Association of Consulting Foresters
In late 1957 or early 1958 Frank Avant and Bill May decided to form a Mississippi Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters. Frank Avant had recently retired from the United States Forest Service, and Bill May recently retired from Forester for the Illinois Central Railroad. They applied to National Headquarters to form a Mississippi Chapter. They were told that was a laudable undertaking, but they needed at least three members to form a Chapter. They contacted John Guthrie to join them in this formation. John had started his Consulting business in August of 1954, after employment with Illinois Central Railroad from 1948 – 1951 and then as Forester for L. N. Dantzler Lumber Company from 1951 to 1954. Avant and May had more recently retired, and were motivated to get Professional recognition. Bill May was located in Jackson, Frank Avant in Gulfport and John Guthrie in Wiggins, Mississippi. It was decided to meet in Wiggins to form the Chapter to comply with National A.C.F. regulations. When asked where the formulation meeting was held, the three would answer, “ We formed the Mississippi Chapter of the A.C. F. in a Phone Booth” in Wiggins, Mississippi. Bill May was elected President; Frank Avant, Vice-President and John Guthrie, Secretary/Treasurer. The organizational meeting was held in early (January – February) of 1958. Guthrie received his “Certificate of Membership” in the Association of Consulting Foresters dated April 21, 1958; signed by Sigman I. Somberg, Executive Secretary.