Tolko Industries’ manager of Indigenous Opportunities and Government Relations, Andrew de Vries, has been named the co-winner of the Forest Products Association of Canada’s Outstanding Member of the Year award with a woman from Alberta. (

National award for Vernon Tolko manager

Andrew de Vries, Tolko's manager of Indigenous Opportunities, named co-winner of Forest Products Association of Canada's Outstanding Member of the Year

  • Sep. 20, 2021 12:00 a.m.

An employee from Vernon-based Tolko Industries has won a national award.

Andrew de Vries, Tolko’s manager of Indigenous Opportunities and Government Relations, shares the Forest Products Association of Canada’s Outstanding Member of the Year award with Amber Armstrong of Mercer International in Peace River, Alta.

The awards, part of FPAC’a annual awards of excellence program, were announced Monday, Sept. 20, as National Forests Weeks is celebrated Canadawide.

The Outstanding Member of the Year award is presented to individuals who have gone above and beyond in advancing the values of environmental stewardship, strengthening forestry communities, and supporting sector colleagues and partners.

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

“This year, we are proud to recognize the contributions of Amber Armstrong and Andrew de Vries, both of whom bring more than three decades of experience that have benefited member companies and the Canadian forest products sector alike,” Nighbor added.

Prior to his role at Tolko, de Vries worked for national industry associations representing mining (Mining Association of Canada) and forestry (Forest Products Association of Canada). He also worked for the North American Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) leading the organization on Indigenous, conservation, and community files, and de Vries has more than 30 years of experience in natural resource management and Indigenous relations in Canada, the USA and internationally.

He is an active member on the Indigenous and Public Affairs Committees for FPAC and continues to provide perspectives and feedback both on behalf of Tolko, but also on behalf of the sector as a whole.

“Forest Products Association of Canada is supported by many talented world-leading professionals working for companies across Canada, and I am honoured to work with these individuals and to be considered one of their peers,” said de Vries. “Working in forestry and natural resource management has given me the great opportunity to see a huge variety of ecosystems and meet tremendous people.”

Armstrong is the manager of Communications and Stakeholder Relations for Mercer International Inc.

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Vernon Morning Star