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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: Senior Vice President

Since joining MAC in 2011, Ben has been responsible for the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, MAC’s award-winning program focused on enabling mining companies to meet society’s needs for minerals, metals and energy products in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible way. Over the last few years, Ben has played an important role in the international growth of TSM as it becomes a sought-after responsible mining standard.  During his time working with TSM, it spread beyond Canada to be adopted by five chambers of mines in five countries on five different continents. 

 

In 2018, Ben took on the role of Senior Vice President and is responsible for overseeing MAC’s work related to Indigenous Peoples, Public Affairs & Communications and Government Relations.  Ben has extensive experience in the mining sector and 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, Ben served as Vice President of Environment and Technical Affairs for the Mining Association of British Columbia and was also a Senior Policy Analyst with Natural Resources Canada. Ben is a member of both the Minister of International Trade’s Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct and the Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Mining Initiative Engagement Team.

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

Engaging with Parliamentarians and federal officials on mining sector issues is a key function MAC undertakes on behalf of its members. As Vice President, Government Relations, Geoff is responsible for identifying opportunities and developing strategies to advance MAC priorities in Ottawa. Having spent eight years as the Director of Government Relations for the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) prior to joining MAC, Geoff is well versed in federal energy and resource policy. Geoff has significant Parliamentary experience, and for over a decade served as a political advisor to federal Ministers of Industry; Citizenship and Immigration; and several Members of Parliament from Ontario and British Columbia. Geoff also serves as MAC’s representative on the Mining Industry Human Resources Council’s Board of Directors.

Tara Shea
Position: Senior Director Sustainability and Aboriginal Affairs

Tara works with members, stakeholders and government decision makers on policy issues related to Indigenous engagement, wildlife and biodiversity conservation. Tara is responsible for the management of MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. This includes facilitating annual TSM reporting, coordinating and delivering training workshops, working closely with members on the implementation of the program and its ongoing evolution, and promoting TSM across the industry. She is an active member of the Species At Risk Advisory Committee (SARAC) and is dedicated to working on species at risk and protected areas related issues.  Tara also works with Indigenous partners through the management of MAC’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee.  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.

Marilyn Fortin
Position: Comptroller and Member Relations

 

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.

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. 

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