ABBEVILLE – Retired Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., U.S. Army, has been elected to the board of directors of Great Southern Wood Holdings Inc. He fills the position left vacant by the death of former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye, who had served on the board of directors since 1996.
Burgess currently serves as Executive Vice President of Auburn University.
“I cannot emphasize enough how honored I am that Lt. General Burgess has agreed to serve on our board,” said Jimmy Rane, founder, president and CEO of Great Southern Wood Holdings Inc. “He is a man of extraordinary caliber and experience, and he has demonstrated a deep commitment to our nation. I am very pleased that he will bring to our company the benefit of his wisdom and knowledge.”
After being commissioned in military intelligence through the Auburn University ROTC program in 1974, Burgess held a variety of key staff and command positions throughout his 38-year military career. General officer assignments include Director of Intelligence, J2, U.S. Southern Command; Director of Intelligence, J2, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Customer Outcomes transitioning to Director of the Intelligence Staff in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He retired from the U.S. Army as the 17th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012.
The former DIA director returned to Auburn in December 2012 to serve as senior counsel for National Security, Cyber Programs and Military Affairs, before being appointed as Auburn’s chief operating officer in 2018. In these roles, Burgess oversees a range of university services to ensure Auburn’s research and development programs are positioned to address issues of national and global significance.
Burgess was honored in 2013 by the Auburn Alumni Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, he was inducted into the United States Army Military Intelligence Hall of Fame and, in 2016, was inducted into the Army ROTC National Hall of Fame.
He earned a master’s in education from the University of Southern California in 1980 and a master’s in military arts and science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1986. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from LaGrange College in 2015 and received an honorary doctorate from Stetson University in 2017. On July 27, 2018, he received an honorary doctorate of strategic intelligence degree from the National Intelligence University in Bethesda, Maryland.
Great Southern Wood Holdings Inc. is the parent company of Great Southern Wood Preserving Incorporated, the nation’s leading producer of pressure treated pine lumber for residential, farm, commercial and industrial uses. The company is headquartered in Abbeville. It and its subsidiaries have plants located in Mobile, AL; Muscle Shoals, AL; Northport, AL; Brookhaven, MS; Glenwood, AR; Columbus, TX; Buckner, MO; Conyers, GA; Jesup, GA; Mansura, LA; Bushnell, FL; Rocky Mount, VA; Ruther Glen, VA; Hagerstown, MD; and Fombell, PA; and Gatesville, NC. For information about Great Southern, call 334-585-2291 or visit www.yellawood.com.