After more than three decades at the head of Éduc’alcool, after 204 board meetings, 31 annual general meetings, 61 editions of the Nouvelles Éduc’alcool newsletter, and countless other events and projects, large and small, the time has come for me to pass the torch to a successor who will lead the organization into a future I know will be bright.

It would be unthinkable to step down as chief executive of an organization that one has guided and represented for so many years without paying tribute to those who have made it all possible.

I won’t to go on about my own record and accomplishments. Others will do that far more eloquently and objectively than I could, and it is definitely not the crux of this message.

My only and heartfelt aim here is to tell Éduc’alcool, its board chairs and directors, its members, partners and, of course, its employees how much I appreciate and value them.

Without the unwavering support and trust of the five board chairs and 59 directors under whom I have served, without the tiny, hard-working team of employees who achieved miracles day after day, without our partners, who stopped at nothing to support project after project, without our members, who so frequently expressed their satisfaction, nothing would have been possible. And on a rare personal note, I want to thank my endlessly patient wife for the understanding and unconditional support that has shown she believes in Éduc’alcool’s mission as fervently as I do.

While I worked in the spotlight, there were dozens of people behind the scenes doing at least as much if not more than I to fulfil Éduc’alcool’s mission. Were it not for the restrictions on public gatherings imposed by the pandemic, I would have expressed this for all to hear when the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec awarded the Medal for Exceptional Merit to Éduc’alcool. This recognition for the merits of the organization, as opposed to those of its spokesperson, was immensely gratifying.

I have humbly received multiple honours over the years: the Order of Canada, the National Order of Quebec, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Medal of the National Assembly of Quebec, the Trophée de l’Esprit alimentaire pour la science (France), Marketing Personality of the Year in Quebec, and others. Each time, I felt somewhat like an imposter, taking credit for the work and engagement of so many. Not once did I fail to tell those who were bestowing the honours, “If I were to share this award with each person who deserves part of it, I would be left with only a few threads of ribbon.”

Éduc’alcool has given me the opportunity to use all the education, training, skills and talents with which I have been gifted. My work here has gratified me in ways that few people even dream of: my studies in law and political science, my passion for writing, my love of the French language, my experience as a communicator in advertising and public relations, my strategic analysis skills, my openness to the world, my intellectual curiosity… everything was put to good use at Éduc’alcool. I have been fulfilled in every sense of the word. And there was not a single day in the more than 11,000 that spanned my tenure here when I was not happy to hurry off to work.

Many people have often told me, “Hubert, you’re the one who made Éduc’alcool.”

But they’ve got it wrong.

It is not I who made Éduc’alcool; it is Éduc’alcool that made me.

Now, as I step down, I am compelled to express my sincerest gratitude, for while I may well have given the best of myself to Éduc’alcool, I owe Éduc’alcool infinitely more than it owes me.

Hubert Sacy