Once upon a time. . .at Georgian
February 13, 2015

The connections students make while studying at Georgian College can lead to long-term friendships, expanded professional networks, and personal relationships that last a lifetime. This Valentine’s Day Georgian celebrates those connections (and thanks Cupid for playing his part).

Betting on a happy future

Young man and woman sit in a field wearing wedding attire

Graduates Neil and Stephanie tie the knot.

It was a shared love of the industry that brought together Automotive Business (formerly Automotive Marketing) graduates Neil and Stephanie Dunn. At the Georgian College Auto Show in 2008, Neil’s friend bet $20 that Neil couldn’t get Stephanie to go out with him.

Lucky for Neil, his friend lost the bet and the happy couple wed in 2014 at the Cranberry Resort in Collingwood.

Georgian helped the pair rev up successful careers. While a student, Neil completed three co-ops, each in a different area of the industry. In his third work term, he was a service advisor at Active Green + Ross on Anne St. in Barrie and at the end of his co-op, was offered a full-time job. A few years later, at age 26, Neil purchased and started running his own franchise. He’s now owner and operator of Active Green + Ross on Bryne Drive.

Stephanie made her mark at Georgian doing two co-op placements for the auto show – one as director of finance and sponsorship, the other as director of media relations. After graduating and with a desire to learn more, she went on to take the Bachelor of Business Administration – Automotive Management degree at Northwood University. Currently, Stephanie is an auction co-ordinator at North Toronto Auction in Innisfil.


Georgian in the family

Head shot of couple on vacation

Graduates Valerie and Doug on vacation in Costa Rica.

Who knew that a fashion promotion and business administration student would find love at Georgian, let alone create and co-own one of Barrie’s most successful salon and spas?

Doug and Valerie Samson met at Georgian in 1975. They are proud owners of Samson’s Salon and Spa on Dunlop St.

Doug is an award-winning master stylist and salon manager. He was a member of the Provincial Advisory Board for Apprenticeship Reforms, responsible for establishing industry standards within the profession. His work on the board led to improvements in the technical quality and professionalism of licensed stylists in Ontario. Doug has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia since 1993 and loves giving back to the community.

Along with her work at the salon, Valerie is also owner and president of Feng Shui 911 Consulting Services and an administrative co-ordinator at the head office of The Maxion Group in Vaughan. She’s been recipient of the Ontario Humanitarian Award (Enrich International), Georgian College Board of Governors’ Distinguished Alumni Award and nominee for an Ontario Premier’s Award of Excellence.

Valerie says the Samsons are truly a Georgian family. Their son, Derek, graduated from the Business Administration program in 2009 – following in his father’s footsteps.

On May 28, Doug and Valerie will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.


Shared desire to help others

Young man and woman dressed up for a wedding, pose for camera

Graduates Nicole and Jay at a wedding in Troy, New York.

Jay Mitchell and Nicole Taylor met in a first-year pharmacology course while pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing collaborative program at Georgian’s University Partnership Centre. They became good friends and started dating later on in the program.

Upon graduation, the couple took advantage of the Nursing Graduate Guarantee Initiative. Jay worked at Headwaters Health Centre in Orangeville on the post-surgical floor (where he continues to work now) and Nicole completed two years with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in the area of vaccine preventable disease.

Jay went on to earn a certificate in nephrology nursing at Humber College and Nicole is currently working in at a local family practice with two doctors. Both love their jobs and credit Georgian for helping to accelerate their futures.

Like the Samsons, Georgian also runs in Jay and Nicole’s family. Nicole’s dad Mike took Law and Security (now Protection, Security and Investigation) courses at the college years ago, her sister Laura is an Office Administration – Medical grad and her other sister Kristin works at the Barrie Campus.

Are you a Georgian graduate? Keep in touch – we’d love to hear your story.