Philippe Dufort holds a PhD from the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He is the Executive Director of Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence (HLSL) and an adjunct professor at the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation at Saint Paul University. He was the founding director of the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation and the Centre for Research on Social Innovations and Transformations (CRITS). He is a specialist in social innovation ecosystems and strategic management, with a particular interest in the links between collective organisations and social movements. He has extensive experience in the start-up and strategic coaching of non-profit organizations and is a founding director of the Atelier d’innovation sociale Mauril-Bélanger and l’Archipelago of Design (AOD). In addition to his academic research experience, he has previously worked as an associate editor at the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (CRIA), a journalist in Latin America, and an analyst at the Canadian Mission to the European Union in Brussels.


Anna grew up in New Mexico in a Ukrainian, Scottish, and Irish family. She immigrated to Canada in 1991 and has worked in the field of socio-cultural development in Rimouski  as a musician, a teacher and  an engaged citizen for almost 30 years. She currently serves on the board of the Cégep de Rimouski and on the CISSS-BSL Regional Access Committee. Mother of two wonderfully different children, Anna graduated with a bachelors of social work from UQAT (2017) as HLSL’s Dialogue McGill Community Leadership Bursary recipient and joined the Heritage team in 2018.  Anna networks and builds partnerships with our health and social services partners to improve access to services in English and helps to coordinate our Expanding Regional Community Capacity (ERCC) initiatives.


Originally from Eastern Ontario, Margaret recently decided to move to Rimouski. The Lower St. Lawrence region is close to her heart, having spent her summers on Lighthouse Point, Metis Beach, swimming and playing on the beach with her siblings.  After earning a BA in English Literature from McGill University, Margaret lived and worked in Montreal. She then spent 6 years in Paris, working as an English-language trainer and French-to-English translator. Fully appreciative of her time spent abroad, she is thrilled to now be back in her own country, living her bilingualism and experiencing the natural and cultural beauty of the Lower Saint Lawrence region.


Lisan Chng was born and raised in Singapore and moved to Rimouski in 2008, after living in France, Singapore and the U.S. Lisan is also a mosaic artist and initiator of community mosaic and participative art projects. Selected as one of two laureates in Quebec for the first bursary in cultural mediation mentorship by Culture Pour Tous, Lisan is passionate about the exploration of cultural identity, the liberation of creativity and building community bonds through art. Her personal projects can be found notably in Quebec, Singapore, China and Belgium. Lisan also serves on the board of Accueil et Intégration BSL as vice-president. At Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, Lisan brings her artistic flair to develop community projects and activities that favor intercultural, intergenerational and socially inclusive bonding.


Originally from Quebec City, Marie-Claude has lived in Métis-sur-Mer year-round for over 35 years and has been spending summers there since the age of 5. Entrepreneur for nearly 25 years and always very involved in the community, she has been working for Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence since 2009. Marie-Claude’s role is to develop the networking and partnerships of HLSL with other community organizations and with the public health and social services stakeholders to make them aware of the presence and needs of members of the English-speaking community throughout the Lower St. Lawrence region. She promotes public health campaigns and is responsible for the bilingual community newsletter Info-Métis.


After graduating from Metis Beach School in 1999, life took her on many work related adventures. From working in the oil fields in Western Canada to logistics coordinator for Chemin de Fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe. Melinda devotes her time to helping out community members whichever way she can and has been on the Town Hall Committee for a few years now. Melinda is in charge of communications at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence. She works with each individual member of Heritage to help them create posters for their event, post news on our website, handling the Facebook content as well as newsletters and press releases.


Born and raised in Baie-Comeau, Annie studied at Université Laval and at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. After graduation, she worked in a number of economic regional development organizations in Lower Saint Lawrence. Retired from the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, she is now an active Firefighter and Rescue Boat Coxswain with the Canadian Auxiliary Coast Guard. As the Administrative Coordinator of Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence since 2016, she primarily supports the administration of the organization, but she also coordinates the Canadian Heritage Administrative Project and co-coordinates the McGill Retention & Educaloi Projects.


Pam lives and works in Métis-sur-Mer where she has a long family history. She started with Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence in 2002 and seen it grow into the organization it is today. In the early years Pam worked in all departments in Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, but enjoyed the historical section the most and has collected varied information and artifacts on the history of our region since 2002. Pam also does exhibitions where she has many partnerships within the community and in the region.


