The Earth Alive Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Robert Blain is Senior Vice-President and CFO for Cirque du Soleil. He plays a key role in the organization’s development projects, as well as in business risk evaluation. In addition, he heads up all Cirque du Soleil activities in the areas of finance, treasury, taxation, accounting operations, legal affairs, insurance and information technology.
Robert joined Cirque du Soleil in October 1994 as Administrative Director at International Headquarters. In June 1995, he was promoted to Vice-President of Finance, and remained in that position until he was named Chief Financial Officer in 2001. He sits on the board of directors of Cirque du Soleil since 2008.
Because he attaches the utmost importance to education, Robert has always remained in close contact with his alma mater and has served consecutively as vice-president, treasurer and president of the HEC Montréal Alumni Association. He has also served on the board of the Coop HEC Montréal, been treasurer of the HEC Montréal Alumni Foundation and served on the committee of the Réseau HEC Montréal Prix Relève d’Excellence.
Robert has also chaired the Business and Industrial CA Committee of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (OCAQ). Since 2007, he has been an administrator and treasurer of ONE DROP which aims to fight poverty by supporting access to water worldwide. He also sits as a board member on Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation, one of the most important pediatric centres in North America.
Robert has been a member of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec since 1981 and earned the title of FCA in January 2000, a recognition to members who have rendered outstanding services to the profession. In 2011, he was named Chief Financial Officer of the year by CFOcanada.ca and also won the first Aces of Finance competition organized by the Quebec Chapter of Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) in the “Private Corporation” category.
A graduate of the École des hautes études commerciales of Montreal, Robert Blain was granted a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1979, with a major in accounting sciences. He began his career in 1979 as audit director for the Montreal accounting firm Samson Bélair Deloitte & Touche.
Dr. Viviane Yargeau
Dr. Viviane Yargeau is a Professor in Chemical Engineering at McGill University and an Associate Member of the McGill School of Environment. Her expertise is in chemical & environmental engineering. She is a leader in the control of environmental pollutants and her research focuses on both fundamental and technological aspects leading to improvement of technologies to mitigate the release of pollutants in the environment and the development of green alternatives. Dr. Yargeau has co-developed the two Earth Alive flagship products. She leads her own group of researchers and has established strong research collaborations internationally as well as industrial collaboration. Her multidisciplinary research program also includes working closely with toxicologists in order to assess the impact of contaminants on the environment and public health. Dr. Yargeau serves on various committees including the international management committee of the International Water Association (IWA) Advanced Oxidation Processes Specialist Group. The innovative aspects of her research have already been recognized by several publications in peer-reviewed journals and international research awards.
Mr. Ringuet holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration from Université Laval and an MBA from McGill University. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of Master Group Inc., since 2006 and was VP of Finance and Administration from 1990 to 2006. Prior to joining Master Group, where he is particularly active in corporate development and strategic investments, Mr. Ringuet worked in various departments of finance and investment at National Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal. In addition to his involvement as a private investor with different companies, he is also a member of the investment committees of the following funds: Cycle Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in clean technologies; XPND Capital, a Montreal-based growth capital fund focusing on companies in the media, entertainment and technology sectors; and most recently, BDG-Appalaches, which includes European and Canadian investors targeting the SME market in traditional sectors. He is also President of the Board of Directors of Fondation Tel-Jeunes, a non-profit organization supporting young people in Québec.
Benoit La Salle
Mr. La Salle is the President and CEO of Windiga Energy, a Canadian-based independent power producer focused on developing, owning and operating renewable energy facilities on the African continent. Mr. La Salle is the founder of SEMAFO (a TSX-listed company) and a well-known mining entrepreneur in Canada and Africa. Mr. La Salle brought SEMAFO from junior explorer to a +250,000 ounce-per-year gold producer with three mines in operation in West Africa. Mr. La Salle is also the Chairman of the Canadian Council on Africa.
Mr. Paye holds a postgraduate degree in Economics, in German Literature and in International Relations. He has had a distinguished diplomatic career and was most recently Senegal’s Ambassador to Canada. Prior to his appointment to Canada, Mr. Paye exercised from 2002 to 2015 the role of Special Advisor to the Secrétaire Général de l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and that of Ombudsman and Special Envoy of the Secrétaire Général during crisis in Africa. He was from 2003 to 2014 the Head of the Delegation of the OIF to the United Nations General Assembly and to the General Conference of the African Union. He also served as a Minister of Sports for Senegal.
Mr. Saviuk has a B.Comm from Concordia University. He started his career in accounting at KPMG and quickly moved to venture capital investing through Manitex Capital Inc., a company he co-founded over 30 years ago, and which still actively invests in emerging companies with a focus on the life science, renewable energy and sustainable resource sectors. He also co-founded Valeo Pharma in 2003 and has since served as its President and CEO. Mr. Saviuk transformed Valeo Pharma to a fast-growing full service Canadian pharmaceutical company and was also instrumental in the sale of certain assets to Valeant Canada.