Forest Products Association of Canada

Our Team

Derek Nighbor | CEO

Derek is a native of the Upper Ottawa Valley and joined FPAC as CEO in March 2016.  He is proud to represent Canada’s vibrant and innovative forest products sector and the critical role it plays in over 600 Canadian forest communities.

Prior to joining FPAC, Derek served for over 7 years as Senior Vice President with Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), the country’s leading voice for consumer packaged goods companies.  At FCPC, Derek worked closely with senior executives from over 90 top consumer products manufacturers and distributors and oversaw the association’s strategic planning in government relations and corporate, community and regulatory affairs.

Prior to his time at FCPC, Derek served for over 3 years as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs with Retail Council of Canada (RCC) representing over 45,000 retail storefronts across Canada, including leading retailers like Canadian Tire, Walmart, Home Depot and Home Hardware. Derek has also held senior political positions with the Government of Ontario, including two years as chief of staff to the province’s Consumer and Business Services Minister.

Derek represents Canada’s forest products sector on two global boards, the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA) and Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI).

Derek also sits on the national board of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada.

He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an Option in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario


Robert Larocque | Senior Vice President

Bob Larocque joined FPAC in April 2011 as Director of Environment and Labour Market Policies. Before joining FPAC, Bob held several positions at Environment Canada in regards to mitigating the risk of toxic substances on the environment. He has also worked as a process engineer in a large pulp mill.

As Senior Vice President, Bob leads work with member companies on policy and technical issues relating to climate change, environmental regulations and labour market activities for the forest products sector. Bob is also responsible for supporting the sector in achieving its “30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge” as well as managing the environmental data collection of pulp and paper and wood products segments.

Bob holds a B.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Ottawa.

Joel Neuheimer | Vice President, International Trade, Transportation, Corporate Secretary

Joel has over two decades of both federal government and industry experience working with the Canadian forest industry and its partners worldwide.

In his current role, Joel works with FPAC members and their partners to continually improve the global cost competitiveness of FPAC members. This includes legislation, regulations, and agreements to reduce costs, improve service, and to accelerate improvements to the supply chain for members.

Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.


Kate Lindsay | Vice President, Sustainability and Environmental Partnerships

Kate is responsible for working with FPAC members to advance the industry’s position on key legislative files such as Species at Risk, Migratory Birds, Fisheries Act, Climate Change and Biodiversity.

Kate is a registered Biologist who has held a variety of roles within the government and the forest industry. She has conducted extensive research and monitoring on species at risk, and has helped develop and implement policy on a number of files including provincial Riparian Area Regulations and the federal Fisheries Act.

Kate has a BSc in Biology and is a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio).

Richard Walker | Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs

Richard comes to FPAC with a wealth of experience in the public and private sector. For four and a half years he held the position of Director of Communications and Program Development at Tree Canada. Prior to this he held the position of Director of Communications and Press Secretary for three federal ministers in five different ministries (Public Works, International Cooperation, Heritage Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Industry Canada). He possesses over twenty two years of practical experience within the fields of marketing, public/media relations, event production, crisis management, sponsorship and sales. Richard specializes in business development and coordinated planning, while optimizing marketing and communication strategies with limited resources. He owned and operated his own PR and Event planning firm (NRW) in Montreal and has dealt regularly with key national media outlets.


Étienne Bélanger | Director, Forestry

As the Director of Forestry, Etienne provides FPAC members with informed advice on forest management issues, and leadership on the aboriginal affairs file.

Before joining FPAC in 2008, Etienne has worked in the domains of academic research and representation.

Etienne holds a M.Sc. degree in forest science from Université Laval and is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers du Québec.


Cheryl Miltimore | Manager, Industry Affairs and Special Projects

Cheryl joined FPAC in February 2002 and has been working on market issues for the past 8 years.  She is currently responsible for the management of market relations projects in support of FPAC members’ industry profile and international trade advocacy initiatives.  She is also responsible for managing FPAC’s library of communication materials. Prior to working at FPAC she worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in the International Education Marketing Department.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University.



Mahima Sharma | Manager, Environment and Regulatory Affairs

Mahima manages industry positions on mill-specific environmental regulatory topics including chemicals, air and water. She is responsible for the analysis and reporting of key sustainability performance indicators including energy, environment, and health and safety parameters for the pulp and paper and wood products sectors. Her work is instrumental in ensuring that FPAC maintains its reputation for housing the latest and most relevant scientifically verified data on environmental performance. Mahima has also previously supported FPAC’s Labour Market Policies file.

Mahima has completed a Master of Chemical Engineering, as well as two undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. She also recently completed a Master of Health Administration, where she held an internship position with the senior leadership team at The Ottawa Hospital.




Fiona McDonald

Fiona McDonald | Manager, Marketing and Communications

Fiona is responsible for the management of FPAC’s digital assets including websites, blogs and social media. She manages FPAC’s advertising initiatives and works on branding and strategic communications. Fiona also oversees The Greenest Workforce initiative, a human resources resource tool for the forest industry and she provides in house design services and support on event planning. She previously worked for a creative marketing agency and studied communications at Carleton University.

Fiona volunteers with Famous 5 Ottawa.