WELLAND – The successes and achievements of five Niagara College graduates have earned them nominations for 2012 Premier’s Awards.
Presented annually as part of the Colleges Ontario Higher Education Summit, the Premier’s Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of six Ontario college graduates in six different categories: Business, Creative Arts and Design, Community Services, Health Sciences, Technology, and Recent Graduate.
Niagara College’s 2012 nominees include: Adin Bradley (Business), East Zone vice-president, Rural/Metro Medical Services; Christopher Bessette (Creative Arts and Design), award-winning motion picture writer and director; Paul Pender (Technology), winemaker at Tawse Winery, named the number one winery in Canada for three consecutive years (2010-2012); and David Pratt (Recent Graduate), head grower at Sundrop Farms in Australia.
“Our alumni community is more than 60,000 strong and includes accomplished graduates who are making a positive impact in all corners of society,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We’re very proud to nominate these graduates, who have distinguished themselves among a very successful group. They are truly the best of the best.”
There are 115 nominees from 24 Ontario colleges for year’s Premier’s Awards. The nominees will be celebrated and the winners announced at the Colleges Ontario annual conference to be held on Nov. 26 in Toronto.
Niagara College’s 2012 Premier’s Awards nominees
Adin Bradley – Business
Graduate of NC’s General Arts (1996) and Business Administration – Human Resources Management (1998) programs
Adin Bradley moved up quickly in Rural/Metro Medical Services from Human Resources manager in 2006, Division general manager in 2008, and East Zone vice-president in 2011 for Ohio, New York, Indiana and Kentucky. He manages eight profit centers with revenues in excess of $100 million (U.S). Under Bradley’s management, Rural/Metro is a top performer within the enterprise, and an employer of choice focused on people, training and retention. His zone includes 2,500 staff, with 2,200 EMTs and paramedics, serving 40 hospitals, and 200 nursing homes and healthcare facilities. Rural/Metro, a for-profit enterprise, also offers no-cost programs to community organizations.
He resides in Buffalo, New York.
Christopher Bessette – Creative Arts & Design
Graduate of NC’s Broadcasting-Radio, TV and Film program (1984)
Christopher Bessette’s international television and film career has spanned the Amazon, Central America, Russia, Cambodia, Thailand, Europe, Canada and the United States. He recently received the Best Director and Best Drama Award for “Trade of Innocents” at the 2012 Breckenridge Film Festival in Colorado. “Trade of Innocents,” featuring Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney, is raising awareness of the exploitation of young children through human trafficking. His film was invited by the FBI and the Attorney General’s office for a special advance screening, and to be the focal point of a symposium on human trafficking at Yale University.
He resides in Fonthill.
Joanne Brown – Community Services
Graduate of NC’s Law and Security Administration program (1984)
Joanne Brown has set the bar high, serving as chief of Travellers Operations for Canada Border Services Agency at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie. She has climbed the ranks in a field that is typically dominated by men, and has spoken publically on the importance of women in the workforce. The Peace Bridge is the largest land border operation in Canada, and the only one with a Refugee Processing Centre. This second busiest border processed 10 million travellers in 2011-12. Joanne was recently awarded The President’s Award in the Exceptional Circumstances category, the highest award given in the organization.
She resides in Niagara Falls.
Paul Pender – Technology
Graduate of NC’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program (2006)
After only five years as a winemaker, Paul Pender was named 2011 Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. His skills helped Tawse Winery make history as Winery of the Year in Canada in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – an unprecedented repeat win. Pender spent 10 years as a carpenter before embracing the world of organic and biodynamic farming, and producing award-winning vintages. Biodynamics, the most advanced form of organic farming, sees the vineyard as a self-contained ecosystem requiring no pesticides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers. Tawse, the largest organic winery in Canada, is leading the charge for organics by example.
He resides in Vineland.
David Pratt – Recent Graduate
Graduate of NC’s Greenhouse Technician program (2007)
David Pratt’s success as Head Grower at Sundrop Farms, in Outback Australia, has the potential to make the world’s deserts come alive. Agriculture uses about 70% of the world’s fresh water supply. By using the sun’s warmth to remove salt from seawater, Sundrop discovered a cost-effective method to produce food, while saving millions of litres of fresh water and millions of barrels of oil. Pratt has developed a sustainable greenhouse growing system that enables the technology to be used worldwide in coastal, arid areas. Sundrop is undergoing a $30-million expansion, and starting a Sahara Forest Project in the Middle East.
He resides in Port Augusta, Australia.
For more information about the Premier’s Awards visit www.co-awards.org.
Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit www.NiagaraCollege.ca.
(Submitted by Niagara College)