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Our international team is composed of experts in finance, forestry, manufacturing, and marketing and sales. Most of us have worked together for a minimum of five to ten years; in some cases the relationships started in Paraguay in 1996 and have continued to the present. We compliment our international team with skilled and talented local employees and partners. It’s these people who know the forests, culture, and people best and they and their children will be the ones to reap the benefits of wise forest management. The international team works in partnership with the local group to localize SFS’ approach to each specific culture and ecosystem.


Jeffrey S. Atkin


Jeffrey Atkin founded and developed Sustainable Forest Systems LP in 1991. He researched and created the fundamental macro-economic framework, biological and political screens, markets, capital formation, and management team to form one of the world’s first integrated and sustainably managed tropical hardwood businesses in Paraguay, South America. The business became recognized as one of the few on-time/on-quality FSC-certified tropical hardwood businesses to supply North American and Asian customers.


Jeff led a $40 million investment extending the sustainable forestry business concept in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, working extensively with community and indigenous groups to secure long-term timber leases and create an FSC-certified timber resource of approximately 550,000 hectares. He was responsible for the financing, planning, and implementation of a greenfield sawmill and veneer mill complex considered the most robust in South America.


Prior to starting SFS from 1981 to 1989 Mr. Atkin was Principal of Atkin Petroleum Group, one of the first and largest spread market makers for heating oil, gasoline, and crude oil. Subsequently he was Managing Partner of two trading companies specializing in hedge strategies for the petroleum markets. He was a member of the New York Mercantile Exchange from 1980 to 1996. He graduated from Amherst College in 1979.


He serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of, an NGO that works to improve the health, education and self-sufficiency of youth, particularly young women and girls, around the world.


Karl Bahler

Manager Expansion & Country Programs

Mr. Bahler serves as head of Business Development at SFS and is responsible for the financial modeling and legal framework for current and new investments. He joined SFS in 2005. Prior to joining SFS Mr. Bahler was most a portfolio manager with Global Forest Partners (previously UBS Global Asset Management) a global Timber Investment Management Organization (TIMO).


He has experience in investment fund development, property acquisition & disposition, timberland operations management, client reporting, investment fund accounting, auditing, and tax. His previous experience is in managing both timber and non-timber assets in private and public portfolios for a corporate pension plan sponsor.


Mr. Bahler received his BA in economics from Alfred University, and his MBA in economics and finance from the University of Buffalo. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.


William Cordero

Chief Forester

Mr. Cordero has worked for more than 30 years in different aspects of tropical forest management and harvesting. He has worked in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Panama and Bolivia for different cooperation agencies such as USAID, FAO, Finland, and The Nature Conservancy, always in the field of forest management. For 15 years he taught logging road construction and forest harvesting at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica.


From 1994 to 2003 was part of the team that implemented the BOLFOR Project in Bolivia. During this period, he worked as deputy director, as well as being in charge of different project activities related to forestry policies and sustainable forest management practices. He was part of the team that developed the new forestry law for Bolivia and was also instrumental in its application, providing support to the Bolivian government and to private companies. His efforts have contributed to Bolivia’s achievements in terms of voluntarily certifying over two million hectares of natural forests.


William is an expert in forest engineering, timber harvesting, natural forest management, forestry research and training in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama, Colombia, and Nicaragua. He has substantial experience in sustainable forest management including numerous FSC certifications. Mr. Cordero earned a BA and M.Sc. in forestry from University of Idaho and has worked with SFS since 1997.

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