A Businssman, Communications Expert and Philanthropist
Ben-Marc Diendéré arrived in Quebec at the age of 25, having completed not only one, but two international masters’ degrees. Graduated from the Sorbonne ASSAS Paris 2, French Press Institute, Paris. Graduated from HEC de Montréal in management of cultural organizations. Since then, he has worked in Quebec organizations as an executive and manager, specialist in communications, public affairs and branding.
Today, he is the Head of Public Affairs and Communications for VIA Rail, Canada’s only national public carrier as Chief Public Affairs, Communications Officer. VIA is a Crown corporation, a passenger rail carrier. Previously Ben Marc headed communications, public affairs and branding for 8 years as Senior vice-president of Sollio Cooperative Group (formerly La Coop fédérée); 1st agri-food group in Quebec and 2nd in Canada in the Agriculture and Agrifood Business. Before joining the agri-food industry, Ben Marc was a senior executive in the 1st francophone Media Group in America, Quebecor; He has held various positions including that of Senior Director of Corporate and Institutional Affairs.
This businessman and philanthropist is distinguished by his skills and abilities in communications, as well as his mentorship, education and love for Art & Culture. Finally, he is member of Boards of Directors of organizations with values and interests close to his own, including the University of Montréal (UdeM), the Institut de l’hôtellerie et du tourisme du Québec (ITHQ), Groupe 3737, Les Petits Frères and Member of the Montreal Attractiveness Council (Montreal International). Co-promotor of Excellence-Quebec.com with Madeleine Fequiere (Domtar).
« I’m lucky. Lucky to have the career I have, to be surrounded by benevolent people and lucky for the path I’ve had, but I also know that I have worked hard to be where I am today and I continue to do so! I love education. »
Originally from Burkina Faso, Ben-Marc Diendéré joined La Coop fédérée in 2011 as Director of Communications following a remarkable career in upper management at Quebecor Media Inc. Today, he is the Senior Vice-President of Quebec’s largest Agri-Food organization, which owns large companies such as Olymel, BMR and La Coop Agricultural Division, and is owned by more than 90,000 members across 72 cooperatives. The business is valued at $6 billion. Prior to this corporate success, this man of ambition moved up the ranks of Quebecor Media Inc., Quebec’s largest media and content group, from 2005 to 2011.
After completing a master’s degree in Management and Marketing at the Sorbonne and a master’s degree in Sociology of Information and Communication from the University of Ouagadougou, Ben-Marc Diendéré pursued his studies in Montreal with Management of Cultural Organizations at HEC Montréal.
The philanthropist is committed to increasing the economic power of youth and women from around the world. In March 2016, Ben-Marc Diendéré chaired the event Solidarity with Burkina Faso, hosted by the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) and organized in support of women’s entrepreneurship. He has also been honorary president for various organizations including Diapason jeunesse, spokesperson (theater company documentary), Journées de la culture and the Quebec Association of Sickle Cell Anemia. In addition to his many social efforts, the vice-president is also an advocate for arts, culture and technology.
For this Québécois with multiple interests and involvements, identity is built around a personality, an experience and not a pigmentation. “Identity is built on several levels, and it is, among other things, the result of profound human connections,” explains Ben-Marc Diendéré. “My identity is that of a Quebecer, particularly a Montrealer of African descent. For this citizen of the world, to feel integrated is to feel safe, but it is also an exchange of promises. On the one hand, Quebec promises to those it receives to be a land of hospitality and prosperity, and on the other, the newcomers promise to give the best of themselves, so that society ultimately benefits.”
Articles or interviews to listen to
« When I look where I come from, having studied under lampposts, without running water until the age of 12, being where I am today… It’s a miracle! »