Fourteen Students Graduate From 200th Class Of NHLA Inspector Training School

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Memphis, TN – The National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) recently celebrated the graduation of the 200th class of the Inspector Training School here. Thirteen students completed the 8-week Program, and one completed the Online Training Program.

Fourteen Students Graduate From 200th Class Of NHLA Inspector Training School 1
(Seated, from left) Michael Griffith, Randi Dodgson, Roman Matyushchenko (instructor), Collin Wilson and Cooper Lindsay; and (standing, from left) Ryan Wood, Justin Nelson, Noble Barrett, Shain Evans, Julian Ramirez, Jon Royce, Devin McNeely, Chad Nicholson, Landon Pringle and Jonathan Scott

Carol McElya, NHLA Industry Services Project Manager, welcomed and thanked the families, friends, and employers who supported the students during their time away from home.

Instructor Roman Matyushchenko congratulated the students, advising them to “continue to improve your skills and refresh the rules in your memory every day. Also, keep in touch with each other because someday in the future, you might do business with each other.”

David Caldwell, with the Hardwood Market Report, and a graduate of Class 83 in 1984, gave the keynote address. He praised the students, saying, “The Hardwood lumber community needs you. There is a shortage of trained professionals in the industry. We need you to be our inspectors, yard foremen, kiln operators, sawyers, lumber buyers, salespeople, and business owners. The industry also needs leaders – today and in the future. You are on the path to being those leaders because of what you have accomplished these past eight weeks. Again, I congratulate all of you for what you have accomplished here.”

Class President Chad Nicholson addressed his fellow students saying, “The certificate we received today is hard-earned. It shows we know the rules and will apply them daily so that we may be the best we can be. I am proud of you all.”

Graduates of the 200th class were:
•Noble Barrett, SSPC Industries, LLC
•Shain Evans, Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
•Ryan Wood, Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
•Landon Pringle, Independent
•Justin Nelson, Rollinson Lumber and Tie
•Julian Velez Ramirez, Ralph Taylor Lumber Co., Inc.
•Jon Royce, GMC Hardwoods, Inc.
•Jonathan Scott, Pike Lumber Co., Inc.
•Devin McNeely, Independent
•Chad Nicolson, Salem Hardwood Lumber Co.
•Michael Griffith, T&D Thompson
•Cooper Lindsay, Empire Forest Products Ltd.
•Collin Wilson, Wieland & Sons Lumber Company
•Randi Dodgson, Kirtland Community College

Roman Matyushchenko presented the individual achievement awards. Outstanding individual awards recipients were as follows:
•Noble Barrett, ITS Educational Foundation Award for Highest Overall Average
•Justin Nelson, Howard Hanlon Award for Second Highest Overall Average
•Noble Barrett, Westside Hardwood Club Award for Highest Board Run Average
•Chad Nicholson, The Milt Cole and NHLA Award for Best Attitude/Citizenship
•Julian Velez Ramirez, The Lumbermen’s Club of Memphis Award for Most Improved.

Enrollment is open for the 201st class in Memphis, TN. Class 201 begins on January 9, 2022. To enroll or learn more about the Program, please visit

The NHLA Inspector Training School has a proud and rich 70-year history, graduating more than 7,500 students since its conception. The Program teaches the rules and applications of the NHLA grading system and prepares students for a career in the Hardwood industry. This unique Program has earned worldwide respect, attracting students from throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

The world’s largest and oldest Hardwood industry association, NHLA represents companies and individuals that produce, use, and sell North American Hardwood lumber or provide equipment, supplies, or services to the Hardwood industry. It was founded in 1898 to establish a uniform system of grading rules for the measurement and inspection of Hardwood lumber. Since 1979, its headquarters have been in Memphis.

To learn more about NHLA, please visit

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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