G.Ikola, Inc, McCall, ID
Gerry L. Ikola was born and raised in central Idaho, mostly McCall, where he continues to live. His business, G. Ikola, Inc., was started by his father in the late 40's. Gerry took over operations in the 70's and continues on today with ground and jammer sides, and trucking. Seeing an opportunity in the area, he added a slash grinding side in 2010. Gerry has served the forest products industry in many different ways including tenures on the Idaho Forest Products Comission, and the Idaho State Scaling Board. He served on the board of directors for our own Intermountain Logging Conference and was president in 2000. He was awarded the Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year in 2017. Gerry currently serves as the president of the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho.
Career and Technical Education Teacher, Tillamook, OR
Lori Loeffler is a 19 year high school teaching veteran currently teaching Forestry and Natural Resources at Tillamook High School in Tillamook, Oregon. As a Career and Technical Education teacher, she finds herself consistently adapting to the needs of industry creating educational experiences that prepare high school students for the new wave of high wage and high demand careers that await them after graduation. As part of a network of educators serving communities with rich histories in logging and forestry, she has worked to develop a statewide high school curriculum and program of study that partners with community colleges and businesses seeking to further the careers of students after high school. Tillamook High School is a model program for community partnerships around natural resources in the state of Oregon. Lori has been speaking on this topic and her experiences building the program at several industry events.
Having grown up in the concrete jungle of Southern California and attending Azusa Pacific University to receive her BS in Chemistry with a Biology minor, Lori never expected to be teaching forestry and natural resources at this stage of her career. But after 12 years of teaching traditional and AP Environmental classes, she found herself with the opportunity to teach in the outdoor classroom of Tillamook, Oregon where her personal learning has moved along with that of her students. Community partnerships have allowed for her shift and passion to grow for forestry and natural resources. She has realized through all of this that she has always had the forestry gene inside just waiting to come out.
As the Tillamook High School advisor for the Future Natural Resources Leaders, Lori led her student leaders to the “Best New Chapter” award in 2018 for their community partnerships and completion of their first successful home career development event showcasing skills such as cross cut saw, pole climb, compass and pacing, choker set, power buck and more. She truly believes that FNRL is one of the best opportunities for involvement students can have during their high school careers and looks forward to sharing about it with all of you.
Lori resides in Tillamook, Oregon nestled in the woods with her husband and three furbabies; Luna, Little Guy, and Bella.
Tom Schultz is the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Idaho Forest Group (IFG). He assumed this position in January 2018. In this role, he manages strategic relationships and directs communications and community outreach for the company. IFG manufactures dimension lumber and studs across six sawmills in Idaho and western Montana. It also operates a finger-joint plant in northern Idaho.
Prior to working for Idaho Forest Group, he served as the director of the Idaho Department of Lands from September 2011 through January 2018. As secretary to the State Board of Land Commissioners, he oversaw the management of 2.4 million surface acres of endowment lands and 3.3 million acres of endowment minerals in the State of Idaho.
Tom had oversight responsibilities for a number of forestry assistance programs, including administering the Forest Practices Act, as well as directing the agency's work in providing wildfire protection across 6.3 million acres of mostly state and private lands.
Tom was also a member of the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates the exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas resources in Idaho. He also served the chairman of the Idaho Board of Scaling Practices.
Prior to joining the Idaho Department of Lands, Tom worked for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for 14 years. He served as the administrator of the DNRC Trust Lands Division, and served as the administrator for the DNRC Water Resources Division from 2009 to 2010.
Before working for the State of Montana, Tom served as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch Officer in the United States Air Force.
Tom earned a Bachelor's degree in Government from the University of Virginia and holds a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Wyoming as well as a Master's degree in Forestry from the University of Montana.
Director of Trades
and Industrial Arts
Flathead Valley Community College
Peter Fusaro is currently the Director of Trades & Industrial Arts at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, MT. He oversees the Heavy Equipment Operations, Commercial Drivers License (CDL), Electricity/Electronics, Firearms, HVAC, Industrial Machines, Welding, Nondestructive Testing, Culinary, and Brewing programs. He collaborates with faculty, staff, and students in the development, oversight, and delivery of instruction and related activities in Career and Technical Education areas. He is responsible for building strong relationships with the community, strengthening skill-based education and training, and increasing regional awareness of career opportunities.
Before accepting the position at Flathead Valley Commmunity College, he was the Principal at Flathead High School from 1997-2017
Human Resources Manager
Arika Atkins is the HR Manager for Weyerhaeuser in Longview, WA. She graduated from Lower Columbia College with an Associate of Arts, and Warner Pacific College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Human Resources. She was first employed as an administrative assistant for the WA Dept of Health. After leaving there, she gained experience in the Human Resources department, with a couple local companies. In 2011, Arika was employed by Weyerhaeuser as an Administrative Coordinator. From there she has moved to her current HR Manager position.
While at Weyerhaeuser, she has had many accomplishments with labor agreements, integrations of different projects and changes, creating a staff training event, and hosting/sponsoring the annual meeting with the Board of Directors. Arika was also the company representative to United Way, is currently the Chair to the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund, and has been involved in many community activities throughout the years.