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Einari Vidgrén Foundation rewarded forestry professionals for the 18th time

The Einari Vidgrén Foundation has rewarded merited forestry professionals for the 18th time. The Einari Award, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation’s key recognition, was granted to Heikki Ahola from H.A. Forest Oy, and Arvo and Markku Manninen from Koneurakointi Veljekset Manninen Ky.

In addition to the Einari Award, recognitions were given in four different categories: lifetime achievement, special recognition, operators and students. In 2023, the Foundation’s awards totalled EUR 199,200.

“Thousands of professionals with first-rate expertise work in our forests. The standard set for forest management and harvesting rises all the time – we all bear responsibility for responsible and sustainable forest management. In our selections, we wanted to emphasise professional and comprehensive activities. Our recognitions were also given to professionals who, through their activities, have spread a positive message of the forest sector,” says Juha Vidgren, Chair of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation.

The award ceremony was held in Rientola in Vieremä on 7th of June 2023.


The Einari Award

The Einari Award, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation’s key recognition, was granted to Heikki Ahola from H.A. Forest Oy, and Arvo and Markku Manninen from Koneurakointi Veljekset Manninen Ky. This year’s criteria emphasised professional and comprehensive activities and maintaining a high level of quality.

Heikki Ahola, H.A. Forest Oy
The company’s guiding values are social, ecological and financial sustainability, as well as the production of added value for customers. H.A. Forest Oy has worked with Stora Enso and Kimmo Kulojärvi Oy to develop operator training. In addition, Heikki Ahola has participated in public dialogue in media services, presenting the forest sector in a positive light.

Arvo and Markku Manninen, Koneurakointi Veljekset Manninen Ky
The company is engaged in reliable and environmentally friendly activities of a high level of quality. The company works with the persistency that is characteristic to the region of Kainuu and does exactly what it promises. Currently, the company works for UPM in the regions of Kainuu, Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland, employing eight people.


Lifetime achievement awards

In recognition of their significant contribution as forest machine entrepreneurs to Finland’s forestry, excellence in harvesting, and the country’s economic growth in the past, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation granted lifetime achievement awards to Timo Tolppa and Markku and Mauri Kanervo. The lifetime achievement awards were given for a long and merited career in forest machine contracting.

Timo Tolppa, Metsäkonepalvelu Oy
With his positive attitude, Timo Tolppa has developed Metsäkonepalvelu Oy into a significant player in the forest industry. Timo has boldly tried new concepts and developed the company’s activities with determination, both in Finland and Sweden. He is also a long-standing member of the association of machine entrepreneurs. Timo is the first recipient of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation’s award in the second generation after his father Tauno Tolppa received the award for his long career in forest machine contracting in 2014.

Markku and Mauri Kanervo, Koneyhtymä Kanervo Mauri ja Markku 
Markku and Mauri Kanervo’s career in forest machine contracting has spanned decades. They took their first steps in harvesting as little boys in the 1950s, helping their father in horse logging. Later, the brothers have witnessed and experienced all phases in the mechanisation of the forest industry. Now aged 74 and 75 years, they continue to employee three external full-time machine operators. The company works with Livia College, giving young students an opportunity to train and acquire skills during their studies. This partnership is a key asset for the future, and the brothers find it important to support industry training and education.


Special recognition awards

The foundation issues annual Einari Recognitions to people involved in harvesting research and development, as well as industry education development, and those who have increased awareness of and recognition for the industry. Eight Einari Recognitions were given this year.

Maaseutuammattiin ry
Established in 2011, the Maaseutuammattiin ry (The Rural Professions Association) aims to engage the regional forest and agricultural businesses, associations, educational institutions, and other operators in joint communication and marketing in the industry. Its goal is to attract a sufficient number of new applicants to studies and also ensure that the forest machine industry has access to the new professional employees and contractors required.

Metsuritrio, Anna and Ella Hautaviita, Emilia Määttä
Metsuritrio has spread a positive message of the forest industry and harvesting on social media.

Jyrki Kangas
Jyrki Kangas, Professor of Forest Bioeconomy, was recognised for his long and merited career as a researcher. Kangas was thanked for his clear communication in public forest dialogue.

Kyösti Paloniemi, Lapland Education Centre
Kyösti Paloniemi, head of forest education at REDU, has solid teaching and leadership experience in vocational education. He has worked in responsible and development positions in the forest industry for almost 30 years now. Paloniemi has also participated in the development of forest industry education, both in Finland and globally.

Ari Toivonen, UPM-Kymmene Oyj Timber
Ari Toivonen has worked for the development of log measurements for roughly 30 years now. This development has produced results in improving the measuring accuracy of harvesters in cooperation with forest machine entrepreneurs, and Toivonen has also worked with Ponsse.

American Loggers Council, Scott Dane
The American Loggers Council is the leading wood industry organisation in the United States, and it aims to improve the public image of the harvesting industry and represent the rights and interests of loggers. Its goal is to narrate the wood industry’s story to advance the industry’s image and access to employees.

Think-Helsinki, forest workshop in Viikki
The Einari Vidgrén Foundation’s recognition helps the University of Helsinki to provide its students with a forest day. During the day, students are taught information about forest management and harvesting in Finland. Students can also consider the future of sustainable development and responsible forest management.

Madelyn Waterman, Finlandia University
Madelyn Waterman, a student at Finlandia University, completed part of her training period in Finland, during which she studied the Finnish forest industry and the cut-to-length method. Finlandia University is a partner of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation.


