Graduation of the 193rd Class of NHLA Inspector Training School

MEMPHIS, TN. – The National Hardwood Lumber Association celebrated the graduation of the 193rd class of the Inspector Training School on Friday, November 20, 2020.  Four students completed the 12-week traditional program.

Dana Spessert, NHLA Chief Inspector and ITS Dean of Education, welcomed and thanked the families, friends, and employers who supported the students during their time away from home.

Gary Snider, father to Class President Michael Snider and himself a graduate of the 96th Class of the Inspector Training School, gave the keynote address.  “You are going to leave the NHLA Inspector Training School with a unique opportunity. It doesn’t make any difference if you deal in square inch hardwood lumber, or if you deal in dimensional lumber panels, ties, or cants, the one common denominator is grade. They’re all marketed by grade, and that is what you have learned here. You now have a skill that the industry is clamoring for.”  He then congratulated the graduates and challenged them to “take what you’ve learned at NHLA Inspector Training School and apply it in an industry at a company where you can not only make a difference but where you can grow as an individual.”


Keynote Speaker Gary Snider and his son Michael Andrew Snider.


Class President, Michael Snider addressed his fellow students, following his father’s remarks. “My grandfather built an amazing career through the lessons he learned at the NHLA Inspector Training School, and he laid the foundation for my father and my uncle to come here and also build great careers,” he stated. “I have no words to explain how proud I feel that I’ve been able to carry on the legacy of being a lumber inspector and being trained by the great minds at this School. I hope that one day I can give back to the NHLA all the things it has given my family and me over the course of the past three generations on Sniders.”

Graduates of the 193rd class were:

  • Sean Powell, B&B Sawmill
  • Michael Andrew Snider, Independent
  • Nick Todd, T.J. Moss Lumber
  • Austin Wuesten, Superior Hardwood, LLC


NHLA Chief Inspector Dana Spessert pinning Austin Wuesten.


School Instructor Roman Matyushchenko presented the individual achievement awards.

Outstanding individual awards recipients were as follows:

  • Michael Andrew Snider, ITS Educational Foundation Award for Highest Overall Average
  • Benjamin Nicholas Todd, Howard Hanlon Award for Second Highest Overall Average
  • Michael Andrew Snider, Westside Hardwood Club Award for Highest Board Run Average
  • Sean D. Powell, NHLA Award for Best Attitude/Citizenship
  • Austin Andrew Wuesten, Lumberman’s Club of Memphis Most Improved Award
  • Michael Andrew Snider, Willard Scholarship Award


Michael Andrew Snider poses with his certificate and awards.


Enrollment is now open for the 194th class, which begins on January 5, 2021. To enroll or learn more about the program, please click HERE.