Check-up with the rock doctor: It’s a long way to the top, but CEO Catharine Farrow has made it – by Kyle Born (Canadian Mining & Energy – September 2016)

Most of us will never know what it’s like to be a CEO of an organization, but perhaps you’ve wondered what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Catharine Farrow has attained that coveted position within TMAC Resources Inc. As you might imagine, there’s not a whole lot of free time available to someone who’s accountable to so many. On this August morning Farrow is working away on emails at her home in Lake Nipissing, Ontario.

“My son is still off school, my husband has gone back to work, so this weekend I’m working from the cottage,” Farrow said. “I’m taking some downtime before the fall. I enjoy being a hockey mom to my son. He’s 12. Once I get into the fall I’m basically not home very much so I’m taking this week to hang out with the boys a little bit.”

If this is what downtime looks like, then what happens when things are busy? “I work out of the Toronto office,” Farrow said. “I basically get up in the morning and give ’er all day, see as many people as I can, do meetings.” TMAC owns the Hope Bay Project, which is a high-grade gold deposit located in Nunavut. Farrow oversees Hope Bay.

Moving around plays a key role in the life of a CEO. “A lot of it is travel,” Farrow said, “major investor conferences, road shows, going to site with senior executives as much as I can, ideally a couple of times per quarter. We really believe in a visible management or leadership style.”

Finding a balance between work and family is a tricky thing to navigate, especially for someone in the mining industry. “You have to go to the rocks,” said Farrow. “My husband and son have a stable home life and don’t move around a whole lot, and I travel. That’s the way we decided to solve the problem. Some families move. It comes down to what’s right for the family.”

TMAC Resources Inc. has plenty of projects on the go that Farrow is in charge of. Farrow said her primary focus is “getting Doris (North gold mine), the first mine, into production.

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