Operator awards

The award criteria for operator awards include customer-driven and 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 award criteria: those operators whose quality of work is high and have a good attitude with good customer service skills have earned their awards.

This year, the Foundation gave the operator award to 52 distinguished forest machine operators.

The operator awards were received by:  

Ari Auer, Metsäkonepalvelu Oy

Seppo Gröndahl, M. Hassel Ky

Eero Heikkinen, Moto Team Tauriainen Oy

Tomi Hirvasniemi, Iin Metsätyö Oy

Tommi Juntunen, SM Metsä Oy

Matti Kalilainen, FinnHarvest Oy

Timo Karhunen, Metsäkuljetus Sahlström Oy

Tapani Kauppinen, Veljekset Marin Oy

Eetu Koistinen, Karttulan Metsätyö Oy

Seppo Komulainen, J&K Puukaato Ay

Tiia Korhonen, Hakka Oy

Janne Korkalainen, Koneurakointi S. Kuittinen Oy

Tapio Kumpulainen, Nilakka Forest Oy

Ilkka Kylliäinen, Koneyhtymä Juopperi Oy

Tomi Laitinen, Metsäkorjuu Kauhanen Oy

Daniel Lehtinen, V. Penttinen Oy

Reijo Lehto, Koskenmyllyn Korjuu Oy

Pasi Levänen, Veljekset Hokkanen Oy

Antero Manoja, Koneurakointi Kylliäinen Oy

Henri Markkanen, Varis Forest Oy

Eero Matikainen, Koneurakointi Mutikainen Oy

Juha Metsälä, Hakkuuhaukat Oy

Ilkka Muuronen, SM-Korjuu Oy

Erkki Mäkinen, Konepalvelu Hölrin Oy

Jani Määttä, Heavy Rakenne Oy

Harri Nevala, H.A.Forest Oy

Juha Niemi, Metsä-Tuominen Oy

Tuukka Niemi, Metsätyö Markop Oy

Ilkka Nikula, Velj. Knuutinen Oy

Petri Nousiainen, Metsänkorjuu Pulkkinen Oy

Eetu Numminen, Pekka Hakkarainen Oy

Pasi Nurmonen, Metsäkuljetus Hyväriset Oy

Sauli Ojala, J. Kovaljeff Ky

Janne Pellinen, Aatto Silventoinen Oy

Janne Piuva, Koneurakointi Kannala Ky

Viljar Pärn, Keski-Suomen MetsäKymppi Oy

Mika Rautiainen, Kareliankonehakkuu Oy

Matti Reinikainen, Metsä-Weljet Oy

Timo Rekonen, Lahtinen Forest Oy

Jari Riekkinen, Koneurakointi Lukkarinen Oy

Joni Rita, Skrabb KB

Manu Rontti, KR-Konetyö Oy

Henri Ruuskanen, Kohmansalon Metsäkuljetus Oy

Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen, Pitkämäki Ruuskanen Forest Oy

Ville-Matti Räsänen, A&L Harju Oy

Rober Sallinen, Metsäkoneurakointi J. Nousiainen Oy

Jarmo Sarajärvi, Metsäkone Sarajärvi Oy

Henri Siurua, Metsä Aalto Oy

Kristo Soonberg, Heinäveden Koneurakointi Oy

Tero Syrjälä, Metsä-Multia Oy

Anssi Turunen, Metsä-Raikuu Oy

Arvi Vilminko, Siikalatvan Bioenergia Oy


Student scholarships

Student scholarships are awarded to forest industry students who have performed well during their studies. The Foundation gave student scholarships to 37 forest industry students. The scholarships were given to the students at the end of the term.

The student scholarships were received by:

Sauli Salomaa, Juuso Markkanen, Etelä-Savon Koulutus Oy, Pieksämäki

Oliwer Nääs, Hugo Käldstöm, Yrkesakademin i Österbotten

Oiva Hyökki, Eetu Pasanen, Etelä-Savon Koulutus, ESEDU Salosaari, Mikkeli

Arttu Mänttäri, Taneli Käkelä, Oulun seudun ammattiopisto Taivalkoski

Mirko Valkola, Eemeli Leskelä OSAO Muhos

Roope Kuoppala, Olli Leiniö, Tredu, Kuru

Veeti Väisänen, Henri Aaltonen, TTS Työtehoseura

Jenna Hietasalo, Anttoni Viikilä, Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy WinNova

Ossi Kekäläinen, Joona Lintunen, Riveria, Valtimo

Ville Arola, Toni Alanko, Gradia Jämsä

Veikka Hautamäki, Mikko Hakkola, SEDU, Ähtäri

Eeli Hiltula, Keski-Pohjanmaan koulutusyhtymä

Riku Eerola, Riku Timonen, Lapin ammattiopisto REDU, Rovaniemi

Satu Lähteinen, Otto Pakkanen, Pohjoisen Keski-Suomen ammattiopisto

Eelis Immonen, Juho Joutsjoki, Hämeen ammatti-instituutti EVO

Lasse Leppänen, Veikko Venäläinen, Savon ammattiopisto

Topias Lahtinen, Santeri Laitinen, Saimaa ammattiopisto, Ruokolahti

Patrik Skomars, Keski-Uudenmaan koulutuskuntayhtymä/KEUDA

Markus Määttä, Karelia ammattikorkeakoulu

Siiri Pölönen, Otto Honkanen, Ammattiopisto Samiedu



Vieremä, 7th of June 2023

Einari Vidgrén Foundation
Juha Vidgren, Chairman of the board

Juha Vidgren, Chairman of the board, Einari Vidgrén Foundation, tel. +358 40 518 6286,