Vale’s Manitoba Operations will be permanently overseen by a woman for the first time come March 1, when Stacy Kennedy takes over the top job in Thompson.
Kennedy, who has previously served as interim general manager of Manitoba Operations and interim mine manager, inherits the role from Gary Annett, who is returning to his home of Sudbury, Ontario, where he will continue to work for the company, said a Feb. 22 Vale Canada press release.
“I’m really excited to be taking on this role at a time when there’s a real shift happening in the mining industry,” said Kennedy in a press release. “We’re seeing a much greater focus on diversity and inclusion as well as a greater commitment to our Indigenous communities and my goal is to use this opportunity to ensure our Manitoba Operations continue to follow this positive shift.”
A professional geologist and a resident of Thompson and Vale employee since 2007, Kennedy isn’t new to breaking ground for women in this province’s mining industry, having been named the first female president of the Mining Association of Manitoba in June of last year.
Since joining Vale after having previously worked for the government of Newfoundland’s Department of Natural Resources, the Memorial University of Newfoundland graduate has served Manitoba Operations as its health, risk and safety manager, a chief mine geologist and an operations superintendent, among other roles. She served as interim general manager of Manitoba Operations briefly in 2021, between the time that Franco Cazzola left the company and Annett took over the job.
In early 2019, she was the interim manager of Thompson mines before Gary Eyres was named the head of Manitoba Operations in March of that year.
Since Mark Scott left the company in 2018 following the permanent shutdown of the smelter and refinery, no one has remained as head of Manitoba Operations for longer than Annett, who was in the role for a little less than two years.
“The company has been changing management personnel on a consistent basis so this move is no surprise to both the union or our membership," said Warren Luky, president of United Steelworkers Local 6166, which represents about 550 hourly employees of Manitoba Operations, acknowledging Kennedy’s long tenure in Thompson. “We at least have a local manager now that lives here to champion the Manitoba Operations.”
“Stacy’s experience working in a variety of roles in our Manitoba Operations and her knowledge of the community make her a great fit for this role,’ said Alfredo Santana, chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic operations. “We’re excited to have her lead the team.”