A local powerhouse in the lumber industry has been recognized for her forward thinking and financial acumen by Canadian Forest Industries magazine.
Krystle Seed was recognized as one of the 10 men and women under 40 who exemplify the best of Canada’s forest industry.
Seed and her brother Chris Kalesnikoff are the fourth generation to run family-owned Kalesnikoff Lumber in Tarrys. She is the company’s chief financial officer and sits on its board of directors.
Seed didn’t even know she had been nominated for the recognition until the winners were announced.
“I felt pretty humbled by it,” Seed said. “If you take a look at some of the other people on the list, there is a real diverse group of people from across Canada.”
Seed’s brother Chris made the same list in 2018.
“I appreciate that they are recognizing the next generation,” said Seed.
“There is a lot of bad news in the industry these days, and it doesn’t really inspire youth to get involved. But that is going to be critical to the future of the forest industry — getting the next generation involved.”
Seed says the industry has been changing in recent years and more women are getting involved all the time.
“As women, we are contributing in all parts of the industry, which is exciting,” she said.
Seed credits her dad, Ken Kalesnikoff, for some of her success.
“For me to get into the business and to work, my dad really supported me and gave me opportunity to grow,” she said.
“I was able to find out how I could contribute. Getting into finance and accounting was a skill set I was able to bring and that gave me confidence to work in that type of environment.”
“In our company I have always felt appreciated for the work that I do, not whether I am male or female.”
Seed recognizes that it is not always easy for women to enter the historically male-dominated field.
“I feel really optimistic about it, however. We have several really capable, really smart women working in our business in all sorts of areas from forestry to operations to safety. It is exciting to see what they are bringing to the table,” added Seed. “It is something that I am proud to be part of.”
Seed loves her job, which both feeds and is fed by her passion for growing the company and its value-added components in particular.
“Most of my passion comes from what I have grown up with. My dad was involved with the value-added part of the business for as long as I remember. It is something we were exposed to, so we just naturally became passionate about it as well.”
Seed is also excited about what she and her brother are working on right now — a new facility to produce mass timber products such as glulam beams and cross-laminated timber.
She says that over the past 80 years Kalesnikoff has focused a lot on the entrepreneurial and value-added aspects of the business.
“There is a lot of bad news in the industry. The world is changing and I think our industry needs to adapt and change with it. I feel really excited about all the possibilities that we see,” said Seed.
She thinks value-added elements are going to develop into all sorts of different components in the future.
“It is going to take all sorts of different types of companies to explore those different types to move the industry forward,” said Seed.
She also thinks it is going to take different types of people including women and youth to come up with the next evolution of the industry.
Seed is excited to be on the front lines of an evolving industry and plans to continue leading Kalesnikoff Lumber into an innovative future.