Conestoga news

November 8, 2012 9:21 AM

Conestoga Recognizes Outstanding Alumni

A reception to honour the career and community achievements of some of Conestoga's most accomplished alumni was held on Wednesday, November 7 at the Waterloo Region Museum. The Alumni of Distinction award is Conestoga's highest recognition of outstanding graduates: almost 200 alumni have been recognized since the establishment of the award in 1997.

The 19 nominees for the 2012 awards have achieved personal and career success in a wide range of fields. What they all have in common is the unwavering commitment to excellence that has helped them reach their individual goals, made their workplaces more effective and their communities better places to live. Other highlights of the event included the presentation of the Welcome Home awards for first-year students whose parents or guardians are Conestoga graduates, as well as the Alumni Association School awards to support student leaders who have demonstrated high academic achievement as well as a commitment to Conestoga and community service.

Award Recipients - Conestoga Alumni of Distinction, 2012

Recent Graduate - Sarah Wilson, Paramedic, 2009; Practical Nursing, 2011
Sarah Wilson works with Waterloo Regional EMS and is co-founder of Little Footprints, Big Steps, an international development organization, and opened two transitional safe houses in Haiti to offer guidance, education and healing to children who need protection from exploitation, abuse and homelessness.

Business - James Knapp, Business Administration-Management Studies, 1985; Jennifer Knapp, Business Administration-Marketing, 1984
James and Jennifer Knapp established Knapp Fasteners in 1987. The company has now served aerospace, military and industrial markets across North America for the past 25 years. They are recipients of the Young Entrepreneurial Award for Waterloo Region, and their company was nominated as Business of the Year by Junior Achievement in 2009 and 2010.

Community Services - Bradley Churchill, Ambulance and Emergency Care, 1996
Bradley Churchill is a former captain of the Wilmot Township Fire Department and is currently captain and acting platoon chief of the Cambridge Fire Department. He became an instructor in Conestoga’s Pre-Service Firefighter program in 2001 and has served as a preceptor and mentor to many students. He is a primary care paramedic with Perth County EMS, and recently received the federal Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal.

Engineering & Information Technology - John Lassel, Industrial Woodworking Apprenticeship, 1987; Construction Engineering Technology, 1991
John Lassel is president and CEO of Baywood Interiors, an architectural woodwork and store fixture manufacturing company. More than half of Baywood’s employees are Conestoga graduates, and the company provides co-op placements for current Conestoga students at its two plant locations in Kitchener.

Media & Design - Frank Halbert, Broadcasting - Radio and Television, 1982
Frank Halbert co-founded Sharper Image Productions in 1994, creating documentaries to promote artists and the arts. He later worked with HGTV, producing hundreds of episodes of long-running series, including Gemini winner, Disaster DIY. He is now president and executive producer of Si Entertainment, a leading lifestyle and factual content creator focused on developing and producing high quality programming for the domestic and international marketplace.

Trades & Apprenticeship - Daniel Gueguen, Plumber Apprenticeship, 1983
Daniel Gueguen is co-founder of Dordan Mechanical Inc., an award-winning organization that has been recognized for its work for the University of Waterloo's School of Pharmacy, the Perimeter Institute, and many more. The company supports many community organizations and projects and sponsors local sports teams. Daniel is past chair of the Grand Valley Construction Association and past president of Waterloo Wellington Mechanical Contractors' Association.

For more information and full profiles of all 2012 nominees, visit: