RRCA’s Richard Pilon Looks Back on 37-year Conservation Authority Career

May 17, 2024

RRCA Board of Directors Chair Bryan McGillis (left) and Vice-Chair Jacques Massie (right), thank Richard Pilon (centre) for his years of service at eastern Ontario conservation authorities.

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority’s (RRCA) Richard Pilon retires on June 28 after a 37-year career at local conservation authorities. He has served as RRCA’s General Manager since 2017. 

“During the last four decades, Richard has been dedicated to our conservation authorities’ work to protect people and property from natural hazards, conserve environmentally significant lands, protect municipal drinking water at the source, foster landowner stewardship, and provide recreation and eco-tourism opportunities,” says Bryan McGillis, Chair of the RRCA’s Board of Directors. 

Richard began his career at the RRCA in 1987 as a resource specialist after graduating from the University of Ottawa with a degree in civil engineering. His strong analytical, strategic, and leadership abilities later led him to take on the role of Director of Planning and Engineering at RRCA’s neighbouring conservation authority, South Nation Conservation (SNC). In 2008, Richard became Project Manager for the Raisin-South Nation Drinking Water Source Protection Program, where he was instrumental in assisting the Source Protection Committee to create the region's Drinking Water Source Protection Plan to keep local municipal drinking water sources safe from contamination and overuse. Richard was selected by the RRCA's Board of Directors to serve as the conservation authority's General Manager in 2017.  

“Through his leadership, the RRCA has strengthened its municipal, corporate, and community partnerships, provided efficient and high-value natural resource management programs and services to its member municipalities, confidently adapted to recent changes to the Conservation Authorities Act, and managed significant improvements to its Conservation Areas. We are deeply grateful to Richard for his years of service as he enters a well-earned retirement on June 28,” says Martin Lang, past RRCA Chair. 

Richard expresses his thanks to the Board of Directors for the opportunity to serve as General Manager, and says he is proud of the work done by conservation authorities. 

“The community-led, watershed-based approach to conservation has been a visionary model from its inception in the 1940s to this day,” says Richard Pilon. “It has been a privilege to be a part of it for 37 years, alongside an incredible array of skilled, hardworking staff at the RRCA and SNC.” 

The RRCA recently announced that Alison McDonald, who currently serves as SNC’s Managing Director of Approvals, has been selected as the RRCA’s new General Manager. To help provide a seamless transition, Alison McDonald and Richard Pilon will work side-by-side during the month of June.

Established in 1963, the RRCA is the easternmost conservation authority in the province, with a jurisdiction of 1,680 square kilometres in five member municipalities: the City of Cornwall and the Townships of South Glengarry, North Glengarry, South Stormont, and North Stormont. For more information, contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.