Einari Vidgrén Foundation rewards forestry professionals
The Einari Vidgrén Foundation has rewarded forestry professionals for the 16th time. The Einari Award, the foundation’s main prize, was given to Kimmo Hokkanen of Metsäkone Hokkanen Oy. Paavo Rautio and Markku Eronen received the lifetime achievement awards.
In addition to the main Einari Award, there are four prize categories: lifetime achievement, special recognition, operators and students. In 2021, the foundation’s awards will total EUR 169,900.
“This was a record year in applications received, making the selection process especially tough. One criterion was the work done in the forest industry, emphasising sustainable development and responsible activities,” says Juha Vidgrén, chairman of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation.
The Einari Award
The Einari Award, the main prize of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation, is awarded for long-term activities in the demanding wood harvesting industry and for professional entrepreneurship in the forest machine sector. In recognition of these qualities, this year’s EUR 20,000 prize was awarded to Kimmo Hokkanen of Metsäkone Hokkanen Oy, operating as part of Kasiforest Oy. Hokkanen is a long-time forest machine entrepreneur, who has actively and successfully promoted performance-based pay for forest machine operators.
Lifetime achievement awards
In recognition of their significant contribution as forest machine entrepreneurs to Finland’s forest industry, excellence in wood harvesting, and the country’s rapid economic growth in the past, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation has issued lifetime achievement awards to Paavo Rautio and Markku Eronen.
Paavo Rautio, Metsärautio Oy
“Paavo Rautio is akin to an old pine snag: greying, but can withstand the heaviest of storms. He first started mechanical harvesting in the 1960s, learning as he went,” says Juha Vidgrén. Rautio has especially left his mark on Lapland, where he has participated in the development of the industry’s education, contributing to many on-the-job learning positions and apprenticeship opportunities for young people, for example. In Rautio’s own words: “We should always do a little more and a little better. That’s what the forest, entrepreneur and customers like.”
Markku Eronen, Metsäkoneurakointi Veljekset Eronen Ky
“Tapani is characterised by determination and the ultimate quality requirements for harvesting. Markku has always made it a point of honour to do the best job possible in a customer’s forest,” says Juha Vidgrén.
Over the decades, Metsäkoneurakointi Veljekset Eronen Ky has employed dozens of forest industry professionals. They have provided training for fresh graduates and industry veterans alike.
Special recognition awards
The foundation issues annual special recognition awards to people involved in wood harvesting research and product development, industry education development, and those increasing awareness of and recognition for the industry.
Työtehoseura, Kari Huotari
Grounds: Kari Huotari is a long-time forest industry operator, who started as a logger and now teaches forest machine operators for Työtehoseura. Kari educates forest machine operators on seedling stand tending and manual wood harvesting. He also teaches degrees in plant protection and nature management. The nature management licence teaching is dear to Kari, and his teaching is highly motivated and interesting.
Perttu Liukkonen, Metsä Group
Grounds: Perttu Liukkonen is a top forest industry professional who is still working as an operations supervisor for the Mikkeli procurement team after 20 years. Perttu spends much of his working and personal time organising forest industry-related trips for young people, including basic education and sponsored forest school classes. He understands the requirements of modern mechanical wood harvesting, works well with others, and manages his duties superbly.
Maaseutuammattiin ry, Niina Mäntyniemi
Grounds: Maaseutuammattiin ry is an association that aims to engage the regional forest and agricultural businesses, associations, educational institutions, and other operators in joint industry public relations and marketing activities.
New Brunswick Community College (NBCC), Canada
Grounds: The NBCC trains forest machine operators in the Cut-to-Length method. Their twelve-week courses aim to steer education in the direction of Nordic Cut-to-Length wood harvesting.
Juho Kemppainen, Jätkä-Juho Oy
Grounds: Juho Kemppainen, age 12, achieved national fame for his lumberjack’s candles in late 2020. This made the energetic country boy from Hoikka in Finland an entrepreneur in spite of his young age. Like Einari Vidgrén, Juho wishes to buy his own tractor so he can help his father with the different machine work around the farm. Juho has strong ties to the countryside and the forest.
Vieremän 4H-yhdistys, forest trail
Grounds: This 4-H organisation has built an easily accessible, inspiring and informative forest trail system for children and young people in Vieremä in Finland, in cooperation with the local forestry society. Their forest trail and forest day aim to increase the knowledge children and young people have of forests, and to give a diverse and positive image of Finland’s forest nature and sustainable forestry.
The Network for Women and Non-binary Persons in the Forestry Sector (NYKS), Sweden
Grounds: Promoting equality in the forestry and forest machine industries, and increasing awareness of the sector among women.
The award criteria for operator awards include customer-driven, high-quality work, an unrelenting attitude when it comes to the quality of work, and good cooperation and communication with forest owners and other stakeholders. Einari had a clear idea for the operator award criteria: those operators with a high quality of work, a good attitude and good customer service skills have earned their reward.
This year, the foundation awarded the EUR 1,500 prize to 45 distinguished forest machine operators.
