Renewable Resources

Owners

David EllisJill EllisJill Ann Ellis and David M. Ellis are the primary owners and driving force of Renewable Resources. David was born in Atlanta GA, and spent many of his summers working on the family farm in Upson County GA. Old style farming and squirrel hunting filled his long summer days. Living with his grandparents, he learned appreciation of hard work and simple pleasures.

Renewable Forestry Services, Inc. was incorporated in 1983 by David M. Ellis and Judith Harrington.  The company came into existence after David had completed a three year self-designed college course in the development of Renewable Forms of Energy through Beacon College of Boston, MA.  Ellis and Harrington were invited to submit a business plan for funding under the Carter Administration Ethanol Fuel Program being setup under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmer’s Home Administration.

A plant was designed by Ellis that would produce five thousand gallons of Anhydrous Ethanol per 24 hour day and would run 7 days a week.  The plant was scheduled to be built on 50 acres of family farmland in Upson County GA. Dr. Ronnie Roberts, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, served as David’s advisor and teacher on the design of the plant. David completed courses in chemistry, biology, physics and economics while at Gordon College as part of the education he needed for such a project. Beacon College was a private college that was a “school without walls” intended to allow students to create specialized courses of study at the college level and earn a diploma.

Ellis spent a year on the design of the fuel plant and funded it with income from his mother’s Social Security Benefits. The design was under review for funding in Washington D.C. when President Carter lost the White House to President Reagan and David Stockman pulled President Carter’s outgoing budget.  That action killed the Nation’s first attempt towards developing a sustainable supply of energy through the use of Renewable's such as ethanol and methane gas to supplement automotive fuels, while creating advanced clean coal technologies, intended to convert both coal and shale tar sands into gasoline thus cutting our dependency on imported oil while clean renewable fuels blended into the Nation’s automotive supply.

Ellis had a series of small, short term loans scheduled to mature with the funding and the release of personal trust funds to meet the Federal Program requirements.  United Bank of Yatesville had agreed to fund the plant’s construction provided the Fed’s Loan Guarantee Program would back the loan.  With the Federal funding pulled, Ellis was left with loans maturing and no capital.  He headed west to the Colorado Rockies with his high school math teacher, Steven Conrads, and spent the summer planting trees across the Rockies with a group called Cottage Industries.  By summer’s end, Ellis had retired all of the loans and upon returning to Georgia Doug Tuttle, then Vice President of United Bank of Yatesville, offered to back Ellis in a reforestation service company.  Thus Renewable Forestry was born and Ellis chose not to return to college that coming winter but to plant trees for Buckeye Cellulose.

Jill danced into David’s world at a Cajun dance retreat in 1997 at Split Tree Farm, a dance retreat located in the woods of northeast Alabama.  Jill, the daughter on Joan and Guy Hall, was also raised in Atlanta and her family roots go back to hills of Eastern Kentucky. Her father was an industrial electrician and he built homes in Gwinnett County on the side.

Jill became her dad’s forman on the subdivisions that they built and she studied drafting in High School. As a child, Jill developed a love for all things natural. She learned to shear sheep, became a spinner and weaver.

Being good with her hands and having a natural artistic flair she became a wood turner. As these were more a hobby for her, she took her drafting skills and became a draftsman and cartographer for a wide range of engineering and utility companies including Georgia Power. This spirited cartographer added a level of engineering and survey expertise to the company that opened new opportunities for Renewable.

The first was completing the clearing of a 245 acre swamp bottom in the Towaliga River basin that was being dammed up to supply drinking water to Henry County GA. Upon completing this contact David and Jill entered the world of mitigation restoration contracting. 

To date, the two have lead the company in completing an array of impressive mitigation and restoration contracts as well as other specialty clearing contracts such as clearing 35 acres of Mangrove Swamp for the Navy at Boca Chica Navel Air Station in Key West Florida by hand.  The work site was along the approach of the runway used to train Navy Pilots.  Additionally the company built a series of shallow ponds for the Army at Ft Campbell as the mitigation contract for the Sabre Heliport Expansion at the Army Base.  From here the company completed the Little Calumet River Mitigation Contract for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in Gary Indiana.  This contract was a real collaboration between the company and the Army Corps as David and Jill combined their various experiences to bring about the creation of a 100 acre tall grass prairie along with the development of a 57 acre mesic savanna.

While Renewable is a for profit corporation, the company supplies David and Jill with a platform to conduct environmental restoration and to promote conservation concepts.  The company has been a leader in supplying support to improving working conditions and improving the legal structures which governs forestry workers.  While our business structure is corporate for profit, our interest and actions are arguably more in the vein of a non profit as we have been a leader in improving working conditions in our industry for decades and work to promote conservation concepts in Mexico and Ghana, and have sponsored H2B worker(s) from Peru and Ghana, again to expose people in developing counties to concepts of environmental conservation and land restoration.

Jill’s investment into the company has been a full circle for David. Starting out in renewable energy at age 20, with more that 20 million trees planted and over 25,000 acres of established forest cover it can be said that Renewable has setup or seen to it than a carbon storage bank has stayed operating that stores an estimated 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Jill has been responsible for opening this door and driving the company into the restoration direction.

Jill has brought me back to my roots. Planting trees to grow money has value but restoring land back to its natural balance adds value to life that transcends making money, for us, our clients and our Government. Actually as climate change becomes the next front page story having a hand in restoration becomes a mission.

Renewable Resources
2222 Boyt Road
Yatesville, GA 31097
478.319.7278
info@renewforest.com
 
 
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