Forest Products Association of Canada

Our Team

Derek Nighbor

Derek Nighbor | President and Chief Executive Officer

Derek is a native of Pembroke, Ontario and joined FPAC as President and CEO in March 2016.

He is proud to represent Canada’s innovative forest products sector and the critical role it plays in over 600 Canadian forestry communities and across the country.

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 like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, McCain Foods, and Unilever Canada.  At FCPC, Derek worked closely with senior executives from over 90 top consumer products manufacturers and distributors and oversaw the association’s work in government relations, communications, 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 Canada, 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 Ontario’s Consumer and Business Services Minister.

In July 2019, in addition to his role at FPAC, Derek was elected President of the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA), where he chairs a group of forest products association leaders from 28 countries around the world.  On the global stage, he also represents Canada’s forest products industry on the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI).

Derek has a keen personal interest in community health care and sport, and serves as Vice Chair of the National Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada and is a past Board Member of the Ontario Curling Association and the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Grant Review Team for the Greater Toronto Area.

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


Joel Neuheimer

Joel Neuheimer | Vice President, International Trade, Transportation, HR, 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

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).



Kerry Patterson-Baker | Vice President, Communications

Kerry Patterson-Baker Joins FPAC as a seasoned executive with 20+ years of hands-on experience inside multinational, government and non-profit organizations She is results-driven and brings significant cross-functional experience to the role with a background in communications, government relations, strategic marketing, and business development. Most recently, Kerry was National Director of Government Affairs at Symantec Corporation, the world’s largest provider of security products and solutions to prevent cyber-attacks. Prior to that, Kerry was Senior Advisor, Communications and Corporate Giving at TD Bank Group, and has also served in senior communications and corporate affairs roles at PwC, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft Canada.

Kerry is based in Ottawa and serves as Chair of the city’s Youth Services Bureau Foundation. Kerry holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University.



Étienne Bélanger

Étienne Bélanger | Director, Forestry

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

Etienne joined FPAC in 2008 after completing a master on forest certification and the Québec forest regime. Early on at FPAC, Etienne had the opportunity to approach forest certification from the market angle in representing the sector from Las Vegas to Tokyo. Etienne role then focused on Canadian forestry issues including ecosystem-based management, forest certification standards and Aboriginal relationships.

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


Mahima Sharma

Mahima Sharma | Director, Environment and Regulatory Affairs

Mahima manages industry positions on mill-specific environmental regulatory topics including chemicals, air, and water. She is also 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 completed a Master of Health Administration, where she held an internship position with the senior leadership team at The Ottawa Hospital.

Mahima is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Volunteer Ottawa in the National Capital Region.


Sarah Todgham

Sarah Todgham | Manager, Sustainability and Environmental Regulations

Sarah holds a Masters in Forest Conservation (MFC) from the University of Toronto and B.A. Honors Specialization in Geographic Information Science from Western University. Prior to joining FPAC, she completed an internship with Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) Inc. researching the conservation impact of well-managed forests in regards to carbon, water, and biodiversity. Sarah also helped support legislation and policy direction through her work with ArborVitae Environmental Services comparing forest management sustainability frameworks.

As the Manager of Sustainability and Environmental Regulations, Sarah is responsible for conducting policy and legislative reviews and analyses, making recommendations on policy issues, implementing policy decisions and responding to inquiries regarding industry policies, programs, and initiatives.


Anna Barrera

Anna Barrera | Manager, Economics and Trade Policy

Anna provides research and support in the areas of economics, international trade, transportation, and North American competitiveness. She manages FPAC’s monitoring and analysis on policy issues affecting Canadian forest products such as antidumping and countervailing duties, rail modernization, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), tax reform and the federal government budget.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Anna has developed an in-depth understanding of the importance of trade and economic issues through her previous experiences. Prior to joining FPAC, Anna held a number of consulting, research and policy positions with organizations including IQOM Commercial Intelligence in Mexico City, Environment Canada, and the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and Dawson Strategic.

Anna has a Bachelor degree in International Business from the Tecnologico de Monterrey and a Masters Degree in International Trade from the University of Saskatchewan, and is part of the Organization of Women in International Trade – Ottawa.

Justin Veale | Coordinator, Communications and Climate Change Initiatives

Justin works closely with FPAC’s Vice President, Communications and FPAC’s membership to manage and support a variety of industry communications initiatives, including leading social media, graphic design, video production, and website management at FPAC. Justin also helps support the Environment, Human Resources, Indigenous, and Public Affairs departments in finance, event coordination, strategic outreach, and optimizing operational efficiency.

Justin Veale joined FPAC in January 2019. Before joining FPAC, Justin founded an online retail business at the age of 18 to help provide environmentally friendly and socially responsible household products to Canadians.

Justin holds a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (B. CoMS) from Carleton University in Ottawa.