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Celebrating Generations of Families at JDI

Happy Family Day! 

At JDI, family is important to us. We’re proud to have multiple generations of families working together, creating a strong and dedicated team. Not only does it bring a sense of camaraderie, but it also strengthens the bonds between all of our employees, making them feel like they are part of a bigger family. From parents to kids, brothers and sisters, and even grandparents, the passion and hard work of our employees has helped us create an amazing team.

As we celebrate Family Day, we want to say thank you to all the families who have been a part of generations of hard work and dedication and share a few stories from our families who have made JDI home.


Decades of Dedication - The Hatt Family 

For the Hatt family, Lake Utopia Paper has become a second home. With three generations of the Hatt family working at the mill, they have over a combined 150 years of service at Lake Utopia Paper.

After 30 years of service, Dale Hatt retired from the mill and this month, after three decades of service, his sons Jeff and Kevin Hatt are retiring. Both working as machine tenders, they have been able to see the mill grow and modernize throughout the years.

“Being able to work in your hometown alongside your brother, what could be better than that,” says Kevin Hatt.

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We wish Jeff and Kevin a safe and healthy retirement. Although, the Hatt family legacy will not stop there, with family members Eric Koteff, and Devin Koteff continuing the legacy of working at Lake Utopia Paper.  


Three Generations and Counting – The Lohnes Family 

Railroading is a family business for the Lohnes.

Peter Lohnes was the first Conductor to work for New Brunswick Southern Railway on their first full day of operations in 1995. He retired in March of 2022 as a Trainmaster, after 37 years of service in the rail industry; only to come back four weeks later to continue to work part-time. Peter’s sons, Ryan and Justin, followed in their Dad’s footsteps, joining the rail full-time after school. Ryan is a Locomotive Engineer and Justin is a Red Seal Industrial Mechanic, both excelling in their trade. 

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It really started to become a party in 2022, when Peter’s grandson, Braedon, joined the rail as a Temporary Track Maintainer.

“Family is everything! I am very proud of all of my boys. Railroading has proven to be a great vocation for all of us,” says Peter.

The Lohnes family legacy continues to grow, with Marco Levesque, an Industrial Mechanic at the rail, joining the family after recently getting engaged to Peter’s daughter Emily.


Keeping them Home – The Winters Family 

Meet Scott & Kirk Winters, brothers who have a combined 40+ years of service with our operations.

Kirk is a dispatcher with our Gulf Operators team while Scott spends his time in the woods as a Superintendent with our Woodlands Division. Even though they are not working with the same division, the brothers still get to work together sometimes, "We have worked together a number of times over the years and still do today. Scott calls me to look after any construction needs, like trucking chips, grading roads, snow removal, loader rentals and more," says Kirk.

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Outside of work, the Winters brothers like to spend their time together at family get-togethers, playing golf and camping.

“Kirk is hard-working, dependable and always willing to help others in need," says Scott about what he thinks his brother's best strengths are.

We are proud to be keeping families like the Winters brothers #home.


Developing the Next Generation - The Johnston Sisters

Stephanie Johnston is Manager of Strategic Business Intelligence at our head office in Dieppe, New Brunswick. One of the reasons she was attracted to working at J.D. Irving was our commitment to developing young talent. Stephanie completed the Emerging Talent Recent Graduate Program in 2020. The two-year program helps young professionals develop core skills, focusing on personal and career development. After her success in the program, she knew her younger sister would be a great fit for the program in launching her career.

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Stephanie’s younger sister, Carly, joined the JDI team as Community Relations Coordinator in 2021. She is also in the process of completing the Emerging Talent Recent Graduate Program.

“I knew JDI as a reputable company, but after speaking to my sister about her experience, I recognized the great growth opportunities available to new hires,” says Carly.

Interested in joining the JDI team? Visit JDI Careers to find your next opportunity.