Greenville native steps into new role at Great Southern Woods

Published 10:18 am Thursday, January 7, 2021

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Great Southern Woods Holdings, Inc. has announced Chief Marketing Officer James Riley will be stepping into the newly created position of Chief Communications Officer, effective December 31, 2020.


“Among the many duties James has handled in his role as CMO over the years have been the company’s public relations and communications efforts,” said Jimmy Rane, Great Southern’s founder, president and CEO. “In recent years, this has been an ever-increasing area of concentration for him, and we’ve decided that it’s important to have a senior-level executive focused solely on that work. With James’ considerable institutional knowledge of all of our companies and his experience in working with the media and key stakeholders, he’s the ideal person to blaze this trail for us.”

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In his Chief Marketing Officer role, Riley led a team responsible for all aspects of Great Southern’s marketing communications across each of its business units, which include manufacturing, distribution and logistics operations. The work of the team resulted in highly recognized advertising of the company’s YellaWood® brand of pressure-treated pine.


“For more than three decades, James has been an extraordinary steward of our company and our brands, and he has set the standard for future marketers at Great Southern,” Rane added. “I’m grateful for his many years of leadership and service in the CMO role and am excited to see him take on this new challenge for our organization.”


Riley is a graduate of Tulane University and has completed executive education courses at the Harvard Business School, the Columbia Business School, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.  Among the topics are strategic marketing, marketing management, digital marketing, and sustainable marketing leadership.  He is also a graduate of the Pepsi-Cola (USA) Media School.  In 2015, Marketing Evolution, a leader in media effectiveness measurement, named him a “Marketing Superstar.”


He is a member of a number of industry organizations including the American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, the American Marketing Association, the Mobile Marketing Association, and the Public Relations Council of Alabama.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wiregrass.


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, Alabama. It and its subsidiaries have plants located in Mobile, Alabama; Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Brookhaven, Mississippi; Glenwood, Arkansas; Columbus, Texas; Buckner, Missouri; Conyers, Georgia; Jesup, Georgia; Mansura, Louisiana; Bushnell, Florida; Rocky Mount, VA; Hagerstown, MD; and Fombell, PA. For information about Great Southern, call 334-585-2291 or visit