Premier’s Awards
November 07, 2012

The Premier’s Awards are an annual provincial awards program created by the government to acknowledge the important economic and social contribution college graduates make worldwide. The Premier’s Awards are 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 their community or society.

Colleges may nominate one graduate in each of the following categories:

  • Creative Arts & Design
  • Community Service
  • Business
  • Health Sciences
  • Technology
  • Recent Graduate

Do you know a Georgian graduate who should be recognized for their career achievements and successes?

The Alumni Office welcomes suggestions for nominations at any time. Please contact Kelly Pottage, Manager, Alumni and Stewardship,, 705-728-1968, ext. 1878 for further information.

Meet Georgian’s 2012 nominees

The 2012 Premier’s Awards will be held Monday, Nov. 26, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.


Category: Creative Arts & Design

Program of Study: Business Administration

Graduating Year: 1984

Job Title: President and Creative Director

Place of Employment: Three Small Rooms Hair Salon

Suzanne Martin is an internationally renowned and award?winning hairstylist who operates a high?end salon, Three Small Rooms, in Barrie. A titan in her industry, Martin’s work has been featured in more than 30 magazines and fashion spreads around the world in Italy, Spain, Korea and Japan. In 2006, Martin won the Canadian Hairstylist of the Year – Elite Master HairStylist award and has since been appointed a lifetime achievement judge on the Canadian Judges Panel for Hairstyling. She has also successfully represented Canada at the Organisation Mondiale Coiffure (OMC) World Championship. Dedicated to furthering professional and ethical standards in the hairstyling industry, she regularly mentors aspiring hairstylists who apprentice in her salon.


Category: Community Services

Program of Study: General Arts and Science; Native Education – Community and Social Development

Graduating Year: 1995; 1998

Job Title: Chief

Place of Employment: Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nations

Chief Donna Big Canoe is the first female chief of the Chippewas of Georgina Island and when elected chief in 2007 at the age of 31, was one of the youngest First Nation chiefs in Ontario. She holds her position with great honour and responsibility. Most recently, Chief Big Canoe has led the negotiations on behalf of her community for the Coldwater?Narrows Treaty, which is anticipated to be resolved this year and could be one of the largest settlements in Canadian history.


Category: Business

Program of Study: Business and Management Studies

Graduating Year: 1976

Job Title: Executive Vice President of Direct Distribution and Operations

Place of Employment: The Co-operators

Where passion, drive and a desire for excellence merge, you’ll find Rick McCombie. An industry leader at The Co?operators, McCombie’s success has been built on a solid foundation and love of accounting and insurance, best?practice business standards, and customer service. He has continually strived for and achieved multi?product growth, raising the average number of insurance products to three or more per client, making his firm a leader on this front. He is an integral part of an 11?member executive team who is collectively responsible for more than $2 billion in premiums, and a staff totalling 2,730 people. An involved community member, McCombie gives back through his philanthropic efforts with the United Way.


Category: Health Sciences

Program of Study: Nursing

Graduating Year: 1997

Job Title: President of Council; After-Hours Administrator; Part-Time Faculty Nursing Program

Place of Employment: College of Nurses in Ontario; Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital, Windsor; St. Clair College

Part-time faculty nursing program, Kris Voycey’s passion for nursing has led him to become a provincial health-care leader as president of council of the College of Nurses of Ontario. From early on in his career, he has implemented best-nursing practices internationally as a trauma management specialist and emergency program manager in one of the busiest level one trauma centres in North America at Detroit Receiving Hospital; he developed a successful RN mentoring program in Leamington, and he currently works as the after-hours administrator at Hôtel?Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor. In addition, he shares his expertise with the next generation of nurses as part?time faculty at St. Clair College.


Category: Technology

Program of Study: Industrial Design

Graduating Year: 1985

Job Title: Chief Technology Officer

Place of Employment: 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.


Category: Recent Graduate

Program of Study: Child and Youth Worker

Graduating Year: 2011

Job Title: Educator and Workshop Facilitator

Place of Employment: Sex Ed Central

Candice Reich had the vision to launch a highly specialized business called Sex Ed Central in a niche area where few are comfortable. Sex Ed Central provides comprehensive sexuality education programs and workshops across Canada to people of all ages, sexual orientation, academic levels and occupations. Drawing from her Child and Youth Worker studies at college, Reich develops and delivers programs, and manages an inclusive website to provide accurate and relevant sexuality and sexual health information to all in a non?threatening way. She has won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Academic Medal for Academic Excellence, and she is an active community volunteer.