Corporate Director, Center of Expertise -
Hard-working and dedicated, Margaret, better known as Peggy, has been very busy lately with the COVID-19 crisis. As Director, Health Management, she has been, and continues to be, the point of reference for employee health at Cascades in the United States. Her attentive work with employees, and her remarkable follow-ups with Cascades business partners and U.S. government authorities, have definitely contributed to the company’s smooth business operations. Learn more about this inspiring, passionate woman who has demonstrated, over the past few months, that she is more than essential to the well-being of the Cascades team.
How would you describe your current role?
Busy! Cascades’ many cutting-edge programs keep me hopping! It is also rewarding. I am involved in all of Cascades’ medical programs, activities, developments, policies and procedures. I get the opportunity to work with all the HRs and employees in every division. By doing this, I am able to get to know and help employees in all our divisions across the US.
What were your responsibilities in managing the COVID-19 crisis?
My biggest responsibility with regard to managing the COVID-19 crisis would be our employees. I have a responsibility to keep them safe, keep them informed and keep them grounded when the whole world has gone crazy. My other responsibilities range from obtaining daily case counts nationwide to working with our insurance carriers to ease restrictions normally imposed on our EEs during this pandemic to working with the state governments where we do business to ensure that we are following the orders given as an essential business so that we can continue to make a difference for its employees, customers and communities. During this crisis, the Health Management Center of Expertise supports Cascades in any way that it can.
How do you overcome obstacles that arise?
Critical thinking skills! You have to be able to think outside the box and be creative in all aspects. I also have a wonderful team behind me that helps me see things from their perspective. By having one goal, one vision and one result in mind, we can come up with the best solution for everyone. Alone, you can move a mole hill, but together you can move a mountain!
What is your greatest ambition?
My greatest ambition is to leave the world, or any situation I am involved in, better than when I got there. I want it all to be worth it; I want our employees to feel comfortable coming to me with their problems and for them to feel better after we work through them. I want to be proud of the work I do every day.
What has been your best discovery since joining Cascades?
I have worked in corporate America for years. I work daily with a number of large Fortune 500 companies, none of which can compare to Cascades. Never have I worked with or for a company that values their employees like Cascades. Cascades makes you feel proud to be part of their workforce. They don’t just say they care because it’s the latest catch phrase or the politically correct thing to do. They truly believe it, and they live by it. When you work for Cascades you become a family member. I am proud to be part of this family.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career?
During my time at Cascades, an opportunity came up to work in Government and I could not pass it by. I was offered the position of the New York State Workers Compensation Commissioner. I left Cascades, but while I was gone things were just not the same. I missed the people I worked with and I missed being there. I left the Government to return to Cascades. My most memorable moment wasn’t getting the job with the Government—it was coming home to Cascades!
What advice would you give to women who aspire to hold key roles?
My advice would reflect what I live by: To be yourself. Find your strengths and capitalize on them. It’s just too tiring to try to be someone else. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; learn from them. Have the confidence to put yourself out there. Being kind is not a weakness. Always be true to yourself. If you are doing a job solely for the money you will hate going to work. Love what you do and be good at it! Always strive to be the best version of yourself. You only get one life; you decide how to spend it. There are no do-overs so live your best life!
What academic background led you to your current position at Cascades?
I hold college degrees in Nursing, Economics and Business Management. I hold an MBA Certificate in Health Care Administration. I hold licensure as an RN and a Legal Nurse Consultant. Additionally, I have completed courses with the Attorney General of NYS in fraud identification & have become Lean certified. I have more than one string to in me bow.
“What can I say about Peggy (Margaret) other than she is definitely one of the most passionate and dedicated woman I have ever had the chance to work with. Energetic, strong, committed, but with a warm, human touch, she has all the necessary qualities to hold a strategic position like hers. She must make decisions every day that combine the notions of employee well-being, equity and the sound financial management of Cascades. Having Peggy by my side during the COVID-19 crisis has ensured the exchange of best practices and ongoing collaboration that has allowed us to stay the course during this challenging time.”
Véronique St-Pierre, Medical advisor, Health Management Center of Expertise, Cascades Canada ULC
“Peggy has become for Cascades a reference for employees’ health, a reliable source for management on health cost and personally, an exceptional friend.”
Dr Jose Rivas, Chief Medical Advisor, Specialized services, Cascades
“Peggy has the heart of a nurse and the brain of a manager, which is truly a rare combination! She works every day as if she owns the company and is remarkably loyal. Although we can find her in each of our values, the one that best describes her is certainly "fierce determination".”
Maryse Fernet, Chief HR Officer (CHRO), Cascades