Montreal, December 17, 2004 Mr. Claude Michaud, chairman of the board of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, has announced the departure of Mr. Benoit Labonté, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. Mr. Labonté will step down from his position on February 4 to take up a new challenge.
It was with great regret that, at its meeting on December 16, the board of directors received and accepted the resignation of Benoit Labonté, grand architect of the in-depth renewal of the Board of Trade over the past four years and its strategic repositioning on the metropolitan Montreal and Quebec stages. Mr. Labonté has left his mark on the Board of Trade, particularly through his ability to understand early on the significance of the socio-political shift surrounding urban issues so as to reposition the Board of Trade as a responsible, contributing, vital stakeholder in issues affecting the economic, commercial, cultural, social, and scientific development of the metropolis, declared Michaud.
An urban activist,' Labonté proved to be an enthusiastic promoter of the role of civil society in the progress and advancement of the community. He set out to modernize the Board of Trade's operating procedures to better reflect this new reality and to meet the ensuing challenges. An excellent administrator, he also provided the Board of Trade with the tools needed to make it more relevant to its members, more credible to the public and the media, and more influential among decision-makers, added Michaud.
Since 2001, faithful to its mission to represent the interests of its members and to offer services to the business community, the Board of Trade has maximized its capacity for reflection and socio-economic analysis and has consolidated its affiliates including Info entrepreneurs and the World Trade Centre Montréal. These actions have enabled the Board of Trade to develop well-thought-out, detailed, and credible positions on behalf of its some 7,000 members and to offer specialized services to the greater business community in the areas of information on funding and business start-up programs and international trade.
The many achievements of Mr. Labonté include the holding of the Montréal 2017: A 375-year-old city of the world symposium; the adoption of the Board of Trade's Policy Statement; the mobilization of Montreal and metropolitan stakeholders around strategic issues; the creation of the Montreal Coalition; numerous reflections and policy statements on the new dynamics of urban agglomerations; and, in particular, the renewal and mobilization of a remarkable team of associates. The board of directors wishes Mr. Labonté every success in his future career, continued Michaud.
Before being named permanent president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Mr. Labonté served as president and CEO of the World Trade Centre Montréal for five years.
Presiding over and managing such an important, prestigious institution as the Board of Trade, so deeply anchored in the history of Montreal, has been an exciting challenge, but above all a great honour. I felt privileged, while in this position, to have been able to contribute to the reflections and actions surrounding the development and the future of metropolitan Montreal. This was a civic commitment that has left a deep impression on me, declared Labonté.
Mr. Labonté will leave his position on February 4, 2005, when Ms. Isabelle Hudon , currently executive vice-president of the Board of Trade, will become acting president and CEO. A member of the Board of Trade's senior management team since joining this organization in January 2002, Ms. Hudon has, in particular, served as vice-president, strategies and communications. Throughout these years, she has distinguished herself through her impressive sense of leadership, her excellent operational abilities, and her finely honed strategic skills. For the Board of Trade's board of directors, she was thus the ideal candidate to assume these important responsibilities in the interim, concluded Michaud.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of the Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.