Machinery Row

Gedenberg Log TruckingMichael Kucharski

Ironcraft Taps Kucharski, Skinner for Leadership Roles

IronCraft, formerly branded Titan Implement, has named Michael Kucharski as its new director of digital and dealer development. He joins IronCraft after serving in various leadership roles within the heavy equipment industry, most recently as vice president of dealer development for Fecon.

In addition to his responsibilities for establishing, training, and growing the dealer network in-person and online, Kucharski is also responsible for all of IronCraft’s digital solutions and marketing activities, including internal and external communications, trade shows, advertising, e-commerce, and website.

Kucharski has extensive experience in dealer development, having spent 16 years with Caterpillar or its dealers, including working on the post-purchase experience for Caterpillar. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University.

“We’re excited to have Mike lead marketing and dealer development,” said IronCraft CEO Pat Kozlowski. “His past successes in building brand identity across all media will be tremendously beneficial as we establish our digital first strategy to provide dealers and customers with real-time visibility to pricing, availability, lead-time, customization, parts, operating manuals, and more.”

Gedenberg Log TruckingWesley Skinner

In other company news, Wesley Skinner was named director of human resources. He joins IronCraft after serving in various human resources and environmental health and safety roles for other manufacturers, most recently as human resources manager for Creative Foam. An Army veteran, he will be responsible for planning and implementing all recruitment and retention activities, safety training, continuous improvement, leadership training, and more.

“We’re excited to have Wes join the management team at IronCraft,” said Kozlowski. “With our new factory under construction, we’re adding hundreds of employees, so recruitment and retention will be very important roles.”

IronCraft is a leading manufacturer of agricultural implements and skid steer attachments catering to a variety of applications, such as agriculture, landscaping, light construction, and more. For more information, visit www.ironcraftco.com.


Hampton Lumber Establishes Endowment for Community College

Hampton Lumber & Family Forests announced the creation of a Hampton Lumber Scholarship endowment for Tillamook Bay Community College in Tillamook, Oregon. The endowment will provide scholarships for students in the college’s forestry and manufacturing and industrial technology (MIT) programs.

“The health and vitality of our communities has always been a priority for Hampton,” said Hampton Lumber CEO Steve Zika. “Ensuring opportunities and career pathways for local youth is a big part of that.”

While Hampton already offers undergraduate and trade school scholarships to children, spouses, and domestic partners of employees, the new scholarship is the company’s first public educational endowment.

Hampton has operated a mill in Tillamook since 1986 and was a founding partner in the college’s MIT program. The Associate of Science degree in forestry program was launched in 2018 for students interested in transferring to a four-year program in forestry.

“The Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation Board of Directors feels incredibly grateful to strengthen our partnership with Hampton Lumber,” said Britta Lawrence, executive director of the foundation. “Endowments exist into perpetuity, and this gift will be impactful to MIT, agriculture and natural resources students forever. We are so appreciative to have Hampton Lumber as a community supporter.”

Hampton operates four mills in Oregon and owns roughly 100,000 acres of timberland in northwest Oregon to help supply them. However, the majority of the timber supply for the Tillamook mill comes from surrounding private and public working forestlands, including the Tillamook State Forest.

“Northwest Oregon is one of the best places in the world to grow and manufacture wood products and demand for lumber for housing and other projects is increasing steadily,” said Zika. “There are lots of local opportunities for young people looking to make a career in the forest sector, and we hope this scholarship helps students understand and access these opportunities.”


Washington Paper Mill, Parent Firm Are Purchased by Atlas Holdings

The Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill in Port Townsend, Washington, has been acquired by Atlas Holdings, a private investment and equity firm located in Greenwich, Conn. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition was part of a larger transaction that included Crown Paper Group, a holding company created in 2015, and acquired Port Townsend Holdings Company, which includes the Port Townsend paper mill in Port Townsend; the Crown Packaging plant in Vancouver, B.C.; the Boxmaster packaging plant, also in Vancouver; and Distribution Centers in Kelowna, B.C., and Calgary, Alberta.

The paper mill in Port Townsend is one of Jefferson County’s largest employers with more than 300 workers. No information was immediately available about any changes in store for the mill.

Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro said, “We heard about it a little before it happened, so we are aware.”

Atlas Holdings is a private equity firm founded in 2002. It invests in numerous varied industries in addition to paper products and packaging.

“I have proudly spent my professional life strengthening and growing paper and packaging businesses and could not be more excited to take on this new role as chairman of Crown Paper,” said Randy Nebel, Crown board of directors chairman. “Our goal is simple; we will be a superb employer, a trusted steward of our communities and a valued partner for our customers and suppliers.”

“It’s always an exciting day when we can welcome a great paper and packaging company to the Atlas Family of manufacturing, distribution, and logistics businesses,” said Atlas co-founder and managing partner Tim Fazio.

Sam Astor, a partner in Atlas, said Atlas has a long track record of investing in the pulp, paper and packaging industries, and “partnering with exceptional leadership teams to revitalize and strengthen companies for the long term.”

“We’ve invested significant resources and partnered with companies at an inflection point in their journey,” said Astor, “and we view Crown as another opportunity to put this experience to work. Today, these companies, including Finch Paper, Iconex, Marcal, Millar Western Forest Products and Twin Rivers Paper Company, are leaders in their markets.”


Gedenberg Log TruckingWashington Woman Co-Champ in LumberJack Competition

Erin LaVoie (left) of Spokane, Washington, was crowned Women’s All-Around co-champion at the Lumberjack World Championships earlier this year. She is shown above with co-champion Stephanie Naud (right) of Brigham, Quebec. LaVoie is a personal fitness trainer and owns and operates a gym; she has won the title several times in the past, including 2021. Nate Hodges of North Fork, California, finished fifth in the men’s division, and Andrea Card of Santa Rosa, California, finished sixth among women. Nearly 100 men and women competed at this year’s event, which was held in Hayward, Wisconsin in July.

 

TimberWest November/December 2013
November/December 2022

ON THE COVER
Chris Martin operates his TimberPro TL755 feller buncher

Lite on the Land Fills Niche with Southern California Edison
Ryan Day’s company employs 30 people and operates three crews. They rely on John Deere logging equipment.

Strong Support from Supplier Is Key, Says Oregon Logger
Chris Martin emphasizes the importance of solid relationships with dealer and manufacturer reps in order to keep running.

Gedenberg Log Trucking Serves Loggers and Mills, in Oregon, Washington
From its base in Astoria, Oregon, Gedenberg Log Trucking serves logging contractors and mills in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

Tips for Winterizing Your Machines
With snow and winter weather on the horizon – if not in your region already – make sure to get your logging equipment ready for cold temperatures.

Guest Column
Washington Department of Natural Resources should be held accountable for scheme that rewards polluters while failing state trust land beneficiaries and the people of Washington.

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