Alumni awards

This annual awards program was created 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:

  • Business
  • Community Services
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Health Sciences
  • Recent Graduate
  • Technology

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 email or call 705.728.1968, ext. 1128 for more information.

2017 Premier’s Award nominees

J. Andrew Baker

Portrait of alumnus James Andrew Baker

Nomination category: Community Services
Program: Aboriginal Community and Social Development
Graduated: 2009
Job title: Senior Development Officer
Place of employment: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

J. Andrew Baker has raised over $2 million since graduation, implementing 10 Indigenous programs in Ontario – many focused on youth skills initiatives. As Senior Development Officer for the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association in Geneva, Switzerland, he’s part of a team working with more than 1,200 member organizations from 132 countries on human rights work and international advocacy. Andrew was recognized with a 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in June at the Inspire Awards in Toronto. He founded Fierté Simcoe Pride and is currently Vice President of Governance for Fierté Canada Pride and Vice President of Operations at Interpride.

Read his full story on page 31 in GeorgianView magazine.

John Coburn

Portrait of alumnus John Coburn

Nomination category: Creative Arts and Design
Program: Creative Arts
Graduated: 1978
Job title: Artist
Place of employment: Self-employed, represented by Beckett Fine Art Ltd.

Artist John Coburn is best known for his pen and ink drawings. He has authored six books, the most famous being Healing Hearts, a tribute in drawings to the families who lost loved ones in New York on September 11, 2001. Almost 3,000 copies were given to families to help with their healing. In 2006, a fire ripped through John’s studio and 27 of these drawings were all that survived. On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the Consulate General of Canada in New York announced the donation of John’s Healing Hearts collection to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Read his full story on page 32 in GeorgianView magazine.

Darryl Hindle

Portrait of alumnus Darryl Hindle

Nomination category: Technology
Program: Mechanical Engineering Technology – Automotive Manufacturing
Graduated: 1999
Job title: Founder and Owner
Place of employment: Quench Buggy

Darryl Hindle’s innovative business, Quench Buggy, is responsible for preventing hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles from ending up in landfill. His mobile water units hook into municipal water systems and eliminate the need for bottled water at large-scale public events. The idea came to him when he was at a festival packed with throngs of hot (and thirsty!) people. He researched, designed and developed a model that would meet Ontario’s stringent health and safety regulations and accessibility standards. In seven short years, the filtered water stations have been on-site at 110 large outdoor events across North America each year.

Read his full story on page 35 in GeorgianView magazine.

Roger Little

Portrait of alumnus Roger Little

Nomination category: Business
Program: Electronics Engineering Technology
Graduated: 1991
Job title: Chief Executive Officer
Place of employment:
Rexel Canada Electrical Inc.

As CEO of Rexel Canada Electrical Inc., the largest wholesale distributor of electrical materials in the country, Roger Little oversees $1.5 billion in annual sales, 2,200 employees, and a network of over 200 branches stretching from coast to coast. Roger also lends his time to Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) as Chair of its National Advisory Council. In his “spare time”, he’s helped the EFC’s Young Professionals Network grow to 400 members. Today, he takes particular pride in leading Rexel Canada toward continued diversification and evolving its product line to help customers secure and use sustainable materials that reduce their carbon footprint.

Read his full story on page 30 in GeorgianView magazine.

Jackie Mungal

Portrait of alumna Jackie Mungal

Nomination category: Recent Graduate
Program: Massage Therapy
Graduated: 2016
Job title: Registered Massage Therapist/Lymphedema Therapist/Owner
Place of employment: Freedom Massage Clinic

Jackie Mungal is a Registered Massage Therapist who understands and appreciates the impact of how injuries and diseases can alter a person’s journey. Through her business, Freedom Massage Clinic, she works to assess effective paths of treatment to assist patients in their recovery and journey. She leads from her heart and soul with skill and safety, making her clients’ experience about total renewal. Jackie is breaking ground with her training program which educates and empowers patients and family to safely engage touch techniques, allowing caregivers to provide meaningful and quality care to their loved ones.

Read her full story on page 34 in GeorgianView magazine.

Carol Ulliac

Portrait of alumna Carol Ulliac

Nomination category: Health Sciences
Program: Nursing
Graduated: 1976
Job title: Dean, Health and Wellness
Place of employment: Portage College

Nurse, educator and academic leader, Carol Ulliac is a shining example of a successful college graduate. After dropping out of high school, Carol returned to college to upgrade, and then enrol in the nursing program. A passionate advocate of the contribution of rural nurses to the profession, Carol’s ethical and empathic approach to patients has guided her, and led her to become a leader in her field, and a dean of nursing education. She is now instilling her love of the profession in nursing and health-care students, building future leaders that will carry on her passion.

