Keynote Speaker

As the head of Ipsos Public Affairs, Darrell Bricker has his finger firmly on the pulse of public opinion, allowing him to provide unparalleled perspective on trends affecting business and the economy. Darrell is a strong voice and respected authority in global polling, with presentations tailored to your industry, with unparalleled knowledge and a fun sense of humour. He isn’t your typical numbers guy. An engaging a relaxed speaker, he presents data in a way audiences can relate to. He brings the latest insights backed by one of the world’s leading market research firms. While his comments and observations are driven by research, he also shares his personal observations gathered from over 25 years of working with some of the world’s most important public and private sector organizations. His fresh insights will help inform better decisions. As the CEO for IPSOS Public Affairs, he provides strategic advice to clients within the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. In his past roles, Darrell worked within the Prime Minister’s Office as the director of public opinion research and has been further involved as a consultant for clients within public and private sectors.

Industry Seminar on Economy and Markets

  Paul Quinn is RBC's Paper & Forest Products analyst since 2008. Based in Vancouver, Canada, he also has responsibility for expanding coverage of the U.S. forestry sector in addition to his Canadian-focused coverage. MR. Quinn brings with him an extensive background in the forestry industry, including positions with MacMillan Bloedel and Weyerhaeuser. Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets, he covered the paper and forest products sector as well as being Assistant Director of Research at Salman Partners. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, he was named the No. 2 ranked Canadian Paper & Forest Products analyst in the Brendan Wood survey. In the StarMine awards, he has been cited for stock picking and estimates accuracy over the years, most recently ranking No. 1 in stock picking for the Canadian sector in the 2017 awards. In the US Institutional Investor rankings, Paul came in as a Runner Up in #7 spot in 2017.

Francois Robichaud is Partner at Forest Economic Advisors, a leading firm in market analysis and economic forecasting for the forest products industry. He is responsible for market intelligence services, which he delivers through surveys and customized market research. He currently co-authors a major study on the next decade for lumber and building materials distribution and the future of building systems in North-America. Prior to joining FEA., he spent 17 years with FPInnovations as a senior researcher and then research leader in forest products marketing. Through this affiliation, he published several studies on the industrialisation of residential construction, on markets for structural wood products, and on wood use in nonresidential and multifamily construction. Francois holds a Ph.D. in forest products marketing from UBC, a Master’s degree in forest economics and an undergraduate degree in forest management from Laval Unversity.


Kirk Grundahl, P.E., SECB, supports the advancement of engineering innovation and business development serving the structural building compoments industry since 1978. He is executive director of the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) where he is responsible for the entire management of the Association and each of its councils. He is also the founder and president of Qualtim and president of DrJ Engineering. Qualtim was founded in 1989 to provide technical and marketing services to the engineered wood products industry, while DrJ Engineering perfoms building and truss design engineering related work. Over the years, he has served on the board of directors or committee of 27 professionnal and industry associations and private companies. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering and a MBA from the University of Wisconsin.




Scott Jamieson is the Director of Engagement for Annex Business Media, Canada’s largest business media company with 67 magazine brands, 100 websites and over 50 live events. Its forestry group includes Canadian Forest Industries, Opérations forestières et de scierie, Canadian Biomass and Pulp & Paper Canada, as well as Canadian Contractor, Print Action, and Canadian Packaging. Scott began his career working for PAPRICAN, a predecessor of FPInnovations, joining Pulp & Paper Canada as an editor in 1991. He became editor of Canadian Forest Industries soon after. A co-owner of several forestry media brands for over 10 years, he joined Annex when it acquired CFI and OF magazines in 2004. In 2009, he joined the executive team at Annex, and currently focuses on business development and technology in the audience, data and events.

