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Einari Vidgrén Foundation rewards forestry professionals

The Einari Vidgrén Foundation has rewarded forestry professionals for the 17th time. The Einari Award, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation’s key recognition, was granted to Kalle and Hanna Pitkänen from Koneteko Pitkänen. Lifetime achievement awards were given to Esa Mikkonen and Tuomas Ramlin. The award ceremony was held in Rientola in Vieremä on 1 June.  

In addition to the main Einari Award, there are four prize categories: lifetime achievement, special recognition, operators and students. In 2022, the foundation’s awards will total EUR 167,800.

“As we received a large number of applications for all categories, selecting this year’s winners was a challenge. Selection criteria were activities carried out in the forest industry, emphasising responsible operations passed on from one generation to the next and work done in line with the principles of sustainable development.”, says Juha Vidgrén, chairman of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation.

The Einari Award

The 2022 Einari Award, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation’s key recognition, was granted to Kalle and Hanna Pitkänen from Koneteko Pitkänen. The company’s activities excellently meet the foundation’s selection criteria for 2022. In the forest industry, Koneteko Pitkänen has led the way in calculating the carbon footprint of its operations. The company’s employees have wanted to understand and learn where its most significant environmental impact comes from and, at the same time, identify what the calculation and reporting of the carbon footprint mean in practice. In addition, Koneteko Pitkänen has carried out a successful change of generation, and it has improved its profitability through subcontracting at logging sites in Germany. 

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 economic growth in the past, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation has issued lifetime achievement award to Esa Mikkonen and Tuomas Ramlin.

Esa Mikkonen, TM Forest Oy
“Esa Mikkonen is like a redwood tree. He has worked his whole life and career with forest machines. Mikkonen’s merits include his machine entreprenurship dating back to the 1980s and his founding membership with the Kainuu forest contractors,” Juha Vidgrén says. 

Tuomas Ramlin, Konepalvelu Ramlin Oy
“Tuomas Ramlin’s solid self-confidence, combined with honesty and responsibility, has yielded results for years. Tuomas has always considered it important that everything is done on time and as well as possible. Konepalvelu Ramlin is an excellent example of how even a small company can be successful and profitable, as long as you understand the framework of contracting,” Vidgrén says.

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. 

Rural Professions Association
Justification: Based in North Savonia, the Rural Professions Association introduces children, young people and teachers to agriculture and forestry, and more broadly to the potential of rural areas as a working, living and business environment. Its basic activities consist of field trips to logging sites, sawmills, farms, travel companies and the sector’s educational institutions. Its goal is to attract new entrepreneurs and skilled professionals to agriculture and forestry, increase the sector’s visibility and build networks in joint communication and marketing activities. The association’s “Nuoret maalle hommiin” (Young people working in agriculture) campaign makes practical training positions and summer jobs offered in agriculture and forestry in the region of North Savonia easily available, provides coaching for employers to guarantee positive work experiences, and carries out a marketing campaign. 

“Miljoonien metsä” (Forests worth millions) documentary
Justification: The “Miljoonien metsä” documentary is a story of forest ownership in Finland. As a result of the ongoing change of generation in forest ownership, forests will be owned by people who live in cities and are unfamiliar with forests. The documentary follows how major investments in the forest industry force forest owners to consider what to do with their forests and why.

Mosjøen, forest machine school
Justification: The recognition concerns the school’s student scholarships in Norway.

Lusto, forest museum
Justification: The recognition was granted for the renovation of the Lusto forest museum.

Kimmo Roininen, Stora Enso
Justification: Kimmo Roininen has developed and enhanced mechanical harvesting for more than 40 years. Roininen’s handprint can be seen clearly in the cut-to-length method and equipment that are broadly used in Finland and globally.

Keimo Lehtiniemi, freelance journalist
Justification: Keimo Lehtiniemi is a veteran freelance journalist who specialises in forests and wood procurement. Lehtiniemi has a solid understanding of the financial prerequisites of wood procurement and knows how to position them in the framework of forest- and nature-related dialogue. 

Lapland’s Forestry Museum Association, organisation of an anniversary event
Justification: The association maintains the Forestry Museum of Lapland located in Rovaniemi, which tells the story of Lapland’s major logging sites from the 1870s until today. The museum area features genuine logging huts, logging tools, log driving equipment and forest machines. To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the association will organise an event for invited guests, members, stakeholders and the public. 

Operator awards

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 54 distinguished forest machine operators.

