WSN forestry staff update

Monday, September 29, 2014

Introducing Penny Ratushniak

As with any organization, change is constant, and that includes the addition of new employees while others plan well-deserved retirements. There has been a flurry of human resource activity at Workplace Safety North over the last year, and here’s an update on new faces you may encounter.

Penny Ratushniak, RPF  Consultant-Trainer, Forestry
Outdoor photo of Penny RatushniakFollowing Gary Dickey’s retirement, Penny Ratushniak, based in Dryden, Ontario, joined the Workplace Safety North forestry team as a health and safety consultant-trainer. As a Registered Professional Forester, Penny brings 15 years’ industry experience in harvest operations, silviculture and forest management. Penny has a forestry degree from Lakehead University and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s focusing on Aboriginal learning. She works closely with stakeholders, and enjoys teaching students of all ages, having led Dryden’s Conservation Camp and Ontario’s Envirothon for the northwestern region.

Brian Lawrence, Consultant-Trainer, retired at the end of August, and his south central Ontario territory will be served by longtime WSN consultant-trainers Bernie Stockermans and Walter Koch. 

Bernie StockermansBernie Stockermans has lived and worked in northern Ontario since 1977, graduating from Lakehead University as a Forester and earning his Registered Professional Forester (RPF) designation in 1991. During his forestry career, Bernie worked at a sawmill, and the Ministry of Natural Resources, with the majority of time spent as a supervisor and forester with industrial and First Nations logging operations. His safety career began in 1993 as a Forestry Safety Consultant-Trainer with the Forest Products Accident Prevention Association in Fort Frances, and continued with a Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation and move to North Bay in 1998; and in 2004, he received an Occupational Health and Safety Certificate from Ryerson University.

Walter KochWalter Koch joined the Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association in 2008, now part of Workplace Safety North (WSN), following an extensive career and lifetime involvement in the forestry industry. Raised in a lumber mill town in Algonquin Park, Walter spent his summers working in and about a steam driven sawmill, a veneer mill and a dimension lumber plant. This youthful experience gave him an early appreciation of the importance of health and safety.

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