Heather Ryan is FCL’s new CEO. Photo via FCL web page

 

SASKATOON – Heather Ryan has been chosen by the board of directors of Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective May 9, 2022. The appointment of the new CEO follows the retirement announcement of Scott Banda, who held the position for 12 years.

The company looked within, and found someone whose career has been built primarily in the field of human resources. Indeed, she was vice president of human resources during the time of the arduous strike at the Regina refinery.

“On behalf of the FCL Board, it is my privilege to announce the appointment of Heather Ryan as CEO. Heather will be the first woman to serve as CEO in company history,” said Sharon Alford, president and chair of the FCL Board in a release on April 19. “As a board, we feel we have found the right person to lead FCL and steward our Co-operative Retailing System into the future. Heather is a proven leader with a wealth of experience and impeccable credentials, and we have total confidence in her leadership.”

The appointment comes at a time of massive change for FCL. The company has embarked on major carbon capture and renewable diesel initiatives. Last fall it announced the acquisition of 181 of Husky’s former service stations and cardlocks for $264 million, the largest acquisition in FCL’s history. That deal is still pending closure.

Alford extended her appreciation to the FCL Board and Search Committee for their efforts.

“I thank my colleagues on the board and search committee for their input and support throughout this process. This is a significant time in FCL’s history, and I look forward to working closely with Heather as she provides leadership to FCL and our Co-operative Retailing System,” Alford said.

According to her bio on the FCL webpage, prior to joining FCL, Ryan was employed by the Saskatchewan Research Council as the manager of organizational development, and prior to that she worked at POS Bio-Sciences where she held various positions including vice-president operations and corporate affairs, director of business development & human resources and human resources manager. She also worked with Corning Cable Systems as a human resources specialist and was previously employed with FCL from 1996 to 2000 in the positions of human resources training officer and human resources officer.

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Ryan was a sessional lecturer at the Edwards School of Business in the Organizational Development Department from 2006 until 2014. She has also served as a board member with both the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan and FoodTech Canada, and currently serves as Chair for the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation Board and also serves as a Director for both the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce as well as the Co-operative Superannuation Society (CSS).

Ryan joined FCL in 2013 and became a member of the FCL senior leadership team in November of 2015 when she was appointed to the position of vice-president, human resources. In August of 2021, Heather took on a new role as vice-president, supply chain, and will now become CEO. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources. Ryan and her husband Sean have two children, Jack and Rylee.

“It is a tremendous honour to be appointed CEO of FCL,” said Ryan in a release. “FCL has been doing business and supporting local Co-ops across Western Canada for more than 90 years. The opportunity to lead an iconic company that plays such a vital role in communities across Western Canada is truly humbling. Together, with my colleagues across the Co-op System, we will build on our historic legacy while actioning our vision for the future.”

As CEO, Ryan will lead a team of approximately 3,200 FCL employees located throughout Western Canada, the company noted. Ryan will work closely with the 160 independent local co-operative associations that comprise the Co-operative Retailing System and who own FCL.

 

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