Pulp and Paper Canada

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Hall of Fame

Introducing the visionary leaders and winners of Pulp & Paper Canada’s 2024 Hall of Fame contest.

May 10, 2024  By \

The visionary leaders steering the Canadian pulp and paper industry have not only established impressive benchmarks for success but have also nurtured the next generation of workers with their unwavering dedication and enthusiasm. Their commitment and passion have led to ground-breaking innovations while also fostering a culture of excellence within the sector.

Pulp & Paper Canada’s Hall of Fame contest celebrates and honours these exemplary individuals. Each year, the contest recognizes three legends whose contributions have significantly impacted the industry’s trajectory. From implementing sustainable practices to spearheading technological advancements, these changemakers have played a pivotal role in shaping a brighter future for the industry.

Bernard Lemaire, co-founder and former president of Cascades
Photo: Cascades

Co-founder and former president of Cascades
In 1964, Bernard Lemaire, with the support of his brothers Laurent and Alain, offered a second lease of life to the disused Dominion Paper mill in Kingsey Falls, Quebec. With this one step, he permanently etched his place in the Canadian pulp and paper industry. Papier Cascades was born.


Bernard mobilized the entire village community around this project to restart the mill and manufacture paper from recycled fibres. It was quite a challenge at a time when recycling and sustainability were not commonplace. He thus became a pioneer in recycling and the circular economy.

A visionary from the get-go, Bernard and his brothers developed a paper manufacturing complex in the village of Kingsey Falls in the 1970s, which at the time included mills producing molded  pulp, plastic, corrugated board, containerboard and tissue.

Always ready to lead the charge, Bernard decided to build a new plant in Cabano, Quebec, a small village in the Lower St. Lawrence region, in 1976. Once again, he stimulated the economy of a small municipality that had lost its main employer when a sawmill burned down.

During his presidency, he implemented his management philosophy, based on respect for employees, transparency, sharing of profits and successes and autonomy. In the 1980s, he also initiated Cascades’ expansion strategy across North America and in Europe, notably in France, Sweden and Belgium.

His closeness to employees at all levels of the company made him a humble, generous and approachable man. 

“He brought to the industry a different way to manage and work with employees. He wanted Cascades to succeed but he also wanted the employees to benefit from its success, so he implemented a profit-sharing plan for all employees. He also wanted employees to be aware of how the company was doing so sharing information with employees on every level was a good way to engage the employees in the success of the company. He called this the open-door policy,” shares Mario Plourde, president and chief executive officer of Cascades. 

This policy is still alive and well in the company’s culture today. 

Bernard succeeded in listing two companies on the stock market, Cascades and Boralex, both headquartered in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, a rural region 150 km from major urban centres.

He made a major contribution to the development of the Canadian pulp and paper industry through the purchase and creation of several tissue and packaging plants, as well as mills in North America. 

His business model was based, among other things, on buying up mills in a weaker financial position and turning them around. This approach also benefited the communities in which the mills were located, which in turn benefited from local economic development. 

Bernard was a great natural motivator. He had a gift for convincing anyone to follow him in his projects. He was a mentor to many employees and leaders at Cascades and in the business world.

“Bernard was a hard-working dynamic person. For him, everything was possible. As much as he worked hard, he also invested a lot of time in visiting plants, meeting people and celebrating our success. He often said “we work hard, and we play hard”. He was very close to his employees and often visited the plants during the weekend and at night to see how the plant was producing and if they had any problems, he could help. He did not act like an owner or a boss; he was part of the team,” says Plourde.

He played a major role in transforming the pulp and paper market from a predominantly virgin-fibre paper and board manufacturing industry. With Bernard Lemaire and his brothers leading the way, Cascades began manufacturing paper from recycled fibres in the 1960s. Their business model was based on a system they called “the closed loop,” which consists of recovering old paper and giving it a second life by making new recyclable paper. They were implementing a circular economy decades before the concept was established and popularized.

“Bernard was a born leader, a determined entrepreneur, a builder and a visionary. He began building Cascades in the early 60s using 100 percent recycled materials to produce paper. In this regard, Bernard was ahead of his time. He was a charismatic person, determined to succeed. For him, nothing was impossible, and every problem had a solution,” recalls Plourde.

In 1985, he participated in the creation of the Cascades Research and Development Centre, one of the largest private research centres for the pulp and paper sector in Canada. At the cutting edge of technology, it offers services on an international scale with a team of 75 multidisciplinary specialists. Its unique approach fosters innovation within the company and develops innovative products and operational solutions to meet the needs of Cascades mills in North America, and those of their customers. 

Development and innovation were at the heart of Bernard’s vision. He saw opportunities where others saw only risks.

Beyond research, technology and engineering, there is a core principle at Cascades that derives from the Lemaire family’s values: the right to make mistakes. Innovating means trying out new methods and ideas despite the risk of error. This management philosophy gives employees at Cascades a free hand and a strong stake in the company’s success. Teamwork and accountability, which are highly valued in the company, are the basis for the evolution of business strategies and, by the same token, for the innovation process. 

“Bernard’s vision and his boundless energy were inspirational to many. His desire to achieve success was obvious to all who worked with him and the success he achieved in both the paper industry and in the development of sustainable energy is a testimony to his genius.  His energy level was contagious, and everyone wanted to be a part of his dream,” notes Plourde.

Bernard has been recognized for his contribution to the business world on several occasions. In 1985, the newspaper Finances awarded him the title of Businessman of the Year. In 1991, the Association des professionnels en ressources humaines du Québec awarded him the Iris d’honneur for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of human resources management. He was awarded the insignia of Officer of the Order of Canada, Officer of the National Order of Québec, and Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, granted by the President of the French Republic. He also received honorary doctorates from the Université de Sherbrooke, the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and the Université du Québec à Montréal. 

“His contribution to the industry is in demonstrating that you can achieve success with a different approach, using recycled fibres and encouraging his team to manage with an open mind, and sharing success with the employees. Not only did Bernard use recycled secondary fibres as raw material, but he also recycled used equipment sourced from paper plants that had closed or were in difficulty and that no one wanted. In doing so, Bernard and Cascades helped maintain businesses in small communities across Canada, the U.S. and even in Europe,” adds Plourde.

Bernard passed away in 2023, leaving behind an incredible legacy that lives on.

Kristin Dangelmaier, environment and technical manager at Kruger Kamloops
Photo: Kristin Dangelmaier

Environment and technical manager at Kruger Kamloops
A part of the pulp and paper industry since 1989, Kristin Dangelmaier has dedicated her entire professional career focusing primarily on environmental management and control. She is seen by industry colleagues as a thought leader, strategic thinker, and effective communicator – all of which have driven impactful change. 

As a member of Kruger Kamloops mill’s senior leadership team, Kristin has been involved in defining the mill’s long-term aspirational roadmap, addressing top safety concerns and positioning it for success during COVID-19. In 2023, as the province of British Columbia dealt with curtailments, realignments and mill closures, the Kamloops mill stood strong during these challenging times financially and with an eye to recruitment. Kristin’s role at the mill through this period has been critical in setting up the mill for success through its close work with governments and First Nations groups.

Kristin’s colleagues share that “impact” is the best word to describe what she has meant to her company, community and greater industry. As a result of her leadership, environmental expectations at Kruger Kamloops (and prior to that Domtar Kamloops) have been positively re-shaped. Moreover, they are solidified by shared values, effective management and stakeholder buy-in. She understands that the mill’s environmental success lies in the engagement and effort of all parties at all levels. Her environmental stewardship has enabled the Kamloops mill to perform beyond its regulatory requirements – even during a period of growth and increased production rates. Examples include improved effluent management strategies, transformational changes to boiler air handling systems and the implementation of capital projects centred on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental performance.

“I have always felt that the Canadian pulp and paper sector has a long history of responsibly manufacturing renewable, sustainable products that contribute to an improved quality of life.  And in a time when the world is facing significant and life-alternating effects from climate change, it is both inspiring and motivating to know that the pulp and paper industry has a great opportunity to be part of the solution by leveraging existing technical knowledge and infrastructure to create new bio-products that reduce reliance on fossil fuels,” shares Kristin.

Kristin is actively involved in professional industry groups and her local community, including the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) Canadian Steering Committee former chair, FPAC Environment committee, Kamloops Air Quality Roundtable, Domtar Kamloops EarthChoice Ambassadors, Pit Stop, Adopt-a-Road, and various government initiatives focused on environmental performance.

