WPAC approves Michele Rebiere as its new president and director

By Katie Fletcher | March 12, 2015

On March 10, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada announced that its board of directors unanimously approved the appointment of Michele Rebiere as the new president and director of the trade association. This approval follows the resignation of former president and director, Brad Bennett. Other appointments made include Rene Landry as vice president and director and Wayne Young as director.

Rebiere brings five years of industry advocacy experience with her to her new role as president and director, having served as vice president of WPAC and a member of the board of directors. “I had not considered a natural progression from vice president to president previously,” Rebiere said. “My goal was to continue to serve on the board as long as I was effective and had the time to dedicate to the role.”

Now the opportunity has arose for her to continue her service on WPAC in a new capacity. “One of the things I am most looking forward to is ensuring that as a national association we serve the needs of our diverse membership,” she said. “We have large industrial producers, some producers who concentrate primarily on producing a high quality premium pellet, some who serve regional markets, some who export. Not to mention the geographic proximity of our producing members.”

She adds that, “from this level of diversity comes a wide range of needs and I think the WPAC is capable of addressing the needs of our producing members, but as well the growing list of domestic and international associate members we maintain.”

In addition to her role as WPAC president and director, Rebiere holds the position of CFO of Viridis Energy Inc., where she began working in 2009. Viridis specializes in wood pellets both domestically and internationally through a variety of market segments, which have been diversified over the years. Viridis owns an aggregation and trading service of wood pellets, Viridis Merchants Inc. The company also currently owns two manufacturing facilities, Okanagan Pellet Company in Kelowna, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia- based, Scotia Atlantic Biomass. The company has a wood pellet volume of approximately 300,000 tons annually.

Rebiere’s Viridis Energy representation is joined by other representing companies on WPAC. “I think we have a solid team with representatives from several producers including Shaw Group, Pacific Bioenergy, Pinnacle, Granules LG, as well as the Port of Belldune and Control Union,” Rebiere said.

The other two recent WPAC appointees represent two of these pellet producers. Landry serves as operations manager of Shaw Resources in addition to his role as vice president and director of the association, and Young adds the role of WPAC director to his duties as president of Pacific Bioenergy. In addition to Canadian pellet producers, member representation comes from ports, terminals, stevedoring companies, transportation companies, equipment manufacturers and distributors, inspection companies, engineers, consultants and universities. “Our mission is to be a strong advocate for our industry and members in Canada,” Rebiere said.

According to Rebiere, to do this WPAC has three key focus areas. The first is to work with key stakeholders and government to encourage the development and implementation of policies that can ensure the wood pellet industry thrives in a safe and sustainable manner. Another priority is to generate and enhance global and local awareness of industry and the strength of the Canadian members. A final key focus area of the trade organization is to both stay informed and solve specific industry issues regarding policy, safety, technical and scientific issues.