Jean-Martin Aussant takes over from Nancy Neamtan as Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale

August 31, 2015

Chantier’s Press The President of the Chantier de l’économie sociale’s Board of Directors, Mr. Patrick Duguay, is happy to announce the nomination of Mr. Jean-Martin Aussant as the organization’s new Executive Director. Established in the wake of the 1996 Summit on the economy and employment, the Chantier has been led since its beginnings by Ms. Nancy Neamtan. However, she is not leaving the organization that she has contributed to establish. She will henceforth serve as strategic counsel.

As Mr. Duguay emphasized, “This nomination marks a new step in the history of the Chantier de l’économie sociale, which, since its inception, has been punctuated by great accomplishments in favour of a more humane economy that serves communities. Since she was at the forefront of these accomplishments, Nancy Neamtan’s change in roles within the organization was a serious challenge that the Board of Directors has met; and that translates today into this nomination. The Chantier is a strong organization with a rich history; and the favourable prospects for the development of the social economy meant that Ms. Neamtan’s successor needed to be able to bring a solid expertise and the leadership necessary to continue the work. It is thus with pleasure and pride that we announce today the nomination of Jean-Martin Aussant, who, without a doubt, constitutes a major asset for the social economy movement. Assisted by a dynamic team that will include Nancy Neamtan as a strategic counselor, Jean-Martin Aussant represents a strong succession for an organization which has large ambitions.

Present at the press conference, Mr. Claude Béland, President of the Mouvement Desjardins from 1987 to 2000, reflected on the road that has been traveled over more than twenty years: “Today, because of this exceptional work, the social economy is an alternative to the dominant economic system that does not respond to the population’s needs anymore.”

Ms. Geneviève Dubois, Director of the Pôle d’économie sociale in the Mauricie region who is also a member of the Chantier’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, also spoke during the press conference. Bearing witness to the integration of collective entrepreneurship in all regions of Québec and of the social economy regional poles’ major role, Ms. Dubois strongly asserted the fact that in many regions, “social economy enterprises are becoming the socio-economic motor of municipalities.”

Considering past results and future challenges, the outgoing Executive Director, Nancy Neamtan, was delighted to have been able to give the Chantier the opportunity to prepare its succession in a context where the social economy is in effervescence: “Even if this citizens movement at the heart of the economy has taken more and more space in Québec, it is far from having reached its full potential and it is no doubt the following, and even the next few generations, that will need to finish the work that we have started a few decades ago.”

Finally, Jean-Martin Aussant wanted to thank the members of the Chantier’s Board of Directors for their confidence and took the opportunity to emphasize his commitment: “I am proud to join the Chantier’s wonderful team and to contribute the expertise I have acquired during my career in the financial sector. Collective entrepreneurship is one of the three essential pillars of a balanced economy, beside private and government sectors, and the Chantier plays an essential role. This involvement is consistent with my values, among which is the promotion of more humane economic development which, although profitable, places the well-being of populations before the search for profit.”

About the Chantier de l’économie sociale

ChantierThe Chantier de l’économie sociale is a non partisan autonomous organization that has as main mandates the promotion and development of the social economy in Québec. A non-profit corporation, the Chantier regroups social economy enterprise promoters (cooperatives and non-profits) working in numerous fields (environment, proximity services, communications, leisure, housing, natural resources, childhood-family, training, funding, culture, etc.), representatives of important social movements and local development stakeholders in rural and urban areas.

The Québec Social Economy in Brief

Québec has about 7,000 social economy enterprises. They supply jobs to more than 150,000 persons, which represents almost 4% of total Québec employment. The number of jobs in social economy enterprises is comparable to the level of employment observed in sectors such as wholesale or business services.

Source: Chantier de l’économie sociale