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About us

Board of Directors

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.

Board Members

Alain Gagnon, Chair of the Board of Directors

Corporate Director

Biography 

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.

Pascale Mongrain, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors

Corporate Director

Biography 

Pascale Mongrain holds a law degree from Université de Montréal and a business administration degree from McGill University. She is a member of the Barreau du Québec and the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés. Through her rich and varied career in the fields of audit, law, taxation and management, she has acquired considerable experience with large organizations in the areas of governance, financial management, human resources and real estate infrastructure. From 1993 to 2008, she worked successively at Heenan Blaikie, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and Professionals’ Financial. Ms. Mongrain then held various senior positions in Quebec Government ministerial offices. From 2012 to 2019, she was Executive Director, McGill Faculty of Medicine. Since 2019, she is the Executive Director of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec.

Ernest Desrosiers

Chief Executive Officer
La Financière agricole du Québec

Biography 

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.

René Dufresne

Deputy Minister
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation

Biography 

René Dufresne holds a master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science. Over the past 30 years, he has held several strategic positions in the public service, including the Ministère des Finances, the Secrétariat au développement nordique and the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la faune. Until recently, he was Assistant Secretary for Overall Compensation Policies for Quantitative Studies at the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor and, previously, Managing Director of Overall Compensation. He was also a member of the Board of Directors and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Société du Plan Nord. In June 2019, he was appointed Deputy Minister of the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation.

Julie Bissonnette

President
Fédération de la relève agricole du Québec

Biography 

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).

Martin Caron

First Vice President
L'Union des producteurs agricoles

Biography 

Martin Caron has an education in agricultural accounting, animal reproduction and agri-environmental fertilization plans. He acquired his agricultural know-how at a young age by working on the family farm. He is currently co-owner of a dairy, grain and tree farm. Before taking up his current position as First Vice-President of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), he was President of the Fédération régionale de l’UPA de la Mauricie. He is committed to his field and has led several organizations as President, including the Centre d’insémination artificielle du Québec and the genetics company SEMEX Canada. His involvement in the farm union movement dates back more than 30 years.

Bernard Deshaies

Corporate Director

Biography 

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.

Danielle Ferron

Senior Partner – Litigation Group
Langlois avocats

Biography 

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.

Jacynthe Gagnon

President
Fédération de l'Union des producteurs agricoles de la Capitale-Nationale-Côte-Nord

Biography 

Jacynthe Gagnon has been President of the Fédération de l’Union des producteurs agricoles de la Capitale-Nationale-Côte-Nord since 1991. She is a producer and co-owner of Ferme Pilote inc. located in Charlevoix. From 1997 to 2009, she was President of the Conseil de l’agriculture et de l’agroalimentaire pour le développement de la région de Québec. Ms. Gagnon sits on the boards of directors of the following organizations: Conseil général de l’Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), Réseau Agriconseils de la Capitale-Nationale et de la Côte-Nord, Conseil régional des partenaires du marché du travail de la région de la Capitale-Nationale (Emploi-Québec) and Club agroenvironnement Rive-Nord, Plan de financement de l’UPA, Contrat d’affiliation des syndicats et Fédérations régionales, Agrotourisme, Coop de service UPA and Sécurité du revenu.

Marthe Lacroix

Corporate Director

Biography 

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.

Gilles Lavoie

Former Senior Managing Director
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Biography 

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.

Mirella Pisciuneri

Financial Management Consultant

Biography 

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.

Charles-Félix Ross

Managing Director
L'Union des producteurs agricoles

Biography 

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.

Claude Viel

President
Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec

Biography 

Claude Viel is a dairy and cow-calf producer and is a co-owner of Ferme Ladrière Inc. since 1984. He has held several positions in various companies, including Abitibi Price, Sometal Atlantic and Bombardier transportation and snowmobiles. Thanks to his extensive knowledge in agriculture, he was elected President of Les Producteurs de bovins du Bas-Saint-Laurent in 1994, before becoming President in 2012 of Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec, which includes Quebec beef and veal producers. In this capacity, he works to develop the industry and boost beef production. He also sits on the General Council of the Union des producteurs agricoles.

Renée Saint-Hilaire

General Secretary
La Financière agricole du Québec