The Board of Directors establishes the agency's strategic orientations and ensures their implementation. It establishes the priorities for the products and services offered to businesses in the agricultural and agri-food sector, develops the appropriate orientations and adopts programs so they can be implemented. It is accountable to the government for the agency's decisions.
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation
Bernard Verret holds a Bachelor's degree in Agronomy from Université Laval and is a member of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Minister of the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation in December 2021, Mr. Verret served for ten years as Assistant Deputy Minister of Agri-food Policy and Assistant Deputy Minister of Bio-food Processing and Policy within the same ministry. From 1983 to 2011, he successively held the positions of General Manager of Hog Production at Breton Agri-Management Inc., Regional Manager (Europe-Asia) for Sygen PLC, in the United Kingdom and General Manager of Les Éleveurs de porcs du Québec (formerly the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec).
Alain Gagnon holds a Master of Business Administration from Université du Québec à Montréal and a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences from Université Laval. He is a graduate of the Collège des administrateurs de sociétés and a member of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec. Mr. Gagnon worked for Desjardins Group from 2011 to 2017 as vice President, Agriculture and Agri-Food Market. Previously, he served as vice-Chairman, Procurement and Logistics at Exceldor Coopérative avicole and Vice-President, Quebec market at Farm Credit Canada. Between 1988 and 2000, he successively held the titles of Farm Account Manager, Farm Marketing Manager, Agricultural Services Manager and Senior Agri-Food Account Manager at the Royal Bank of Canada. Mr. Gagnon has also served on various industry councils, including the Conseil de la transformation alimentaire (CTAQ) (food processing council), Bioenterprise Corporation and the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC). He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Moisson Québec since 2006 and became President in 2011.
Chief Executive Officer
La Financière agricole du Québec
Ernest Desrosiers holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agricultural Economics) and a Master of Business Administration from Université Laval. He is also a graduate of the Canadian Agricultural Leadership Program at the University of Saskatchewan and a certified corporate director. In 1978, at La Coop Purdel, he began his career as Director of On-Farm Procurement. From 1985 to 1989, he was Managing Director at the Société coopérative agricole des Appalaches before continuing his career in the agriculture and agri-food sector at La Coop fédérée. During these 17 years, he successively held the positions of Director of Planning, Managing Director of the Coop-Sonic Agribusiness Division and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Desrosiers was subsequently appointed Associate Deputy Minister and Managing Director of Transformation Alimentaire Québec for the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) where he served from 2006 to 2010, until he was appointed Vice President, Finance for La Financière agricole, and then Chief Executive Officer. He is a member of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec.
Fédération de la relève agricole du Québec
Julie Bissonnette is a graduate of the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire, Saint-Hyacinthe campus. A native of the Montérégie region, she grew up on the family farm. She was an assistant at the Centre de recherche sur les grains (CEROM) before becoming Herd Manager on a dairy farm and then Logistics Manager at TAG-Sexing Technologies, a company specializing in dairy genetics. In addition to commitments in her associative life, she divides her time between her position as Agri-Environmental Technician at Club Agrinove and her involvement with her spouse in the Olivier L. Fleury farm in Roxton Falls. She was elected President of the Fédération de la relève agricole du Québec, a position she has held since March 2018. Ms. Bissonnette has been involved in the aspiring farmers’ network for over ten years. She is involved in some 10 boards and committees in Quebec’s agricultural industry, is a director of the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum (CYFF) and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM).
Bernard Deshaies holds a Master of Business Administration. He is a shareholder of Ben Deshaies Inc. from 1973 to 1992, where he held the positions of Computer Systems Analyst and Programmer, Special Accounts Receivable Manager, Purchasing Manager, Financial Director and Managing Director. Member of Parliament for Abitibi County between 1993 and 1997, he later owned the Bernard Deshaies Inc. supermarket (Provigo) between 1998 and 2004. He was Managing Director of the Société des fêtes du 100e anniversaire de la ville d’Amos in 2010-2011. Since 2007, he has been a mentor for the Société d’aide au développement des collectivités Harricana (Amos) mentoring program and a member of the Board of Directors of Vélo MRC Abitibi. Mr. Deshaies has collaborated on many projects in his region over the years and won first prize in the 2002provincial MAPAQ competition for his commitment, regional purchasing and quality of food safety and hygiene. He is Regional President of the M NETWORK for Abitibi-Témiscamingue, which provides volunteer business mentoring for young entrepreneurs to help them develop their expertise.
