PRESIDENT & CEO, RAYONIER, YULEE
Nunes leads Rayonier, one of the largest landowners in Florida and the United States. He came to Rayonier in 2014 as COO and soon after took the helm after an extensive career in management in the forest products industry, including as strategic planning director at Weyerhaeuser from 1988-97 and as CEO of Pope Resources starting in 2002. He has a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pomona College.
Rayonier owns or leases more than 1.8 million acres of timberland across the Southeast, including 350,000 acres in Florida. About 200,000 acres of the firm’s holdings are between Daytona Beach and Savannah, Ga., along the I-95 corridor.
As its holdings appreciate, the company historically has sold off about 1.5% to 2% of its land each year, using the proceeds to buy cheaper land. In recent years, the company established a subsidiary for real estate development.
In mid-2014, Rayonier split its timber and manufacturing operations into separate, publicly traded companies — a manufacturing operation that produces a range of cellulose products and the timber company. The timber company, led by Nunes, includes Rayonier’s real estate business and has more than 330 employees and annual sales of $820 million. It is currently working on a 260-acre master-planned development called Wildlight near A1A and I-95 north of Jacksonville; the property is near another 25,000 acres that Rayonier owns.