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Michel Nadeau (1959-2017): ‘A leader with a strong vision’

Concordia remembers the beloved associate VP of Facilities Management
September 15, 2017
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By Sylvie Babarik

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Family, friends and Concordia colleagues continue to mourn Michel Nadeau, the university’s associate vice-president of Facilities Management. Nadeau passed away suddenly on September 3 at the age of 58.

Nadeau began his tenure at Concordia just over two years ago. Despite his relatively recent arrival within the community, he was widely admired and appreciated. 

Administrative coordinator Sylvie Gendron acted as Nadeau’s right hand.

“He was very supportive and respectful — so pleasant to work with and a great leader,” she says.

“He was a positive person with a good sense of humour who knew how to capture people’s attention. You could tell he was really happy to be at Concordia.”


‘He really empowered people’

Nadeau led ambitious projects aimed at improving the management of Concordia’s facilities. He oversaw 61 buildings differing in age, purpose and geography. But his work wasn’t limited to physical spaces. It also involved people and processes. Administrative services director Sam Danaie worked closely with Nadeau.

“Michel instituted an open-concept space for our team because he knew that it would lead to a more collaborative way of working,” Danaie recalls.

“He also recognized the importance of policy and procedures as tools, rather than obstacles.”

Facilities director Martine Lehoux will step in as acting associate vice-president of Facilities Management. She says that when Nadeau arrived on the job, he brought with him a wealth of experience that helped the department evolve.

“He had a strong vision and so much energy,” Lehoux says. “He had confidence in the team and knew how to delegate in a way that really empowered people.”
 

Close to the community

Lehoux adds that Nadeau showed a strong interest in being close to the university community and loved that his work was for the benefit of students. His door was always open, she says, part of his vision of sharing ideas, breaking down barriers and fostering healthy debate.

Nadeau was hard at work on projects such as the expansion of the Loyola Campus science facilities, a new conference centre for the John Molson Building and wellness and success centres for students. He was also instrumental in helping students plan the future daycare for studying parents.

Michel Nadeau with his wife, Anne Hallée, in December 2015, holding his Elixir Gala trophy. | Photo by Marie-Andrée Blais Michel Nadeau with his wife, Anne Hallée, in December 2015, holding his Elixir Gala trophy. Photo by Marie-Andrée Blais

Nadeau’s work saw him managing both a considerable amount of space and a diverse team of people. Roger Côté, vice-president of Services, says he will be greatly missed.

“Michel was an exemplary colleague, appreciated by all. I feel very lucky to have worked alongside of him,” he adds.

“He was a good person who cared for others and was committed to supporting the success of the members of the university community.”

Pasqualino Pietromonaco, senior director of Property Management, says it was an honour working with Nadeau. “He was respectful, a good listener and embraced the spirt of doing and getting things done,” he adds. 

“He paid attention to detail and had an uncanny eye for ensuring things flowed smoothly and looked right.”


An expert in his field

Nadeau got his professional start after receiving a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University and a Master of Science in Project Management from the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Prior to arriving at Concordia, he spent 23 years working for the City of Montreal, for which he was awarded the Prix Elixir. Both his communication skills and his technical expertise made him a mentor for people like Kirsten Sutherland, interim director of project management.

“Michel was an architect at heart. He liked building and renovating through our projects,” she says.

“Under Michel’s direction, many strategic projects were delivered or will be delivered to the university that will greatly impact the lives of our students and staff.”

Nadeau is survived by his wife, Anne Hallée, his children, Valérie and Francis, their mother, Hélène Lachapelle, and his sisters, Susan and Lynne.


Community members are invited to attend a memorial for Nadeau at 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 23
at the Loyola Chapel (7141 Sherbrooke St. W). Family will accept condolences from 10 a.m. until noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to a new fund to help students. You can contribute through Concordia.ca/Givenow or by calling 514-848-2424, ext. 3884.

 



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