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Value of One, Power of Many: Volunteer Week 2021


Here at J.D. Irving, Limited, we have dozens of employees who volunteer independently, mentoring others and coaching sports teams, helping in classrooms, fighting poverty, advocating for public safety, and working as volunteer first responders - just to name a few! 

Comprised of eight divisions, serving forests, farms, and oceans, our team recognizes the Value of One, Power of Many. Our teams often work collectively to accomplish goals far greater than themselves - in business, and in our communities. In honor of National Volunteer Week, we are celebrating a few of our employees who have shown generosity and commitment to making change in the communities in which we work and play.   


Coaching the Future Generation 

Doug Cyr, Human Resources Manager for our Sawmill's Maine operations has been working with high school soccer teams for many years. Last year, he was named one of the State of Maine's "Top Coaches of the Year" for his work with Fort Kent Community High School's soccer team.

"Volunteering has been a large part of me in many ways and has consisted of both personal and work volunteering opportunities,” says Cyr. “As a volunteer you get to help a specific cause or organization be successful and you also get to network with some pretty great people. Whether it’s coaching one of my kids’ sports teams or serving on a local university or hospital board, I get to share and be a part of something that impacts people around me."

 Doug Cyr Volunteer


 Tom Fleming, Flow Crew at KENT Mount Pearl, NL, started volunteering with Football NL in late 2013 as a novice coach and referee. He advanced to coach on the provincial team & has taken the teams to NS, PEI and France for competition. He was also elected to the board of directors, holding positions of Administration & Communication, Coach Development, and as of 2019, he became the President of FNL. He has been a positive influence on many athletes in Newfoundland, thank you for your support!  

 Tom Flemming Ref



Protecting our Communities

As a local firefighter, Sebastien Raymond, Boom Truck Operator at KENT Atholville, NB, volunteers his time to Service d’incendie d’Atholville to help save lives and protect his community from fires. Thank you for your service!

 Sebastien Raymond


 As a cat lover, Alison Singer, Electrical Department Manager at KENT Mount Pearl, NL, has rescued and fostered cats and kittens through Heavenly Creatures, a local charity group. Pictured is Murray, one Alison’s four rescue cats. Additionally, she crochets blankets for sale and donates the proceeds to Heavenly Creatures. Thank you for supporting your local organization and opening up your home to animals in need!

 Alison Murray
 Alison Murray Cat Lover


Acts of Kindness 

Don Samis, Maintenance Superintendent with the Pulp & Paper Division, has been an active volunteer with the Saint John community for many years.

"Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose as well as an understanding of the needs of our underserved, especially during the pandemic,” says Don. “Over the years I have come to appreciate how a few people can impact so many. I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many great volunteers and terrific people, supporting great causes."

Don is quick to jump on any opportunity to lend a helping hand. He is the first to volunteer his free time to delivering donations to various locations – regardless of the added driving to his regular lengthy commute. Through years of volunteering with Big Brothers & Big Sisters, PALS, and Lancaster Minor Basketball Association, Don is working to build a better tomorrow for our community. We are proud to have him on our team!

 Don Samis



Kathy Parks, a key member of the Irving Equipment (IEQ) team does more than help keep the business running daily. She is also the one who keeps several of the CED businesses involved in community work. 

With Kathy’s help, IEQ donates extra tissue products to Bobby's Hospice, in Saint John, NB. She also organizes the company initiative to donate extra turkeys and sponsor families over the holidays. Kathy is the first to suggest IEQ turn an event into a chance to help those within our community. Thank you!

 Kathy Parks Volunteer


 Kenny Aitken, Plumbing, Paint and Project Centre Associate at KENT Montague, PEI, volunteers as a board member on the Georgetown and Area Development Corporation, striving to improve the economy and quality of life for Georgetown residents. He is also a Freemason of the St. Andrews & St. Georges’ Lodge #4, focused on raising funds for local hospitals, including the IWK. Thank you for your commitment to your community!

 Kenny Aitkin



Restoring our Earth

Ashley Kirkpatrick and Jennifer Venart-Sym from our Finance team often collaborate to build a stronger community!  The Finance Division is very active in the community and holds a successful partnership with the PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) team.  Our most recent Finance initiative includes donating garden supplies for the students at Prince Charles School to grow healthy vegetables for their families to enjoy. Finance also held a bottle drive and raised $346.50 for Prince Charles School. These proceeds will allow the students to start their newly refurbished vegetable gardens this Spring!

 Learning Garden
 Finance Bottle Drive


Stepping Up For PALS Partners

A team of J.D. Irving, Limited volunteers recently partnered with the PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) Program to coordinate a nutritious snack and cereal drive. The intent was to support breakfast programs across 23 schools in the Greater Saint John Area. This team included Alyssa Simon (Transportation), David Thomas (Irving Tissue), Iris Sina (Corporate Health & Safety), Isaac White (Corporate Finance) and Michael Farren (Irving Shipbuilding). Over three weeks, they collected over one ton (2,132 pounds) of food and $4,604 in cash donations via physically-distanced drive-throughs!

 Food Drive Volunteer
 Food Drive Volunteer 2
 Food Drive Volunteer 3


Their success, however, was largely impacted by the community's generosity, and a great deal of help from coworkers and other J.D. Irving, Limited businesses. In a communication, the volunteer team thanked: 

  • Deb Fisher, PALS Program Coordinator her guidance, advice and working with schools to determine their needs. 
  • Paul Dalton, PALS "Kids On The Go" Bus Driver, for attending each collection and transporting donations back to the storage facility. 
  • Duane Jennings & Matthew Osbourne of Industrial Security, for helping to unload busful's of donations after each collection. 
  • Shelley Michaud for coordinating an independent food collection site at the 300 Union Street office building, J.D. Irving, Limited's headquarters. 
  • Ed Vail, J.D. Irving, Limited Facilities Director, for securing a storage site for donations. 
  • Jim Ramsay, VP of Health & Safety, Continuous Improvement, for his advice and support in developing a COVID-19 Operational Plan. 
  • Mary Keith, VP of Communications, and her team, Reid MacPhail and Sheri Currie, for assisting with the event communications and promotions. 
  • Volunteer Teams with J.D. Irving, Limited member businesses, Kent Line Agency and Universal Truck and Trailer, who delivered the food to schools. 
  • And many more!


If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation to the PALS Program, please email