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CatchMark’s Jerry Barag to Pass Reins to President and Chief Financial Officer Brian M. Davis as Next Chief Executive Officer

General News

CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (“CatchMark”) announced that Brian M. Davis, previously President and Chief Financial Officer, will succeed Jerry Barag as the company’s next Chief Executive Officer and join the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Following six successful years in his role, Mr. Barag made the personal decision to retire from the company to pursue other interests. He will be available to Mr. Davis and the Board in a consulting capacity as needed through April 20, 2020. Mr. Barag will also step down from the Board, effective immediately.

“It has been an honor to work with the talented team here at CatchMark and to be a part of the company’s tremendous growth,” said Barag. “Brian and I have worked closely together throughout my tenure to establish CatchMark’s strategy and deliver consistent cash flow growth. He has been a wonderful partner and is the ideal candidate to take on the role of CEO.”

“Jerry has played a pivotal role in CatchMark’s success, including serving as a driving force of the company’s initial public offering in 2013 and the launch of the Triple T joint venture in 2018,” stated Willis J. Potts Jr., Chairman of the Board. “We thank Jerry for his significant contributions in laying the foundation for CatchMark’s future.”

Barag joined CatchMark in 2013 with more than 30 years of real estate, timberland and investment experience. During his tenure at the company, Barag has been instrumental in CatchMark’s success to-date, including building an industry leading portfolio, developing and launching the company’s first joint venture and completing one of the largest industry transactions of the past decade with CatchMark’s acquisition of 1.1 million acres of prime East Texas timberlands through Triple T Timberlands.

Potts continued, “We are excited to announce Brian’s appointment to CEO as his deep industry knowledge, financial expertise and vision for CatchMark will help drive the company into its next phase of growth. Brian is a respected leader with a passion for developing talent and building high-performing teams. His appointment is a critical step in our ongoing efforts to strengthen the company’s management team. We are confident that with Brian’s leadership, we will continue to execute on our strategic initiatives and disciplined capital allocation to drive shareholder value.”

Davis was appointed CatchMark’s Chief Financial Officer in March 2013 and promoted to President in April 2019. Prior to joining CatchMark, Davis served as Senior Vice President and CFO of Wells Timberland Management Organization. He joined Wells as a Vice President in 2007 after holding various roles at Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank, delivering strategic advisory, capital-raising and financial risk-management solutions to large corporate and middle-market clients. Davis has more than 25 years of experience in business and financial services, and has held key roles in finance, treasury and strategy.

He earned a B.B.A. and M.B.A. from Ohio University.

Brian M. Davis commented, “I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead this company during such an exciting time. Under Jerry’s leadership, CatchMark has built a strong business model focused on disciplined acquisitions of the highest quality timberlands in prime mill markets and superior asset management services. We have the right team of talented leaders in place, as highlighted by the recent promotions of Ursula and Todd, to embark on the next chapter of the company’s growth. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them and the rest of the executive bench to maintain our focus on our core strategies that produce predictable, stable and high-quality cash flow.”

As part of the management transition, Ursula Godoy-Arbelaez, previously Vice President and Treasurer, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, and Todd P. Reitz, previously Senior Vice President, Forest Resources, has been appointed Chief Resources Officer, effective immediately.

In 2018, Godoy-Arbelaez was appointed as Vice President and Treasurer, responsible for overseeing financial operations and directing financial planning, forecasting and budget management for CatchMark. Godoy-Arbelaez also serves as Secretary and Treasurer for TexMark Timber Treasury (Triple T Timberlands), a CatchMark affiliate. She has over 15 years of experience in treasury, finance, risk management and accounting with a focus on the timber and real estate industry. Prior to her current role at the company, she served as Director of Finance since 2011. Godoy-Arbelaez also served as Finance Consultant and Senior Financial Analyst for Wells Timberland Management Organization since 2008.

Reitz joined CatchMark in March 2017 as Senior Vice President, Forest Resources, overseeing all management operations for the company’s various ownership interests of timberlands located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Prior to joining CatchMark, he served as the Atlantic South Regional Marketing Manager for Weyerhaeuser with operational oversight for all log and pulpwood production from East Alabama to Virginia. He has more than 20 years of timber industry experience, working for Weyerhaeuser, Plum Creek and Stone Container Corporation. Reitz has extensive marketing, harvesting, silviculture and business development experience across the U.S. South from East Texas to Virginia.

About CatchMark

CatchMark (NYSE: CTT) seeks to deliver consistent and growing per share cash flow from disciplined acquisitions and superior management of prime timberlands located in high demand U.S. mill markets. Concentrating on maximizing cash flows throughout business cycles, the company strategically harvests its high-quality timberlands to produce durable revenue growth and takes advantage of proximate mill markets, which provide a reliable outlet for merchantable inventory. Headquartered in Atlanta and focused exclusively on timberland ownership and management, CatchMark began operations in 2007 and owns interests in 1.5 million acres* of timberlands located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. For more information, visit


Mary Beth Ryan – Miller Ryan, LLC – – (203) 268-0158

Source: CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc.