Our Keynote Speakers

Ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs - Gouvernement du Québec / Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks - Government of Quebec

L'honorable Pierre Dufour


Born in Thetford Mines on November 11, 1965
Spouse of Carole Lafontaine and father of 2 children (William and Alexandre)


  • Certificate in Marketing - Les Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) (1990) (1990)
  • Bachelor's degree in political science, Université de Montréal (UDM) (1988) (1988)
  • Diploma of College Studies, Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (1985)

Professional Experience

  • Conseiller en voyage et entrepreneur, Club Voyages Plamondon (2015-2018)
  • Directeur général, Centre Local de Développement de la Vallée-de-l’Or (CLD) (2008-2015)
  • Directeur administratif et marketing, Club de hockey Les Foreurs de Val-d’Or (2004-2008)
  • Directeur général, Pro-Ab Équipement (2003-2004)
  • Directeur général, La Corporation du Village minier de Bourlamaque /La Cité de l’Or et L’Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Val-d’Or 1992-2003 * fusion des deux organismes en 2001
  • Directeur marketing, L’hôtel-motel le Château d’Amos (1991-1992)

Community and Political Involvement

  • Membre du comité, Classique Dave Bertrand (2016 à aujourd'hui)
  • Président, Filon de Malartic bantam AA (2010-2016)
  • Administrateur Chambre de Commerce de Val-d’Or (1996-2015)
  • Administrateur, Société des Attractions Touristiques du Québec (SATQ) (2001-2003)
  • Vice-président, Société des Musées Québécois (SMQ) (2001-2002)
  • Président, Regroupement des sites et monuments historiques de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (1996-2001)
    • Consultant pour l’exposition du Roc au Métal, Musée de la civilisation
    • Conférencier dans plusieurs événements pour le Patrimoine Industriel minier
    • Administrateur de l’année - Trophée John-Horman 2006-07, remis dans la Ligue de Hockey Junior Majeur du Québec (LHJMQ)
    • Prix de la Relève 1997, Société des Musées Québécois (SMQ)
    • Finaliste Prix de la Relève d’Excellence 1997, Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC)
    • Innovation touristique de l’année 1996, Grands Prix du Tourisme Québécois
Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada / Sous-ministre, Ressources naturelles Canada

Jean-François Tremblay

About Jean-François Tremblay

Jean-François Tremblay joined NRCan as Deputy Minister in September 2020.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Tremblay served as the Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services from 2017 to 2020, the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Communities from 2016 to 2017 and the Deputy Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TIC) from 2015 to 2016.

Before joining the TIC portfolio, he was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Operations, Privy Council Office, since April 2013.

Mr. Tremblay spent time at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, where he held the positions of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government (2012 to 2013) and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Strategic Direction (2010 to 2012). He also worked with the Privy Council Office, serving as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Priorities and Planning (2007 to 2010) and Assistant Deputy Minister in Intergovernmental Operations (2006 and 2007).

Mr. Tremblay joined the federal public service in 2000 as a policy analyst with the Privy Council Office. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Université Laval.

Vice President, Pulp Operations at Canfor Pulp

Kevin Anderson

About Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is the Vice President, Operations at Canfor Pulp and joined in April 2020. He brings a wealth of experience in both Canadian and international pulp and paper operations.

Prior to joining the company, he served as General Manager at the Australian-based paper, packaging and recycling company, Visy Industries. Throughout his 27 years in the industry, Kevin has held a variety of technical and leadership roles with companies such as Mercer International, J.D. Irving and Norske Skog. He has been instrumental in managing strategic initiatives, improving performance and sustainability of operations, developing and executing capital upgrade programs, and transforming safety culture at mills. He has a proven track record of delivering results and developing collaborative teams.

Kevin earned his Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Engineering in Pulp and Paper from the University of British Columbia.

Professor, UQTR

Simon Barnabé

About Simon Barnabé

Entrepreneur and field researcher, consultant and leader devoted to the development of resource regions, specializing in biomass recovery and obtaining bio-based products, and benefiting from a large network of multisectoral contacts - the University of Quebec awarded him in August 2018 the very first UQ Partnership Award recognizing the exceptional service to the community of one of its professors

The City of Victoriaville grants it a municipal research chair in sustainable cities, a very first of its kind, so that its scientific approach to cities can serve as a model for university and college researchers across Quebec and the world and that they can train future researchers who collaborate more with the community, especially cities, their elected representatives, their decision-makers and their citizens.

University of Delaware

Thomas H. Epps



  • Post-Doctorate – 2006 NRC Postdoctoral Fellow – NIST
  • Doctorate – 2004 University of Minnesota
  • Masters – 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Bachelors – 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Prof. Epps is the Director of the Center for Research in Soft matter & Polymers and the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD) with a joint appointment in Materials Science & Engineering and an affiliated appointment in Biomedical Engineering. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1998 and an M.S. from Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1999. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2004. Prof. Epps was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at NIST from 2004-2006, prior to joining UD in the Fall of 2006.

His research interests include nanostructured soft materials from biobased feedstocks, nanotemplating of polymer films and coatings, polymeric materials for ion-conduction membranes (batteries and fuel cells), polymer/MOF composites, and nanostructured assemblies for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy. Prof. Epps has received several honors and awards including: the John H. Dillon Medal from APS (2016); the Owens-Corning Early Career Award from AIChE (2015); named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences (2014); the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award (2014); the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professorship at MIT (2012); the Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Professorship at UD (2012); the UD Alison Society, Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award (2011); the DuPont Young Professor Grant Award (2010); the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2009); the Air Force Young Investigator Award (2008); the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award (2007), and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2007) among others. Prof. Epps also is active in the American Chemical Society (ACS Board of Directors Development Advisory Board), American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Physical Society (Polymers Division), and Sigma Xi. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2017 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2018. He is a member of the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) and an associate editor for Science Advances.


  1. Peterson, G. W.; Au, K.; Tovar, T. M.; Epps, T. H., III Chemistry of Materials 2019 “A Multivariate CuBTC Metal-Organic Framework with Enhanced Selectivity, Stability, Compatibility, and Processability” DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b02756
  2. Peterson, G.; Browe, M.; Durke, E.; Epps, T. H., III Applied Materials and Interfaces 2018 10(49) 43080-43087. “Flexible SIS/HKUST-1 Mixed Matrix Composites as Protective Barriers against Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants”
  3. Wang, S.; Shuai, L.; Saha, B.; Vlachos, D. G.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Central Science 2018 4(6), 701-708. “From Tree to Tape: Direct Synthesis of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives from Depolymerized Raw Lignocellulosic Biomass”
  4. Morris, M. A.; An, H.; Lutkenhaus, J. L.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Energy Letters 2017 2(8), 1919-1936. “Harnessing the Power of Plastics: Nanostructured Polymer Systems in Lithium-ion Batteries”
  5. Greco, C. T.; Akins, R. E.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Biosystems 2017 1, 1700099 “Attenuation of Maladaptive Responses in Aortic Adventitial Fibroblasts through Stimuli-Triggered siRNA Release from Lipid-Polymer Nanocomplexes” (co-corresponding author)
  6. Holmberg, A. L.; Nguyen, N. A.; Karavolias, M. G.; Reno, K. H.; Wool, R.P.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Macro Letters 2016 5(5), 574-578. “Syringyl Methacrylate, a Hardwood Lignin-Based Monomer for High-Tg Polymeric Materials.” (corresponding author)
  7. Holmberg, A. L.; Reno, K. H.; Nguyen, N. A.; Wool, R. P.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016 49(4), 1286-1295. “Softwood Lignin-Based Methacrylate Polymers with Tunable Thermal and Viscoelastic Properties.” (corresponding author)
  8. Kuan, W. F.; Remy, R.; Mackay, M. E.; Epps, T. H., III RSC Advances 2015, 5, 12597-12604. [invited special issue on electrochemical storage] “Controlled Ionic Conductivity via Tapered Block Polymer Electrolytes” (corresponding author)
  9. Foster, A. A.; Greco, C. T.; Green, M. D.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015 “Light-Mediated Activation of siRNA Binding and Release in Diblock Copolymer Assemblies for Controlled Gene Silencing” (co-corresponding author)
  10. Kelley, E. G.; Murphy, R. P.; Seppala, J. E.; Smart, T. P.; Hann, S. D.; Sullivan, M. O.; Epps, T. H., III, Nature Communications 2014 “Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway.”


  1. Angela L. Holmberg, Kaleigh H. Reno, and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Functionalized Dimethoxyphenol Monomers and Methods for Preparing Such Monomers” U.S. Pat. #10,253,131 – Issued 04/09/2019.
  2. Peterson, T. H. Epps, III, “Multivariate HKUST-1 Based Metal Organic Frameworks with Reactive Amine Group” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/781938, 12/19/2018.
  3. Morris, T. H. Epps, III, “Bio-based copolymer electrolytes and binders for batteries” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/713571, 08/02/2018.
  4. Wei-Fan Kuan and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Tapered Block Copolymer Electrolytes.” U.S. Pat. #9,935,332 – Issued 04/03/2018.
  5. Wang, L. Shuai, B. Saha, D. G. Vlachos, T. H. Epps, III, “Lignin-Based Pressure Sensitive Adhesives” U. S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/615040, 01/09/2018.
  6. B. Gordon, G. E. Knappe, S. Wang, N. J. Wagner, T. H. Epps, III, C. J. Kloxin, “Stress-Responsive Compositions and Uses Thereof” Internat’l. Pat. Appl. PCT/US2017/47375, 08/29/2017.
  7. W. Peterson, A. X. Lu, J. S. Epps, T. H. Epps, III, “Layered Mixed Matrix Membranes from Metal-Organic Frameworks and Metal Oxides” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/545559, 08/15/2017.
  8. T. Greco, M. O. Sullivan, T. H. Epps, III, “Hybrid Formulation of Responsive Polymeric Nanocarriers for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Delivery.” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/362085, 07/14/2016. Patent application, 07/14/2017.
  9. M. Shelton and T. H. Epps, III, “One-Step, Continuous Device and Approach to Solvent Cast and Shear-Align Block Copolymer Nanostructures” U.S. Prov. Pat. Appl. 62/264986, 12/09/2015. Patent application, 12/08/2016.
  10. Angela L. Holmberg, Joseph F. Stanzione, III, Richard P. Wool, and Thomas H. Epps, III, “Bio-Based Block Polymers Derived from Lignin and Fatty Acids.” U.S. Pat. #9,512,249 – Issued 12/06/2016.


  1. Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow (FRSC), 2018
  2. American Physical Society (APS) Fellow, 2017
  3. Texas A&M University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Lindsay Lectureship, 2017
  4. John H. Dillon Medal, American Physical Society (APS), 2016
  5. Owens Corning Young Investigator Award, AIChE, 2015
  6. Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2014
  7. Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2014
  8. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor Award (MIT), 2012
  9. DuPont Young Professor Award, 2010
  10. PECASE Award – Department of Defense (AFOSR), 2009


Five main areas of interest include: (see Research Group website for more information.)

  1. Biobased materials from waste feedstocks to create performance-advantaged polymers
  2. Ion-conducting battery membranes
  3. Nanostructured polymers – linking structure/property/processing relationships in thin film and coatings fabrication
  4. Polymer/MOF mixed-matrix composites and nanoscale templating
  5. Stimuli-responsive polymers systems for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy applications
Principal Consultant at EnVertis

Virginie Chambost

About Virginie Chambost

I am the principal consultant at EnVertis, co-founded company. I spent 5 years as a project director in the Chemical Engineering Department at École Polytechnique of the University of Montréal at the NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair entitled Process Integration in the Pulp & Paper Industry. Originally from France and a graduate of Bordeaux University with a Masters degree in International Trade (2005), I obtained my MBA in innovative project management at Lyon University (2006). In 2004-2005, I worked for SCION (New Zealand), where I developed a passion for multidisciplinary projects including the practical application of marketing tools for evaluating innovative and predominantly environmental projects through to business model definition.

I am currently working with industrial partners on the development of the symbiotic biorefinery in the forestry and agricultural sectors, focusing on competitive analysis and commercial feasibility for strategic decision-making relative to product diversification and biorefinery implementation. My major contributions are related to the development of market-based methodologies supporting the identification of promising marketing pathways and business plans for implementing the biorefinery. I am leading strategic partnership discussions between key biorefinery players, i.e. chemical companies and forestry companies, in order to identify winning business models profitable to each party.

My consulting activities focus on defining market-based strategies to lead the forestry industry towards the identification of company-specific product portfolio.


  • Diversification strategy via new product portfolio definition, including traditional products and biorefinery product family
  • Market-based analysis and competitive analysis including preliminary process design constraints.
  • Regional value chain analysis.
  • State-of-the-art product and process database.
  • Business model definition for company transformation.
  • Quality partnerships definition for development and commercialization of biorefinery strategies.
CEO/PDG, Manufacturiers & Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) / Senior Vice President, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CEM)

Véronique Proulx

À propos de Véronique Proulx

Véronique Proulx possède une solide expertise du milieu de l'exportation et de l'économie manufacturière québécoise, ayant œuvré pendant 14 ans au sein de Laval Technopole où elle occupait le poste de directrice des affaires internationales, et quatre ans à titre de présidente de Commerce International Québec où elle assurait les relations gouvernementales et publiques.

Elle s’est jointe à Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) en mars 2015 à titre de directrice des communications, affaires publiques et stratégie. Nommée vice-présidente Affaires Corporatives et Stratégie en janvier 2016, elle fut ensuite promue au poste de présidente-directrice générale en septembre 2017. Madame Proulx est d’ailleurs la première femme à occuper ce poste. Elle a été nommée récemment à titre de vice-présidente principale, Communication nationale et Marketing pour la maison-mère, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

Véronique Proulx continue de s’impliquer auprès de La Dauphinelle, un organisme sans but lucratif venant en aide aux femmes en difficulté, notamment celles victimes de violence conjugale, après avoir siégé 10 ans à titre de présidente du conseil d’administration.

Elle est détentrice d’un MBA exécutif de l’université Paris-Dauphine et de l’UQAM.

VP Manufacturing, Domtar Inc.

Eric Ashby