2007 Alumni

Northeast Private Sector

Lois Henderson-Campbell
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Lois Henderson-CampbellLois Henderson-Campbell is a true Northerner. Growing up in Yellowknife in a mining and military community infused a sense of leadership, discipline, and focus into hercharacter.

This private sector northeast winner is the mother of three girls; Sara, Jeniva and Hillary.She is an avid curler, a traveling enthusiast, the vice president of finance at Cementation Canada and a director of Cementation and its companies in the United States and Mexico.

Cementation is a mine contracting and engineering company based out of North Bay, with expected revenues exceeding $140 million.

Growing up Henderson-Cam-pbell, the second eldest of four siblings learned how to be self-sufficient. It was a by-product of being an “army brat,” since her father Mel, a pilot, would receive frequent postings all over Canada.

As a child Henderson-Campbell excelled in the fine arts and spent hours painting watercolour scenes. She was accepted into the fine arts program at the University of Alberta, but her boss at the Giant Yellowknife Gold Mine encouraged her to obtain an education that would provide her with a “good job.”

Henderson-Campbell spent two years at the University of Western Ontario in business administration, and then enrolled in the Certified General Accountant program when her twins, Sara and Jeniva were very young. She found the middle of the night the best time to study.

“There were no distractions and I could easily focus.”

Even today Henderson-Campbell works into the evening if deadlines are fast approaching.

“When the squeeze comes, I am usually at the end of it,” she smiles with a sort of ease.

“I don’t like to be a bottleneck for other people. I like to make sure I have my part done, so they can continue with theirs.”

When the weekend approaches Henderson-Campbell and James, her husband, along with the two dogs Kodie and Bosun, a four-month old Portuguese water dog, find themselves traveling to their island in the District of Manitoulin.

“Weekends are sacred to me. I don’t like to carry my work home.”

While she is at work however, Henderson-Campbell is a doer with an extraordinary work ethic and like it or not “by no choice of their own, employees have a good work ethic too,” she says giving a hearty laugh.

“I try very hard to recognize the talent in people. I think it is important to say to them “you can do this,” especially if they are undecided.”

Lois takes on challenges admirably, says Roy Slack, president of Cementation Canada.

The company has been purchased twice and each time Henderson-Campbell took the lead in dealing with the due diligence teams and external audits. To say the mine contracting industry is one of the most “macho” male dominated sectors is being realistic, Slack says.

Even when Cementation was transitioning from one company to another, some folks at a former head office were skeptical a lady could be that successful in the business.

“I would like to think I add a different perspective that it is valued,” she says in her relaxed, comfortable tone.

Cementation does not have a mandate to include more women into the workforce. Rather they look for qualified capable individuals.

“I don’t believe in promoting on gender, but I do believe in promoting on talent.”

Cementation also acquired Aurora Quarrying, another mine contracting company from southern Ontario and it was Henderson- Campbell’s team who determined how to structure the two companies into one. As part of the new merger the Aurora offices were transferred to North Bay. However, none of the staff were willing or able to move.

Henderson-Campbell had to hire all new staff, and through the process told the potential candidates they really had a great opportunity to make a difference in their respective profession.

With numbers now breaching 800 Cementation Canada was named as one of the country’s top 100 employers, and is the most active mine shaft sinking firm in North America.

Yes, life comes with exceptional rewards if one is willing to focus and take action. This is exactly what the Campbell family did when they packed up for two and-a-half years to live in Chile.

It was an eye-opening experience for the girls, since Lockerby

Composite High School was the centre of their universe.

“They realized the world is this really big place and they were a part of it and it just changed their whole perspective on life.”

The family had to incur some level of fear of the new and take on this challenge.

One of Henderson-Campbell’s passions is travel. Last year she went whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River in Zambia. As they were climbing up the steep seven-storey Bakota Gorge, baboons began a rockslide. Rocks the size of footballs bounced toward Henderson-Campbell scra- ping her shins, catching her boots and scarring her legs.

She has traveled the Garden Route in South Africa, went on a game reserve, visited the Amazon, traveled the Galapagos Islands and trecked through 120 kilometres of Northern Ontario Lake Superior shoreline in Pakasaw National Park.

“You only recognize who you are as a person when you have experienced something that is a huge challenge for you.”

Settling back in the North, Henderson-Campbell lives in Greater Sudbury and commutes to North Bay for work daily.

As for aspirations of the CEOs position Henderson-Campbell is quite content to work at the level she is at.

“I don’t want Roy’s job, but I do like working for him,” she smiles.