Through her work on FPAC’s Environment committee, she actively engages in key environment consultations to support the development of meaningful and effective regulatory development. Through her involvement with the FPAC-led Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulation Coalition and Environmental Effects Monitoring Subgroup. With her decades-long industry knowledge, Kristin has demonstrated the forethought and creativity to propose regulatory off-ramps for the sector in cases where pulp and paper mills are showing consistent cases of regulatory compliance. Such proposals could help over 60 pulp and paper facilities across the country uphold high environmental standards, reduce regulatory burden, save costs on testing and studies and support effective regulatory modernization. 

Kristin has supported the development of the Forest Products Association of Canada’s mill environment carbon strategy for the sector. By creating awareness of specific challenges facing the sector – including the at-times negative perception of biomass, high risks to trial new processes/technologies, lack of federal and provincial harmonization and inadequate understanding of the pulp and paper sector by decision-makers, she has been instrumental in identifying opportunities including identification of key technologies such as green hydrogen production from forest biomass, renewable natural gas production from wastewater and lime kiln decarbonization to inform FPAC’s advocacy. 

These key opportunities that are applicable sector-wide would not only create environmental benefits but would also enable partnerships between mill owners and First Nations groups, in some cases create limited additional capital costs, and successfully leverage existing federal and provincial funding programs. Using this knowledge, FPAC has been able to engage in key consultations such as the development of Canada’s Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit which was written into legislation in April 2023 and includes an incentive for companies who wish to develop green hydrogen via electrolysis – a process that can be easily done at pulp and paper mills with minimal investment.

Kristin tackles policy issues by applying a lens of “what is driving this change.” By looking for this change statement, she explores ideas, weighs options and creates buy-in from other companies who can ally together to support this change. This has been her approach in various regulatory initiatives including federal annual air reporting requirements, environmental emergencies and chemicals management to name a few. For updates to the Environmental Emergencies Regulations which began in 2018, she has played a key role by sharing her experience in applying the regulation at the mill and helping develop guidance for new regulatory proposals which were ultimately adopted by Environment and Climate Change Canada to facilitate regulatory reporting across industries.

Kristin makes time to coach other aspiring industry leaders, provide history on specific topics to build context, offering constructive feedback and words of encouragement to empower individuals with the confidence needed to tackle new projects and problems. 

Over the course of different company ownerships, Kristin has been a leader in the development of many young engineers at the mill by elevating their understanding of the process engineering role and their ability to drive positive change – giving these engineers confidence in projects they believe in. 

She has been integral in supporting the work and the development of two Environment team members at FPAC since becoming a member in 2019. Kristin takes pride in advocating for improved diversity in the STEM field to help build future leaders for the entire industry.

Asked to comment on her greatest success in her career, she says, “Looking back on a career that spans nearly 35 years, it is difficult to choose just one accomplishment about which I feel most proud. Certainly, as a female in a male-dominated sector, I feel that I have positively challenged the status quo and helped to increase diversity and acceptance in the workplace.  This includes the recruitment, mentoring and development of the next generation of engineers.  However, I feel that my greatest achievement has been the advancement in pulp and paper manufacturing environmental performance which was only possible by maintaining high expectations, unwavering dedication, and influencing business operations from the inside. As I look towards retirement, I hope to continue my efforts in these areas in some small way.”

She explains, “To achieve innovative solutions, the younger generation will need to pursue new collaborative opportunities with industry peers, government policymakers, research institutes, first nations, local communities and non-traditional business partners.”

Albino Metauro, founder, former president and CEO of Metro Waste Paper Recovery/ Cascades Recovery+
Photo: BarbaraRuscianoPhotography

Founder, former president and CEO of Metro Waste Paper / Cascades Recovery+ (retired)
With a career spanning  more than 45 years, Albino (known as Al) Metauro has been a pioneering force in Canada’s recycling industry, demonstrating remarkable entrepreneurship and visionary leadership. His early focus on recovering fibre from landfills set him apart, laying the foundation for transformative initiatives and the birth of Metro Waste Paper Recovery. 

The strategic partnership with Cascades in 1995 marked a milestone, showcasing Al’s business acumen and contributing to substantial industry growth and a circular economy. Long-term relationships with major municipalities and retailers underscore his commitment to advancing recycling practices nationwide. Al’s influence extended with initiatives like convincing the City of North York to implement a separate box for residential fibres, thus revolutionizing boxboard production. The construction of a leading municipal recovery facility and securing major contracts, including with the City of Toronto, highlighted Al’s commitment to excellence and economic viability in resource management. 

