As National Forest Week is celebrated across the country, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is seizing the opportunity to announce the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence program. Today, FPAC announced that Amber Armstrong of Mercer International in Peace River, Alberta and Andrew de Vries of Tolko Industries in Vernon, BC are recipients of the 2021 Outstanding Member of the Year award.
The Outstanding Member of the Year Award is presented to individuals who have gone above and beyond in advancing the values of environmental stewardship, strengthening forestry communities, and supporting sector colleagues and partners.
“FPAC member companies are equipped with some of our sector’s very best talent,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “This year, we are proud to recognize the contributions of Amber Armstrong and Andrew de Vries, both of whom bring more than three decades of experience that have benefited member companies and the Canadian forest products sector alike,” Nighbor added.
Amber Armstrong is the Manager of Communications and Stakeholder Relations for Mercer International Inc. She has over 30 years of experience, has a master’s degree in Professional Communications, and is a Human Resource and Public Relations professional with extensive knowledge in training, development, and mediation. Amber joined Mercer Peace River in 2004, moving through multiple leadership roles in Human Resources, Public Relations, and Indigenous and Stakeholder Relations. Amber also serves on the FPAC Human Resources, Indigenous, and Public Affairs Committees.
“I am grateful and honoured to be recognized by FPAC as the recipient of this award. I am privileged to be able to continue advancing FPAC, Mercer, and our sustainable forest-based industry initiatives and opportunities,” Armstrong stated. “Though we may be separated by geography, our Canadian forest industry and operations have the collective talent and commitment to be globally recognized for our sustainable manufacturing excellence – environmentally, economically, and socially. I truly believe in what I do and who I do it for – not just my company and industry, but for all the current and future forest rightsholders and stakeholders.”
Andrew de Vries is the Manager of Indigenous Opportunities and Government Relations for Tolko Industries Ltd., based in Vernon, BC. He has over 30 years of experience in natural resource management and Indigenous relations in Canada, the USA, and internationally. Prior to his role at Tolko, he worked for national industry associations representing mining (Mining Association of Canada) and forestry (Forest Products Association of Canada). He also worked for the North American Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) leading the organization on Indigenous, conservation, and community files. Andrew is an active member on the Indigenous and Public Affairs Committees for FPAC. He continues to provide perspectives and feedback both on behalf of Tolko, but also on behalf of the sector as a whole.
“Forest Products Association of Canada is supported by many talented world leading professionals working for companies across Canada, I am honoured to work with these individuals and to be considered one of their peers,” said de Vries. “Working in forestry and natural resource management has given me the great opportunity to see a huge variety of ecosystems and meet tremendous people.”
To learn more about FPAC’s Awards of Excellence recipients, please visit: https://www.fpac.ca/posts/fpac-awards-of-excellence
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $80B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.