A Woman Who Combines Culture and Finance
Of Haitian origin, Madeleine Féquière is Director and Head of Corporate Credit at Domtar. This leader in Quebec’s business world not only works to promote and advance her business, but is involved in and committed to for many not-for-profit and public sector organizations. Her favorite causes are female leadership and mentorship for the next generation in the fields of business, arts and education. She sits on numerous boards of directors, including the École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, the Conseil des Arts de Montréal and Fonds Capital Culture Québec. She is also known for her involvement and continued support for women and youth in her country of origin through the KANPE Foundation.
« While it is true that Haiti is now open to business, it is rare to focus on women’s entrepreneurship. Yet there are many examples of successful Haitian women in Haiti and internationally. »
Since 2008, Madeleine Féquière is Director and Head of Corporate Credit at Domtar, a company that designs, markets and internationally distributes a wide variety of fiber-based products. Domtar employs approximately 10,000 people and has sales of nearly $5.4 billion USD. Ms. Féquière is a specialist in management, operation and administration of risk, improved credit terms and global trade. She has worked on several continents in various sectors of the economy. This great traveler is an independent member of the Board of Directors of Investissement Québec and the Université de Montréal. She is also an active member of Finance Credit International Business (FCIB), International Credit Trade Finance (ICTF) and Credit Research Foundation (CRF). As a well-respected and highly sought-after speaker in her field of expertise, she has also published several articles in reputable magazines specializing in credit risk management and debt collection.
Q : What defines your management approach?
A: I manage from the back seat. That is, my management style is participatory, collaborative and democratic. I respect the point of views of all, and consult and listen without really seeking consensus, but am always aware that the final decision comes back to me. On the other hand, I exercise a transformational management style by bringing about the means to increase the productivity of my employees and improve their efficiency.
Q : Who was your greatest mentor?
A: My mother, because she is intelligent, beautiful, stylish, classy, gentle and visionary. She made me who I am, she made us who we are. My family is like a pack of wolves; The purpose of the pack is, in the interest of each member, to be always united in order to be stronger. My mother is Alpha. It was her idea to move from Haiti and bring us to Canada. It is an idea that I classify as a “coup de genie” whenever I think of it. She initiated us into volunteerism, because, she says, serving the other is our only goal for existing. She will be 90 this year.
Q : How many employees have you had to manage in total since the beginning of your career?
More than a hundred.
An Impressive Itinerary
Madeleine Féquière has a college degree from Canado-Haitian College, a BA in Translation from Concordia University, a Certificate in Finance from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from McGill University. Currently, she is enrolled in the IAS-Rotman Professional Development Program at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining Domtar, the entrepreneur was, between 2000 and 2008, the Senior Director of Global Credit for AbitibiBowater, previously serving as Assistant Global Credit Vice-President at Teleglobe (1998-2000) and International Credit Manager at Microsoft/Softimage (1996-1998).
A Solid Mark of Solidarity
Madeleine Féquière wants not only to stay in touch with her heritage but also to use her influence to improve its condition. For example, in August 2009, she was working on the establishment of the KANPE Foundation with its founders. Moreover, a few days after the terrible earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, the businesswoman joined a group of Quebec lawyers of Haitian origin to raise awareness and solicit the help of certain groups, including The Foundation of Greater Montreal where she sat as a member of the board of directors.
Named among the “Haitian celebrities in Canada” by Haiti Connect culture, Madeleine Féquière is a role model for the women of her community to whom she devotes unfailing solidarity.
Giving Women the Chance to Emancipate and Prosper
Her involvement in the cause of women is not new. She was President of Residence Project Chance, an organization dedicated to helping single mothers who are pursuing full-time studies. Under her leadership and initiative, Residence Project Chance was expanded from 23 to 42 units.
Madeleine Féquière is also the founder of the Alliance of Haitian Business and Professional Women in Montreal, the only network whose mission is to contribute to the professional, political and social advancement of Quebec women of Haitian origin. Since 2005, the organization has been dormant, leaving the field open to allow the Young Haitian Chamber of Commerce of Montreal to train a new generation of leaders.
Awards and Recognition
Madeleine Féquière is the recipient of several honorary awards for her involvement in social and community causes and her exceptional contribution to the advancement of her profession.
Here are some examples:
- 2016: she was awarded the Leadership award of the Association of Women in Finance of Quebec (AFFQ) at their annual gala.
- 2014: she was part of Diversity Cohort 50 of the Canadian Council for Administrative Diversity.
- 2011: she was awarded the Toussaint-Louverture prize by the Haitian Junior Chamber of Commerce, for her exceptional contribution to the Haitian community, and for being distinguished in her vision, leadership and achievements within Quebec society.
- 2011: she was recognized by Premières en Affaires as one of the 8 women to know of internationally.
- 2011: received Special Recognition for CCR’s Excellence in Credit Risk Management, London, UK.2003: NFG Award for the expansion of Residence Project Chance from 23 to 42 units.