Seminar on Hardwoods

Rupert Oliver has over 25 years’ experience working in the international timber trade and industry. He is the European correspondent for the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) Market Information Service and Technical Consultant to the FLEGT Independent Market Monitor, an EU-funded project hosted by ITTO. He is the lead author on hardwoods for the Annual Market Review of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry. He is Sustainability Consultant to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), playing a lead role in the development of environmental marketing strategy for the US hardwood export industry. He is also working with the Global Timber Forum to establish a framework for regular survey work and statistical analysis to improve quality of market intelligence on the international timber trade and industry.
  Joris Dehennin is Technical Wood Advisor at Hout Info Bois, the technical information and support centre for the industry of primary wood processing  in Belgium. Hout info Bois is, toghether with the Belgian Timber Confederation, a member of the European  Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS).  Besides counselling Belgian consumers (architects, project developers, etc.) and publishing technical articles, Mr, Dehennin is also responsible for the promotion of the wood material on a national level, and is setting up and participating in scientific studies and European Territorial Co-operation (Interreg) projects for  the European Commission. Joris holds a master degree in bioscience engineering – land management, and a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.  
Moderator Michael Shapiro is the Director of Operations for Weston Premium Woods in Brampton, Ontario, overseeing all finance and operational areas of the company. Weston Premium Woods, of which Michael was a principal, was recently acquired by Richelieu Hardware Canada Ltd, an industry leading wholesaler of interior and exterior wood and composite products for the architectural and design communities.  In addition to his day to day role, Michael serves on the Board of Directors for the National Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association and recently completed his term as Vice President of the Hardwood Distributor’s Association. 

Panel on Transportation and Logistic Challenges

Maria Saratsiotis is the Director of Sales for Merchandise, a role she was selected for in January 2017.  Prior to this role, Maria was the Director of Intermodal and Automotive Customer Service & CP Logistics. Maria has responsibility for the Merchandise Portfolio for Sales which consists of Forest Products, Mines, Metals, Aggregates and Food & Consumer.  She is accountable for revenue growth, yield, and customer relations. As the Sales Director Maria leads a team of Sales Professionals and she provides guidance and coaching to the Merchandise Sales team. Maria started with CP in July 1999 and over the years Maria has worked in Sales & Marketing in Automotive and Intermodal as well as leadership roles in Service Delivery and Customer Service.  Maria holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
  Pierre Lapointe is vice-president, specialized transportation, at Groupe Robert. Specialized manager with thirty years of experience in operations management and supply chain management, he has a very good knowledge of the distribution sector, mainly in terms of fleet management and budgets and optimization. roads. Recognized for having a strategic vision and a good ability to solve problems in complex situations, he also has a great ability to negotiate with different stakeholders. Mr. Lapointe has a dynamic personality focused on results and the achievement of objectives. He also has communication and leadership qualities that foster cooperation and enthusiasm within his team. Mr. Lapointe joined Groupe Robert in 2012 and previously worked for companies such as ConAgra Foods, Sucre Lantic and Sanimax.
Thierry Lysiak is a 31 year veteran at CN and has held various positions in intermodal operations as well as sales and marketing. Over the past 17 years, he focused on sales and marketing functions within intermodal, petroleum and chemicals, metals and minerals, and more recently, forest products. Currently, he manages all marketing aspects for CN’s network pertaining to the forest products segment. Mr. Lysiak has a bachelor degree in operations management and an executive MBA. 

Technical Seminar on Human Resources

Joel Neuheimer has over two decades of both federal government and industry experience working with the Canadian forest industry and its partners worldwide. In his current role, he works with the Forest Products Association of Canada members and their partners to continually improve the global cost competitiveness of FPAC members. This includes legislation, regulations, and agreements to reduce costs, improve service, and to accelerate improvements to the supply chain for members. Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
  Bruno Lambert, M. Ed, is vice-president, services at HumEng International. A talent management specialist for more than 20 years, he has developed innovative strategies for talent identification and development, both for high potentials and for key business organizations. He masters all stages of the continuous improvement process for organizational diagnosis, solution development, project management, change management and the design of hybrid development approaches (Blended learning). His experiences include organizational diagnosis, solution development, project management, change management and the design of innovative development approaches using multiple learning methods. He has worked for major companies in the financial and manufacturing sectors in Quebec, Canada, the United States, Mexico and France.
Jeff Webber joined EACOM Timber Corporation in December 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer , bringing with him more than 30 years of lumber industry experience. From 2000 to 2013, Jeff was Vice President – Manufacturing for Stimson Lumber Company, based in Portland, Oregon. Starting in 1980, he held various lumber management positions at Champion International Corporation and Stimson Lumber Company in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wood Science and Technology from Colorado State University.
Sylvain Messier, Corporate Project & Controls Manager, has been with EACOM since October 2015 with 15 years of experience in project management, wood processing and optimization. Today, Sylvain manages EACOM’s technical team, which works on various improvement initiatives across the Company’s 9 facilities. Sylvain has a wood products transformation diploma from le Cégep de Sainte-Foy and is currently working to complete his business management certificate from HEC Montréal.
Tommy Gagnon is co-owner and general manager of AutomaTech Robotik, a consulting firm in automation and robotization founded in 1997. The company helps its customers from different sectors, including wood processing, to integrate robots into their manufacturing operations. Previously, he was an economic advisor at the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation. Mr. Gagnon holds a Bachelor's degree in management and business administration from UQAR and a master's degree in public administration from ENAP.

