Being recognized by his peers is quite humbling for Vernon’s Mark Tamas.
The former chief forester of Vernon-based Tolko Industries, has been described by colleagues as “a community-focused forest professional, a skilled communicator, and as an advocate for sound, sustainable forest management.”
Tamas is one of three people recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), which held its Awards of Excellence program in conjunction with National Forest Week.
The award is presented to current or former industry leaders who have made exceptional, sustained, and significant contributions to the forest products sector.
“FPAC introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award as a means of paying tribute to the incredible people who have made it their life’s work to drive Canadian forestry forward,” said FPAC president and CEO Derek Nighbor.
Upon his retirement from a 32-year career with Tolko and its predecessor companies, Tamas held numerous roles including logging supervisor, planning forester, and woodlands manager. He moved to Vernon in 2000 and worked as woodlands manager and divisional manager at Lumby, as well as Okanagan Regional Woodlands Manager and then chief forester in 2013.
He represented Tolko in three provinces with the federal government on matters relating to sustainable forestry, led Tolko’s Forest Certification program and been Tolko’s lead on the Species at Risk file.
“It is humbling to be recognized by your peers for work you truly enjoy doing,” said Tamas. “I am truly grateful for the years of mentorship and guidance I received from my employers and work colleagues. Working for Tolko and the Thorlakson family has been an honour. My entire adult life has been framed by two things: my family and forestry.
“The communities I lived in, the friends I’ve met and the forests and landscapes in Western Canada that I’ve had the privilege to walk through and help manage have all created lifelong memories. ”