Helene Lagace
Director, Technology
“Manufacturing is about people. I am passionate when operators explain how things could be done better and their pride when their ideas are implemented. But most of all, I am passionate when our customer is praising my company, because my company is all the people that make it work.” 

Helene has been integral to the success of the Aleris Process Control (APC) method, a methodical approach to understanding critical processes and sharing that knowledge with Aleris teams. Her leadership role within APC work in Belgium resulted in significant improvements to both product quality and uptime of the critical Hot Mill installation. As a result of Helene’s excellent work in Belgium, the company assigned her to Lewisport, Kentucky, a facility that will be essential to the rapidly growing North American automotive body sheet market. Helene and her team have already significantly contributed to the plant’s positive transformation.

Helene has demonstrated leadership by building an excellent team of process engineers in Lewisport. This has prompted a culture shift and a refocus of the facility’s resources. Helene’s focus has always been on giving her team members the necessary challenges to enable them to grow both personally and professionally. This focus has resulted in the promotion of two of her process engineers to senior positions. Her leadership example has inspired multiple team members to step up and make a difference within Aleris.

For several years, Helene was the creator and editor of a French newsletter in the Kingston region of Canada. The initiative she showed by taking on this project demonstrated her passion for the community. As a result of Helene joining a committee to promote French culture in Ontario, the newsletter expanded. Part of what defines a community is the unique assets that it has to leverage for both residents and visitors, and Helen’s ability to realize the value of this speaks volumes. At night, she worked for nine years as an adjunct professor part-time for the Math department at Queen’s University sharing her talents and knowledge for the benefit of others. 

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