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IW's keynote speaker: a powerhouse in finance.

The career in finance of Simone Desjardins, a native of Timmins, spans 30 years of close co-operation with the small business community. Beginning in 1966, she spent 11 years with private and chartered banking institutions.

In 1977 Desjardins joined the Federal Business Development Bank (now the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)) in Timmins, where she held various positions of increasing responsibility, including branch manager.

In 1986 she was appointed executive assistant to the president at the bank's head office in Montreal where she worked with senior management and advised the president on all matters relating to the operation of the bank.

Three years later she returned to Ontario as district general manager. As such, she was responsible for the financial and management services activities of five branches with a total loan portfolio of $250 million.

Desjardins returned to Montreal in 1991 as vice-president of human resource and administration. She developed and implemented innovative human resource policies and pro grams that actively supported the bank's mission. She was also responsible for the administration and management of the bank's facilities and office services throughout the country. In 1995, Desjardins was appointed vice-president and regional general manager of the bank in Atlantic Canada. In this position, she was responsible for the delivery of financial and management services from the bank's offices located throughout the four Atlantic provinces. Under her leadership, the BDC's total loan portfolio in Atlantic Canada grew to exceed the $300-million mark.

Eighteen months later, Desjardins was appointed senior vice-president and area manager for Toronto, where she was responsible for the delivery of financial and consulting services from the bank's seven offices located throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

In 2001 Desjardins became one of the bank's two senior vice-presidents, in operations, reporting to the executive vice-president of financial services. As such, she became responsible for the bank's activities in Ontario, the prairies and western regions.

Throughout her career, Desjardins has been actively involved in the community. She was a member of the board of governors and first vice-chair of Northern College in Timmins. She was also a member of the board of governors for the Centre de perfectionnement de l'ecole des hautes etudes commerciales-de Montreal and a member of the Conference Board of Canada's Council of Human Resource Executives. She was a member of the Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce, treasurer of the Federal Institute of Management, a member of the management committee of the Halifax Club and a member of the Halifax Harbourside Rotary Club.

Desjardins is presently a member of the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Trade, the Rotary Club of Toronto and the Cercle Canadien. She is also a member of the board of directors at the National Club and sits on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Toronto and York region and the International Planning Committee for the Global Summit of Women.
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Title Annotation:Simone Desjardins, businesswomen
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jun 1, 2001
Words:477
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