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Josée Fortin

18 November 2020

Josée Fortin to Leave the Management of Sherbrooke Innopole in the Spring of 2021

PRESS RELEASE — The chairman of the Board of Directors of Sherbrooke Innopole and chief operations officer at The Color Group, Mr. Alexandre Nault, announced that the members of the Board accepted with deep regret the resignation of Mrs. Josée Fortin, executive director of Sherbrooke Innopole. She shared her intention with the chairman a few weeks ago and officialised it in a resignation letter on November 16, when she informed her team of her decision. In compliance with the terms of her contractual agreement, Mrs. Josée Fortin will remain in position until the spring of 2021.

In her resignation letter, Mrs. Fortin wrote, “As you and all administrators know, I have achieved my goals and I consider it is now time to hand on the torch to a person who will perpetuate the mission and mandates of Sherbrooke Innopole. However, I admit it saddens me to leave a great team of professionals, dedicated to this wonderful organization, and you, dear administrators who trusted me and always supported my most innovative ideas.”

Alexandre Nault, chairman of the Board, considers Mrs. Fortin’s decision a sad moment for Sherbrooke Innopole, “Her departure will leave a great void in our organization because she is a dynamic person with a strong sense of entrepreneurship who showed rigour and determination to reach goals. I trust the process we will set in motion next week to find a replacement for Josée and her will to take part in the transition will reduce the impact of her departure on the organisation. Moreover, we know we can count on a strong team of professionals dedicated to Sherbrooke’s economic development.”

Under Mrs. Josée Fortin guidance, Sherbrooke Innopole has carried on its valuable work in terms of economic development. According to its 2019 annual report, 184 new businesses and 7314 net jobs were created in five key sectors during the last ten years, generating 1,8 billion dollars in investments. For the chairman, “results speak for themselves. We can be proud of Sherbrooke Innopole’s achievements and we congratulate Mrs. Fortin and her team for their excellent work in the last seven years.”

From the beginning, Mrs. Fortin’s mandate at Sherbrooke Innopole was marked by a will to meet directly with entrepreneurs to understand the stakes and propose real solutions with her team. Mrs. Fortin is particularly proud to have initiated the creation of two venture capital funds – Start up and Precommercialisation – designed to support Sherbrooke technological and innovative businesses, and which complete the financing offer of the organisation. To support businesses with the increasing labour shortage, Mrs. Fortin implemented many initiatives among which the addition of a dedicated resource, the J’adopte l’Estrie project to help keep students in the region, and three editions of the Industry Open House event. With the aim to support the growth of local businesses and the implementation of foreign key sectors, many support programs were put in place as well as partnerships with secondary organisations in the export, business intelligence, and productivity sectors, among others.

To offer an attractive and innovative business environment that meets entrepreneurs’ needs, Josée Fortin has also contributed to the creation of important infrastructure projects such as the Espace inc. accelerator, the Espace LABz multitenant scientific centre, and Espace TI cowork space. She actively works on getting Sherbrooke the innovation zone designation in quantum science, and the opening of a new industrial park to ensure the ongoing expension of the regional industrial park since 2016.

Regarding her numerous achievements, Alexandre Nault, chairman of the Board adds, “Thanks to Josée Fortin and her team of experts, Sherbrooke entrepreneurs are now better equipped to increase their growth, and Sherbrooke has positioned itself as a city committed to innovation.”

Josée Fortin stated that “credit for this success goes to entrepreneurs who, every day, contribute to build a stronger, more diversified and more innovative economy for Sherbrooke: hats off to them for being a source of inspiration and pride for our whole community.”

Mrs. Fortin explains her decision by the change in circumstances. After over seven years rich in achievements, she considers herself ready for a change. “For the time being, I will not comment on my decision in the media. As I remain in position, it seems the best thing to do to ensure a smooth transition.”

The human resources, nomination and governance committee of the Board of Sherbrooke Innopole will put a process in place to find a replacement for Mrs. Josée Fortin. Mr. Jean Tremblay, chairman of the committee, and Mr. Vincent Aimez will work in close collaboration with the members of the Board and its chairman, Mr. Alexandre Nault, to find a replacement.

Source: Alexandre Nault, chairman of the Board of Directors of Sherbrooke Innopole

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