MONCTON – There was somberness in the air at the Moncton chamber of commerce luncheon on Monday. The New Brunswick business community had just lost a large presence. Yves Maillet, the Vice-President of Business Growth at Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB), passed away in an accident on Saturday at the age of 49.
“This past weekend we lost a great friend. Yves Maillet was more than just a leader at ONB, he was a community leader. As the President of the Rotary Club of Moncton West & Riverview, he worked to support many worthy causes throughout the region. Most importantly though, Yves was the energy and laughter in every room. He was genuine, honest, and kind. ONB has lost a great leader, the province has lost a champion and we all lost a friend. Our hearts are with his wife and family,” the economic development agency said in a Facebook post.
An obituary posted on Arbor Memorial’s website says Maillet was born on August 29, 1969, in Labrador City, Newfoundland, but spent most of his life in Shediac and Moncton. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Suzanne, with whom he travelled extensively and spent time in nature or camping in their RV. He was also survived by his mother Rolande, his brothers and their families.
Maillet was well-known and well-loved in Greater Moncton for his high energy and contributions to the community. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Moncton West and Riverview for nine years, most recently serving as the club’s president. He also served on various volunteer boards honouring the Rotary motto of “service above self.”
ONB’s CEO, Stephen Lund, remembers Maillet as a fun person to be around.
“Yves was a great friend and colleague who cared passionately about his people and his province,” he said in an e-mail to Huddle. “He was an optimist, a community builder, and champion for New Brunswick. I keep thinking of the fun we had during a tour at Organigram a few weeks ago. Yves kept forgetting to scan his pass as we went to different areas. At our final stop, he took great pleasure in pointing out that I forgot to scan my pass. Not only was he a great co-worker and friend but he was a heck of a lot of fun to be around.”
Passionate about curling, Maillet served as president of the NB Curling Association and was governor for Curling Canada for three years.
It was his passion for this sport and his work at ONB that connected Doug Robertson, President and CEO of Venn Innovation, to Maillet.
“We were all deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of our friend Yves Maillet. Yves was such a special person who touched the lives of so many. My Venn team and I, of course, got to know and work with Yves since he joined ONB, and he was such a delight to work with … always responding, always a straight-shooter, and always proud of his work and his team. We also knew Yves as a true leader in the community, including of course his work with Rotary,” Robertson wrote in a heartfelt tribute on Venn’s Facebook page.
“On a more personal note, for my family, Yves was passionate about curling. He was always involved, supporting teams of all ages, and usually one of the first people we always heard from when our son’s junior team was competing. Just this past Friday, we exchanged messages about this week’s national U18 championships in Edmonton where my son’s team and the girls’ team, both from Curl Moncton, are competing for New Brunswick. His last message to me was ‘good luck to the boys’ with a big thumbs up. He was a beauty and we will all miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones, and with his colleagues and team at Opportunities New Brunswick.”
Maillet’s career began when he served as area manager for Scholars Choice, a retailer for toys and children’s education products. He went on to become an executive in business development and finance for the past 26 years, including his most recent role at ONB. He was known for his ability to connect with people.
Jennifer Henry, a Community Executive Development Executive at ONB, said in a Facebook post that Maillet had been her inspiration.
“Yves Maillet…. the VP of the People. Mentor, friend, idol. I can only hope to one day inspire this much love and admiration. Lives are short, impressions are forever – and the impression left by this man will forever mark our community,” she wrote.
The Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce is also grieving. The chamber’s office is located in the same building as that of ONB and they often work together. CEO John Wishart wrote in a Facebook comment that Maillet was “a great public servant, a great community leader and a great friend. I will miss our chats immensely. RIP Yves.”
Maillet was a graduate of NBCC’s business administration-marketing program, and more recently, of the Wallace McCain Institute’s 2iC6 program. The institute’s executive director Nancy Mathis co-moderated the 2iC6 peer group with Maillet. She shared on LinkedIn a picture with words that Maillet’s colleagues have chosen to describe him.
“Yves Maillet, a member and co-moderator of the 2iC6 peer group at the Wallace McCain Institute died in an accident this weekend. He will be remembered by his forum mates in the words they wrote about him below. He had a special energy that we will all miss. #tooyoung”
Rotarians are also mourning. Brian Cormier, a Rotarian at another club in Moncton, recalls the last time he saw Maillet.
“I was shocked and saddened to learn yesterday of the tragic and unexpected passing of Rotary Club of Moncton West & Riverview President Yves Maillet,” said Cormier. “We last saw him on Friday at the Paul Harris Fellow evening in Dieppe. I had a couple of chats with him… shook his hand… and 24 hours later he was gone. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to his beloved wife Suzanne and the members of his Rotary Club, as well as to his family, countless friends and work colleagues at Opportunities NB. Yves was a genuinely nice person. Our community has lost a great man.”
Rotary District 7810, a group that included 40 rotary clubs including those in New Brunswick, posted a note on its Facebook page.
“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news of the tragic and unexpected passing of Rotary Club of Moncton West & Riverview President Yves Maillet. Along with his wife Suzanne, Yves was a model Rotarian who made friends everywhere he went. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness and good work that will have an impact on Rotary and the community for years to come. Our deepest condolences go out to Suzanne, his family, his work colleagues at Opportunities NB and to the members of his Rotary Club. Rest in peace, Yves. Thank you for your service to Rotary.”
Maillet’s family will hold a private celebration of life service and asked that instead of flowers, donations can be made to the Rotary International Foundation or to the Greater Moncton SPCA.
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