Our Team - West Wind Hardwood

Jan Nielsen
Jan is the son, of the father-son partnership that began in 1978. Born into a family of craftsmen, he inherited his family’s appreciation and skill with wood. Born in Denmark, Jan has lived on the Saanich Peninsula since 1974, and intends to call North Saanich home; not withstanding the frequent trips to Mexico and abroad.
Lars Nielsen
Vice President/Flooring Sales
Lars is Jan’s brother and born in Quebec; raised on the BC coast where he acquired a great appreciation of the sea while living on a boat with his parents. Boats have factored largely throughout Lars’ life, as even his marriage took place aboard his 1947 Chris Craft. Lars is committed to his family; his newest project – another boat, and sustained personal growth.
Shelley Nielsen
Operations Manager
Shelley is Jan’s wife. A true BC’er born and bred, she has been part of the West Wind team since 1978. A true family business, their daughters Olivia and Anna have occasionally lent a hand.

On July 9th, 2023 Shelley passed away from complications arising from a stem cell transplant while treating her lifelong Myelofibrosis diagnosis. She will forever be missed by our staff, customers and her family.

Danny Schaftlein
Milling Manager
Danny is our Milling Manager. He has been with us since 2004; coming highly recommended by his woodworking teacher at Stelly’s Secondary. Danny has a passion for the forest and the working with the wood that comes from within. As a ticketed joiner, Danny heads up the production department at West Wind Hardwood creating custom floors, countertops, and much more!
Joel Radford
Milling Specialist
Joel is our wood-flooring expert becoming the icon of West Wind’s flooring expansion. He is thoroughly knowledgeable with all aspects of our brand name and custom floors. Joel started some years ago as a part-time student coming highly recommended by his woodworking teacher at Parkland Secondary.
Tyler Strank
Tyler Strank is another Parkland Secondary Grad that has a passion for woodwork. He is our latest employee to complete the BCIT joinery apprenticeship program. His favourite wood is poplar for its wide colour range. Away from work, Tyler raises prize-winning guinea pigs! Who would’ve guessed!
Britney King
Accounting & Office Manager
Married and a new homeowner in Saanichton, Britney actually has a background in fashion and her sense of style is shown through the website and marketing materials. When not at West Wind Britney runs her own business designing and making bridal gowns and other formal attire.
Jonathan Hawkins
Building Supplies/School Sales
Jonathan is a Graduate of Stelly’s Secondary. He handles inside sales and is the school rep. He is a big fan of adventure and exploring the outdoors, especially camping. He also plays ice hockey, video games and is consistently working on his truck. He is always keen to learn new things which will contribute to a positive future.
Dustin Ethier
Dustin brings a background in manufacturing trades, having over a decade of experience as a tradesman in aviation manufacturing and maintenance. He graduated with honours from NAIT in Edmonton. He has two children, with his wife of 12 years, Floramae. A native of Vancouver Island having lived in the prairies, he has no complaints about the mild winters here; however, misses the incredibly intense lightening storms of the prairies.
Richard Carter
Born in Victoria 1980; he moved to England at the age of 6 years.  Developed an appreciation for history, aircraft, and humour of the dry sarcasm persuasion; i.e. Monty Python.  Returned to Victoria 2003.  Richard achieved his Private Pilot’s License but decided to pursue a career in Woodworking.  We welcome him to WWH where he can spread his ‘wood’ wings.
Jan Nielsen, Carpentry
Danny Schaftlein (Milling Manager) – Joinery
Joel Radford (Flooring Manager) – Joinery
Lucas Koessler (Milling Assistant) – Joinery
Tyler Strank (Milling Assistant) – Joinery
Jorden Cooper

Apprenticeship Start Dates

Employees that have begun their woodworking journey.

Want to Join Our Team?

Current Employment Opportunities

Milling & Warehouse Support

Our custom milling department creates all sorts of end-user products from flooring to countertops to even the occasional furniture piece. If you love or are interested in working with wood, this is an excellent entry-level position for you! Hours are full-time, Mon-Fri. The position would be suitable for 2-3 young individuals looking to learn new skills.

Duties would include:

  • Shop clean up
  • Assisting with millwork jobs with the opportunity to learn skills and work on your own.
  • Load and unload material from trucks
  • Fill/pull Lumber orders and prepare them for shipping

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to multitask
  • Good attention to detail
  • Ability to follow directions and follow processes
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Being mechanically inclined would be an asset