Lazar moves on after a decade of leading Forest Industry Association


OTTAWA, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - After ten years at the helm of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Avrim Lazar will be retiring to enjoy the next phase of his life.

At the end of the month, he will be replaced on an interim basis as President and CEO by Catherine Cobden, now senior Vice-President of FPAC.  Cobden has managed the association's economic files and led the landmark Biopathways study into how to best transform the forest sector through innovation. A permanent replacement will be in place in September.

"Avrim has been an extraordinary industry leader who has made giant strides in improving the environmental credentials of Canada's forest products industry and who was pivotal in working with government to lay the groundwork for the sector's transformation", says Jim Lopez, the Chairman of the Board at FPAC.  "They will be big shoes to fill but Catherine has been an essential player in the success of FPAC and I know she will do a top-notch job over the next six months."

The Association is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in 200 forest-dependent communities from coast to coast, and directly employing 240,000 Canadians across the country.

Lazar is known for his leadership role in bringing together industry and environmental groups in the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest agreement, signed in 2010. During an often challenging decade, he also helped the industry develop new markets, new products, new partnerships and new positioning as a player in the emerging bio-economy.

FPAC will be announcing a new vision and new challenge for the sector later this spring to build on the industry's recent success.     

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 240,000 direct jobs across the country.