Étienne Gilbert knows a lot about community involvement. As superintendent, Finishing and Shipping, at Resolute’s Alma (Quebec) paper mill, he helps ensure the paper machines run smoothly. When he’s not at work or spending time with his family, Étienne has another important role: He has been serving as a captain in the Canadian Cadet Organizations for over 20 years. Cadets Canada is devoted to fostering a sense of community and citizenship among Canadian youth, developing community leaders and good citizens, and promoting healthy habits. His longstanding involvement with the organization has complemented his career and provided him with valuable experiences.
At 14, Étienne joined the Cadets in Quebec’s Beauce region after his mother spotted an ad in the local paper. By the time he was 18, he had decided to pursue formal training as an army reservist while simultaneously working toward a civilian career. It was an ambitious goal, but one he was up for. He enrolled in the Canadian Forces reserves as a cadet instructor while studying chemistry at Lévis-Lauzon college, and then at Laval University.
Étienne remained active with the Cadets after moving to Quebec City for a job opportunity, where he met his future wife. He next moved to Gatineau, entered the pulp and paper sector and, of course, quickly became involved with the local squadron. In 2013, he joined Resolute in his current position in Alma. Through the company’s educational support program, Étienne earned his master’s degree in Business Administration last year from the Université du Quebec a Chicoutimi, further honing the management and business skills he had learned over the years with the Cadets. “My management school was the Canadian Forces,” he says. “That’s where I learned to manage people, budgets and projects – the skills that have helped me in my civilian career.”
While his day job is his priority, Étienne considers his service in the Cadets equally important. It is not uncommon for him to spend 20 hours each week performing his duties, which include overseeing training activities, leading community outreach initiatives and implementing the organization’s safety, environmental and ethical standards.
Étienne recently oversaw the 37th annual Jeux des cadets that was held in Alma. The sports competition brought together some 370 participants aged 12-18 from 25 different cadet corps across the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Côte-Nord, Charlevoix and Nord-du-Québec regions. The cadets participated in six exciting activities: basketball, volleyball, hockey, snow soccer, kin-ball[ (a team sport created in Quebec) and improv, also known as improvisational theatre.
Given Resolute’s commitment to building solid relations in our operating communities, Étienne invited Yves Laflamme, Resolute’s president and chief executive officer, to serve as honorary president of the event’s closing ceremony. And on March 10th, Mr. Laflamme was on hand to salute the cadets and to present the final trophy.
Étienne’s two children aren’t quite old enough to join the Cadets yet. (His older son will be 12 next year.) While he hopes they will find inspiration in his lifelong passion, he says he trusts them to pursue their own dreams just like he did.
Congratulations, Étienne! We are proud of your dedication and service to your community, and to have you on the Resolute team.
For more information on the various Canadian Cadet Organizations, click here .