2020 Friend of the Timbermen
Mike Smalligan is the Forest Stewardship Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The Forest Stewardship Program connects landowners with a forester to develop a plan to help them manage, protect and enjoy their woods. Only 5% of Michigan’s family forest landowners have a forest management plan and only 29% use a forester during a timber sale, so Mike also works hard to connect landowners with great loggers who are proud members of the Michigan Association of Timbermen.
2020 Logger of the Year
Chris Muma Forest Products
Chris Muma has been logging for over 40 years. His Company was established in 1980. Through hard work and dedication to the forest products industry, Muma has grown his business to over 45 employees, many which have been with him for over 20 years.
Chris’s greatest accomplishment is having all 5 of his children involved in the family business. His son Travis oversees the company’s new state-of-the-art shop with his brother Dallas taking care of the parts side. His other son Jon moves the equipment for the company as well as filling in operating when needed.
2020 Excellence in Trucking
MD Contracting, Inc.
Mike Delene, owner of MD Contracting, Inc. of Baraga, Michigan, has owned and operated his business for 31 years. Mike is one of the largest pulpwood haulers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, currently utilizing 18 Western Star and Kenworth trucks that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MD Contracting employs 25 people, including not only truck drivers but also mechanics, loggers and coordinators. Mike also runs a tree length slasher, feller buncher and 2 grapple skidders, and his previous work ventures include sand/gravel hauling, sewer/water main construction, and various site improvements.
2020 Excellence in Manufacturing
Northern Michigan Hardwoods
Phil Manthei started as a logger back in 1979 and steadily built his independent logging operation into what is known today as Northern Michigan Hardwoods, Inc. Phil is a visionary who wanted to be able to take a tree all the way through to a finished product. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Phil’s vision took shape as he added a sawmill, followed by a dry kiln and flooring department.
With an emphasis on being environmentally friendly, NMH utilizes every part of the tree in the sawing and finishing process; even the bark and scrap wood is utilized and manufactured into premium landscape mulch, which is delivered state-wide.
2020 Legislator of the Year
Rep. Gregory Markkanen
State Rep. Gregory Markkanen was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. He was re-elected in 2020. He represents the 110th District, which includes Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties, as well as Powell and Ishpeming townships in Marquette County. Markkanen serves as vice chairman of the Energy Committee. He also serves on the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee, Workforce, Trades and Talent Committee and the Education Committee.
2020 Jess Birtcher Scholarship Winner
Victor Porteous is a student at Gogebic Community College, enrolled in the Forestry Technology program. He was raised in the small town of Boon in Michigan’s lower peninsula. Hunting, fishing, archery, and bowling are among his favorite hobbies. One of his goals is to be able to use his degree to increase public awareness of the advantages of maintaining healthy forestlands while also implementing wildlife habitat management practices. Him and his wife Sarah are hoping to stay in northern Michigan after graduation but are also willing to explore possibilities in other areas should they arise.