Tammy, born and raised just outside Saskatoon, earned her BA and LLB from the University of Saskatchewan. Like many Saskatchewanians, she headed to Calgary to start her career. After a decade practicing law, she came home to Saskatoon and joined what was then COGEMA and now Orano Canada. She worked her way up, becoming the vice president of regulatory & legal affairs in 200 and is now Orano’s vice president and chief corporate officer. She is responsible for the company’s legal affairs, corporate social responsibility, communications and human resources.
Van Lambalgen has been on the SaskPower board since 2013 and chairs the Governance & Human Resources Committee. She is also on the board for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, the Saskatchewan Mining Association, and past board member and chair for Nutrien Wonderhub, and past board member for the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.
Tammy has also spent significant time in her career kicking open doors for women in mining. As she has climbed the ladder in the industry, she has mentored many women along the way—reaching out to help others succeed in mining the way she has.
What are the most important qualities for a successful leader?
“Resilience, optimism, and openness to change.”
Who do you look up to for inspiration?
“I have been blessed with many mentors in my life who provide me guidance and inspiration when I need it. It may be a bit of a cliché but probably more than anyone my father provides me inspiration. He passed away in late 2019 but left a legacy of cherishing his family and hard work. Dad was a hard-working man who immigrated to Canada with his family at age 12. When I was hired at Orano, the then-head of HR at Orano Canada, Brian Hickie, knew my dad from a past career in construction. I found out after that Brian had said ‘if she has half the work ethic as her father, we can’t go wrong.’ Orano offered me the position that day.
My dad had his own painting company and was a single father to my sister and I since we were eight and 10. A bit of a trailblazer in 1976 as a single father. He taught me hard work and to be fiercely independent. There were difficult financial years when I was young and as a result my sister and I were close to being financially independent from age 16—financing our own cars to paying our way through post-secondary education. This taught me the value of hard work and a good job. Dad set a fine example of how to live a life. Working hard, valuing family and friends and being a very honest and humble man. He is a constant inspiration to me at work and at home.”
What is the most dangerous trait in a leader’s career?
“Not being accepting of change. Micromanaging. Both of these things are bad traits in a leader. Micromanaging stifles other people’s growth and detracts from satisfaction at work. Not being accepting of change hurts your company’s ability to pivot when needed and grow. There is always opportunity for improvement and that means change.”