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Forestry experts rewarded by EUR 157,700

Distinguished forestry experts were rewarded in Vieremä, Finland. Maintaining the life's work of Einari Vidgrén, the Einari Vidgren Foundation gave out EUR 157,700 in recognitions. Einari Awards, the main recognitions given out from the Foundation, were granted to veteran harvesting professionals Ahti Annala of the company Kone Annala Ky, and Jan-Erik Oldenburg of the company Puistometsäpalvelu Oldenburg Oy.

Industrial Counsellor Einari Vidgrén, the founder of Ponsse Plc, established the Einari Vidgrén Foundation in 2005 with the aim of increasing appreciation for the work performed within 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 interesting as a potential workplace, especially among young people.

Einari Awards

The Einari Award is granted for meritorious hard work as a forest machine entrepreneur. The criteria for the award emphasise a long-term approach to entrepreneurship and professionalism in this highly challenging industry. The EUR 20 000 main Einari Awards were granted today to Kone Annala Ky owner Ahti Annala and Puistometsäpalvelu Oldenburg Oy owner Jan-Erik Oldenburg.

Ahti Annala, the founder of Kone Annala Ky and recipient of the Einari Award went into the forest machine business in 1980 together with this brother. After 38 years at the helm of his business, Mr. Annala is ready to hand over the business to the next generation. The company’s ownership is about to be transferred to Mr. Annala's sons who will continue his work. Located in Sodankylä, the company employs 14 people who work in four different machine units. Employee turnover at the company has been remarkably low throughout its history. This is due to Ahti Annala's introducing of human resources policies that place a high value on employee skills and expertise. He looks into the future by offering on-the-job training to young people, and seeks to keep everyone employed in spite of seasonal changes in demand for forestry services. A number of machines guarantees there is always a tool available that is suitable for the task ahead, and the machines are kept in good working condition. This also ensures workplace well-being for the employees. Throughout his years as an entrepreneur, Mr .Annala has relied on honest work and has focused on long-term goals to keep his business steady. 

Jan-Erik Oldenburg, founder of Puistometsäpalvelu Oldenburg Oy and recipient of the Einari Award started his business in 1994, felling trees with a chainsaw. He bought his first harvester, a used model, in 2005 after a storm in Sweden blew down entire forests. Located in the Helsinki Capital Region, Puistometsäpalvelu serves private landowners, construction companies and the government-owned company Altia Plc whose forests the company manages with a holistic vision towards sustainability. The company's business model clearly differs from those of traditional machine businesses working for forest companies. Instead of relying on long-term forestry contracts, the company keeps looking for opportunities in various countries. Individual jobs—even small ones—are welcome, and customers can expect to receive all services they need from the same business, such as when clearing a site for a single new house when the company not only fells the trees but transports them for further processing. Puistometsäpalvelu Oldenburg Oy represents a new and different type of forest felling entrepreneurship with a focus on expertise and excellent service.

Einari Recognitions

The Foundation gave Einari Recognitions to research and development organisations active in the field of mechanised wood harvesting, developers of training in the sector and parties that promote awareness of the sector and increase its appreciation.

Education in the field of forestry is of utmost importance for the prosperity and continued success of the industry, and will ensure availability of a future workforce. The following awards were granted an Einari Award of EUR 3,000 based on a long-term focus on development and high quality education:
Jouko Karjalainen, Director, Oulu Vocational College/Taivalkoski unit

Juha Heikkinen, Supervisor, Oulu Vocational College/Muhos unit
Markku Kekkonen, Lecturer, Savo Consortium for Education, Toivala unit                                        

The Rural Professions Association has been granted an Einari Award of EUR 3,000. The association's aim is to promote the availability of jobs in forestry and agriculture to young people as well as to increase the awareness and networking of the field. 

The Natural Resources Institute Finland has been awarded an Einari Recognition of EUR 6,000 for advancing cut-to-length felling techniques and related education and training in Canada, especially in the province of Ontario.

The City of Jyväskylä has been awarded an Einari Recognition of EUR 2,000 for its Kunnontyöt 2 Project designed to bring jobs to unemployed long-term job seekers, immigrants and marginalized youth.  The project offers apprenticeships to nine students who are expected to graduate with a degree in forestry this spring.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was granted to German Forestry Ladies Forwarder Cup, for developing forest machine operator training for women in Germany and promoting the forestry especially among women.

Two Einari Recognitions of EUR 6,000 each were granted to the following educational institutions for promoting the cut-to-length method:
Polo Educativo Technológico Paysandú, Uruguay
Reshetnev Siberian State Aerospace University, Russia

Two Einari Recognitions of EUR 3,000 were granted to people and organisations in the United States: CTL Manager/Forester Matthew Mattioda of Oregon was recognised for his continued efforts to promote the cut-to-length method, and Finlandia University was given a student grant of EUR 3,000 to facilitate a course on the cut-to-length method and promoting such techniques.

Einari Driver Awards

The Einari Vidgrén Foundation also gave Einari Operator's Awards of EUR 1,500 each, to a record number of 39 distinguished forest machine operators. The award criteria included the high quality of work and customer-centric 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 to 27 students studying programmes related to the forest machine sector. The scholarships were decided on by the teaching staff of each college. In addition to success in studies, the criteria included the fact that the student has a job as a forest machine operator or serviceman when leaving school.  

Photos from the award ceremony:
http://www.ponsse.com/media-archive/images/events/20172

The material is freely available to the press.

Vieremä, 24 May 2017

EINARÍ VIDGRÉN FOUNDATION

Juha Vidgrén
Chairman of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Juha Vidgrén, tel. +358 40 518 6286
www.evsaatio.fi