From announcing our re-brand and $35 million local investment in our new mass timber facility, to expanding our team, travelling across Canada, the USA, China, Italy, Austria and Denmark, supporting our local communities through Kalesnikoff Cares and We Care donations, to being able to support 50 local families this holiday season with our Hope for the Holidays initiative, you could say we’ve had a good year here at Kalesnikoff. Keep reading to see our top ten stories of 2019!
Our CFO, Krystle Seed, was named in the Canadian Forest Industries’ Top 10 CFOs Under 40 List (see the full list here). Krystle was instrumental in securing financing for our new $35-million mass timber plant and has been critical in helping secure the future of our fourth-generation family-owned company in an industry that has seen dramatic consolidation and closures over the past several decades.
This year, we wanted to try something new and created an opportunity for employees to participate in a new initiative called “We Care”. Through this organization, we will be providing an additional $1,000 each quarter and a committee of employees will direct the money towards an employee-nominated cause of their choice. We have established a committee of six team members from various areas to review, rank and decide on one or more initiatives suggested by our employees each quarter.
Each quarter, we highly encourage our employees to submit their favourite causes to be considered for support. Applications should include a brief description of the organization or event, the amount suggested and describe how it aligns with our criteria, such as:
1. Helps local kids and/or families.
2. Supports our communities
3. Helps our employees
4. Aligns with our credo “take care of the land, and the land will take care of you.”
5. Our participation will have an impact
Our current We Care committee team includes: Nancy O’Brien, Kim Swetlishoff, Loren Oldham, Clare Verigin, Sandra Docucet and Lynsey Gray.
As a family-owned, fourth-generation company, we are committed to making a positive difference for our employees, local community and the environment. We know our entire team shares this commitment, too, as they have demonstrated it again and again. One of the ways the company acts on this commitment is by supporting local causes, events and initiatives through our Kalesnikoff Cares program.
Each year, we contribute funding of approximately $50,000, in addition to in-kind items and other support. This year, we also participated in Castlegar’s Coldest Night of the Year (support our 2020 team here) and raised an additional $25,000 (10k from employee contributions alone, matched by the company) to provide 50 local families with food hampers, toys and additional gifts for our fourth annual Hope for the Holidays initiative (learn more by reading our full blog post here).
With the addition of a new facility, we have started growing our team and recently hit 160 employees for the first time in over a decade. With our new mass timber facility alone, we will be creating a total of 50 new local, technology driven jobs.
On December 1, 2019, we officially began serving Japanese customers directly and provide innovative and high-quality lumber products directly from our newly formed and highly experienced Kalesnikoff Japan Department in Vancouver and Tokyo.
Our CEO and President, Ken Kalesnikoff has stated that he is “delighted to take this natural next step in serving our customers in Japan, and are absolutely committed to providing the attentive, focused and direct service and ongoing high-quality products we’re known for, directly through our new Kalesnikoff Japan Department. Our products have been available in Japan for many years, and we see this transition as an opportunity for expanded relationships with both current and new customers.”
We were very pleased to announce the appointment of two new experienced and knowledgeable managers who will focus solely on providing exceptional service and our high-quality Canadian wood products to our valued customers in Japan. Shuichi Shigyo has been appointed Manager, Japan and Robert Wruck will be our new Export Manager.
Wildfire threat has made collaboration essential and we are pleased to be working alongside the City of Nelson and the RDCK to change the way that this area will be logged, providing fire protection and viable timber harvest. This means that conventional logging practices will be governed by wildfire mitigation techniques such as removing the small diameter trees, removing the surface fuel (underbrush, deadfall and low-hanging limbs), and leaving the fire resistant trees. We will be harvesting with much more finesse, sometimes a single tree selection approach. Read more by clicking here.
We celebrated 4 years with no lost time injuries! This is an outstanding achievement. In July we celebrating this important safety milestone! Thank you to all of our teams for their continued commitment to workplace safety.
Careful planning for balanced stewardship today ensures the sustainability of our forests, environment, and communities for future generations. At Kalesnikoff, we are committed to sustaining and enhancing the environmental, economic and social benefits that our forest resources provide to our communities and practice conscientious forestry stewardship. Between 2014-2018 alone, we were able to replant a total of 2,247,345 trees. However, in 2019, we planted the most trees we ever have before in one season, reaching a final tally of 795,910! We would like to extend a huge thank you Wildhorse Forestry for all the hard work they have done.
We completely re-branded Kalesnikoff and launched our new logo and tagline.
We locally invested $35 million and announced our new mass timber facility, where we will be producing cross laminated timber and glulam beams.
Our new Mass Timber facility will not require any additional logging by us or anyone else. We will create more benefits with our existing logs, which is one of the main reasons we’re making this significant investment. In fact, we’ll be able to make better use and get more benefits from all species of wood, including some species we couldn’t previously maximize.
Creating mass timber products using local, renewable wood will allow us to achieve more community, economic, employment and customer benefits with the same volume of timber we currently harvest. Our new equipment is state-of-the-art and the materials we will use are safe and tested.
To learn more about our facility, click here.