Georgian is pleased to announce the successful completion of our search for two new Vice Presidents. These extremely experienced and inspiring leaders will join our Georgian team in the New Year. Lisa Banks will take on the role of Vice President, Communications, Marketing and External Relations. Catherine Drea will assume the role of Vice President, Student Engagement.

The two newest members of our Senior Leadership Team bring extensive and wide-ranging experiences across public, private and government sectors. Throughout their careers, they have proven themselves to be innovative, motivating leaders, and will both play integral roles in advancing Georgian’s strategic priorities with internal and external stakeholders.

Lisa Banks, Vice President, Communications, Marketing and External Relations, has 25 years of experience in marketing and communications in both the public and private sector. Lisa comes to us from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) where she is currently acting Vice President, External Relations, responsible for advancement, alumni, government relations, communications and marketing. Before joining UOIT in 2009, Lisa held progressively responsible marketing and communications positions at Bell Canada, completing her career at Bell in the role of Senior Director, Community Affairs.

Lisa has an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University. She has served on committees for Imagine Canada, the Council of Ontario Universities, the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, and has volunteered her time as a non-profit board member. Lisa will join us on Feb. 4, 2013.

Catherine Drea also brings broad experience to her role as Georgian’s new Vice President, Student Engagement. She has extensive experience in the field of student engagement and has led large student services portfolios in both the college and university sectors. Catherine is currently Director, Office of Student Life at the University of Toronto St. George campus. Previously, she was Associate Vice President at UOIT, Vice President at Mohawk College, and has also worked at Humber, Seneca and Durham colleges. In addition, Catherine brings provincial government experience, including time spent at Employment Ontario as Director Service Delivery Branch and Ontario Director of Apprenticeship for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University, a Master of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University and a Doctor of Education from the University of Toronto. Her doctoral thesis focused on the government role in student accessibility in colleges. She has authored numerous articles, is a member of the School of Graduate Studies at OISE/University of Toronto, teaches for Central Michigan University, and is a volunteer non-profit board member. Catherine’s first day at Georgian will be Jan. 28, 2013.

This announcement follows an extensive search that drew in hundreds of resumes from extremely qualified candidates across the country. It was gratifying to see the number of high quality applicants who want to work here – a testament to Georgian’s excellent reputation as a leader in postsecondary education. It put us in the enviable position of being able to choose from the very best.

Georgian’s President, MaryLynn West-Moynes has had the genuine privilege of working with both Lisa and Catherine. I am fully confident that each one will lead by example, embracing our student-centred culture and top employer legacy. The skills, experience, knowledge and insight they bring to Georgian will be great additions to our team.

The administrative assistants for the new VPs will play critical roles in providing support and orientation to the organization. Cathy Carnegie will be the Administrative Assistant for Lisa Banks, while Gay Ainsworth will be the Administrative Assistant for Catherine Drea.

Georgian also has two other searches underway. The search for the position of Senior Advisor/Government Relations for the President’s office is progressing well. I am hopeful an announcement about this will be made soon after the holidays, if not before.

Meantime, Promeus, the executive search firm we have engaged, has begun its national search for our new Vice President, Academic.

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