Marina Conway, chief executive of Western Forestry Co-op Ltd, has decided “it’s time to hand over the reins and pursue other opportunities” after 11 years at the helm.

A fierce advocate of farm forestry, Conway said she was proud of the work that Western Forestry Co-op had achieved under her stewardship.

“We were at the forefront of farm forestry, empowering farmers and local communities to be their own leaders in forestry”, she said.

“However, I believe it’s time for a change and to let someone else take Western Forest- ry Co-op on the next exciting stage of its journey.”

Conway, who will step down at the end of June, has worked in the public and private sectors since graduating from UCD.

Apart from her time with Western Forestry, she ran her own company and worked in New Zealand on the country’s emissions trading scheme, a key government tool to help achieve 2050 greenhouse gas emissions targets.

“Marina Conway has been an excellent CEO for Western Forestry Co-op over the past 11 years,” said co-op chair Robert Hosey.

“She has committed passion, drive, and energy to the co-op, transforming it from a very modest business to a leader in farm forestry,” he added.

“It has been a privilege to work with her, and on behalf of the board and the Western Forestry Co-op team, I want to thank Marina for all her efforts and wish her the very best for the future.”

Conway wouldn’t be drawn on future plans but said she will maintain her interest in forestry.