Mylène Tassy

Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nova Bus at the Volvo Group

“Hair is important in Haitian culture, and mine’s really important to me. I love my afro—I think it’s quite hip! But as I always see the glass as half-full, I tell myself that it’ll probably grow back even more beautiful than it is now!”

Mylène Tassy is an engineer with two degrees in engineering and is currently vice-president of sales and marketing at Nova Bus, Volvo Group. She is a board member of the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Orthogone Technologies Inc. Driven by respect and innovation, Mylène is a determined, loyal and authentic person in all spheres of her life. This bold, courageous woman donates her time to various causes, including the fight against poverty, the environment, seniors, youth and family. Mylène said YES to Les Audacieuses to show her courage.

When Mylène was approached by two Leucan employees, her first reaction was surprise. This wasn’t your standard fundraising request. Agreeing to be one of the Audacieuses meant she’d have to shave off her hair. She had to give it some thought!

So she thought long and hard before accepting the challenge. She wants to be bolder in life. “Shaving my head takes me out of my comfort zone. After thinking it through, I decided to do it. My husband is 200% behind me! But most of all, it’s a safe challenge. It’s not like skydiving and risking the parachute not opening! I wanted to do something daring and take up the challenge.”

Mylène worries constantly about her three children. “Being a mother comes with its share of challenges and worries, but I’m extremely lucky in that they’re all healthy. I can’t imagine what parents of children with cancer go through. If I can support them through this difficult ordeal and help them to hold on, I’ll be happy to have had this impact on their lives.”


Accepting a change of appearance for a good cause

“Hair is important in Haitian culture, and mine’s really important to me. I love my afro—I think it’s quite hip! But as I always see the glass as half-full, I tell myself that it’ll probably grow back even more beautiful than it is now!”

Mylène joined Les Audacieuses to help deconstruct society’s perception of beauty. “Hair is associated with femininity in our society. I’m going to try to prove the opposite by sacrificing my hair, because I know I’m privileged—and I know it’ll grow back. I can make this gesture to show support for these children, who are incredibly strong and resilient in so many ways.”

The quality she feels best represents her as an Audacieuse is courage. “To me, being courageous means overcoming your fear. And to be audacious, you first need courage—the courage to be yourself and to be daring. So despite being a bit scared to shave my head, I’m going for it!”

Hard work, a core value

“My parents left Haiti with just $80 in their pockets. My little sister and I are among the first generation born in Quebec. They worked hard. My mother was a nurse, and my father was an engineer. They had to get their credentials recognized to have the right to work here in their respective fields. They taught me the value of hard work and resilience. And to never complain. Above all, they taught me to stand up for what I believe in.”

“My parents are amazing! They’re very reserved and humble. My mother was quite religious and often said, ‘Difficulties are divine opportunities.’ And she was right! Sometimes you want something really badly, or think you want it, but don’t get it. It can be depressing and discouraging, but inevitably, another door opens. You don’t always have control, but you should never give up and never lose hope.”

Mylène was taught to foster strong relationships by being genuine. “I try to be as authentic as possible. I’m transparent. And I appreciate that quality in others too. I’m also honest . . . integrity is important to maintain people’s trust. I put a lot of effort into my relationships—with my family, friends and coworkers. It means a lot to me!”

Investing in her relationships takes time and commitment. But Mylène has never been afraid of hard work. On the contrary, she knows all about it. “Work is very important to me. I grew up in a family where you had to work hard and get good grades in school. That was non-negotiable. So a strong work ethic is an integral part of who I am. I consider it a privilege to be able to work. You have to earn your position.”

A people-focused vice-president

Mylène is a seasoned executive who excels in human relations. “When I have to make a human resource decision, for example, I approach the situation with kindness and respect. There are many tools available to us to do our job, but sometimes we forget the basics: human contact and transparency. People aren’t stupid, and trust goes both ways. That’s my approach and people generally appreciate it and agree with it.”

As a good leader, she also understands the need to be able to ask for help. “We tend to rely on ourselves because admitting we need a helping hand can be embarrassing. I try to remind myself of this when I need help and also make a point of offering help. It’s so much more efficient! I also really enjoy mentoring and being mentored. Consulting your network is a great way to get answers to certain questions and doubts, and to continue to grow.”

Humility is the secret behind Mylène’s leadership. “Leadership is about setting an example. About keeping your word. And it’s important to both admit when you’re wrong and recognize that you don’t know everything. Management requires a degree of humility and modesty. We learn from each other. The best leaders are those who know how to surround themselves with the right people and aren’t afraid to do it. That’s the key to success.”

A strong woman who wants to earn the love she gets

Mylène is a dedicated woman who is passionate about life and knows her priorities. “I’m 250% committed to my projects—and to my relationships. In everything I do, I always manage my level of involvement to make sure I prioritize what’s dearest to me: my husband, my children, my father, my family and my friends. I want to nurture this extended family because I love them all very much. And I want to be worthy of their love.”

“I’ve had some wonderful role models in my life, starting with my mom, whom I cared for when she was in palliative care. I’m proud of having stayed by her side until the end. This woman I loved so much was very strong. Now, I have the audacity to say that I hope to be as strong as her. I’m truly grateful for my life journey. I have three children, a wonderful marriage of over 30 years, and I’ve been able to pursue my career. I dared to aim higher and aspire to an executive role. I’m surrounded by a generous, dedicated team. And, of course, I’ll never forget everything my wonderful parents did to give me a great start in life. I owe them so much.”