Read her full story on page 33 in GeorgianView magazine.

Previous Premier’s Award winners

Aylan Couchie - 2016 winner

Close-up head shot of Premier's Awards winner Aylan CouchieNomination category: Recent Graduate
Art and Design Fundamentals
Job Title:  
Anishinaabe artist, community organizer and aspiring writer
Place of Employment: Freelance artist, currently pursuing MFA at OCAD University

Just a year out of college, Aylan has built an impressive list of career achievements. In August 2015, she was chosen from among more than 950 entries worldwide to receive the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the U.S.-based International Sculpture Center. Less than a month later, Aylan was honoured with the inaugural Native Women in the Arts Barbara Laronde Award, which celebrates the career of one outstanding, emerging Northern Ontario-based  Indigenous female artist. Her artwork has also been featured in Sculpture magazine, an international publication that is distributed in more than 70 countries and has a readership of more than 37,000.

Aylan was also the winner of the Pratt Homes Sculpture competition that hand-selected four artists to design a sculpture to sit atop their new condominium in Barrie, as well as a rooftop patio piece and select works throughout the interior. Her work was chosen by the public against three seasoned and highly-esteemed sculptors. Once built, the piece, (H.I.O. Big Chiefs) will be seen from Highway 400 as it looks out over Kempenfelt Bay in tribute to the Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinabek nations.

Aylan has also made an indelible impact on the community. In 2014, she organized and launched Barrie’s first downtown art crawl, which featured local artists, fostered new relationships within the downtown merchant core, and led to partnerships that continue today.

Aylan says she is inspired by her grandfather, a residential school survivor whose passed-down teachings greatly influenced her work and encouraged her to return to college as a mature student and single mother of three teenage boys.

Despite the many accolades, Aylan feels the most important part of her work is being part of the larger conversation about First Nations realities, including murdered and missing Indigenous women, current actualities facing First Nations communities across Canada, and residential school legacies.

Dianne Martin - 2016 winner

Close-up head shot of Dianne MartinNomination category: Health Sciences
Program: Nursing
Graduated: 1998
Job title: Chief Executive Officer
Place of employment: Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario, Dianne provides leadership and advocates for the province’s thousands of registered practical nurses. She also works hard to make a difference in the lives of patients and nursing students through policies, reforms and education.

Dianne is currently working to refocus healthcare decisions on the needs of patients, which will help them take control of their own wellness. She’s also spent a good portion of her career addressing the workplace bullying she says is prevalent in the industry and providing support to nurses suffering from work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dianne hopesp the resources she and her team have created will assist employers, re-engage nurses in the profession, and help reduce or eradicate bullying and PTSD.

In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations and managing the RPNAO’s budget, Dianne visits healthcare organizations across the country to consult on nursing and how to improve patient outcomes and workplace satisfaction and retention.

Dianne also consults with many hospitals and helps administrators understand and expand the nurses’ role and implement positive change. She speaks regularly at conferences across the province on issues related to health and wellness education, and nursing issues in particular.

In addition to her leadership role, Dianne sits on nursing advisory committees at several colleges – including Georgian – and still finds time to teach in the classroom.

Dale George - 2012 winner

Close-up headshot of Dale GeorgeIndustrial 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.

Geoffrey Stephens - 2011 winner

Close-up headshot of Geoffrey StephensBusiness 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.

Stephen Flowers - 2005 winner

Close-up headshot of Stephen Flowers1983 Business Grad, President, UPS Americas Region Stephen Flowers, President of the UPS Americas Region, is responsible for all UPS package operations in Canada and more than 50 countries and territories across Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to taking on the region’s highest post, Flowers was UPS’s West Europe District Manager, where he oversaw the company’s operations in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Stephen began his career with UPS in 1981 as a loader/unloader while at Georgian College. Stephen has served on the board of directors for the United Way of Long Island, New York and the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

Rose Adams - 2003 winner

Close-up headshot of Rose Adams1984 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 Georgian College Board of Governors 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

Recommendations for the Distinguished Alumni Award are welcome at any time. Nominations are due in February. 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.

Alumni phone survey – your opinion counts

All new graduates, as well as those who have graduated in the last two years, from all colleges in Ontario, will be called as part of a phone survey from a company called Forum Research Inc. This ministry-led initiative captures opinions and experiences as well as assures program quality and graduate outcomes.  Each college is required to provide the government with graduate contact information for the purpose of surveying graduates objectively.  Please contact Angela Sutton, Georgian’s Director of Institutional Research, at 705.728.1968, ext. 1273 or if you have any questions.