This annual awards program created was by the provincial government to acknowledge the important economic and social contribution college graduates make worldwide. The Premier’s Awards program is administered by Colleges Ontario. Any graduate of a college program may be nominated. The person must have demonstrated outstanding career success and be making a contribution to his or her community or society. Colleges may nominate one graduate in each of the following categories:
- Creative Arts and Design
- Community Service
- Health Sciences
- Recent Graduate
Do you know a Georgian graduate who should be recognized for his or her career achievements and successes? The Alumni Office welcomes suggestions for nominations at any time. Please contact Kelly Pottage, Manager, Alumni and Stewardship, firstname.lastname@example.org, 705.728.1968, ext. 1878 for further information.
2015 Premier’s Award nominees
Nomination category: Business
Program: Developmental Services Worker; Addictions: Treatment and Prevention
Graduated: 2006, 2008
Job title: Owner/Founder and Director
Place of employment: IBI Behavioural Services
Amanda Baysarowich is a young entrepreneur motivated by a passion to help those with autism reach their full potential. Through her company IBI Behavioural Services, she works with more than 25 families through 16 therapists and taps into a network of multi-disciplinary professional services to successfully integrate nine out of every 10 clients into the classroom setting. Her business has experienced continued growth over the past three years, closing a gap in services offered in Simcoe County and York Region. Dedicated to her cause, she fundraises for clients and offers pro bono support for those in greatest need, and lobbies for her clients’ integration in schools and the community.
Nomination category: Health Sciences
Job title: Owner
Place of employment: Northern Low Vision Care
An advocate for vision care for both the elderly and the young, Amber Fournier was named Optician of the Year in 2015 by the Ontario Opticians Association. She is recognized as a leader in low vision care. Through her business Northern Low Vision Care she offers specialty mobile services – the only of their kind in Northern Ontario – to elderly clients with vision diseases to assess their condition, provide magnifying aids and help them maintain their independence and quality of life. She also offers free vision screenings to elementary school students through Loblaws, as a first step in supporting children with vision disorders.
Nomination category: Recent graduate
Program: Environmental Technology
Job title: Arctic Research Technologist
Place of employment: Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC)
Mike Maurice’s passion for the environment has taken him far, literally. He is an Arctic Research Technologist stationed in Eureka, Nunavut. He is an integral part of the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) team, in charge of monitoring atmospheric science instrumentation that provides data related to climate processes, transport of pollutants into the Arctic and the recovery of the ozone layer. He completes special tasks for world renowned researchers and troubleshoots discrepancies that arise from harsh polar conditions. His work is vital to scientists, researchers and policy makers who work to protect the health of our planet.
Nomination category: Community Service
Program: Communicative Disorders Assistant
Job Title: Founder
Place of Employment: Rehab Clinic and Children’s Education Centre
Driven by passion to help children with special needs, Victor Musowa co-founded the Rehab Clinic and Children’s Education Centre in his native country of Malawi in April 2013. It has grown into a four-room clinic that has 89 registered full-time children and a waitlist of 200 more. Victor and his colleagues offer free support for speech, language and hearing disorders, and assistance to children with learning disabilities. He is a dedicated fundraiser for his clinic which does not receive government support and he has also become a member of Malawian parliament to advocate for health care in his country, one of the world’s poorest.
Nomination category: Creative Arts and Design
Program: Interior Design
Job title: Chief of Vision & Difference
Place of employment: William Standen Co.
Before turning 25, Cassandra Nordell-MacLean launched two successful building and design companies, one of which, William Standen Co., was named one of the country’s fastest growing companies in 2013, posting 786 per cent growth over four years. Of the recipients, Cassandra was among the 11 per cent with female CEOs. Today, she is a recognized leader in the North American kitchen and design industry and counts a place in the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 30 under 30 among her many awards. She uses her expertise to give back to her community by designing spaces for charities such as Habitat for Humanity.
Nomination category: Technology
Program: Electronics Engineering Technology
Job title: Owner
Place of employment: Zortech Industries
Paul Zorad is an innovative thinker who became an early adopter of energy efficient LED lighting technology and helped introduce it to the North American market through his company, Zortech Industries. Serving clients from retail, commercial, entertainment and residential sectors, the electronics engineering technology graduate designs new energy efficient products to reduce their carbon footprint. His company also evaluates LED technology to ensure only the highest quality products are used. Paul is committed to his community, regularly contributing his technical skills to local events. He has been honoured through community and business awards as well as had his products featured on several HGTV renovation shows.
Previous Premier’s Award winners
Industrial Design, 1985 Chief Technology Officer, Buoyant Aircraft Systems International (BASI) Dale George has established a niche in the world of design for improving operations, defining innovation, and creating industry standards for a number of products and services. Now he is again at the leading edge as the chief technical officer of Buoyant Airship Services International. George’s remarkable journey began in the Industrial Design program at college. Throughout his evolution from the early days of designing the now-famous “little yellow” plastic slide that can be found in backyards across North America, to developing the first high-altitude wind turbine, to his aviation work with lighter?than?air airships with NASA and transport to remote areas, George has remained a trailblazer in his field.
Business Administration, 1984 President, Capital Paving Inc. Geoffrey Stephens became president and controlling owner of Capital Paving Inc. at age 35 and has grown its revenue from $18 million to $80 million in just over 10 years. He and his partners recently made a major ownership investment in Fowler Construction. In 2010, Capital was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and is an unprecedented three-time winner of the Ministry of Transportation’s Paver of the Year Award. Stephens was one of 40 Canadian entrepreneurs chosen for the 2010 Quantum Shift at Richard Ivey School of Business. He is active in the community, serving on numerous industry association boards.
1984 Office Administration Grad Barrister/Solicitor/Mediator Rose overcame a difficult childhood to get where she is today. Growing up in foster homes, the Barrie lawyer financed her college education by cleaning houses and checking coats at a local bar. In 1991, she was crowned Miss Black Ontario and entered law school as a mature student. She now runs her own family law and real estate practice. Adams has taught business courses at Georgian College and Ontario Business College and volunteers for non-profit community groups such as the Out of the Cold program. She served on the board of Big Brothers and the Simcoe Literacy Network.
Every year in May, the Board of Governors of Georgian College recognizes graduates who:
- have achieved an exceptionally high level of career success
- have received professional recognition in their field
- have made a significant contribution to Georgian, or the community in general
Alumni of Distinction Award nominations are welcome at any time. Learn more about the Board of Governors Awards.
A $1,000 scholarship presented annually to a student who is a child of a Georgian College graduate and has demonstrated financial need. This student must be a permanent resident of Ontario. To contribute to this award* follow this link and indicate “Alumni Endowment” as the “fund/designation.” *Georgian College appreciates and recognizes all gifts to the college.
Awards and scholarships
Awards and scholarships help Georgian students achieve their academic goals! Please contact the Awards Officer at 705.728.1968, ext. 1211 to learn more about establishing or contributing to an award.