Entrepreneur is a model of success

Mr. Rand Fournier, a great entrepreneur from the Thetford area, died on May 6 at the age of 88. Entrepreneurs are considered as models of success. He has something to inspire people in his professional life.

A graduate in tinsmithing from Thetford Mines School of Arts and Crafts, Rand Fournier took advantage of his first four jobs to gain experience and develop his skills in metalworking and installation.

In 1954, working for Canadian Comstock, he participated in the construction of the Vimy Ridge Normandy Mine Mill, then at the Chuck River Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario and the construction of the radar line. Dew on Baffin Island. Back at Black Lake, he finds himself employed by Hartco Steel, which then had 75 employees. At the age of 25, he became its general manager.

The spring of 1959 marked a turning point in his career when he started a business in the tinsmith sector as a partner with Roger Fournier. The company moved to the basement of his residence and stayed there for a year. Fournier Steel Works Ltd. has moved into a 40 x 45 feet building on its current site that, over the years, will go through various stages of expansion. The company then expands its operations with tinsmithing, boilermaking, machining and hydraulics.

In 1961, Rand Fornier bought shares of his partner. In 1970, the corporate name was Les Industries Fournier inc. For the next five years, it manufactures, maintains and installs mining equipment specifically for asbestos manufacturers.

A few years later, in 1975, it designed, manufactured and installed a variety of advanced equipment for the industrial sector, foundries, aluminum smelters, pulp and paper mills, grain elevators, mining, environmental and hydroelectric plant repairs, to name just a few sectors.

The percentage of its turnover coming from the asbestos sector is less than one percent. It was during this time that Mr. Fournier acquired the company Richmond Fournier (1976). Which specializes in making anode and cathode bars for aluminum smelters.

In 1987, the company took a special interest in equipment invented by the Industrial du Quebec at the Center de Recherche, such as the Rotary Press used to drain municipal and industrial sludge water. This tool quickly became an icon and pride of the company. This will allow him to shine in the international arena.

Over the years, the company has been able to ensure its sustainability. A visionary and hard worker, its founder has always been courageous in pursuing his entrepreneurial ambitions. By constantly reinvesting the profits generated to expand the facilities and acquire new equipment, he was able to gradually create a place of his own for the court of the manufacturers of the industry.

Six decades later, Groupe Industries Fournier and its affiliates have more than 400 employees. Mr. Fournier chose a well-deserved retirement in September 2013.

Editor’s note: Information about Mr. Fournier’s professional career is taken from the book “Le Got d’Entrepreneur / The Story of 30 Successful Entrepreneurs in the Thetford Area”, launched in 2017 and written by Nelson Facto.

Honesty and integrity

In an interview with Courier Frontenac, Mrs Janine Pomerleu said she was proud of her husband’s career over the past 65 years. “He was an honest man who honestly made his way. He was a favorite of his employees. This was his second family and often his first. He knew how to surround himself with good people and above all to keep them. A

He remembers that the beginning was not easy. “When he started, he had to borrow money to build his first small factory, and no bank would allow that. Ultimately, this is a person who agrees to lend him $ 10,000 at 10% interest. We are talking about 60 years ago. A

The company’s workers’ strike in the early 1980’s was a momentous moment for the Fournier family. “It lasted 54 weeks. The union wanted us to be a role model in this area. At this time it is better to close the factory than to sit at the table and accept the demand. Employees were already paid more than our competitors, “said Mrs. Pomerliu.

His daughter Josie remembers this conflict. “Union members came to protest in front of our house and threw eggs at the window. You have to have a strong back. My father left some of his health there. A

The decision to keep the door key was made in the 52nd week. “The then mayor of Black Lake rallied the workers and made it clear to them that they were in good health and that they would lose their jobs. Ultimately, it has been settled, “said Mrs. Pomerleau.

The purchase of the company by Capital Regional and Cooperative Desjardin in October 2013, in partnership with members of the management team, aroused much emotion. “Several buyers from outside expressed interest, but it was important for my father that they were locals and the staff were reassured about keeping their jobs. When Desjardins showed up, he couldn’t let go of the opportunity, “she explained to her daughter.

However, the transfer of power was difficult. “Desjardins took over the business in the morning, a party was being organized and my husband could not attend at night due to stomach ache. It was too much for him. She let her baby go, “said Miss Pomerleu.

Fournier’s family wants people to remember him as a simple and generous man who has done so much for the region without respect and who has never been afraid to take risks.

Renaud Fournier is survived by his wife, Janine Pomerleu, his children Pierre, the late Mark, Daniel, Brigitte and Josie, and his grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at St. Alphonse Church on Saturday, May 21.

Tribute

Harold Roy, president and CEO of Group Fournier, said he was saddened by the news of the death of the company’s founder. “Words fail me to express the respect I have for him, both for the people and for the business community. I had the opportunity to meet him in March 1999 and in December 1998 to begin my collaboration with the succession team. Of course, Mr. Fournier He was a leader, but above all, a deep human and beloved leader. He is still a source of inspiration today.

For his part, the mayor of Thetford Mines, Mark-Alexandre Brasso, has indicated that the departure of Rand Fornier is a heavy loss for the region. “He was not known to everyone because he was not someone who was looking for a spotlight. Mr. Fournier started from scratch and was able to build a very fine business. He was very attached to the Black Lake area. He did a lot for our area. He is a An excellent model of an entrepreneur and an ambassador that we must keep in mind.

The City of Thetford Mines honored him by naming him the arena of the Black Lake Sector in 2018.

“What he’s done is extraordinary,” said Luke Remillard, director general of the Thetford Regional Economic Development Corporation. He started from his basement and today the company has a global presence and has hundreds of employees. She is a model of success and perseverance. A

He also wanted to underline the generosity of the family. “Mr. Fournier has invested heavily in the Black Lake sector, where his business has grown. He also contributed to the foundation stone of the hospital and many other works. I think it’s a great legacy he left to his children who continue to be involved in so many different ways. A

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