With a bachelor's degree in wood engineering from Université Laval, Anne-Marie Lévesque has been working in the wood industry for 10 years now. She started as a process engineer at Maibec, where she participated in the development and implementation of PMP Solutions' systems. She joined the Comact team 4 years later. During her first three years at Comact, she developed her expertise in optimization and started up equipment all over the world. In addition to her work, she completed a Master of Business Administration at UQAM, which led her to the position of Marketing Director of BID Group. Mrs Lévesque joined PMP Solutions in November 2016 to ensure the commercial development of the company.

Since 2013, Jean-Sébastien Pelletier, F.Eng., is the manager of a Maibec sawmill complex, producing 130 MMbf annually and employing 140 people. Working at Maibec since 1999, he has held various positions, including supervisor and then manager  of quality and continuous improvement. From 2012 to 2014, he was the project architect for the modernization of the Saint-Pamphile plant, during which he ensured the development of the feasibility study, conceptual plans, the best in class recovery  and product flexibility  processes, as well as the installation of an automated classification line. Mr. Pelletier holds a bachelor of science in wood transformation engineering  from Laval University obtained in 1999.
Gilles Savard, Professor at Polytechnique Montréal, is General Manager of the Data Recovery Institute (IVADO). He is responsible for deploying, developing and sustaining IVADO as a world-class cluster in science and data recovery. Mr. Savard obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Operations Research from École Polytechnique in 1989. He became a Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at Polytechnique Montréal in 1993 and then Director of the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering from 2001 to 2007 and Director of Research, Innovation and International Affairs at Polytechnique since 2007.
Since December 2017, Stéphane Renou has been President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations, which specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, and has extensive R & D experience combined with strong commercial and entrepreneurial knowledge. Prior to joining FPInnovations, Stéphane had many years of experience with General Electric, where he held management positions in several divisions and locations around the world. He has led teams in GE Aviation and GE Oil & Gas. He was most recently Leader of Industrial Outcome Optimization at GE Global Research.

Seminar on Chinese Market

Jean-Christian Brillant joined Canada’s then Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2003 as an officer at the Canadian Embassy in Paris.  Following his return to Ottawa, he held a number of policy and operational positions focusing on international security issues such as Canada’s participation in the Campaign Against Terrorism. He served as Deputy Director with the then Afghanistan Task Force where he worked on Canada's relations with the Afghan Government.  From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Brillant was posted to the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong as the Head of the Foreign Policy Service. During this assignment he acted as Consul General of Canada for a significant period of time. He has been serving as Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing since July 2016.
Margaret Stewart, as principal of MSC Marketing Solutions Consulting Ltd., conducts a wide variety of strategic planning and primary and secondary market research initiatives for the forest industry.  Major projects include wood products market development strategies for China, Japan, Korea, the United States, and numerous market research initiatives in these markets as well as India, many South East Asian countries and Europe. Clients include government (federal and provincial), industry associations and private enterprises in their search for marketing solutions. Margaret holds an MBA from the Ivey school of business at UWO and also has  her Forestry degree at UBC.
Moderator John Kozij joined Natural Resources Canada on January 2015 as the Director General of the Trade, Economics and Industry Branch of the Canadian Forest Service. Prior NRCan, he was the Director General of Land and Environmental Management and the Director General of the Northern Policy and Science Integration Branch at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada where a large preoccupation included developing and championing Canada’s Northern Strategy.  John has a degree in economics from Simon Fraser University and a Masters in economics from Dalhousie University in Halifax.  John has also worked and volunteered overseas, working for over a year in northwest Pakistan and as a volunteer in a refugee camp in southeastern Thailand.
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