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Former LVR grad recognized by Forest Products Association of Canada

Andrew de Vries, raised in Nelson and graduated from LVR in 1985, was one of two people to receive the 2021 Outstanding Member of the Year award at the recent annual FPAC Awards of Excellence program. — Submitted photo

A former graduate of L.V. Rogers High School in Nelson has been recognized by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).

Andrew de Vries of Tolko Industries in Vernon was one of two people to receive the 2021 Outstanding Member of the Year award at the recent annual FPAC Awards of Excellence program.

Amber Armstrong of Mercer International in Peace River, AB, was the other recipient.

“Forest Products Association of Canada is supported by many talented world leading professionals working for companies across Canada, I am honoured to work with these individuals and to be considered one of their peers,” said de Vries in a media release.

“Working in forestry and natural resource management has given me the great opportunity to see a huge variety of ecosystems and meet tremendous people.”

De Vries was raised in the Heritage City, attending Rosemont Elementary school, Trafalgar Middle School before graduating from LV Rogers in 1985.

He spent hundreds of winter days skiing “the bumps” at Whitewater with friends and family and summers skateboarding, hiking and windsurfing. 

Many of his jobs as a student involved working outdoors including grooming cross-country ski trails and firefighting.

His teachers at Trafalgar and LVR encouraged his interests in music, English and science and to this day de Vries remains grateful for the influence of his teachers at Nelson schools.

Throughout his career de Vries, the son of Maria and John de Vries, has pursued his joint passions of wildlife ecology and working with Indigenous people.

His career has taken him across North America, first working in western Canada and Washington and Oregon then followed by 16 years in Ottawa where he worked for two national industry associations representing mining (MAC) and forestry (FPAC), and a leading forest sustainability organization, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. 

He returned to BC three years ago and is the Manager of Indigenous Opportunities and Government Relations for Tolko Industries Ltd.

“FPAC member companies are equipped with some of our sector’s very best talent,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor.