I remember the days when annual general meetings were dry, technical and outright boring. Shareholders were present to hear about the past year’s results and the financial information that was delivered was complicated and sometimes incomprehensible. Management controlled the motions and the vote. In most cases, you were better off staying home and reading about the results.
Over the past 14 years, SAMSSA has made every effort to host its key event to not only inform its members, but also to showcase the people who made it a success, and recognize the value of the client community it serves. It’s an important event that should include valuable networking and be built on a little showmanship and theatre that will leave a memory of excitement and fellowship.
The most important component of the SAMSSA AGM is the announcement of the new board. Our president’s term is limited to two years, thus providing some continuity and new ideas that meet the needs of the industry and the association in the future. We are pleased to welcome our first female president, Alicia Woods, former treasurer and vice-president, for the years 2018-19. Alicia is competent and professional and as general manager of Marcotte Mining and president of Covergalls, she brings a history in the industry and new insights to the table.
“It is an exciting opportunity because it shows other women what is possible,” she said. “It’s a symbol that industry is open to women and that it’s growing with women in senior leadership positions. That’s the gratifying part – inspiring girls to think about mining and wanting to reach for more.”
Alicia will be joined by new board member Michael Gribbons, vice-president of Sudbury-based Maestro Digital Mine.
Michael is an entrepreneur who understands the new paradigm in the 21st century and has helped grow his company’s sales to 80 mining companies globally. “I look forward to working with SAMSSA and its members and bringing a global vision to assist other members and the industry in our mining cluster,” he said.
Alicia and Michael will be joined by Ricky Lemieux, president of RockTech as vice-president, Dave Rector, president of Rector Machine Works in Sault Ste. Marie as secretary and Jeff Smith, executive vice-president of Manitoulin Transport, as director.
Inductions into the SAMSSA Hall of Fame are an important part of the AGM. For the past 10 years we have honoured a significant number of private sector founders and entrepreneurs who have built companies that have created a significant number of meaningful jobs and wealth for the industry and communities where they live and work.
This year, Tom Palangio Sr. was chosen, and rightfully so. Tom was a 12-year member of the board and has been a major contributor to the success of SAMSSA. He has represented SAMSSA as an official spokesperson and has promoted our association globally. Tom is the president of WipWare in North Bay, Ontario, known internationally for its fragmentation expertise. Tom is known as one of the world’s experts on explosives technology.
Tom says he was disruptive as a young man. He liked to build things and then take them apart and found that being disruptive was a good thing especially in his professional business career.
Tom is a special person and his advice was valuable as SAMSSA grew. We will miss him as he looks to retirement and some rest, which probably will not last long before he gets the itch again.
A Special Recognition Award was presented this year to the editor of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal. Norm Tollinsky has written about the mining supply industry in Northern Ontario since 2004 and is well respected by many companies who have seen their stories in print. It was an easy choice.
The evening closed with an informative overview of Kirkland Lake Gold (KLG) by Pierre Rocque, vice president of Canadian operations. Pierre spoke about the success of KLG and the company’s expanding relationship with Artisan Vehicle Systems, a manufacturer of battery-powered mining equipment.
It was a worthwhile evening for all who attended.