Voices of Vaagen: Darryl Reekie, Plant Manager
At Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen), we are proud of all the team members that dedicate their time to sustainable forestry, helping us build strong partnerships in the community that lead to remarkable projects. For this month, we would like to amplify the voice of Darryl Reekie, Plant Manager at Vaagen Fibre Canada.
As the Plant Manager, Darryl oversees operations at the sawmill but most importantly, he uses his leadership skills and knowledge to enrich the lives of the people around him. An example of skillful leadership, Darryl is proud of the incredible team that makes the sawmill a welcoming workplace.
Originally from the south of Ontario, Darryl honed his supervisory skills in the Alberta oil patch. After meeting his wife, he became fond of the Grand Forks community and they decided to move to Grand Forks and built their own house. Darryl met Dan Macmaster, Vaagen’s Fibre Manager, at their kids’ soccer game. Intrigued by the opportunity to apply his skills and experience to a local, family-owned lumber manufacturing company, Darryl applied for a position and joined the sawmill in December of 2016 as an Outside Supervisor.
Having worked for 17 years in the gas and oil industry, Darryl brings his diverse set of problem-solving skills to the team at Vaagen. After an impressive track record as an Outside Supervisor, Darryl became the Plant Manager in January of 2019. In his role, he oversees operations at the sawmill; from the arrival of the log, until it reaches its final stage of lumber.
Darryl has been able to enhance processes for his team, noting, “what I bring is my mentality and the way I relate to people. I work to make the process more adaptable to the people. To set the stage for my team to perform at their best, by combining respect and understanding.” Using his characteristic sense of humour, Darryl believes that the secret to success is knowing how to adapt to a person’s strengths and utilizing those strengths for the benefit of the team.
As a proud Boundary resident, Darryl enjoys giving back to the community. He supervises a team of 60 people, all joining from the Midway, Greenwood, Rock Creek and Grand Forks, coordinating production activities. He believes that investing in the community is directly investing back into the families of the hardworking people of the sawmill, noting that “caring about the community is caring for all our families, and giving back is a top priority.”
As Vaagen continues the important work of its missions of sustainable forestry practices and supporting communities, Darryl adds, “we aim to become one of the major global wood suppliers and this goes back to investing in people. I listen to my team and allow their expertise to help us guide us.”
Thank you, Darryl, for investing in the people around you and encouraging a supportive workplace where people feel valued and appreciated.