Seven Conestoga graduates have been nominated for the 2018 Premier’s Awards. Established in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario’s colleges, the annual awards honour and recognize the social and economic contribution that Ontario college graduates make to the province and beyond.
This year, nearly 120 graduates from Ontario’s 24 colleges were nominated in seven categories: Apprenticeship, Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate, and Technology.
Allie Libertini, a 2017 CICE graduate and special olympian, is one of seven Conestoga graduates nominated for the 2018 Premier's Awards.
- Apprenticeship nominee Don Gosen is a 1974 Air & Water Resources Technology graduate and 1980 Electrician - Construction & Maintenance Apprentice. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors for the Ontario College of Trades and is a part-time faculty member in Conestoga’s Electrician program. He was recognized as an Alumnus of Distinction in 2009.
- Business nominee Martha George graduated from Conestoga's Teacher/Trainer of Adults program in 1999. George is president of the Grand Valley Construction Association (GVCA) and an advocate for the construction industry. She serves the community through her leadership with the GVCA and involvement with various boards and associations, including multiple terms on Conestoga’s Board of Governors and Program Advisory Committees. George received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.
- Community Services nominee Sherry Lickers is a 1984 graduate of the Early Childhood Education program. She has spent the last 30 years working in the child care field helping children and families, and currently serves as the acting director of Six Nations Child Care Services. She is the author of “Bounce Back: What Women Can Do When Life Hits Them Hard" and was recognized as an Alumnus of Distinction in 2015.
- Creative Arts nominee Casie Stewart graduated from the Business Administration - Marketing program in 2003. She is a Canadian writer, director and entrepreneur and award‑winning lifestyle blogger, content creator and expert in social and digital media. During her decade‑long career in media, she has been named Canadian Screen Award Voice Pioneer, won Best Travel Blog, and served as a keynote speaker at SXSW, NXNE and TEDx.
- Health & Life Sciences nominee Deanna Clatworthy is a 2012 Practical Nursing graduate and now works as a registered practical nurse, public speaker and health educator. She is the clinic coordinator and nurse at the HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health (ARCH) Clinic in Guelph which cares for individuals who are living with or are affected by HIV/AIDS. Clatworthy also sits on the Registered Practical Nursing Association of Ontario’s Board of Directors.
- Recent Graduate nominee Allie Libertini completed the Community Integration through Cooperative Education program in 2017. She has been involved with the Special Olympics for seven years and qualified for Team Canada at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Newfoundland. While a student, she represented Team Canada at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria and returned home with two silver medals and a fifth place finish in Nordic skiing. She hopes to represent Canada at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2019.
- Technology nominee Steve Zinger, a 2006 graduate of the Business Administration - Marketing program, is president of Blendtek, which focused on developing innovative new technologies, food systems and ingredients to address the needs of feeding a growing world population. It was named Business of the Year for companies with one to 49 employees by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and Zinger was also honoured with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
The 2018 Premier’s Awards gala will take place on November 26 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. More information and a full list of 2018 nominees is available through Colleges Ontario.