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Emil Werronen

Was an immigrant from Finland. He came to America as a carpenter trades man apprentice. In 1898 Emil A. Werronen was one of many service veterans returning home from their volunteer military service in the Spanish-American War. Emil had served honorably as an Army Private in Company M Painesville, 5th Ohio Infantry. After returning home from military service Emil was able to put his carpentry apprenticeship trade skills back to work. He built homes in Fairport Harbor Ohio.

In those early days timber sawmills were most valuable for creating construction lumber from the local hardwood timber. These lumber trades have always provided sustainable trades work jobs in and around American communities. Sawyers provided the carpenters with soft and hardwood lumber resources.

Traditionally in the 1800's steam trains were employed to haul forestry timber to the sawmills. Sawyer trades supported many early communities then, and will continue to do so through Soldiers to Sawyers apprenticeship trades programs.

Our urban forests are valuable natural resources and require skilled sawyer trades workers to evaluate and then make best use planning of timber from our communities. Our program apprenticeships will strive to maintain those traditional trades. Best natural resource management will ensure happy endings for those beautiful urban canopy trees.

We created this 501c19 non profit as a tribute to those tough men of timber. We acknowledge their historical work ethic so our membership might then build upon those traditional trades. We believe that embracing a cultural belief that "hard work pays off" will better motivate ones dedication to success. For our future apprentices, and a national membership of combat era veterans, this will help enable them to prosper.

Apprenticeship training will distill down those traditional job skills, into better conservation of resources, by working with advanced technologies on modern equipment. Our Auxiliary community members will help us raise the needed capital to ensure our returning war veteran members have all the necessary benefits. Certificate training will provide higher living wages and greater career opportunities.


Finnish carpenters were employed and built 150 Sailing Schooners from 1830-1870 at Fairport Harbor. This was a busier harbor than Cleveland Ohio back then. Sawyers milled ship timbers and lumber specifically for these Great Lakes freight hauling vessels. The average life for these men was often short, and sailing schooners usually lasted just four years. Many were lost in sudden lake storms, as those were tough and dangerous times.  

Emil Werronen arrived in America on a larger clipper ship. His apprenticeship skills were valuable to him during those early years in Fairport Harbor. The skilled carpentry trades were a sustainable living for the Finnish men and a most employable skilled labor.

In 1916 Emil's carpentry trade skills would further sustain his family when he built their family home at 523 Sixth St. Fairport Harbor. These growing lake shore immigrant communities supported the employment of many skilled Finnish carpentry trades men. This helped Emil earn enough sustainable income towards taking better care of his growing family.

Meet the Founders

Eino Werronen

Founding Combat Veteran Soldiers to Sawyers 

Eino returned home from WWII and was honorably discharged in 1946. He had served in the Army Air Force as a  Radar Technical Sergeant. His overseas combat service was in the Philippines & New Guinea. When he returned home he pursued the apprenticeship trades. 

Just as his father Emil did, Eino pursued the building trades. He completed his apprenticeship and became a journeyman brick mason.  Seen here below he is building his father-in-law’s home in 1962. Eino provided the foundation for this non profit development. These two combat service veterans created a vision for S2S. They are our founding examples of success, where apprenticeship promises living the American Dream.


Chris Werronen

Board CEO

Founder of Soldiers to Sawyers
Career Civil Servant
Organized this non-profit in 2013 as a resource to help our service disabled combat veterans. Developed divisions of programming that included STEM advanced technologies for a national membership. Designed the“Operating Agreement" to support veterans where they live so they may better organize together at Posts in every community. 501c19 non profit community Posts will facilitate national growth as our model template. My work  was approved as a charitable non-profit by IRS in 2016. I developed a Board of Trustees to support program development and sponsorship funding. This Board of Trustees accepted a financial donation from my family and hardwood lumber to support a division of CNC advanced tech apprenticeship training. Five other divisional programs were created for our veterans offering trades training. I wanted veterans to have better career opportunities for a better quality of life. My work continues to focus on the building blocks necessary to help veterans and their families. Through the Auxiliary outreach design friends and neighbors may also sponsor support. This non-profit design encourages corporate sponsorship to drive veterans programming with a greater growth of services.

My career experience was working directly with the disabled special needs population as a civil servant. I've incorporated those experiences into these program developments, towards supporting all our veterans needs. My goal has been to better support our combat disabled veterans with career trades training opportunities. I will continue to develop this as a national template for replication wherever veterans may organize. I feel that by maintaining those existing traditional trades, supported by advanced technologies new STEM careers will better enable our service veterans.

Chad Williams

Board CFO

Sergeant Major United States Marine Corps

I am an ambitious, self-motivated individual with strong attention to detail. I am able to always deliver on time regardless of working remote or onsite. Everyday I seek self improvement and ways to expand the business. I am a proven leader under extreme stressful environments/ situations that only settles for success. I know first hand the difficult transition that comes when you are back in the “real world” and have to get acclimated into a whole new lifestyle. Being able to help fellow veterans like myself is a dream come true.

