MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - May 9, 2014) -

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The Québec Chapter of FEI Canada, an all-industry professional association for senior financial executives, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 "Aces of Finance" competition, now in its fourth year. The names of the winners were unveiled in a festive atmosphere at a gala evening held on May 8 at Le Parquet of the Centre CDP Capital in Montréal before nearly 300 guests.

Presided over this year by honorary chairman Mr. Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank, the competition is open to all chief financial officers and vice presidents of finance across Québec, whether or not they are members of FEI Canada. The event aims to recognize the professional achievements and community engagement of three outstanding financial executives.

Among the nine finalists, the following three candidates were honoured:

"Financial executive of a large corporation" category

  • Mr. Pierre Despars, FCMA, FCPA, CA, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, Gaz Métro

"Financial executive of a small or medium-sized enterprise" category

  • Ms. Samira Sakhia, CPA, CA, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, Paladin Labs Inc.

"Emerging financial executive" category

  • Mr. Guillaume Lavoie, CPA, CMA, Vice President, Finance, Scandinavian Tobacco Group Canada

Following selection of the nine finalists by the competition's organizing committee, the members of an independent jury met with these candidates to determine the three laureates. The winners stood out for their ability to draw on their knowledge, experience and values in making the best decisions and setting the best future directions for their organizations. The results obtained by these senior professionals attest to the importance and soundness of their work and their outstanding leadership.

As part of the "Aces of Finance" competition, the Québec Chapter of FEI Canada also presents its Homage Award to a financial executive who has had a distinguished career, has brought distinction to the profession of finance and serves as a source of inspiration to his or her peers. This year's recipient is Mr. François R. Roy, former Chief Financial Officer of Quebecor and Avenor, now a corporate director. Mr. Roy is a role model and go-to resource for all of his colleagues and the financial and business community across Québec. The Québec Chapter of FEI Canada is proud to recognize his accomplishments and contribution to the profession.

"Financial executives play a crucial role in the upper echelons of organizations and actively contribute to their success - and this year's winners clearly demonstrate this," said Mr. Louis Marcotte, President of the Québec Chapter of FEI Canada. "For the past four years, we have been proud, through this competition, to recognize the work of many senior professionals and showcase their outstanding skills and extraordinary commitment."

The Québec Chapter of FEI Canada would like to thank all the candidates who took the time to submit their candidacy for the "Aces of Finance" competition and salutes the dynamism and vitality of the financial executive profession. The competition will be back in 2015.

About Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)

Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) or Dirigeants financiers internationaux Canada (DFI Canada) is the all-industry professional association for senior financial executives. With 11 chapters across Canada and 1,700 members, FEI Canada provides professional development, thought leadership and advocacy services to its members. The Quebec Chapter currently counts 185 members. The association's membership, which consists of chief financial officers, audit committee directors and senior executives in the finance, controller, treasury and taxation functions, represents a significant number of Canada's leading and most influential corporations. Further information can be found at

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Contact Information:

Jessie-Kim Malo
Simard Hamel Communications
514-287-9811, ext. 25