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“Being the boss’s daughter means living up to expectations!” »

SAGUENAY – Éloïse Harvey is CEO of EPIQ Machinerie, a Saguenay company with 250 employees in Quebec that stands out in heavy industry. The daughter of a successful entrepreneur, Mrs. Harvey has benefited from several opportunities during her career, but it is her intrinsic skills that have enabled her to succeed.

“Entrepreneurship is a family affair with us. My father, Jeannot Harvey, founded the Ceger Group in 1976, the year of my birth. So I’ve always evolved in that universe,” says Éloïse Harvey, who points out that having an entrepreneur father and business owner offered her certain advantages. “I won’t hide the fact that being the daughter of the owner of Cegerco opened the doors to a promising career for me. I certainly had more opportunities than others my age and in my first jobs I was given more responsibility. However, I had to develop my skills and get my hands dirty. As I explain to my children today, the freedom and job security that comes with a position like ours requires us in return to provide more effort, people have more expectations of us. »

Form

Éloïse Harvey started working for the Ceger Group when she was a teenager. “I remember that in the summer of my 16 years, I was a receptionist. I did a lot of small administrative tasks in different departments. It was when I started my training in mechanical engineering and administration, a double bachelor’s degree that is given only at McMaster University in Ontario, that my summer jobs at Cegerco became clearer. I had to move from Saguenay one summer to go to Montreal. I was following up on site plans for the construction of the cosmetics manufacturer L’Oréal’s factory in Saint-Laurent. Later, I went to Lebel-sur-Quévillon to work on a wastewater treatment center. I was able to do a bit of everything and I even carried out an HR analysis of the various Cegerco subsidiaries during my school holidays. At the end of my studies, I had a good knowledge of the business and how it works,” emphasizes the entrepreneur.

Make your place

Nepotism is the term used when a leader favors his family members over other employees. A situation that creates a toxic climate and can create tension between workers. “Of course I had a safety net below me which allowed me to take more risk. However, my father always made sure not to put me in a position that would make other employees uncomfortable. When I graduated from university in 1999, I started my career at Mecfor. At the time, it was the smallest division of Cegerco and we were eleven employees. I was hired as a technical sales representative and my immediate superior was the general manager of the division. So I was not under my father’s orders and I think it was the best way to do it in terms of professional ethics. »

fly with one’s own wings

In 2007, Éloïse Harvey decided to withdraw from Mecfor to move to Montreal. “I wanted change and I joined my spouse who lived there. At that time, I was in business development for the consulting engineering division of Cegerco. At the same time, we merged with the multinational WorleyParsons and it was a period where I learned a lot. I was able to experience big business and my bosses were based in Calgary or Australia. We had several contracts in the mining sector and it was very rewarding on a professional level. At the same time, I was discussing with my father to take over from him at the head of Cegerco”.

After three years of waiting, no date had been set for the transfer of powers. Ms. Harvey was approaching 40 and she felt ready to become a business owner. “I changed my plans and instead proposed to my father to buy Mecfor. I wanted to fly on my own and he accepted. I entered into an agreement with the Canadian investment fund SeaFort Capital to help me finance my project and, in 2018, I became the owner of Mecfor. »

EPIQ Machinery

In August 2021, Mecfor announces a complete merger with a manufacturer of heavy handling equipment from Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville in Montérégie. The new company becomes EPIQ Machinerie and the Saguenay facilities are retained. “By joining forces with Advanced Dynamics, we are breaking down the barriers to our growth. A company that grows like ours sooner or later comes up against a production problem. By merging, we now have access to a mechanically welded manufacturing unit in India. This plant wholly owned by EPIQ Machinerie has 350 employees and absorbs the work caused by the increase in our business volume. Having this satellite on the Asian continent is a major advantage. Some 70% of the contracts we carry out are outside Quebec. I think for the future of our business, the merger was a great decision and the numbers don’t lie. For our first year of operation, we increased our combined revenues by 30%. We should therefore record a turnover of $70 million. In addition, we have experienced a 25% increase in our workforce. In the midst of a labor shortage, this is something of which we are particularly proud,” commented Éloïse Harvey, who ended by emphasizing the valuable guidance she received from her father in the development of her entrepreneurial spirit. “If one day my company becomes bigger than the empire built by my father, I think he would be the most proud of it. »

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