You are here

MAC Staff

Meet the members of the MAC Team. 

Pierre Gratton
Position: President and Chief Executive Officer

Following three years as head of the Mining Association of British Columbia, Pierre returned to MAC in 2011 as President and CEO. In his role, he leads all activities undertaken by MAC, represents the association publicly, and is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Pierre is a long-time staff member of MAC, initially joining the association as Vice President of Sustainable Development and Public Affairs in 1999. Pierre was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. A well-respected voice in the industry, he was honoured as a Distinguished Lecturer by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in 2005. Pierre also sits as First Vice President of the Interamerican Mining Society and Vice President of the Raw Materials Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD.

Justyna Laurie-Lean
Position: Vice President, Environment and Regulatory Affairs

Justyna works with MAC members in addressing and understanding the federal regulatory and legislative environment that Canadian mining companies adhere to. In her role, she monitors emerging regulatory issues and participates in policy development for a wide range of federal acts and regulations. Prior to joining MAC in 1991, Justyna worked in various mining operations in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia, followed by a posting with the federal government. A pioneer in the industry, Justyna was one of the first female mining engineers in Canada, having completed a degree in Mining Engineering from McGill University in 1978.

Ben Chalmers
Position: Vice President, Sustainable Development

Ben is responsible for the implementation of MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. In his role, he works with members on issues related to corporate responsibility both within Canada and abroad. Ben also follows policy development related to wildlife, including biodiversity, species at risk and migratory birds. Ben began working in the industry in 2004 at the Myra Falls Operations in British Columbia where he worked as an Environmental Supervisor for the mine. Prior to joining MAC in 2011, Ben served as Vice President of Environment and Technical Affairs for the Mining Association of British Columbia and Senior Policy Analyst with Natural Resources Canada. Ben also served as Chair of the Board for the Campbell River Economic Development Corporation.

Charles Dumaresq
Position: Vice President, Science and Environmental Management

Charles focuses on regulatory and environmental aspects of mining, including mine waste management, effluent quality, and monitoring and mitigating effects on water quality and the aquatic environment. Prior to joining MAC, Charles spent 22 years with the Government of Canada, working on issues related to mining and the environment. He is experienced in technical and policy aspects related to legacy environmental issues associated with orphaned and abandoned mines, and has extensive experience in regulatory development and implementation. A geologist by training, Charles first gained experience in the mining industry working on mineral exploration projects. 

Brendan Marshall
Position: Vice President, Economic and Northern Affairs

Brendan works to advance the mining industry’s understanding of key economic issues, such as taxation, international trade and investment, transportation and infrastructure, energy and climate change, and innovation. Brendan is also responsible for mining policy and regulation in Canada's North. Brendan is the lead writer and researcher for MAC’s annual Facts & Figures publication. Prior to joining MAC, Brendan held several federal government positions, including Research Assistant to the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, Lead Advance to the Prime Minister of Canada, and Executive Assistant to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. Brendan holds two Master’s degrees in Political Philosophy and Energy Management.

Geoff Smith
Position: Vice President, Government Relations and Aboriginal Affairs

Engaging with Parliamentarians and federal officials on mining sector issues is a key function MAC undertakes on behalf of members.  As Vice President, Government Relations and Aboriginal Relations, Geoff is responsible for developing relationships and identifying opportunities to advance MAC priorities with stakeholders and communities across the country. Prior to joining MAC, Geoff served eight years as the Canadian Electricity Association’s (CEA), Director, Government Relations. Prior to joining CEA, Geoff served ten years in the federal government in advisory roles to the federal Ministers of Industry; Citizenship and Immigration; and several Members of Parliament.  

Marilyn Fortin
Position: Director, Corporate Services

Marilyn oversees the operational activities of the association, including human resources, information technology, finance, and facilities management. Marilyn also is the primary contact for membership and member services, coordinates Board of Directors events and conferences, and provides a Board secretariat function. Prior to joining MAC in 2003, Marilyn held management positions with public, private and non-profit organizations, including the Canada Museum of Science and Technology where she held the position of Corporate Secretary. She is a seasoned professional with extensive knowledge of membership services, human resources and administration. 

Cynthia Waldmeier
Position: Director of Communications

As MAC’s Director of Communications, Cynthia is responsible for corporate communications, issues management, media relations, social media, website management, publications, and annual communications campaigns. Cynthia works with MAC's policy experts, members, stakeholders and partners to develop and implement communications plans, strategies and activities to support the association’s many objectives. Prior to joining MAC, Cynthia worked as the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for an Ottawa based consulting company, where she worked with some of Canada’s largest non-profit organizations and leading business groups. She has extensive communications and media outreach experience, and has coordinated advocacy events in Ottawa and in provincial capitals across the country. She has a Master’s degree in Communications.

Tara Shea
Position: Director, Towards Sustainable Mining

As Director of MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, Tara is responsible for the day-to-day management of the program. Specifically, her responsibilities include producing MAC’s annual TSM Progress Reports detailing member performance in all areas of the program, coordinating and delivering training workshops, and promoting TSM across the industry. Tara previously worked for a municipality where she was responsible for delivering economic and community development initiatives.  Tara graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Development Studies. 

Danielle Poitras
Position: Executive Assistant

Danielle is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, providing administrative, scheduling and office support. She also coordinates the nomination submissions for the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, of which MAC is a major sponsor. 

Rebecca Lafontaine
Position: Receptionist

Manages MAC’s reception area, assists with events programming and provides administrative support for various facets of the association. Rebecca has obtained a Certificate in General Office Administration and an Executive Assistant Diploma from Algonquin College. 

Debbie Villeneuve
Position: Financial Officer

As Financial Officer, Debbie is responsible for MAC’s day-to-day financial management operations. Specifically, her responsibilities include accounts receivable/payable, the preparation of financial statements and payroll as well as the preparation of audit working papers and audited financial statements.  Debbie is a seasoned financial professional with diverse experience in accounting, fund and cash flow management, and performance reporting and financial analysis in a not-for profit environment.