As National Forest Week is celebrated across the country, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is announcing the winners of its 2023 Awards of Excellence program.
Today, FPAC announced that Bob Fleet, a distinguished forestry professional who has made remarkable and sustained contributions to the forest products sector over the course of his career, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Bob Fleet's journey in the forest sector spans decades and numerous provinces. His remarkable accomplishments, commitment to excellence, and visionary leadership have not only propelled his organizations forward – but have also contributed to the growth and advancement of the entire sector,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor.
“This award stands as a testament to Bob’s many impressive accomplishments, recognizing his impact and the lasting legacy he leaves behind. As we celebrate his achievements, we also celebrate the power of passion and individual contributions that can shape the course of a sector and inspire generations to come" he added.
Bob Fleet's tenure in the forest sector began in 1980 when he graduated with a degree in Forestry from the University of Toronto. Throughout his career, Bob has made significant contributions to the growth and sustainability of the forest products sector.
After completing his degree, Bob worked for the Ontario government for 14 years, actively involved in forest management in both the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest and the Boreal Forest. Following this work, he joined a private family company where he served for 17 years, ascending to the role of Vice President and contributing to operations in the Boreal Mixed-Wood Forest and U.S. Southern Pine Forests.
Bob's dedication to the industry led him to venture into entrepreneurship as the owner of BioSynergy Pellets for two years. In 2011, he joined Tolko Industries as Vice President, overseeing mills in the Boreal and Montane Forests. Bob's illustrious career was marked by overseeing mill construction and start-up projects across North America, fostering strong Indigenous relationships and contributing to sector associations including FPAC, Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA), and Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA).
Retiring in January 2023 from Tolko Industries, Bob’s incredible achievements are in no small part fueled by his commitment to sustainable practices and his role in advancing the sector as a climate change solution.
“What an honour to be a Lifetime Achievement Awardee! I was so lucky to be able to be part of this great forest industry. Working for two different Canadian families we built many, many new mills that helped families prosper, pay for their children’s education, and earn living wages. All the while, the forests were managed sustainably, contributing to better forest health and to reducing the negative impacts of climate change,” said Bob Fleet.
“I could not have been successful without the support of so many Indigenous friends and colleagues. We are fortunate to have FPAC hold the torch and carry on," he added.
About Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, paper, and wood-based bioproducts producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $73B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in hundreds of communities, providing 205,000 direct jobs, and over 415,000 indirect jobs across the country. FPAC and its members are committed to collaborating with Indigenous leaders, federal and provincial governments, labour partners, community groups, and other rightsholders and stakeholders to secure and advance the sector’s environmental, social, and economic potential for the long-term.