EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – PHILIPPE DUFORT
Philippe 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’Archicpelago of Design (AOD). He is also an administrator of Serviloge and Construction Mētis; two non-profits specialising in developing inclusive and ecological social-housing. 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. In 2020, Philippe returned to his hometown, Métis-sur-Mer, with his partner and twins after an international career that brought him to live in the UK, Belgium, Colombia, and Mexico.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES) – ANNA CONE
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, sits on the CISSS-BSL Regional Access Committee and plays double bass in the Orchestre Symphonique de l’Estuaire. In 2017, Anna graduated with a bachelors of social work from UQAT/UQAR 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.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (CULTURE AND HERITAGE) – MARGARET WINN
Originally from Eastern Ontario, Margaret moved to Rimouski in 2020. The Lower Saint Lawrence region is close to her heart, having spent her childhood summers on Lighthouse Point, Métis-sur-Mer, where her great-grandmother’s cottage is still enjoyed by family near and far every summer. An interest in bilingualism and language use has guided her personal and professional choices over the last 20 years. After earning a BA in English Literature and Canadian Studies from McGill University, Margaret lived and worked in Montreal, Toronto, and Paris. She has been a freelance translator for several years, work that evolved out of her many years teaching English in France. At HLSL, Margaret finds inspiration in the ways in which the regional English-speaking communities have evolved and are sustained by the organisation’s cultural, historical, library and literacy services.
PROJECT COORDINATOR (HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES) – MARIE-CLAUDE GIROUX
Originally from Quebec City, Marie-Claude spent her summers in Métis-sur-Mer from the age of 5, and subsequently moved to the village as a year-round resident for over 35 years ago. An 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 Saint Lawrence region. She promotes public health campaigns and was responsible for many years for producing Info-Metis, a role that connected her deeply to her community.
COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR – MELINDA TURRIFF
After graduating from Metis Beach School in 1999, life took Melinda 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. As HLSL Communications Coordinator, Melinda works with each staff member individually to create and diffuse promotional items, such as flyers, posters, website and Facebook content as well as e-newsletter announcements and press releases. She also works on the coordination of internal communications documents such as HLSL’s Annual Reports.
ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR – ANNIE LECAVALIER
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.
HISTORICAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR AND COMMUNITY LIAISON OFFICER – PAMELA ANDERSSON
Pamela lives and works in Métis-sur-Mer where she has a long family history. She started with Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence in 2002 and has 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 steadily been collecting varied information and artifacts on the history of our region since 2002. Pam also produces exhibitions which have allowed her to establish and nurture many partnerships within the community and in the region.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (FINANCES & SUSTAINABILITY) – ANJA KREYSCH
Anja grew up in East-Berlin in East-Germany. Her years in this socialist country formed her sense for community, equality and solidarity. She holds a master’s degree in economics with a specialisation in operations research at Humboldt University in Berlin. For the past 15 years, Anja has been active in the creation and promotion of innovative community projects in Rimouski. She enjoys outdoor and cultural activities, having friends from many different countries and the possibilities to make the world a better place. Anja has recently co-founded the library of things, L’Outillerie.
LIBRARY SERVICES COORDINATOR) – MILÈNE BÉLANGER
Milène grew up in Northern QC. She learned English, and discovered the beauties of the country while travelling from the Yukon to Newfoundland. A former French and English as a second language teacher, she has worked in various educational systems for more than fifteen years. Milène moved to the Lower St. Lawrence area about ten years ago, and enjoys learning about the people, languages, and stories from here as much as from around the world. Armed with curiosity and a love of nature,, she likes to travel with a backpack, on a bike, and in books!
COMMUNITY LIAISON OFFICER (RDL) – ANTHONY KOKUVI KONDOR
Anthony was born and raised in Accra, Ghana and in Togo. He did his primary and tertiary education in Ghana. In September 2004 he moved to New Delhi, India to pursue his studies in Information Technology. After graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Systems Engineering and Networking he was offered a job at the Ghana High Commission in New Delhi inI.T.. There he met his wife and they had two daughters before moving with his family to Paris, France. In 2015 the family moved to Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire. where he had the opportunity to act on his passion for aviation by learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft and obtaining his private pilot licence. After moving back to New Delhi, India for a period, the family moved to Canada in 2020 after being granted permanent residency, settling in Rivière-du-Loup Quebec where Anthony’s wife was recruited by the local company Premier Tech. In addition to working for HLSL, Anthony currently coaches basketball at the Ecole Secondaire of Rivière-du-Loup and is an active member in his local community.
SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENT – ALEXANDRA RAO
Alexandra 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.
SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENT – MICHELINE WILLIAMS
Micheline was born Toronto, raised in Mississauga, but has roots in the Lower Saint Lawrence. Her mother was born, raised and married in Price. The family moved to Ontario after the Price sawmill burned down, but returned yearly to visit relatives, until they purchased a home on Leggatt’s Point in 1971. 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 with 6 years as both a board member and volunteer for Heritage and 6 years’ 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. She enjoys photography, ceramics and pottery.
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTATION OFFICER – CLAIRE NEWTON
Claire arrived in the Lower Saint Lawrence region in 2011 as a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire d’Archéologie et de Patrimoine, UQAR, and joined Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence in 2022 to assist with 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.
BOOKKEEPER – JENNIFER SMITH
Although she was born in Baie Comeau, Jennifer spent quite a bit of time in Métis-sur-Mer until her family finally decided to move there when she was 6. Jennifer graduated from Metis Beach School in 1999, then attended a few CEGEPS, trying out a few disciplines in search of her calling. 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 for various companies operating on the international scene, including Load Systems International (now a division of Trimble) and Show Distribution. However, missing the Lower Saint Lawrence region deeply, she moved back in 2008. Since then she has worked with companies such as Groupecho, New Holland, and Telus. Jennifer was also a part-time firefighter in the region for several years. When she isn’t working, taking care of her husband and 4 kids, or spending time with her parents, she enjoys hiking, reading, paddle boarding and photography.