Seven Conestoga alumni are among the Ontario college graduates who have been nominated for Premier’s Awards this year.
Established in 1992 and presented annually, the awards honour and recognize the social and economic contribution Ontario’s college graduates make to the province and beyond.
Nominees are selected in the categories of apprenticeship, business, community services, creative arts and design, health sciences, recent graduate and technology.
Conestoga’s 2022 nominees:Apprenticeship nominee - Jennifer Green; Industrial Mechanic Millwright Apprenticeship '08
As the only woman in her Industrial Mechanic Millwright program, Jennifer Green has cleared the path for thousands of women in the skilled trades through advocacy, mentorship and by sharing her opinions and experiences at events and in articles, radio programs and podcasts. Jennifer was named one of WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women and a Universal Women’s Network Woman of Inspiration.Business nominee - Nick Heibein; Bachelor of Applied Technology — Architecture, Project and Facility Management '07
As a global operations officer at JLL, Nick Heibein is transforming service delivery across the multi-billion-dollar real estate portfolio of a global financial institution client. He introduced construction project innovations that delivered solutions 35 per cent faster and expanded JLL’s services to the client’s Asia-Pacific and Caribbean operations. He co-launched the first student chapter of the International Facility Management Association and served on its Toronto board for 11 years while uplifting graduates as a mentor and chair of the Young Professional Group.Community Services nominee - Luke Antonio; Bachelor of Applied Technology — Architecture, Project and Facility Management, '12
Luke Antonio pursued a college degree with the goal of strengthening Indigenous communities, businesses and people in northern Ontario. A member of the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, he founded PLA LTD (Aboriginal Project Consulting and Construction Services) on the Indigenous values of partnership, trust, transparency and community engagement. Luke has empowered Indigenous people by hiring locally and enriching First Nations communities socially and economically.Creative Arts & Design nominee - Erin Martin; Graphic Design '09
Graphic designer Erin Martin cofounded Him & Her in 2012, recruited 35 designers and developers, and grew company sales to more than $3M a year. As a champion of both her community and Conestoga, Erin has founded and led multiple grassroots marketing initiatives aimed at growing the local economy and inspiring the next generation of creative professionals.Health Sciences nominee - Rachel Radyk (Waabanokwe); General Arts and Science — Health Option '16, Practical Nursing '18
Rachel Radyk is a registered nurse and member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island whose passion for Indigenous health is changing nursing practice, ensuring culturally-appropriate care, and giving voice to Indigenous nurses provincially and nationally. An in-demand speaker, Rachel has impacted thousands of students, health care practitioners and Indigenous people with her messages of reconciliation, healing and resilience.Recent Graduate nominee - Margaret Tavares; Computer Programmer Analyst '19
When Margaret Tavares co-founded Conestoga's Canadian Information Processing Society chapter in 2016, it triggered a lifelong passion for teaching and supporting those who are enthusiastic about technology. As the business development and operations manager at software consultancy Vehikl, she helped enrich the company’s hiring pipeline, tripling Vehikl’s team and securing more than $100K to recruit and advance the skills of 25 co-op students in two years.Technology nominee - Yumna Nasir; Bachelor of Applied Technology — Architecture, Project and Facility Management '13
Yumna Nasir is using the power of technology to bridge the gaps between the design, construction and management of mega-capital projects. Her innovative approach to the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit Project saved the public more than $4M. Now the national director of operations, technology, at Plan Group Inc., Yumna has built a design/engineering department from the ground up.