Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Pyramid Employees Recognized for Timber Grading Accuracy


March 29, 2018

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Pyramid Mountain Lumber employees Quality Control Supervisor Kyle Kenney and graders Tim Wood, Justin Simon and Monie Bergeson. Wood, Simon and Bergeson each received Western Wood Products Association Hi-Q Awards for 2017.

SEELEY LAKE - Pyramid Mountain Lumber excels again this year in grader performance. The Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) recognized Monie Bergeson, Tim Wood and Justin Simon with the High Quality (Hi-Q) Award for their timber grading accuracy in 2017.

To be eligible for the award, graders must be a certified grader in each product. They also must meet the minimum footage requirement per product. For the common one-inch boards, 12,000 board feet must be inspected per grader. For two-inch dimension lumber and high quality shop grades, they must inspect 15,000 board feet of each product.

WWPA performs a monthly inspection of graders at various mills. Graders must be at least 95 percent accurate over the course of the year to qualify for the award.

Bergeson has been working at Pyramid for 39 years. He earned the Hi-Q award for commons and an additional award for dimension and shop lumber.

Wood has been working at Pyramid for 38 years. He earned the Hi-Q award for a combination of commons and dimension.

After graduating from Seeley-Swan High School in 2011, Simon has been working at the mill for the past five years. He received the Hi-Q award for commons. This is his first Hi-Q Award.

Bergeson, Wood and Simon each received a certificate, sticker for their helmet and badge from WWPA. Pyramid also gave them an extra day of vacation for their hard work.

"We want our graders to strive for the greatest possible grading proficiency," said Kyle Kenney, Pyramid's new Quality Control Supervisor. "It is so important because they are virtually the last people to look at these boards before they leave the mill and go to the customer. Accuracy is extremely important. Inaccuracy in grading can cause loss of profit for the company and can cause customer dissatisfaction. A huge thing is customer satisfaction and keeping our customers coming back. It is a quality product and having a good reputation for that and for our graders as well."

Kenney replaced Mike McGrew who retired in January. Kenney is a 2007 Seeley-Swan High School graduate who completed his degree in Business Management from the University of Montana. He started working at the mill in 2013. He worked as a supervisor on the planer and completed his certification in commons grading. He started training under McGrew in the fall of 2017.

"It's a new challenge. I get to learn the entire process from the sawmill to the dry kiln to the planer and I manage the rough inventory yard," said Kenney. "It's fun to be able to bounce around and learn everything."

While Kenney never expected to return to Seeley Lake and find a job in his field, he is excited to be able to make a living and raise his family here. "It just worked out great for me. You don't often find opportunities like this is a small town, usually you have to branch out. I got lucky. There are a lot of opportunities here at Pyramid."


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