---Boucher Forest Foundation announces new Director General, Marion Jean
Hoping to continue guiding itself in the right direction while invigorating new life into its upcoming projects, the Boucher Forest Foundation (FFB) has hired its new leader – Marion Jean. Replacing Marianne Strauss – who led the organization for a successful seven years before recently moving on to other endeavours in bittersweet fashion – FFB Board of Directors President Christina Richard considers Jean to be the ideal person for the job.
Impressed by Jean’s resume, in how it matched the job’s qualifications, and by her enthusiasm for the organization’s mission and values, Richard told the Aylmer Bulletin that the decision was relatively simple. “She has experience very similar to the creation of the Boucher Forest Park,” Richard said, noting that Jean’s also well versed in business and economics. “She’s worked on ecotourism projects in Europe and Latin America … we told ourselves, ‘Wow, she did the exact same thing.’ It’s a lot of events, but a lot of conservation projects and for tourism in protected areas.”
Receiving a lot of interest for the job – dozens of applicants – Richard said she was encouraged by the community’s enthusiasm towards such an important and demanding responsibility. “It’s a very difficult role,” Richard said. “It’s not easy to find someone who can do everything required.” Along with landing the right candidate, Richard said she feels delighted to see a woman selected for the job, noting that the world needs more female leaders. “There are still fewer women than men in leadership roles,” Richard said.
Richard also praised the FFB’s Program coordinator Maxime Chaumont-Lessard for shouldering the responsibility of the role throughout the scouting process. Grateful for the opportunity to lead an organization with the FFB’s potential and reputation, Jean told the Aylmer Bulletin that she looks forward to using her platform to make a positive difference in the community. With strong administrative skills, years of experience in the tourism industry, and an unrelenting passion for the environment, Jean believes she’s the perfect person for the job of making the Boucher Forest a prime tourism destination and ecological education haven. “I’m very excited because it corresponds almost exactly to what I know how to do and my qualities … the foundation’s mandate is really something that inspires me,” Jean told the Bulletin.
Originally from the south of France, Jean boasts a master’s degree in tourism site management and territorial development – with considerable experience operating eco-tourism organizations in different parts of the world. “Always with durable development,” Jean said. “So, not mass tourism. Always so that it harmoniously integrates itself in an environment.” An avid supporter of the FFB before being hired, Jean previously worked as an administrative support officer at the CEGEP de l’Outaouais since settling in Aylmer in 2018. Praising Strauss’ legacy, Jean said she’s humbled to replace such an exemplary leader and motivated to live up to reasonably high standards. “I hope to continue the work that has been done,” Jean said. “I hope to respect the deadlines for the opening of the park to the public, and I hope to renew the foundation’s partnership with the city.”
Finalizing the Boucher Forest Park project’s business plan – expecting to commence the groundwork this summer – Richard believes the future looks positive for the FFB since it’s in very good hands. “Our team is going to grow,” Richard said, noting that the park should open in early 2022. “I think with Marion and Maxime, we’re really going to be able to make a lot of progress.”