September Strive Spotlight – Mary Garside

Mary Garside
Project Manager
Environmental Due Diligence and Remediation
Pinchin Ltd.

Meet Mary Garside! Mary was raised in Sault Ste. Marie, and spent five years throughout Northern Ontario completing her technical diploma and working on remote construction projects. She has since returned to the Sault Ste. Marie Pinchin office as a Project Manager, and is a proud Strive member!

How did you get where you are today?

I was attending Algoma University to complete a Bachelor of Science in Geology when I was offered a spot in the Mining Engineering Technician Program at Cambrian College. The experience and rigor of studying underground hard-rock mining was the field I was more interested in, so I transferred after completing my first year at Algoma, graduating from Cambrian in 2012.

Despite my passion for underground mining and geology, I graduated during a time of uncertainty in the gold and mineral market, where shutdowns were imminent in many mining operations throughout North America. I always maintained an interest in the Environment, and my father, being the Regional Investigations Manager for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, introduced me to Pinchin in Sault Ste. Marie. They required a technician to move immediately to White River for a long-term project.  I began working for Pinchin in 2014 as the Construction Environmental Monitor at the Gitchi Aniimki Hydro-Electric Project on White River, living and working at a remote construction camp for two years.

At the completion of the two hydro-electric dams, I returned to the Sault Ste. Marie office and have since been acting as Project Manager for Due Diligence and Remediation.

Thoughts on Sault Ste. Marie?

Being raised in Sault Ste. Marie has taught me the value of hard work and persevering through difficult times associated with the steel industry that is so engrained in the city. A sense of community has been a staple in building relationships with fellow young professionals in the Soo. Becoming involved in community events has spotlighted the unique and passionate aspects of a single industry city and the resourcefulness of its residents. I think all young people in the city should experience time away to be able to return and appreciate our city for what it has to offer. There is plenty of opportunity for growth in the city, so it’s our duty to support local business and invest in new ideas.


Any advice you want to give to local Young Professionals?

Say yes: Take every opportunity someone gives you, whether volunteering, attending events, or working late at the office. Challenges are easily overcome if you take them head on, and looking back, the things that intimated me, I now do on a regular basis. You should drink more coffee too.

And learn to say no; maintain a healthy work/life balance. If you want to binge watch Netflix after working a crazy week, I’ll cheers to that. It might mean setting yourself a calendar reminder to sit down and relax (in my case), but you’ll be thankful you did.

Why Strive?

I’ve been a member of Strive since 2016. With Strive, I have the opportunity to do business networking in a relaxed and engaging environment with similar young professionals. Something I look forward to the most with the group, is to wind down after a busy week at the Strive at 5 events showcasing local businesses. I’ve met amazing people with diverse skill sets and hope to maintain these friendships throughout my career!


If you’d like to be featured in a future Strive Spotlight, or have a suggestion on who to feature, please email us at!

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