The operator awards were received by:

Antti Autio, Puistometsäpalvelu Oldenburg Oy
Esa Haapaniemi, Granvikin Metsätyö Oy
Harri Halmetoja, Koneurakointi S.Kuittinen Oy
Antti Hanhisuanto, Metsä-Multia Oy
Kimmo Hautamäki, Stoneman Ab
Mauno Haverinen, Hakka Oy        
Ilkka Heikkinen, Vieremän metsäpalvelu oy
Joonas Holck, Forest Holck Oy
Markku Hyvönen, Metsä Hyvönen Oy
Marko Iivari, Hakkuuhaukat Oy
Ville Jestoi, JsL Forest Oy
Kari Juvonen, Toropainen Oy Metsäkoneurakointi
Markku Juvonen, Veljekset Hokkanen Oy
Ilpo Kauppinen, Keski-Suomen MetsäKymppi Oy
Arto Kela, Karttulan Metsätyö Oy
Atte Keskinen, Motourakointi J. Kangas Oy
Jari Kinnunen, Metsä- ja Maansiirto Kastinen Oy
Santtu Kohvakka, Velj.Knuutinen oy
Arttu Koistinen, Karttulan Metsätyö Oy
Matti Kursukangas, Metsäurakointi Ervasti Oy
Mikko Laakkonen, Koneurakointi Lukkarinen Oy
Petri Lahtinen, Nyrölä, Metsä-Jokeri Oy
Jarmo Lehtisyrjä, Metsätyö Räisänen Oy
Ville Leppinen, MKU Panu Valden
Markus Litmanen, Metsäurakointi Piirainen Oy
Markku Luomahaara, Metsäurakointi Teräväinen Oy
Jarno Lyytikäinen, Heinäveden Koneurakointi Oy
Jukka Makkonen, Veljekset Marin Oy
Matti Mikkonen, Nilakka Forest Oy
Verneri Niva, Kylmämaan Konetyö Oy
Markku Nurminen, Puuppolan metsätyö Oy
Kimmo Oksanen, Konehonka Oy
Jyri Palojärvi, Veljekset Lehtomäki Oy
Harri Partanen, Motoajo Oy
Jarkko Pasi, SM-Korjuu oy
Jarno Pelkonen, Metsätyö Markop Oy
Timo Peltonen, Metsäkonepalvelu Oy
Petri Penttinen, Aatto Silventoinen Oy
Pentti Pinoniemi, Veljekset Kellola Oy
Topi Pulkkinen, Nilakka Forest Oy
Matti Pulliainen, Metsä Lahikainen Ky    
Hannu Rautasalo, Keski-Suomen MetsäKymppi Oy
Heikki Ruonala, Iin Metsätyö Oy    
Roni Pekka Salmelin, Metsäkoneurakointi Hänninen
Janne Seppänen, Metsä-Kiesit Oy Mikkeli
Joonas Säämänen, TS-Metsä Oy
Tuomo Tepsa, Kone Annala Oy 
Matti Timonen, Konetyö Korja ay
Jouni Toropainen, Konepalvelu J Ikonen Oy
Antti Tupelin, Kohmansalon Metsäkuljetus Oy
Ari Vainikainen, Pata-Met Team OY
Vesa Vauhkonen, Metsäkuljetus Matti Hänninen Ky
Arto Vierelä, Metsä Hyvönen Oy
Markku Väyrynen, Koneurakointi Huovinen & Kinnunen Oy

Student scholarships

Student scholarships are awarded to forest industry students who have performed well in their education. The foundation awarded 35 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, Paavo Kauppinen and Olli Huusko          
Yrkesakademin i Österbotten, William Lång and Niko Hirviniemi     
Etelä-Savon Koulutus, ESEDU, Ville Kärkkäinen     
Etelä-Savon Koulutus, Mikkeli, Salosaari, Ida Penttinen      
Oulun seudun ammattiopisto, Taivalkoski, Jimi Kaijala and Janrik Kämäräinen      
OSAO Muhos, Ville Haverinen and Eemil Karjalainen      
Tredu, Kuru, Lauri Alaspää and Reko Vastamaa               
TTS Työtehoseura, Nuutti Vatanen and Ville Salonen          
Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy WinNova, Janne Viitamäki and Juuso Jalava         
Riveria, Valtimo, Joona Ikonen and Vikke Korhonen            
Gradia, Jämsä, Paul-Mikael Jylhä and Elmeri Laitinen           
SEDU, Ähtäri, Leevi Kytönen and Ville Niemenaho               
Keski-Pohjanmaan koulutusyhtymä and Nestori Niskakangas and Tuukka Soukka          
Lapin ammattiopisto REDU, Rovaniemi, Roope Mikkola
Lapin ammattiopisto REDU, Kemijärvi, Pauli Hautaniemi      
Pohjoisen Keski-Suomen ammattiopisto, Pyry Kellokangas and Jesse Huttunen            
Hämeen ammatti-instituutti EVO, Antti Laatikainen and Julius Pitkänen     
Savon ammattiopisto, Pietari Porthan and Elias Hälinen              
Saimaa ammattiopisto, Ruokolahti, Antti Virolainen and Juho Jäppinen     
Ammattiopisto Samiedu, Kasperi Pennanen

Vieremä, Finland, 1 June 2022

Einari Vidgrén Foundation
Juha Vidgrén, Chairman

Further information: Juha Vidgrén, chairman of the board, Einari Vidgrén Foundation, +358 40 518 6286,

Photos for the press.