2021 Trailblazer Award Winners

Trailblazer Award

Monica Moretto

Vice-President, Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion 
Pan American Silver

Monica Moretto - WIMC Award 2021

Monica Moretto is an experienced CSR and Inclusion and Diversity professional with more than 20 years’ experience in communications and social responsibility. Ms Moretto holds a BA in Communications from Argentina and has been employed by Pan American Silver Corp (“PAS”) for the past 13 years, specializing in stakeholder engagement and, recently, leading the Inclusion and Diversity Department.  During her tenure with PAS, Monica strengthened and developed the Social Sustainability department, which has become a model for other agencies to follow.  During the last 3 years, she has incorporated the Inclusion & Diversity portfolio into her role and is leading the ‘Building Respect Together’ program in all PAS operations. In addition, Monica regularly travels to remote mining communities throughout Latin and South America to develop relationships with workers and their families and to advocate for their concerns to local governments, industry leaders and international NGOs.

Monica has received the much-regarded Robert R. Hedley’s award in Sustainability from AME BC in 2018. Canada welcomed her and her son (and their late dog Mickey ) in 2003, and they became proud Canadian citizens in 2007. As a result of first-hand experience with local communities, Monica developed a passion for championing women’s rights – not only abroad but in corporate North America as well.

“Her positivity and visionary thinking and innovative approach to the industry have cleared a path, made a difference and opened doors for other women to follow and this has resulted in improved gender diversity in the mining industry.” 

Indigenous Trailblazer Award

Leona Aglukkaq

Director of TMAC Resources, politician and government administrator, Nunavut

Leona Aglukkaq is a highly-experienced politician and government administrator from the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut. She was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2008 and, in 2009, became the first Inuk in Canadian history to be appointed to Cabinet (as Minister of Health). In addition to her Federal government experience, Ms. Aglukkaq has broad public government exposure, including international diplomatic experience as a Chair of the Arctic Council (2012-2015), a leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic states, Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. Ms. Aglukkaq also has territorial government experience as both an elected official and a public official in the governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, and in Institutions of Public Government (as defined by the Nunavut Agreement), as a founding member of Nunavut Impact Review Board. 

“Leona has her eye on the global mining picture.  She is engaged and provides a strong voice for Nunavummiut in the industry, creating opportunities for investment and development.”

Rick Hutson Mentorship Award

Dr. Jeanne Paquette

Associate Professor, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences

Jeanne Paquette Wins WIMC 2021 Rick Hutson Mentorship Award

Born in Montreal (1961), raised in rural francophone Quebec, Jeanne made a leap to McGill University and into geological sciences, where she became fascinated by the history of life and mineralogy. After a M.Sc. in sedimentology, she pursued a Ph.D. at SUNY at Stony Brook, NY, to explore the effect on impurities and aqueous chemistry on the morphology of calcite crystals.  Back to McGill University since 1991, her research interests have spanned environmental geochemistry, economic geology and biomineralogy. An Associate member of the Redpath Museum and of the McGill School of Environment, she teaches undergraduate and graduate students in geology, environmental sciences and mining engineering programs.

“A (geology) hammer in a velvet sheath.”

Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award

Taryn Cutler

Community Liaison and Office Manager, Seabridge Gold

Taryn Cutler is a third-year student of Bachelor of General Studies with a minor in management at Thompson Rivers University, while maintaining a full-time position with Seabridge Gold and running a heavy-duty mechanic business with her husband. 

Ms Cutler joined the Seabridge Gold team in 2011, and has since become the Community Liaison and Office Manager.  As a Community Liaison, she has had the opportunity to travel to many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, participating regularly in career fairs, business expos, mining forums, trade shows, open houses, seminars, conferences, and other networking events, to build awareness around careers in mining.  She also assisted with designing and implementing a scholarship program with Seabridge Gold that has been ongoing for the past six years. This program assists students from northwest British Columbia further their education and training and consequently develop a strong, educated workforce in the region. 

Taryn is a proud member of the Tahltan Nation, and has utilized every opportunity to educate and inform Indigenous communities and to inspire other women to consider mining as a viable career option.

“I believe with hard work, determination and utilizing opportunities you can accomplish personal and professional success.”

Student Trailblazer Award

Lori Manoukian

Ph.D. Candidate, P. Geo, McGill University

Lori Manoukian is a proud Canadian of Armenian origin who is passionate about sciences, languages and the outdoors. Lori holds a BSc Hons in Earth Sciences from Dalhousie University, a MSc in Environmental Geochemistry from Queen’s University and is a second year PhD student in Mining and Materials Engineering at McGill University. She is currently the VP Finance on the Mining and Materials Graduate Student Association and the graduate student representative for Materials engineering in the graduate committee. She was an NSERC CREATE recipient and student representative during her MSc. Throughout her graduate work, she has been a teaching assistant for multiple courses and has co-supervised students. In terms of research, the focus of her PhD is on nutrient recovery from water treatment processes using microorganisms, as well as material characterization. Her master’s thesis allowed for a comprehensive characterization of waters and co-existing minerals at gold mines El Indio, Lagunas Norte and Pierina.  Furthermore, Lori has over 4 years of industry experience having worked as a geochemist at Golder Associates Ltd. and as an environmental metallurgist at AuTec Innovative Extractive Solutions. She is passionate about environmental management during the mining process, water treatment and water management.

 “Encouraging diversity brings new ideas and new ways of solving problems while inspiring an inclusive and ever-improving environment in the mining world.”