After 15 years of service to the Association, John Stulen will retire from his role as CEO of the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA). He has served the contractors group since 2002 when it was first established. After 31st December Innovatek Limited will no longer be managing the activities of FICA.
On behalf of FICA Stulen acknowledged the group’s achievements were built on the long-term support of the many loyal contractor members. Furthermore there has always been solid support from key industry suppliers as sponsors for FICA. This support was critical for everything FICA has been able to do to improve the profitability and sustainability of forest contractors in both logging and silviculture.
On behalf of FICA, president Ross Davis thanked John Stulen for his long service, which has resulted in forest contractors becoming an important voice in forestry nationally and well-respected internationally in logging contracting circles.
Davis says, “We are grateful to John Stulen his long-term achievements. He positioned our contractors’ association so that we are respected and listened throughout our industry and with key Ministers in Government. They now know who we are and what we contribute to the economy and the environment.”
During his tenure Stulen started with a blank canvas and built a loyal following of professional and proactive forest contractors. With a supportive board and loyal industry sponsors FICA has been successful championing contractor sustainability with forest owners and managers, government officials and international forest organisations.
When the forest industry faced public scrutiny in 2013 over it’s workplace accidents record, FICA made the call for an independent inquiry. As a result FICA led the forest contracting community to work with forest managers and workers to develop the cooperatively governed Forest Industry Safety Council that is now making positive change.
Recognising the importance of transforming to safer workplaces, FICA contractor members and engineering suppliers have transformed forest harvesting. In just four years the tree-felling task has been extensively mechanised. Over 80 percent of tree felling is done using million-dollar harvesters. The other high-risk work task of breaking out for yarders has been substantially automated with radio technology making way for remotely operated camera grapples.
Stulen’s company, Innovatek, is now managing technology transfer services focused on new engineered wood technologies for commercial building, including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).
FICA will now recruit a new chief executive. The FICA board will provide updated contact details for the Association in due course.