Patrick Nadeau, executive director, Ottawa Riverkeeper

Patrick Nadeau
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade honour 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs, business executives and civic leaders and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.

Click here to see the full list of the 2020 recipients and click here to watch the special Ottawa Stronger Together broadcast honouring the year’s recipients.

 

When Ottawa and the surrounding regions were struck by one of the worst floods on record in 2019, Patrick Nadeau – who was still relatively new to his executive director role at the Ottawa Riverkeeper – was quickly thrust into the spotlight. 

As the head of the organization that advocates for the health and protection of the Ottawa River watershed, Nadeau was tasked with leading the Ottawa Riverkeeper through a time of uncertainty and environmental crisis.  

New issues soon emerged when massive amounts of fish were washing up on Ottawa shorelines and discussions were held about constructing a new nuclear waste plant near the Ottawa River – issues with potentially severe implications for the local ecosystem.

Throughout that period, Nadeau relied on his nearly 10 years of prior leadership experience in environmental non-profits to guide the organization through to the other side – which he did with great success.

Since joining the Riverkeeper in 2016, Nadeau has overseen rapid growth at the organization, including more than a 100 per cent increase in budget over four years and a 30 per cent increase in staff. 

Nadeau is also responsible for a myriad of new programs and initiatives at the not-for-profit, including a Youth Water Leaders program and an endangered species campaign. 

His commitment to the local community extends outside of the office, where he offers career mentorship for undergrad science student​s and is the chair of the Ottawa bilingual selection committee for the Loran Scholars Foundation.