William Morisette

Board Secretary

Veteran Career Consultant

I have over 20 years leadership of coaching, mentoring, and developing relationships with veterans. I’m a business professional with extensive experience in vetern employment development, veterans disability, housing, and community outreach. My work experience has helped me gain a thorough understanding of vocational rehabilitation and knowledge of the rehabilitation process. I have a deep understanding of disabilities, veterans that face those disabilities and the impact it has towards employability.

Retired Army Combat “Gulf War” Veteran having 21 years of honorable service.

In my civilian career I have held positions that included Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Assistant Regional Business Director and Regional Sales Manager. William has over 20 years of leadership of coaching, mentoring, and developing relationships with veterans. I’m a business professional with extensive experience in veteran employment development, veterans disability, housing, and community outreach. My work experience has helped me gain a thorough understanding of vocational rehabilitation and knowledge of the rehabilitation process. I have a deep understanding of disabilities, veterans that face those disabilities and the impact it has towards employability.
While I was serving as an Army Major I noticed a need to assist soldiers and formed a Non-Profit called Operation Golden Soldier to aid those soldiers in transition. I helped them navigate through the Medical Board process and ultimately the VA disability process. I then transitioned into helping soldiers find jobs after being discharged from the military. I have worked for Veteran Benefits Administration and for the OC One-Stops to carry on my mission in helping Veterans in transition.
Continuing on that mission to find new careers for our nation’s finest, brought me to Goodwill Industries of Orange County, Tierney Center for Veterans Services is where I served as the Vocational Rehabilitation Program Manager focusing solely on Disabled Veterans. I bring to S2S over 15 years experience in Veteran transitioning service and I have a wealth of knowledge in Veteran Benefits and assisting Veterans in need.
I am a ROTC graduate from Gonzaga University where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Finance in 1994. In my continuing education, I received a Master of Business Administration from the University of La Verne 2001. While serving in the Army I attended Transportation Basic Officer Leadership Course, Support Operations Course, U. S. Army Combined Arms & Services Staff School (CAS3) and U.S. Army Combined Logistics Officers Advance Course, Fort Lee, Virginia.

How It All Started

In 1979 Army veteran Eino Werronen sponsored our first "Farm Timber Sawmill".  On his Ohio farm property Eino made these things possible and would become our founding veteran Soldier to Sawyer member. He was from the school of "Hard Work Pays Off" and our catalyst provider, bringing about the creation of Soldiers to Sawyers some years later. To make any of this possible a lot of hard work and elbow grease was first applied.  Eino was a tradesman bricklayer living in the home his father built in Fairport Harbor. NE Ohio offered him steady employment with pleasant summers along the lake shore. On the weekends during the 1960's, he would head out early in the morning. The skilled trades provided him with resourceful opportunities. He was quite capable by himself, to engineer and build foundations and block constructions as a supplemental income. During this time in 1963 that extra income really payed off. He finally had earned enough dough to purchase his father in law's 36 acre farm property.

This beautiful little farm also had a woodlot, that offered a mature harvest stand of hardwood timber for saw milling. After that 1979 saw milling that same woodlot would later support Soldiers to Sawyers in 2014 with by launching another lumber milling project. From that Werronen farm Eino and his family enjoyed driving over for weekend picnics as there were always relatives nearby. Everyone appreciated the bounty gathered from working in their gardens. Just as his father Emil did before him, Eino's career after military service was that of a successful skilled tradesman. These two service veterans planted the origin seeds that would grow into this non-profit organization.

On that Werronen farm, carpenters would utilize that 1979 milled lumber for barn building constructions. From that first mill work Eino's son Chris had witnessed something his father had set into motion. It was a working example how home grown lumber might also support many other combat veterans. Sawyers in apprenticeship might well prosper as they did in the early days. Towards supporting trades shops, where carpentry apprenticeship might engage. This design plan was curiously developing, and by 2013 had matured into a non profit business. The S2S non profit organization manifested after many years of observation. Chris had always appreciated our veterans service to country. At the VA hospital he had witnessed many disabled veterans needing more community support. As a hospital volunteer he met many who were continuing to fight through their personal adversities, but they needed community help. He could also see how many families had suffered that ultimate sacrifice, being left little to comfort them. S2S would now become this veterans charitable non-profit membership organization to speak to these needs. Positioned now to serve the needs of these veterans, our Board of Trustees supports IRS approved Bylaws that engage divisions of apprenticeship trades programs. Through sustainable resource management our traditional American trades could be maintained by community outreach sponsorship. The public as our Auxiliary membership can provide the backbone of support we need to provide programs to returning combat service veterans seeking these apprenticeship trades.

