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Media Contact Information:
Renee Hornsby
Communications Director NHLA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2008

NHLA Inspector Training School Graduates 11 Lumber Graders

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - Commencement exercises for the 157th Class of the NHLA Inspector Training School were held Friday, December 12 at 9:00 a.m.

Eleven students representing six states and the country of Italy completed the 14-week Lumber Inspection Program which was led by veteran School Instructor Rich Hascher.
Graduates were:

  • Beniamino Ceccarelli of Cervinara, Italy- Ceccarelli Legnami
  • Stephen Cook of Gleason, Tenn.
  • Michael Fremer of Brockway, Pa.
  • Jeffery Grimes of Wilsonville, Ore.- Hardwood Industries
  • Gary Harding of White Pigeon, Mich.- Banks Hardwoods
  • Kyle Hughes of Lamar, Ind.- Leibering Lumber & Logging
  • Brandon Leibering of Cannelton, Ind.- Leibering Lumber & Logging
  • Shaun Pauley of Woodland, Mich.- Quality Hardwoods, Inc.
  • Zachary Richardson of Newberry, Mich.- Banks Hardwoods
  • Anthony Tettis of Ridgway, Pa.
  • Kenneth Wermager of Hokah, Minn.

In his keynote address to the graduates, Mark Horne, NHLA Chief Inspector encouraged the students to embrace their lumber grading education and allow it to support their growth and successes within the hardwood lumber industry.

"Just remember that you have not entered into a job, but you have embarked upon a career in the hardwood industry with opportunities for both personal and professional growth as long as you work hard and apply yourself . You have entered into a family and we [NHLA Staff] are here to help," Horne said.

Outstanding individual awards were presented by Ron Carlsson of USA Woods International, located in Memphis.

Awards recipients are as follows:

  • Shaun Pauley- John Thomson Award for Highest Overall Average
  • Brandon Leibering - Howard Hanlon Award for Second Highest Overall Average
  • Zachary Richardson- Westside Hardwood Club Award for Highest Board Run Average
  • Beniamino Ceccerelli- J.P. Hamer Award for Most Improved Student
  • Jeffery Grimes- South Central Lumbermen’s Award for Best Attitude/Citizenship
  • Kenneth Wermager- Willard Scholarship Award
  • Shaun Pauley- Lumbermen’s Club of Memphis Leadership Award

The NHLA Inspector Training School has a proud and rich 60 year history; graduating more than 6,700 students since its conception. The Program teaches the rules and applications of the NHLA grading system and prepares students for a career in the hardwood industry. This unique program has earned worldwide respect, consequently attracting students from throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

Enrollment is now open for the 158th Class of the NHLA Inspector Training School which begins January 7, 2009. To enroll or learn more please contact Cassie Gibbons, Education Program Manager at c.gibbons@nhla.com or 901-399-7555.

The world’s largest and oldest hardwood industry association, NHLA represents 1,600 companies and individuals that produce, use and sell North American hardwood lumber, or provide equipment, supplies or services to the hardwood industry. It was founded in 1898 to establish a uniform system of grading rules for the measurement and inspection of hardwood lumber. Since 1979, its headquarters have been in Memphis. To learn more about NHLA, please visit www.nhla.com.

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