Wood Business

Spotlight on excellence: Mark Symes

CFI's Top 20 Under 40 awardee

January 5, 2024  By  Jennifer Ellson

Mark Symes

In our 11th edition of the Top 20 Under 40 award, Canadian Forest Industries is shining a spotlight on the next-gen leaders who are making waves in our industry. These young champions are not just rising stars – they’re innovators, change-makers, mentors, and community builders. Over the next 20 weeks, we’ll introduce you to each of the 2023 winners.

Today, let’s get to know Mark Symes, co-founder of Symplicity Designs in Moncton, N.B.

Mark graduated from University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, with a bachelor of science degree from the faculty of forestry and environmental management. But his career in forestry started earlier, as Mark spent his high school years doing forestry jobs, and continued to work as an operational forester and business analyst for various forest products companies in Atlantic Canada.

Since becoming the co-founder of Symplicity Designs, a company that helps other organizations and industries drive operational efficiency, the 39-year-old has continued to support the forest sector by helping individual organizations reach their maximum potential. Well-respected as a leader in the sector, he regularly gives keynote speeches at industry events.


In 2013, he was named by 21inc as one of the Top 50 New and Emerging Leaders in Atlantic Canada.

Mark is an avid outdoorsman and a member of multiple conservation groups. He helps manage his sixth-generation family farm.

Next up, we will showcase the achievements of winner Bhavjit Thandi.

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