Manon Lanthier has been known as Green Marine’s communications manager for the past years, but her work in organizing and communicating Green Marine’s activities and achievements go well beyond any job description she originally imagined.
Q: What made you decide to work for Green Marine and what made you stay?
A: I was looking for a new professional challenge after taking a break from the labour market to be there to support my three boys during their early childhood. I did not want to return to my old loves of journalism, but I wanted to work in communications – an area that has fascinated me since adolescence. The opportunity to work in the maritime industry came through a friend who put me in touch with the St. Lawrence Shipoperators and Green Marine that were creating a joint communications post. Green Marine’s expansion quickly took hold and I went there full time in less than a year. What keeps me motivated in my job is the evolution and diversity of tasks. The program and membership are evolving and with them the challenges: it’s never just routine stuff!
Q: What is your greatest achievement in your 10 years of working at Green Marine?
A: Putting up with David for 10 years? No, just kidding. It’s actually a real pleasure to be around him – we practically complete each other’s sentences! Seriously, I am proud of a lot of the projects that we have completed over the past 10 years, but I think my greatest achievement has been to renew myself, to develop my role within the team. It is very gratifying to see my responsibilities increase… I feel that I have the confidence of management and the support of my colleagues. So I have a free rein to lead new projects, which is very inspiring!
Q: As the “orchestral conductor” of the annual GreenTech conference, what can you say about the evolution of this event – in terms of its organization, members, commitment, etcetera?
A: I will always remember my first GreenTech in Chicago in 2011 when I had been working for Green Marine for only two or three weeks! We’ve come a long way since then! I think the conference has become a must-attend event and is appreciated not only for its relevant and enriching content but for the networking opportunities and social aspects it offers. Each year brings its own logistical challenges, whether it’s a FedEx container that lands in the wrong city with all of our equipment, or printed-out programs seized at Customs, a forgotten video, or a pandemic… It’s always a marathon run at sprint speed but the finish line always brings the same satisfaction! Because each year also represents a blank canvas to highlight a new location, to experiment, to use creativity to surprise the delegates.
Q: Having worked on the program for a decade, how do you see its evolution over the next 10 years?
A: If I had been asked this question 10 years ago, or even five, I would have never imaged the program across the Atlantic and yet I witnessed the creation of Green Marine Europe. If I have the impression that the Green Marine framework meets a real need that will only grow, then borders/limits do not really exist! The growth is evident both in terms of membership, issues addressed, geographic scope, but also in terms of communication for the reputation and recognition of the brand. There’s still a lot of progress possible, so it’s very inspiring! So then, Green Marine in 2031: Towards infinity… and beyond, as Buzz Lightyear would say!
Q: If you could choose one member to visit in person, who would it be and why?
A: Whoa! It’s like asking which of her children a mother prefers or between ice cream and chocolate (both, of course!). One of the things I love about my job is the chance it gives me to travel (if you don’t count last year!). I feel in love with the City of Seattle when we held GreenTech 2015 there and where we were supposed to be this year if it hadn’t been for COVID… Maybe because this is where my super colleague Eleanor opened our first satellite office and I can visit her in person! However, I also have fond memories of my visits to New Orleans, events in Halifax and Saint John, conferences in Vancouver, and lively discussions with participants here in Quebec City or in Montreal… Can I do a North American tour?
Q: Since you manage the Green Marine publications, what tips or tricks would you like to share with contributing authors and members that we could present?
A: Authenticity is of the utmost importance to me. I think that what we’d have to say that we like others to avoid using jargon and instead speak/write simply, in a direct way that steers clear of the sales pitch, superlatives or corporate tone. People appreciate candor, transparency. Calling things as they are permits real dialogue and the message only gets better. I’d also like more participants to promote their certification, as I know the work that goes into achieving the results and I envision the Green Marine certified logo being put forward by all participants in recognition of their environmental performance, as they have much to be proud of and must show it! Finally, as I repeat all the time: you have to use the right corporate colours!!!