mike likes to keep his feet in the black; he maintains a Task Force Leader Qualification and goes out on his crews or engines as a ground pounder.

Mike enjoys spending time with his son, daughter, and beautiful granddaughter. He enjoys riding his HD motorcycle with friends, and muzzle loader elk hunting.

Mike has been a NWSA member since 1994, and has served the NWSA membership as a member of the board of directors since 2006. He is a NWSA instructor and has served four years on the NWSA training committee. He enjoys training his firefighters both in the class and field.


Dale Jenner - NWSA Board Member at Large

Forest management has been a part of Dale Jenner’s life for over 40 years. After graduation in 1970 from Central Oregon Community College where he earned an Associate Degree in Forestry, he became the Forester/Resource Manager for Harris Pine Mills in Pendleton, Oregon until 1987. He was also employed for a couple of years by E & T Carter Logging, Baker City, Oregon as their Logging Superintendent. He worked for Louisiana-Pacific, Pilot Rock, Oregon from 1989 until 1994 as one of their foresters, mainly overseeing logging projects. In 1994, he went to work for Kinzua Resources in Heppner, Oregon. While working for Kinzua, he was logging superintendent and block forester managing approximately 280,000 acres of timberland. He “followed the land” when there was a buyout of those timbered properties by Strategic Timber Trust/Pioneer Resources.

Dale and his wife, Judy, began their company, Arrowhead Forestry LLC, in 2003. Arrowhead specializes in hazardous fuels reduction along with wildland fire suppression. Dale is also a forester consultant for private landowners. Over the years, he has served on various boards associated with forestry and fish and wildlife, and was an Oregon Logging Conference board member for 13 years. Currently, he is the president of the Nixyaawii Native American Chamber of Commerce associated with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, board chairman for Harris Junior Academy, and serves as a representative for Blue Mountain Community College’s EMS and Fire Advisory Committee. He has been a board member of NWSA since 2007 and is the Water Handling Group’s chairman.

Dale married his grade school sweetheart, Judy, almost 42 years ago. Judy is the office manager/accreditation coordinator for Umatilla County Public Health. Their children have blessed them with nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. When Dale is not busy with work or committee meetings, he attends his grandchildren’s sports and school events. He enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, researching his Native American genealogy, and spending time with his family and two Maltese dogs, Cece and Max.


Mike Wheelock - NWSA Board Member - National Contract Resource Chapter Chair

Mike started out by working for the 10 years with the USFS in various capacities including Smoke Jumper, Heli-Tack, and Hotshot crew member. During the winter months of this time he ran a portable sawmill and did some gypo logging. In 1979 he formed Grayback Forestry after a knee injury in 1981 disabled him from smoke jumping anymore. Grayback Forestry started contacting full time with the agencies specializing in cone collections, reforestation, wildfire suppression and fuels work. In 1986 they opened a base in Libby, Montana in addition to the Merlin, Oregon location. The Montana base is now located in Missoula with other facilities in Merlin, Oregon, - John Day, Oregon, and La Grande, Oregon. Mike was one of the first members of NWSA, and he has been a board member since the early 90’s.

Mike’s company operates a multitude of fire resources including Type 2 IA Hand crews, Type 2 Regional Crews, water handling equipment, fallers and specialized equipment in Oregon and Montana.

His current roles are:

Board Member at large for the National Wildfire Suppression Association.

Chairman, NWSA National Resource Contract Chapter


Tom Wesley - NWSA Board Member - Region 5 Chapter Chair





John Timmerman - NWSA Board Member at Large

John started his fire service career as a teenager working as an hourly firefighter for the Missouri Conservation Commission in the 1960'S. In 1973 he joined the Boone County Fire Protection District. This fire district serves a mostly suburban and rural area. He remains with that organization today. In 1974 he went to work for the Columbia Missouri Fire Department. Retirement came in 2001 after 26 years. In 1994 John started a small prescribed burning business. In 2001 Timmermann Wildland Fire Services, LLC became a vendor for the U.S. Forest Service working under various water handling agreements. Since joining the NWSA in the mid 1994, John served on the Training Committee, the Cost Committee and the Board of Directors. Today John has two Type 6 engines on the R-9 Water Handling Agreement. He also stays busy with prescribed burning and other land management activities.