Mission Statement

This corporation is organized exclusively for charitable educational purposes. Our Bylaws provide support membership services as a 501c19 IRS approved non-profit to service veterans and their families. As transition support from military to civilian life, S2S Board of Trustees will manage apprenticeship training through divisions of workforce training to support vocational, and STEM advanced technologies. Auxiliary memberships will provide veterans with program funding for apprenticeship programs through sustainable and replicable training services. This organization supports veterans seeking higher skilled trades wage earning careers. To enable our disabled and homeless veterans, S2S will provide non-profit services, such as sponsorship of occupational training tools and equipment modifications necessary for their career development. Membership in S2S 501c19 will support sponsorship of needy homeless war veterans and other members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents. This organization will provide the planning for local S2S posts that directly support S2S memberships in their communities. Support will be provided to cooperative business development as an exit plan after completing apprenticeship trades workforce training.    Co-ops will be supported for profit business practices.where combat service veterans members and auxiliary membership will mutually benefit from living wage careers. S2S will provide divisional training that locates and repurposes residential homes through apprentice program training. Divisions of training will resource talent and materials to rehabilitate these homes with adaptive floor plans, to better supporting disabled combat veterans and their families. Assist to make these available these homes to our DAV with home business options as S2S Posts. Those Posts may provide disabled veteran families with income from a home/business occupation. Work through non-profit will provide the replication of these principles as the S2S national goal planning. Community Mission Posts will be supported as a membership benefit at Division training, veteran apprenticeship, refurbished residential homes. Provide support as our national agenda to grow communities of S2S membership having regular monthly meetings, structured from our IRS approved“Operating Agreement". We will provide support to social and recreational activities as a service veteran membership benefits for these families. Support will be provided to assist disabled and needy war veterans and other members of the United States Armed Forces and their dependents, including the widows and orphans of deceased veterans. We will enable our Gold Star families through leadership positions as our Board Trustees at every community Post. This non-profit organization will carry on programs to perpetuate the memory of deceased veterans and lost members of the Armed Forces, and to comfort their survivors. We will promote these things for the social welfare of every community.

Why Trades Training Apprenticeships?

The conceptual goal of Soldiers to Sawyers non profit organization was to create training programs that would enable a greater number of service veterans to succeed in their skilled trades careers. These would include means of sustainable income training supports. Today our goals remain, to benefit our veterans communities with vitality important training. Goals are to establish revitalization initiatives through non profit supports, where skilled trades program training can provide. We are developing and will mature into a national plan, that will support  local memberships at their Community Posts. It's our expressed interest to enable veterans and their families, to better integrate from military into the civilian workforce. Our American history has this tradition that valued the skilled trades. This has proven to win world wars as well as grow our economy for generations of American families. To maintain this quality of life in our communities, the skilled trades require our support to they may continue to provide sustainable career occupations.

The skilled trades are as essential now as they were generations ago. Today we may employ new technologies in our training. This will assist our rebuilding of American villages, towns and cities. It’s in our national security to maintain this working knowledge base. We anticipate a greater integration of advanced technologies towards supporting our future trades apprenticeships. This includes mfg trades where our combat disabled veterans may be provided with greater degrees of adaptive equipment support. This removes workplace barriers, to open up greater career opportunities for them. Our aging communities need our veterans be well established in the skilled trades, so they may help to us rebuild them.

S2S program planning will be supported by non profit capital fundraising campaigns. We can initiate these divisions of program management as our sponsors step up to provide. The skilled trades have always been an essential building block for our communities. VetTech and other innovative VA program provide supports that will enable combat veterans into next generation advanced tech mfg. Our plan is to execute working divisions of training as templates, so those next S2S veterans communities may use as their models. From local Community Posts, trades training opportunities may then be available to all veterans directly where they live.

Our returning combat veterans will be asking us, is there anything available for us? We think about our planning to provide numerous sustainable career trades options. We will position S2S as a provider to the Dept of VA, so earned training may be supports may be awarded through GI Bill education benefits. For many veterans their trades talents may effect their career earnings, to be greater than many academic degree careers. Academic degree education is essential to our economy, but should be in balanced proportion to skilled trades certificate careers. S2S divisions will introduce numerous advanced technologies. Through trades certificate options, our plan is to support every veteran’s family with a greater earning degree choices.

Our non profit programs will provide training that supports sustainable living wages income. Combat service veterans who are interested in our apprenticeship trades divisions may receive support from us through our online membership application process. Our NE Ohio program initiation will grow out through our IRS approved “Operating Agreement".  Locally organized membership groups may then organize to directly apply for local Post development. This local initiation will pilot many traditional trades as their programming will be easily replicable in the near future. These skilled trades have sustained generations of American combat veterans, and with your support they will continue for generations to come.

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