The Inspector Training School Celebrates the 182nd Class

The Inspector Training School Celebrates the 182nd Class

MEMPHIS, TENN. – Eighteen students graduated March 24 when the NHLA Inspector Training School held its 182nd commencement exercises at NHLA headquarters. The event was well attended by friends and family of the graduates as well as members of the hardwood industry.

Acting as Master of Ceremonies Dana Spessert, NHLA Chief Inspector and himself a graduate of the Inspector Training School, welcomed the families who had supported the students during their time away from home and traveled so far to celebrate the accomplishments of the 182nd Class.

Nathan Hascher, president of the Lumbermen’s Club of Memphis, a graduate of the 119th class, and an employee of Sierra Forest Products, delivered the inspirational graduation address. Nathan spoke about his life and work experiences since graduating from the School in 1996. “Most of you know my father, Rich Hascher, and may have thought it would be obvious that I would want to follow in his footsteps into a career of lumber inspection, but that wasn’t necessarily the case,” said Nathan. “I started my career as a lumber inspector to make a living but it turned into a passion for the lumber industry. A passion for the people that I work with; a passion for the history and culture of the industry as well as a passion for the opportunities of success that are so easily achieved in this industry.”

He concluded his remarks by sharing some valuable lessons learned from his time spent in the industry. “If you are doing all these things I mentioned: working hard, paying attention to your surroundings, learning from and respecting your co-workers and other inspectors as well as staying proficient in the integrity of the NHLA rules…then your employer can’t help but promote you. And it will give you passion for your job and what you do.”

Class president Mike Graham thanked 23-year veteran instructor, Rich Hascher for his instruction and knowledge and presented him with a wooden gavel as token of the student’s appreciation. Appreciation was also expressed to Mike’s employer, Reedsburg Hardwoods, a Midwest Hardwood Company for their sponsorship of the 182nd class apparel. Thanks to Midwest Hardwood, each traditional 12-week student received a shirt and sweatshirt proudly displaying the 182nd class logo.

Graduates of the 182nd Class were:

• Francisco Campos, Cherokee Wood Products
• Grayson Coleman, Rock Wood Products of Dillwyn
• Eric Corbin, Kentucky Hardwood Lumber Co.
• Steve Corbin, Kentucky Hardwood Lumber Co.
• Paul Michael Cycak, Gutchess Hardwoods
• John Paul Disque, Brickyard Lumber LLC
• Kasey Edwards, Eagle Hardwood
• Drew Elliott, Clinch River Hardwoods
• Mike Graham, Reedsburg Hardwoods
• Vincenzo Guastella, Legnami Guastella SRL
• Charles Herman, C & K Lumber & Export
• Ruben Litterell, Parker Wood Products
• Kyle Padgett, Walnut Creek Timber
• Brian Robbins, Hartzell Hardwoods, Inc.
• Tanner Anthony Thomas, Northland Forest Products
• Yi Tung, Golden Champion Inc. /Dongguan Lianchuen
• Adam Walsh, Cherry Forest Products
• Kam Wible, Wible Lumber

Joe Hyrka of Midwest Hardwood Corp. presented the individual achievement awards.

Outstanding individual awards recipients were as follows:

• Grayson Coleman – John Thomson Award for Highest Overall Average
• Kam Wible – Howard Hanlon Award for Second Highest Overall Average
• Kam Wible – Westside Hardwood Club Award for Highest Board Run Average
• John Paul Disque – J.P. Hamer Award for Most Improved Student
• Kasey Edwards – NHLA Award for Best Attitude/Citizenship
• Michael Graham – Lumbermen’s Club of Memphis Leadership Award

The NHLA Inspector Training School has a proud and rich 69-year history; graduating more than 7,200 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, consequently attracting students from throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

Enrollment is now open for the 183rd class, which begins on June 6 in Oil City, Penn. and for the 184th class, which begins August 30 in Memphis, Tenn. To enroll or learn more about the program please visit

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