The strategic acquisition of Sonoco Recycling expanded Metro Waste’s reach, establishing a national collection presence. Winning contracts, like the City of Calgary’s curbside recovery processing, demonstrated not only his ability to secure high-profile deals but also implement cutting-edge technology for efficient recycling. Al’s visionary leadership was further evident in the creation of “Green By Nature,” facilitating Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in British Columbia. As the architect, Al ensured EPR’s success, emphasizing post-collection activities and holding brand owners accountable to legislative requirements. 

Al has served as a mentor, coach and visionary in the industry. Even in retirement, he remains a crucial supporter of the industry’s development and embraces new trends. Al’s influence extends beyond individual mentorship. He actively shaped recycling practices in Canada by sitting on multiple industry boards. Under his leadership, his business grew to over 1200 employees across Canada and the Northeastern U.S.A., fostering a culture of giving back and treating employees like family. 

Al was a hands-on leader, involved in  various aspects from sorting materials in the plant to participating in charitable events. His commitment to a familial atmosphere created a positive work environment. An active member of industry associations, including the RCO, RCA, and PPEC, Al consistently focused on advancing the recycling sector in Canada. His involvement in SWEEP in the early to mid-90s showcased his dedication to creating platforms for private sector input and collaboration. 

“During the early days of my career ‘recycling’ was not the motivation behind paper/paperboard recovery, it was simply driven by the value or dollars being paid for it. On the other hand, the marketplace for paper/paperboard recovery was not well developed and we soon came to realize there was plenty of paper/paperboard available to recover,” shares Al.

 “Knowing very little about the pulp and paper industry, it became apparent that there was a growing trend for paper mills to use secondary fibre. At the same time, it did not take long to realize as much as paper mills needed suppliers, we needed paper mills. This forged relationships with many Canadian paper mills and ultimately a rewarding partnership with the pulp and paper industry,” he adds. “As the environmental movement focused on waste management, recycling became a means to reduce waste. Recognizing the potential volatility of market conditions, the challenges associated with material recovery, and the labour-intensive processes involved in preparing recovered fibre for shipment to paper mills, we were well positioned for growth. And that we did, increasing our supply to the pulp and paper industry to over a million tonnes a year.”

Al’s career is characterized by a relentless pursuit of innovation within the recycling industry. As a leader, he consistently sought new ideas and technologies to propel the industry forward. His early advocacy for the circular economy, championing the responsibility of brand owners for package recycling, showcases his foresight and  commitment to transformative practices. 

As the operator of 18 material recovery facilities in Canada and the Northeastern USA, Al embraced technology and innovative programming, ensuring operational efficiency and sustainability. He founded the Sustainable Material Management Group within Metro Waste/Cascades Recovery+, emphasizing solutions that actively contributed to the circular economy and increased diversion rates. 

In the 90s and early 2000s, Al spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives like the Total Recovery Program (later named Recovery+), maximizing recyclable material recovery across major retailers in Canada. 

When asked about what he considers  his greatest achievement in his career, he says, “Of course, there are many great achievements to be proud of. From the introduction of the Paperbox in the 80s, winning major municipal contracts, partnering with Cascades, expanding operations across Canada and into the U.S. to winning a contract to manage an entire province’s post collection program. However, the greatest achievement would have to be working with my brothers and all those who joined us over the years and who helped transform a one-pickup truck operation into one of Canada’s leading paper and paperboard recovery organizations.”

The emergence of EPR in support of the circular economy presents a significant avenue for the pulp and paper industry to leverage its resources. Inherently, paper/paperboard stands out as one of the most circular materials. The increasing emphasis on circularity increases opportunities for the utilization of paper/paperboard in packaging. 

“My advice to the younger workforce is to focus on these evolving opportunities. In doing so, you must keep in mind the importance of designing for circularity. For the pulp and paper industry, this means taking on a commitment that whatever is produced by the industry will be later consumed by the industry. This commitment leads to addressing many challenges as the packaging industry transforms paper/paperboard to suit their products. Your collaboration with the consumers of your paper/paperboard will contribute to ensuring recyclability and to sustaining a robust demand for paper/paperboard in the years ahead while helping to support the development of a truly circular economy,” says Al.      

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