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 Tom Ratz of Resolute Forest Products has been honoured with the Outstanding Member of the Year Award from Canada’s forest products sector.
“The Outstanding Member of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond in advancing the values of environmental stewardship, strengthening forestry communities, and supporting forest sector colleagues and partners,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “This year, we are proud to recognize Tom’s unwavering dedication, commitment to innovation and sustainability, and countless contributions over decades of collaborative forest sector experience that have benefited FPAC member companies and the Canadian forest products sector in its entirety.”
Tom Ratz is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) whose career has spanned more than 40 years across Canada and Chile. He started as a silviculture forester working for Abitibi-Price, expanding his experience in all areas of sustainable forest management. Tom has been a working member of numerous committees and groups, such as the Ontario Professional Foresters Association (OPFA) NW Ontario Section (member 33 years, councilor 4 years), FPAC’s Forestry and Indigenous Committees, past Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) Woodlands Chair, and OFIA Indigenous Committee. Tom leads with a vision for progress. Whether expanding drone use or integrating on-board computer technology and digital data collection, Tom’s pursuit of real time forestry data continually improves management decisions. His innovative ideas for the use of LiDAR technology for an updated and continuous forest resource inventory will advance forest management planning, road building, and harvest operations.
Tom has consistently demonstrated a commitment to the practice of professional forestry throughout his career, including his current position as Forestry Manager for Ontario at Resolute Forest Products. Through mentoring, he works to invest his extensive knowledge in those who work with him. Tom’s strong leadership and advocacy for the forest industry has been instrumental in developing forest policy, forest management guides, research, and compliance programs. His understanding and involvement in Species at Rick, and particularly caribou policy, is helping further understanding and management.
“I am honored to be recognized by FPAC as the recipient of this reward and would like to thank the team at Resolute from our CEO; Remi Lalonde to our field foresters, without whom I could not do what I do,” said Ratz. “The high caliber of the industry colleagues that I have had the privilege to work with has expanded my knowledge and helped me grow in my career. I would also like to thank those that submitted my name for this honour, and Resolute for continuing to give me opportunities to have a challenging and rewarding career. Throughout my 40-year career, I have been in the trenches with many colleagues to educate and ensure our forests are managed sustainably and find solutions for species at risk for generations to come.”
To learn more about FPAC’s Awards of Excellence recipients, please visit: https://www.fpac.ca/
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 $75B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 225,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.