Claude Belleau turning the page on Estrie Aide

By Gordon Lambie

On Monday Estrie Aide, one of Sherbrooke’s best known social enterprises, announced that the man who has been at the head of its operations through a time of significant transition is getting ready to move on at the start of next year. According to Claude Belleau, when he started in his role as Executive Director of the non-profit enterprise focused on encouraging re-use of second-hand items and reduction of waste, it was to be for a period of three years. “Here we are seven years later,” he said with a chuckle. Estrie Aide began operation as a second-hand store in 1997 and was known mainly as a place where people could turn for affordable used furniture, but Belleau said that when he was invited to take on the management of the operation in 2013, it was struggling. “Estrie Aide was at a crossroads,” he reflected, noting that the organization had significant deficits and a very limited staff at the time. “It had a great development over the years but, as in any other structure, when it gets to be 15 years old or so, there’s a little slump.”
Under Belleau’s direction, the organization took a page out of its own book and reinvented itself under a three-part mission statement focused on environmental sustainability, ethical consumption of material goods, and social responsibility. See full story in the Tuesday, Nov. 26 edition of The Record.

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