Melanie & Lloyd Antoine
Melanie & Lloyd Antoine
Age: Lloyd 47, Melanie 44
What’s the best way to spend a Saturday in Fort McMurray?
Melanie: “Exploring the beautiful outdoors.” Lloyd: “Jet boating on the Athabasca with my family.”
Melanie and Lloyd Antoine both hail from Fort Chipewyan, having moved to Fort McMurray over 20 years ago. Melanie is a proud member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and Lloyd the Mikisew Cree First Nation. They moved to Fort McMurray to find work opportunities, but stay strongly connected to their hometown, visiting often.
Upon moving to Fort McMurray, Lloyd worked with Syncrude as a millwright, while Melanie completed the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Certificate from Keyano College. These years gave Melanie and Lloyd the opportunity to start their own business A.P.E. Maintenance. In the beginning, Lloyd was the only employee at A.P.E, and Melanie worked for the business for free for two full years while they got started. Today, A.P.E. continues to grow, now with almost 60 full-time employees.
Not only are Melanie and Lloyd a powerful business couple in our region, but they are strong community members, volunteering their time to organizations around the region.
Lloyd has been the 2nd Vice President of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA). As members of NAABA, Melanie and Lloyd have seen the great resources they can provide to entrepreneurs, and they love to see that continue. “It is amazing to see how businesses grow and evolve. Someone can start with a good idea and just blow up!”
Melanie is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Northern Lights Health Foundation. Her appointment to the Board was a milestone, as she is the first Aboriginal Woman to Chair the Board of Directors for the Foundation.
Melanie and Lloyd credit their families and their communities for showing them the importance of giving back. “My uncle Charlie Voyageur was a hard worker,” Lloyd explains. “He had a strong work ethic and was always willing to give back.”
“My parents were pillars of the community,” Melanie states. “I always wondered; why did they volunteer, why did they put in so many hours, and why were they never home as a child, but I soon realized that volunteering built a stronger community for everyone and that is what they were doing.”