Conestoga news

April 6, 2023 10:07 AM

Local service club names Conestoga President Citizen of the Year

The Lions Club of Kitchener will recognize Dr. John Tibbits, President of Conestoga College, as its 63rd Kitchener-Waterloo Citizen of the Year. The award will be presented at a gala reception to be held on May 18.

Conestoga President Dr. John Tibbits has been recognized as the Citizen of the Year by the Lions Club of Kitchener.

“I am truly honoured to have been chosen as Citizen of the Year,” shares Dr. John Tibbits. “This recognition not only reflects positively on my contributions, but on the college, its employees and the impact Conestoga has on the community and those who live here. I look forward to the dinner where together we can support the great work of the Lions Club.”

Described as a local community builder and champion for education, Dr. Tibbits has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning since 1987. During that time, Conestoga has evolved to become a leader in Ontario’s college system.

Dr. Tibbits holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Diploma in Education from McGill University, a Master of Education degree and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from the University of Vermont as well as a Doctorate in Education from Boston University. He has held senior administrative positions at Dawson College in Montreal, Touche Ross & Partners in Ottawa and Canada Post Corporation in Ottawa.

From a community viewpoint, Dr. Tibbits has served as a Board member for a variety of industry and organizations including: Canada’s Technology Triangle, Polytechnics Canada, the Chambers of Commerce in both Cambridge and the Greater K-W Area, Grand River Hospital, Cambridge North Dumfries Hydro, the March of Dimes, Skills Canada (Ontario), Thyssen Krupp Budd Canada and Communitech.  

He has also received many honours and awards including: the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Business Leader of the Year Award (Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce), Lifetime Achievement Award (Cambridge Chamber of Commerce), Paul Harris Fellowship (Rotary International), Impact Award (Communitech) and induction into the Skills Canada-Ontario’s Klaus Woerner Hall of Fame. 

“John is an incredible community builder and his continued dedication to the education of youth in our Region, and beyond, makes him an excellent candidate for our 2022 Citizen of the Year,” adds Dr. Jack Bishop, event committee Co-Chair. “The Lions Club of Kitchener is pleased to pay tribute to this exceptional individual.”

About the Kitchener-Waterloo Citizen of the Year

Hosted by the Lions Club of Kitchener, the Citizen of the Year Award recognizes a deserving resident from the Kitchener and Waterloo area. The prestigious event is returning after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The award was first presented to Ira Needles in 1957. Over the years, the long list of esteemed community visionaries has grown to include names like: Walter Bean, Jack Harper, Owen Lackenbauer, Mac Voisin, Elizabeth Witmer, Neil Aitchison, Ron Schlegel and Jim Hallman.

Tickets for the May 18th gala can be purchased by contacting Dr. Bishop at 519-575-6184 or For sponsorship opportunities contact Mary D’Alton at 519-589-0241 or The gala reception will start at 6:00 pm with dinner to follow at 7:00 pm.

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