The founder and driving force of SAMSSA is packing it in after 16 years at the helm of the mining supply and service association.
Dick DeStefano, executive director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association, was all set to retire 16 years ago when Paul Reid, a business development officer with the Sudbury Regional Development Corporation, pitched him on developing the potential of the city’s mining supply and service companies.
“We’re trying to diversify the city and we’ve got this collection of companies in the city’s industrial parks that have no profile, no mandate and don’t know where they’re going,” DeStefano remembers Reid telling him.
“I was 65, but I was a workaholic and I loved building and developing things, so I took him up on the challenge,” he recalled. “That first year, I had 56 one-on-one meetings with mining suppliers in the community.
Most of them didn’t believe in the idea of working together to help build the industry. They wanted to know if joining an association would jeopardize their relationship with Inco and asked ‘Why would I want to export when I may not get paid?’”
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