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Longtime Vermont woodworker receives top honor

The Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association recently honored Mike Rainville, owner of Maple Landmark Woodcraft in Middlebury, Vt., with its Woodworker of the Year award.

Mike Rainville

Rainville has served on the trade association’s board for 16 years. He’s a past president and current treasurer.

“I’ve been on the board since the organization was formed in 1996. I was stepping down as president last year and they wanted to recognize me in some fashion,” Rainville says.

“Usually the Woodworker of the Year is somebody who’s done something in their business that’s innovative or motivating and somewhere along the way they thought I qualified for that. I think it’s more about my service to the organization than it is to my business specifically. Certainly it’s an honor. I’ve worked really hard for the industry in Vermont all of these years and will continue to do so.”

Rainville’s business, established in 1979, makes eco-friendly, educational wooden toys, games and gifts. It has about 40 employees.

The VWMA represents primary and secondary processors and related businesses statewide. Along with supporting the wood industry in Vermont, the association strives to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials, help increase workforce skills and guide business to act as responsible employers and community members.

“We like to recognize new and innovative things that are happening in the industry,” Rainville says. “Woodworking is pretty important to Vermont. Use of our natural resources is a very Vermont kind of thing and often people in the public don’t realize the impact of the industry so we like to get the word out about who’s doing what sometimes.”

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This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue.

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