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angle-left Forestry experts rewarded by EUR 166,500

Forestry experts rewarded by EUR 166,500


Einari Vidgrén Foundation, Press Release

Forestry experts rewarded by EUR 166,500

Distinguished forestry experts were rewarded yesterday in Vieremä, Finland. Maintaining the life's work of Einari Vidgrén, the Einari Vidgren Foundation gave out EUR 166,500 in recognitions for 81 people or organizations. Einari Awards, the main recognitions given out from the Foundation, were granted to veteran harvesting professionals. The awards were received by Lahtinen Forest Oy from Viitasaari, Finland and Väinö Kela from Metsäkone Kelat Oy from Suomussalmi, Finland.

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 to Lahtinen Forest Oy and Väinö Kela

The Einari Award is granted for meritorious hard work as a forest machine entrepreneur. The criteria for the award emphasise a long-term approach and professionalism in this highly challenging industry. Einari Awards of EUR 20,000 were today received by Kari and Esko Lahtinen from Lahtinen Forest Oy and Väinö Kela from Metsäkone Kelat Oy.

Brothers Kari and Esko Lahtinen started their forest company in 1966. Lahtinen Forest Oy is an excellent example of how even a small company is able to succeed, as long as it understands the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Reasons for staying in the business are numerous, but getting joy out of work is the most important factor. “Wanting to go into the forest must come natural in order to enjoy work,” Kari and Esko Lahtinen say. “Long-term and committed employees and good machines are key factors when it comes to success. We replace our machines every two years. As a result, machine operations are reliable and the working conditions of our operators are at an optimal level,” they say.  The business will be passed on to Matti Lahtinen who represents the next generation.

Väinö Kela from Suomussalmi who runs Metsäkone Kelat Oy has worked his entire life in the forest. Having strong faith in what the company is doing, together with honesty and responsibility, has paid off. Väinö Kela wishes to encourage every entrepreneur to believe in their skills. “When one has the will to learn and the correct attitude, everything is possible. Having the support of my family has also been important when running a company,” Väinö Kela says. Väinö's son Arto Kela is his successor in the head of the company.


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.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 15,000 was given to a park, carrying the name of Einari Vidgrén, to be built in Vieremä. The Einari Park will be a local exercise area for villagers of all ages close to Ponsse's factory.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 8,000 was granted to German Forestry Ladies, a unit which develops forest machine operator training for women in Germany and excellently takes the importance of cooperation between different forest industry parties into account.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was awarded to Ilya Shegelman, a professor at the Petrozavodsk State Universtiy. Shegelman has strongly improved cut-to-length logging and the development of modern forest education, particularly in the Republic of Karelia, but also more extensively in Russia.

Two Einari Recognitions of EUR 3,000 each were received by forest machine sector teachers for their merits in instructing young people and adults and motivating them to study forestry. Both teachers have developed teaching methods and improved the already high level of education. The awards were received by Arto Koivisto, a teacher of forest machine service and maintenance, from Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy WinNova and Jouni Kortetjärvi, a teacher of harvester information systems, from the Oulu Vocational College in Taivalkoski.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was granted to Pateniemi school in Oulu for education, which pays respect to tradition while utilising innovative teaching methods, in order to provide information about the history of the wood processing industry in Pateniemi and to improve awareness of the forest industry. The school is an excellent example of how to pay attention to the communality of the residential area and cooperation between different parties and parents of students. The award was received by principal Matti Kuivamäki.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was granted to the late reporter Jyri Makkonen who was represented at the event by Eedla Makkonen. Died at the beginning of May, Makkonen was a merited multi-talent in forest communications whose work showed love for Finnish forests.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was given to the information site which acts as a communications site for educational forest machine institutions, increasing awareness of forest education. Its objective is to direct competent workforce towards the forest industry.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was granted to the Finnish Forest Museum Lusto in Punkaharju. Lusto is actively developing its exhibition and event activities, presenting the significance of the forest in an interesting way to visitors of all ages. Its events include forest machine workshops, among others.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was received by Radio Sandels which broadcasts news of local and forest-related affairs in a direct, diverse and fast-paced way with a relaxed approach.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 5,000 was given to Jorma Mehtonen from Pihtipudas for his 40-year career in the forest industry. Mehtonen worked for 30 years as the managing director of MHY Pihtipudas, after which he transferred to Metsäkolmio Oy where he worked in wood procurement and harvesting. 

An Einari Recognition of EUR 4,000 was received by the Maaseutuammattiin (Rural Professions Association) association. Its goal is to network North Savo region's forestry and agriculture enterprises, associations and educational institutions.  This is done in order to provide the students and teachers of comprehensive schools with better opportunities for getting to know forestry and agriculture professions.

An Einari Recognition of EUR 3,000 was granted to Finlandia University, Michigan, as a student scholarship. The scholarship provides a single student with an intensive training period regarding the cut-to-length method and its development.