Originally from Germany, Anja Kreysch lives in Rimouski since 2007. She holds a master’s degree in economics with a specialization in operations research at Humboldt University in Berlin. Anja offers her expertise as a financial management analyst to non-profit organizations and film production companies in the Lower Saint Lawrence region in English and French and has been working at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence as the financial controller since 2011. Previously, she worked in Berlin as a finance analyst at Portus Corporate Finance, Cris-Cris and Bombardier.


Milène grew up in Northern Qc, learnt English and discovered the beauties of the country travelling from the Yukon to Newfoundland. Former French and English second language teacher, she worked in various educational systems for more than fifteen years. Milène has moved to the Lower St. Lawrence area about ten years ago, and enjoys learning more about people, languages, and stories from here as much as from around the world. Curious and loving nature too, she likes to travel with a backpack, on a bike, and in books!


Anthony Kokuvi Kondor, born and raised in Accra Ghana and Togo. He did his primary and tertiary education in Ghana. In September 2004, He decided to move to New Delhi, India to pursue his  studies in Information Technology. After three years, he graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Systems Engineering and Networking. He was fortunate enough to be offered a job at the Ghana High Commission in New Delhi where he had the opportunity to practice my I.T skills. He got married in New Delhi and had two girls before moving with his family to France. After 11 months in Paris, in 2015, they moved to Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire. During his stay in Abidjan he got the chance to train as a Pilot. Aviation is his passion so he wasted no time and managed to finish with his Private Pilot License. He the moved back to New Delhi India. In 2020 he finally decided to move to Canada since they had been giving permanent residency. They ended up in Rivière-du-Loup Quebec since his wife got a job at Premier Tech. He is currently coaching basketball at the Ecole Secondaire of Rivière-du-loup.


Alexandra Rao was born in Brazil, raised in Portugal and the USA, pursued her studies in the USA, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium, and speaks 5 languages. Alex holds a PhD from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA. She moved to Rimouski in 2012 to teach and do research in the field of marine geochemistry and to study the St. Lawrence Estuary as a professor at UQAR-ISMER. A true cosmopolite and polyglot who identifies with multiple minorities, Alex is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and cultural identity. Mother of two firecrackers, in 2019 she joined Heritage, where she applies her zeal for data to develop a better understanding of the regional English speaking community. She develops the regional English speaking Community Portrait and works on the Community Needs Assessment, while providing support for early childhood development and other health, cultural and social programs.


Micheline Villemaire-Williams was born Toronto, raised in Mississauga but has roots in the area. Her mother was born, raised and married in Price. They moved to Ontario, when the sawmill in Price burned down. The family returned yearly, to visit relatives, until they purchased a home on Leggatt’s Point in ‘71 for their retirement.  In 2003, Micheline moved to Metis to care for her ailing mother and worked in the Wind Industry until 2016. She purchased the house from the estate in 2009. She comes to us with 6 year’s previous board experience from Oxford Child and Youth Centre in Woodstock, ON, (a Children’s Mental Health Centre). She was also their representative on the regional and provincial boards for Children’s Mental Health.


Claire Newton arrived in the Lower Saint Lawrence in 2011 as a post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratoire d’Archéologie et de Patrimoine, UQAR, and joined Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence in 2022 to assist with the historical documentation. Initially trained as an agricultural scientist, she holds a PhD in Biology from the Université Montpellier II, where she specialized as an archaeobotanist in the environmental and agricultural history of arid regions and oases. She has lived in France, Egypt and the UK, her fieldwork taking her mostly to Northeast Africa, Arabia and Southwest Asia. Since moving to Rimouski, she has continued to collaborate on archaeological projects with academic institutions in Europe, the UK, the USA and Australia as a freelance archaeobotanist. Originally from France, she also has roots in New England. She likes to be involved in her adoptive community in a variety of ways.


Although born in Baie Comeau, Jennifer’s family spent quite a bit of time in Metis until finally deciding to move to Metis when she was 6. Jennifer graduated from Metis Beach School in 1999, then tried to find her calling, trying a few disciplines in a few Cegeps. After obtaining her diploma in auto mechanics, Jennifer decided to go back to school and get her vocational school diploma in accounting. She moved to Quebec City and worked with different companies that operated on the international scene, including Load Systems International (now a division of Trimble) and Show Distribution. However, she missed the region too much and moved back in 2008. Since then she has worked with companies such as Groupecho, New Holland, and Telus. Jennifer was a part-time firefighter for several years. She is now currently working at Centre Agricole Bas St-Laurent. When she isn’t working, or taking care of her husband and 4 kids or spending time with her parents, she enjoys hiking, reading, paddle boarding and photography.