After a seven-years-long exile to Montréal, Patrick Desbiens returned to his native land in 2003. He then got actively involved in starting up several food service companies and was the co-owner of a business until 2009. Trained as a special education teacher, he went back to social work. He became coordinator and case worker in a new community organization called “Homme aide Manicouagan.” In 2010, he started up the second safe house for fathers with children in Quebec called “Maison Oxygène Gens du Nord.” Still working for Homme aide Manicouagan, Patrick is also a spokesperson for Table nord-côtière de concertation sur les réalités masculines and the Vice-president of the Maisons Oxygène network in Quebec.
After more than thirty-five years of living on the North Shore and trained as a special education teacher, Françoise Richard became responsible for the “Conseil du statut de la femme du Québec”. She contributed to the establishment of some fifteen community organizations, including the “Fonds d’investissement pour l’entrepreneurship feminin” and the “Corporation des services universitaires du secteur ouest de la Côte-Nord.” Sustainable development has been a life-long principle of hers. With her travels all over the world, she has gained a better understanding of the ways of life of the different cultures which enrich our planet and the issues that they face.
Originally from Sherbrooke, Dominic Francoeur has been living in the Manicouagan area since 1993. He is a geographer and a cynegetic and halieutic development technician (CHDT). He was the general director of the estuary’s north shore ZIP committee for five years after three years as project manager. He is now a professor in the CHDT department of Cégep de Baie-Comeau. This position allows him to train the next generation by sharing with students his 15 years of experience in management, conservation, enhancement and development from a sustainable development perspective
Éric Kanapé has been an elected member of the Pessamit Innu Council since 2012. Raised in the traditions of his Innu ancestors, he embodies the pride of his Nation. By organizing cross-cultural meetings with various institutions, such as educational institutions, it is now his turn to pass on the Innu Aitun to young Innu and youth from other origins. With a degree in biology from Université de Trois-Rivières, he has worked as a wildlife agent to restore salmon in the Pessamit River and as a land agent.
Jacinthe Pomerleau is a pioneer in the development and implementation of childcare services. Over the years, she has contributed to the development of close to 400 places in recognized daycare services by overseeing the leadership and management of social economy businesses that create wealth for those communities. Very much involved in her community, she has been a member of various organizations and committees, including the Comité famille pour l’élaboration de la politique familiale de la Ville de Baie-Comeau, an administrator for five years at the CLD Manicouagan with a seat on the social economy board and a member of the Board of Administrators of the Fonds d’investissement pour l’entrepreneurship au féminin. She strongly believes in the potential of communities to take ownership of their future.
To come up…
Building on her experience in management and customer service, Julie Bérubé joined her father Donald and brother Luc at Granijem, in 2010, where she imparted the family business with the additional structure and standardization it needed in terms of marketing, customer service and accounting. Since, 2015, Granijem has subscribed to the BNQ 21000 process of the MUWBR and has efficiently integrated the sustainable development principles of the standard into the decision-making process of the company. Julie is also the head of Ferme Manicouagan, another family business, where she is in charge of marketing the farm’s line of haskap berry products. She not only plans on promoting the farming potential of the North Shore, but she also hopes to create a collaborative system bringing together the different farmers on the North Shore to improve regional economic development.
A native of Baie-Comeau, Serge Lechasseur has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration combined with a college diploma in cynegetic and halieutic development. Since he completed university and spent seven years in the Ottawa River area, he has been quite involved in various economic development areas, whether through education (college teacher) or consulting. He has also been dedicated to numerous boards of administrators, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the CAPE, Dépannage de l’Anse and Centraide. He is currently the general director of Groupe de la Côte inc., a social economy organization that employs some 75 employees, over 60% of which have a functional limitation at work. The Groupe de la Côte was one of the companies to pioneer the 2013 BNQ 21000 sustainable development pilot project supported by the MUWBR.
A native of Baie-Comeau, Vicky Grégoire-Tremblay has worked with several concepts related to MUWBR activities during her career, including governance and social accountability. When involved in international development or economic development missions, she seeks to lead the projects entrusted to her from a sustainable development perspective. The passion for development that she kindled by living abroad in several regions of the world brought her back to Baie-Comeau, where she currently holds the position of marketing director for Tourisme Côte-Nord.