Einari Operator's Awards and Einari Scholarships

The Einari Vidgrén Foundation also gave Einari Operator's Awards, EUR 1,000 each, to a record number of 37 distinguished forest machine operators. Forest companies and sawmills nominated the forest machine operators to be rewarded. The award criteria included the quality of work and good attitude as well as cooperation and communication with forest owners and other stakeholders.

The Einari Operator's Awards were received by:                  

Jonas Backlund, Nykarleby                           Forest Kings Oy

Ari Haapiainen, Haukivuori                           HaKo Forest Oy

Eino Hiltula, Pudasjärvi                                 Heikki Kuusela

Veli-Pekka Hunnakko, Alavus                      JP Metsäkoneurakointi Oy

Pekka Hämäläinen, Puukari                            Motoajo

Jyri Jaakola, Säkylä                                        Puunkorjuu Rekola Oy

Jukka Kainulainen, Mikkeli                            Metsä-Kiesit Oy

Juha Karjalainen, Jämsä                                  Kone-Yijälä Oy

Timo Karjalainen, Kesälahti                            Kesälahden konesavotta Oy

Tuomo Kohvakka, Vaajakoski                         Veljekset Hokkanen Oy

Sami Koivisto, Airaksela                                 Piiroset Ky

Markku Koljonen, Vesanto                              Metsäkoneurakointi Välipakka

Heikki Korhonen, Nurmes                               Motoajo

Pasi Korkiamäki, Jäminkipohja                       Metsä-Häkkinen

Matti Kärnä, Kitee                                           Kesälahden konesavotta Oy

Jouko Laurila, Multia                                      Veljekset Lehtomäki

Martti Lehtomäki, Multia                                Veljekset Lehtomäki

Jyrki Nousiainen, Kerimäki                             Metsä Raikuu

Lauri Org, Siilinjärvi                                        Marko Savolainen T:mi

Visa Paakkola, Ii                                               Iin Metsätyö Oy

Paavo Pellikka, Polvijärvi                                 Arto Koponen

Vesa Pylväläinen, Palokka                               Metsätyö Pylväläinen

Joni Päivärinta, Ilmajoki                                   Metsäkoneurakointi Pekka Päivärinta

Raino Pätsi, Posio                                             Harri Kulojärvi Oy

Pasi Rautapuro, Lestijärvi                                 Jen Forest Team Oy

Jani Räsänen, Kaavi                                          Motoajo Oy

Jani Sinivuori, Vihti                                          Puistometsäpalvelu Oldenburg Oy 

Eero Suvinen, Naarajärvi                                  T-S Metsä

Otso Temonen, Korpilahti                                Metsäkuljetus-Hallberg Ky

Erkki Tiainen, Heinävesi                                   Piiroset Ky

Timo Tiitinen, Hammaslahti                             tmi Teemu Tiitinen

Hannu Torkki, Huittinen                                   Puunkorjuu Rekola Oy

Tenho Tukiainen, Kaavi                                    Koneurakointi S. Kuittinen Oy

Kimmo Turunen, Pankakoski                            Koneurakointi S. Kuittinen Oy

Tapani Vainio, Kannonkoski                            K-S Metsäkymppi

Timo Vuorinen, Multia                                     Metsä-Multia

Jorma Ämmälä, Salla                                        A&L Harju Oy

The Einari Vidgrén Foundation also granted student scholarships of EUR 500 to 29 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.

The Einari Scholarships were received by:

Oulu Vocational College, Taivalkoski Unit: Timo Seppänen

Oulu Vocational College, Muhos Unit: Olli Kesti

Tampere Vocational College, Kuru: Lauri Rukko

Tampere Vocational College, Kannus: Aku Ojala

Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy WinNova, Kullaa: Mika Seppälä, Heikki Vartia

South Savo Vocational College, Salosaari, Mikkeli: Niilo Väisänen, Juho Nikki

Yrkesakademin i Österbotten, Vaasa: Anton Frönäs, Mattis Nysand

Lapland Vocational College, Rovaniemi: Pekka Raudaskoski, Pekka Tapaninen

Jämsä vocational college, Jämsä: Patric Blomqvist, Joni Mäkinen

Savo Vocational College, Toivala: Topi Pulkkinen, Joni Käppi

TTS, Productivity and Natural Resources, Rajamäki: Saku Seppälä, Juho Räsänen

South Savo Vocational College, Pieksämäki forest education: Joona Toivanen, Jiri Karvonen

North Karelia College, Valtimo: Miika Nevalainen, Jani Valtanen, Evert Siim (Estonia)  

Häme Vocational Institute (Evo), Hämeenlinna: Eero Mukkila

Saimaa Vocational College Sampo, Ruokolahti: Joonas Karppinen, Hannu Hautaniemi

Vocational Education Centre Sedu, Ähtäri Tuomarniemi: Ossi Mäki-Latvala

The Vocational Education Institute of Northern Central Finland, Tarvaala: Sami Rutanen

Oulu Vocational College: Hans Åkerlund


Photos of the award winners and from the award ceremony:

The material is freely available to the press.


Vieremä, 25 May 2016


Juha Vidgrén
Chairman of the Einari Vidgrén Foundation

Juha Vidgrén, tel. +358 40 518 6286