Canadian Biomass Magazine

Gordon Murray named 2024 Canadian Biomass Champion of the Year

April 25, 2024
By Canadian Biomass Staff

Gordon Murray’s path from a forestry operations manager to an acclaimed leader in the bioenergy sector as executive-director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) reflects a career marked by significant transitions and a passion for sustainability.

Murray was honoured as the 2024 Champion of the Year at the Canadian Biomass Awards.

After graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and qualifying as a registered professional forester, Murray’s early career revolved around forest operations for leading lumber manufacturers in British Columbia.

His entrepreneurial spirit soon led him to establish a forestry contracting business, cultivating a team that would grow to more than 20 employees, which he managed until his financial interests prompted a shift in focus towards becoming a chartered professional accountant in 2003.


This financial expertise transitioned him into a pivotal role at WPAC in 2008. It wasn’t long before he was at the helm as the executive director, a role he has cherished for the past 16 years.

“I didn’t deliberately seek this position, but I rapidly grew an enormous passion for bioenergy and have been thrilled to be part of our industry’s growth and success,” he said.

Under his leadership, WPAC has not only seen substantial growth but has also embraced rigorous safety and sustainability standards.

“I am very gratified to have been part of the movement to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of our industry,” said Murray.

Safety initiatives have been another cornerstone of his tenure. Starting with a focus on personal health and safety and evolving to sophisticated process safety management, these initiatives have placed WPAC at the forefront of industry standards.

“We are leading the charge in process safety management,” Murray said, reflecting his commitment to the well-being of his team and the broader community.

When reflecting on the highlights of his career, Murray emphasizes the relationships he’s built.

“I have immensely enjoyed the vast number of people that I have had the privilege to know and work alongside,” he said. His experience underscores the collaborative nature of the biomass industry, which thrives on diverse, passionate contributions toward a common goal.

Murray remains optimistic about the future of bioenergy, acknowledging both its necessity and the challenges it faces.

“The world needs bioenergy. It is a vital part of the tools needed to combat global warming,” he asserts, ready to advocate for bioenergy’s role in sustainable practices.

For aspiring professionals, Murray’s advice underscores the importance of engagement and perseverance.

“Get involved and don’t worry too much about where you start. Good people who work hard will always progress.”

He champions a proactive, learning-focused approach to career development, emphasizing that technical skills, while essential, are secondary to interpersonal abilities and team dynamics.


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