Éleveurs de porcs du Québec
David Duval graduated from the Lycée agricole Fonlabour in France and is President of Les Éleveurs de porcs du Québec since 2017. He has also been operating a hog farm in Montérégie for 30 years.
Senior Partner – Litigation Group
Danielle Ferron holds a law degree from Université de Montréal and is a member of the Barreau du Québec. She began practising law in 1993 and has worked for various law firms. In 2011, she became a senior partner in the litigation sector at Langlois avocats in Montréal. She mainly works in the field of civil and commercial litigation, banking law as well as fraud and cybercrime cases. She is also known for her experience in extraordinary remedies, such as the Anton Piller, Mareva and Norwich injunctions and orders, for which she is co-author of a work of doctrine. She is also experienced in insolvency and restructuring in the fields of insurance and technology law. Ms. Ferron is frequently called upon to act as an independent supervising lawyer, as well as a friend of the Court (amicus curiae). She is also recognized for her expertise in governance, a field in which she has written several articles and given conferences. Ms. Ferron has served for several years on the Board of Directors of Langlois avocats and the Association des femmes en finance du Québec. She chairs Fondation Marie-Vincent’s governance committee since early 2019 and has also been a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors for five years and serves as corporate secretary since 2015.
Marthe Lacroix holds an actuarial degree from Université Laval, is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and is a certified corporate director. She was a member of the Executive Committee of La Capitale Financial Group from 2009 to 2018 and the Executive Committee of La Capitale General Insurance from 1987 to 2009. During her career, she held various management positions, including Executive Vice-President of La Capitale Financial Group from 2012 to 2018. Since 2009, she has overseen financial affairs, real estate, investments, technological infrastructures, information asset security, internal audit and risk management for both La Capitale’s life and health insurance and financial services companies and for its general insurance companies. Before joining the financial group, she worked for over 20 years at La Capitale General Insurance as Vice-President Actuarial Department and Appointed Actuary for the general insurance companies of the same group. She began her career in 1981 with the Desjardins General Insurance Group as an actuary. She sits on the Committee on Professional Conduct of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries since 2018.
Former Senior Managing Director
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Gilles Lavoie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Université Laval and a degree in economics from Université de Montréal. He began his career in 1972 at the ministère de l’Agriculture du Québec. He contributed to the implementation of the Farm Income Stabilization Insurance Program. From 1980 to 1982, he worked as a trade commissioner with the Canadian Mission to the European Economic Community. From 1982 to 2006, he continued his career at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He served as Managing Director for both financial assistance programs and services to the agricultural industry before taking the position of Senior Managing Director. In 1986, Mr. Lavoie was appointed President of the Agricultural Stabilization Board and the Farm Products Agencies, responsibilities he held until 1991 and 1993 respectively. He also sits on the boards of directors of the Marco Depestre Foundation of Ottawa and the Association québécoise pour l’avancement des Nations Unies (AQANU), Outaouais section.
Financial Management Consultant
Mirella Pisciuneri, CPA, CA is a consulting and reorganization specialist for both public and private companies. During her career, she has been involved in many consulting mandates for corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, operational performance analyses and benchmarking. After being partner with Richter Consulting Group Inc., Ms. Pisciuneri works as a strategic advisor to business leaders and financial institutions in situations that are critical to their organization.
L'Union des producteurs agricoles
Charles-Félix Ross holds a Master’s degree in Rural Economics from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Université Laval. He is a member of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec. From 1993 to 1997, he was an economist for the Direction des recherches et des politiques agricoles with the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA). He then held the title of Managing Director at the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec. From 2009 to March 2016, he was Assistant Managing Director at the UPA and was promoted to Managing Director in April 2016. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Institut de recherche en économie contemporaine.
La Financière agricole du Québec