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Editorial: Under 40 and overachieving, and CFI’s Sept/Oct issue is out now!

Meet the innovators, disruptors, and defiers shaping our industry

October 2, 2023  By  Jennifer Ellson

Life begins at 40, or so they say. But who has the time to wait around for that magic number when there’s a whole world of young talent out there just itching to make their mark? In this issue, we’re celebrating the go-getters, the early bloomers, the ones who started sowing the seeds of their success long before the big 4-0 came knocking.

Let’s face it, the past few years haven’t exactly been a walk in the park. A global pandemic that just won’t quit, economic rollercoasters, and more curveballs than a baseball game on steroids. And if that’s not bad enough, Kimberly-Clark announced it is pulling out its Kleenex facial tissue brand from the Canadian market –what a blow! Yet, despite all these challenges, the forest sector has seen a new generation of leaders rising through the ranks. They’ve weathered the storm, navigated the choppy waters, and come out on top. Bravo!

These young professionals are the trailblazers of our industry. They’re not just waiting for opportunities; they’re creating them. They’re not following the crowd; they’re shaping the crowd. It’s like watching a forest grow, one sapling at a time. And let me tell you, it’s awe-inspiring.

Now, you might think that picking the cream of the crop from this talented bunch was a piece of cake. Well, think again. This year, we were inundated with submissions from every corner of the country – a record amount of nominations almost double that of last year’s. It was a good kind of headache to have, but a headache nonetheless. So, what did we do? We decided to double the fun and go from our usual Top 10 to make it Top 20 Under 40 this year. And you know what? I have a dream. A dream of one day calling it the Top 40 Under 40. Can you help me make that dream come true? Nominate your young achievers, and if they don’t make the cut this year, nominate them again next year. Persistence pays off, folks!


But here’s the secret sauce: when you nominate someone, don’t just toss in a few buzzwords and call it a day. No, no, no. Tell us their story in all its vibrant, technicolour glory. We want to feel like we’re right there with them, cheering them on as they conquer the world. So spill the beans, share the anecdotes, and paint us a picture that’s so vivid we can practically smell the pine trees.

Now, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. It’s time to meet the stars of this year’s Top 20 Under 40. These folks are the innovators, the disruptors, the defiers of convention. They’re the ones who’ve turned challenges into opportunities, who’ve taken risks and come out on top. In short, they’re the ones who make you want to stand up and applaud.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into these pages and get ready to be inspired. It’s a rollercoaster ride of stories that will make you smile, make you think, and maybe even make you dream. You will read about how researchers are addressing harvest residue management in B.C.; about an Alberta company that is expanding to be a leader in mass timber production; an innovative sawmill technology – snapshot scanning; how telematics can optimize performance and reduce downtime; highlights of the Forest Products Machinery and Equipment Expo; plus, winter is coming, so we have some safety tips for sawmill workers, as well as cold-weather considerations for winterizing logging equipment.

But most of all, this issue will make you realize that the future of our industry is in very capable hands.

As we celebrate the 11th edition of the Top 20 Under 40 awards, I can’t help but feel a sense of optimism. The forest sector has faced its fair share of challenges, but as long as we have these young leaders blazing a trail, the future looks bright. So, here’s to the next generation of movers and shakers in our industry. May they continue to grow, thrive, and inspire us all.

Cheers to the Top 20 Under 40!

Read the September/October issue now!

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