Alison McDonald (pictured above) assumed the role of general manager with the Raison Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) effective June 3, 2024. To ensure a smooth transition, McDonald will work alongside outgoing general manager Richard Pilon, who is retiring after 37 years with the conservation authority. Courtesy Photo

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority’s (RRCA) Board of Directors have announced that Alison McDonald will become the conservation authority’s new general manager effective June 3, 2024, following the retirement of the current RRCA general manager, Richard Pilon.

Prior to assuming the role of General Manager, McDonald served as the managing director of approvals at the RRCA’s neighbouring conservation authority, South Nation Conservation (SNC).

“Alison McDonald’s extensive experience in leading high performing teams, managing complex regulatory programs, and fostering positive stakeholder relationships makes her an excellent addition to the RRCA and will be invaluable for moving our organization towards its strategic goals,” said Bryan McGillis, Chair of the RRCA’s Board of Directors. “We also wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Richard Pilon, our outgoing general manager, for his remarkable 37-year career at our local conservation authorities, including his seven years of dedicated service as general manager.”

McDonald holds a master’s degree in environmental science from Trent University. She grew up on a small family farm in the RRCA jurisdiction near St. Andrew’s West. She has been leading the approvals team at SNC since 2018. Prior to that, she served as the Manager of Planning at the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. McDonald is also a Councillor in the Municipality of North Stormont, a volunteer Board Member with the Maxville Manor, and serves as Chair of the North Stormont Agriculture Committee.

“Being selected to serve as RRCA’s new general manager is an honour, and I look forward to working with the RRCA’s Board of Directors, member municipalities, and community partners to continue providing community-led, watershed-based natural resource management,” says McDonald. “I am excited to join the excellent staff at the RRCA, who have been doing remarkable work under the leadership of Richard Pilon.”

To help provide a seamless transition, McDonald and Pilon will work side-by-side during the month of June. Pilon retires on June 28.

“Having had the opportunity to work with Alison in various capacities during my career, I know she will lead our team to new levels of success,” said Pilon. “It has been a privilege to work for 37 years at our local conservation authorities. I thank our Board of Directors for their ongoing leadership and vision, which is evident once again in the selection of Alison McDonald as the new RRCA general manager.”

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. The conservation authority protects people and property from natural hazards like flooding and erosion, conserves environmentally significant land, protects municipal drinking water at the source, fosters land stewardship, and provides recreation and eco-tourism opportunities.