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Forestry experts rewarded with EUR 143,000 in total

Deserving forestry professionals were rewarded in Vieremä, Finland. Carrying on the lifes work of Einari Vidgrén, the Einari Vidgrén Foundation gave out a total of EUR 143,000 in awards. The Einari Awards, the main form of recognition, were awarded to Janne Mutikainen of Koneurakointi Mutikainen Oy, and Janne and Tuomas Paakkola of Iin Metsätyö Oy for exemplary business operations and for bringing about a successful generation change.

The founder of Ponsse Plc, Einari Vidgrén established the Einari Vidgrén Foundation in 2005 with the aim of increasing the appreciation for work in the field of mechanised wood harvesting. The purpose of the Foundation is to heighten awareness of the entrepreneurship related to wood harvesting and to make the mechanised harvesting sector more attractive as a potential workplace, especially among young people.

Einari Awards  

The Einari Award is granted for long-term entrepreneurial work in the forest machine sector. This year, the foundation gave the Einari Awards of EUR 20,000 each to Janne Mutikainen of Koneurakointi Mutikainen Oy, and Janne and Tuomas Paakkola of Iin Metsätyö Oy.  

Koneurakointi Mutikainen Oy has been active in the forest industry for 40 years, and is a respected company that has successfully made the transition to the next generation. The company is a regional entrepreneur of Metsä Group, and its machine fleet consists of five harvesters and three forwarders. All machine transfers are carried out with the company’s own transportation vehicle.

“The best thing about being a family business is being able to turn to your father for advice and opinions, in the knowledge that the answer will always be one hundred per cent honest. You have to have faith in the ability of the company to carry on and thrive”, says the company’s managing director Janne Mutikainen. “The company is being developed at a moderate pace, and the goal is to remain a reputable, solid and productive company that does high-quality harvesting work. We will continue to be known for keeping our promises”.

A generation shift has also taken place in the other award-winner, Iin Metsätyö Oy. Longtime forest machine contractor Heikki Paakkola has retired, and his sons Janne and Tuomas Paakkola are continuing the family business. The company has been developing strongly in recent years, but also carefully. Iin Metsätyö Oy now has two excavators and six timber trucks in addition to six harvesters. The company has about forty machine operators. “We have great respect for what our father built and passed on. My father has always been my strongest moral support, and since my younger brother joined the business I receive support from him also”, says company managing director Janne Paakkola.

The lifetime achievement award
 of EUR 10,000 was awarded to Juhani Heikkinen.  Juhani Heikkinen first found work on a logging site in 1967, when he was 15 years old. Harvesting has been the main feature of his life ever since then. When Heikkinen sold his harvesting company, Metsä-Jussi Heikkinen Oy, in 2015, the idea was to retire.   He still had one harvester left, however, and now uses it work under his own name. When it comes to his strong work morale, Juhani Heikkinen has a simple explanation: “The Finnish winter is too tough a time to be lying around at home”, he laughs.

Einari Recognitions
The foundation gave Einari Recognitions to research and development organisations that are active in the field of mechanised wood harvesting, developers of training in the sector, and parties that promote awareness of and appreciation for the sector. This year, the prizes emphasised safety developments in the harvesting industry.

Einari Driver Awards
The Einari Vidgrén Foundation also gave Einari Operator awards of EUR 1,500 each to 28 deserving forest machine operators. The award criteria included the high quality of work and a customer-centred attitude, as well as cooperation and communication with forest owners and other stakeholders.

Einari Student Scholarships
The Einari Vidgrén Foundation also granted student scholarships of EUR 600 each to 30 students on programmes related to the forest machine sector. In addition to success in their studies, the criteria included the fact that the student has a job as a forest machine operator or maintenance engineer when finishing college.

Juha Vidgrén
Chairman of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation

Juha Vidgrén, tel. +358 40 518 6286

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