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Top 10 Under 40: Meet Marie-Karine Leblanc from Cascades

October 2, 2023  By Sukanya Ray Ghosh

The next generation of leaders in Canada’s pulp and paper industry are striving hard to build a resilient future. The winners of the 2023 Top 10 Under 40 program are constantly raising the bar for their peers with their forward-thinking initiatives and their zeal to make a lasting difference. The future of the industry is in the secure hands of these young professionals who not only take ownership of their responsibilities but contribute beyond what is expected of them.

The winners this year work in different roles and capacities within the industry, but share some key characteristics – strong work ethic, commitment to their roles and a desire to innovate and improve.

Today, we introduce Marie-Karine Leblanc, corporate human resources director at Cascades, Kingsley Falls, Que.


Marie-Karine Leblanc began her career at Cascades in 2011, 12 years ago. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in organizational development, Leblanc joined the newly created Cascades Change Management Team to guide the company towards the customer-centric ONE Cascades program supported by a new SAP system. With the team, she developed a structured change management approach specific to Cascades, that remains admired by many companies that want to learn about the methodology.

Intending to transfer knowledge to the company’s managers, Leblanc has travelled across Cascades’ North American facilities and worked extensively to support its plants.

Beyond supporting the different units and being an excellent business partner, Leblanc is always involved in large-scale projects for the organization. She now leads the Workforce Planning project, including the design and implementation of an innovative way to plan Cascades’ workforce linked to the organization’s S&OP process and its strategic plan. This allows the company to have a greater medium- and long-term visibility of its workforce needs in the current context of labour shortages.

Leblanc accepted her current role in February 2022 as corporate human resources director, taking charge of the expertise in recruitment, change management and skills development, while keeping a role in operations to remain connected to the operations’ needs, which has always been one of her greatest strengths. Her commitment also extends to her community, as she has been taking part in the CIBC Charles-Bruneau Tour since 2018 to raise funds for research and projects dedicated to pediatric hematology and oncology.

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