08 Mar 2018

Senior Manager – Assurance
Sainte-Marie Office



“Our clients know we’re there to support them as they progress. The diversity of our clients’ requests is what drives me.”


At the end of high school, Chantal Gravel’s first intention was to study music at Cégep de Sainte-Foy. “I’d been playing piano since I was very young. I was very nervous at the admissions test and had disappointing results. I had done well in school, so in the end, I chose pure and applied sciences. I then did a Bachelor of Commerce at Université de Sherbrooke, because I liked the work-study coop program, with on-site experience.”

Chantal mentions she greatly admired her parents, both entrepreneurs in Sainte-Marie, in Beauce. “My father took over my grandfather’s wholesale workwear business. He developed and grew the company. My mother studied part-time for seven years to obtain a degree in gemology, while raising my two brothers and me. She studied at the same time as we did. She owned a jewellery store and wanted to perfect her knowledge to better advise her clients. My parents worked hard and with their lifestyle as an example, it seemed normal for me to have a demanding professional life while raising a family.”

Chantal’s parents introduced her to the realities of entrepreneurial life at a young age, but they also passed on their optimistic view of life. “For example, with my father, nothing is ever so bad. His gift to me was developing my confidence in people, in life. I never stay unhappy for a long time, even when something difficult happens.”

Chantal has been with RCGT for 21 years, at the Sainte-Marie office and explains the characteristics of a small regional office. “We don’t specialize, because our clients count on us to address a vast array of needs. We forge close relationships with SME owners. We carry out recurring assurance engagement, such as audits, but our involvement extends much further. Our clients know we’re there to support them as they progress. The diversity of our clients’ requests is what drives me.”

What do her team and clients say about her most often? “That I listen. I find that very gratifying, because I think that’s an important quality to nurture, at work and in our personal lives.”

Developing flexibility and open-mindedness

Chantal has boundless energy that she attributes to her healthy lifestyle. “Eating healthily and exercising are very important to me. I play ringette once a week, and depending on the season, I train a few times a week in the gym or I jog or swim. I’ve always been active. Since I have to be very organized as the mother of three children, I plan my activities in my schedule.”

In December 2016, a friend of Chantal’s suggested they sign up together for the Cap Fémina Aventure. “It’s an off-road rally in the Moroccan desert in teams of two, in a jeep or an ATV. There is also a charitable component to this 10-day adventure. Last year, it consisted in painting a school in El Fida, with the local population.”

“I had to move out of my comfort zone to raise funds! Soliciting funds is intimidating. My colleagues and my employer help me, and we were able to raise close to $22,000.”

She goes on to say, “During the rally, there were numerous opportunities for me to let go. I’m the type of person who likes to be in control, but in this context, that’s just not possible! When my teammate and I disagreed about something, we absolutely had to be flexible. We finished 13th out of 72 teams, and are very proud of our results.”

“You don’t always realize how deep-rooted certain habits can become. By agreeing to push myself beyond my limits, I discovered inner resources I never knew I had. And now, I can apply them every day,” Chantal adds.