The operator awards were received by:
Albrecht Keijo, Vuojalahti, Veljekset Hokkanen Oy
Antila Mika, Nurmes, Metsäkuljetus Kärki Oy
Harju Risto, Salla, A&L Harju Oy
Harju Teemu, Kuopio, Metsätyö MarkoP Oy
Hietakangas Mika, Lehtimäki, Jykylä & Pojat Oy
Hietala Hannu, Reisjärvi, Honkaperä Forest Oy
Hiironen Jyrki, Pihtipudas, Putaan Mottimestarit Oy
Huotari Jari, Kuhmo, Hakka Oy
Hynynen Eetu, Lammasaho, Metsäkone Jauhiaiset Oy
Häkkilä Asko, Vihanti, Veljekset Kellola Oy
Isorinne Jukka, Kannus, Metsäurakointi Mannila&Haapaniemi
Kangasvieri Veijo, Kaustinen, Granvikin Metsätyö Oy
Kela Jari, Kiiminki, Metsäkoneurakointi Reino Alatalo Oy
Kelanti Kari, Kelankylä, Konehakkuut Juha Piri Oy
Kokkonen Arto, Savikylä, Motoajo Oy
Koskela Antero, Oulainen, Koneurakointi Antero Mustakangas Ky
Kämäräinen Marko, Varkaus, Kohmansalon Metsäkuljetus Oy
Laitinen Kimmo, Tahkomäki, Metsäajo Laitinen Oy
Laurila Tapani, Ala-Seppä, Konepalvelu Hölsin Oy
Leppänen Janne, Rautavaara, Koneurakointi S.Kuittinen Oy
Lundell Mikko, Kiikala, Metsätyö Eskola Oy
Lundström Kim, Parainen, Oy Parforest AB
Mikkilä Aarno, Inari, A & R Ollila Oy
Mustonen Jari, Tolosenmäki, Velj.Mustonen Oy
Mustonen Jyri, Heinävesi, Heinäveden Koneurakointi Oy
Ollila Lauri, Taivalkoski, Heavy Rakenne Oy
Partanen Jarmo, Siilinjärvi, Pekka Hakkarainen Oy
Pekonen Timo, Parikkala, Metsänkorjuu Pulkkinen Oy
Piironen Ilpo, Rajamäki, Metsäkoneurakointi Pekka Liiri Oy
Pikkarainen Antti, Kestilä, Jari Ilkka Pikkarainen
Poikonen Joni, Pielavesi, Nilakka Forest Oy
Puranen Juhani, Niinilahti, Kraftboys Oy
Puustinen Timo, Räsälä, Karttulan Metsätyö Oy
Pöntiö Juha, Viitasaari, Lahtinen Forest Oy
Ripatti Jouni, Kalvitsa, Metsäkuljetus Matti Hänninen Ky
Ruotsalainen Mika, Juankoski, Koneurakointi Lukkarinen Oy
Ruusuvirta Antti, Kivijärvi, Metsä-Multia Oy
Siikavirta Jari, Rautalampi, Varis Forest Oy
Siira Ari, Muhos, Metsä Aalto Oy
Sikanen Henri, Maavesi, Esa Kuronen Oy
Sorri Tomi, Sysmä, Koskenmyllyn Korjuu Oy
Suuronen Miika , Kotka, SM-Korjuu Oy
Vlasoff Jari, Tohmajärvi, Toropainen Oy Metsäkoneurakointi
Voutilainen Mika, Joroinen, FinnHarvest Oy
Väisänen Juho, Taivalkoski, Moto Team Tauriainen Oy
Student scholarships are awarded to forest industry students who have performed well in their education. The foundation awarded the EUR 600 scholarships to 34 forest industry students. The scholarships were issued to the students in May at the end of the term.
The student scholarships were received by:
Etelä-Savon Koulutus Oy, Pieksämäki: Mikael Iivarinen, Tommi Korhonen
Yskesakademin i Österbotten: Martin Kuuttinen, Jim Granfors
Etelä-Savon Koulutus, ESEDU: Antti Lukkari
Etelä-Savon Koulutus, Salosaari, Mikkeli: Anton Elokankare
Oulun seudun ammattiopisto Taivalkoski: Valtteri Mourujärvi, Matias Hanhisuanto
OSAO Muhos: Arttu Penttilä, Aleksi Leinonen
Tredu, Kuru: Lauri Laine, Janne Hemminki
TTS Työtehoseura: Lassi Holpainen, Mikael Nyberg
Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy, WinNova: Miro Siiskonen, Valtteri Alamäki
Riveria, Valtimo: Toni Holopainen, Lassi Tuohinen
Gradia Jämsä: Topias Hekkala, Juuso Valta
SEDU, Ähtäri: Matias Kauppinen, Oskari Upo
Keski-Pohjanmaan koulutusyhtymä: Tuukka Hukkanen, Artturi Nikunen
Lapin ammattiopisto REDU, Rovaniemi: Aleksi Niemelä, Veeti Jauhiainen
Lapin ammattiopisto REDU, Kemijärvi: Mirelle Törmänen
Pohjoisen Keski-Suomen ammattiopisto: Jaani Siirtonen, Lauri Kärki
Savon ammattiopisto: Olli Julkunen, Samuel Rissanen
Peimarin koulutuskuntayhtymä, Ammattiopisto Livia: Veikko Teinilä
Jämsänkosken metsäoppilaitos: Juho Kylmälä
Keudan Saaren kartano, Metsäopetus: Arttu Murtola
The goal of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation, established in 2005 by industrial counsellor Einari Vidgrén, founder of Ponsse Plc, is to increase appreciation for the work done in the field of mechanical wood harvesting and the forest industry in line with responsible and sustainable development. The foundation rewards distinguished forest industry professionals based on online applications for awards and scholarships. The foundation seeks to increase awareness of mechanical wood harvesting entrepreneurship and its attractiveness as a form of employment, especially among young people.