Page 1

Partnership power Niagara Research revs up region’s economy through innovation

Home sweet homestay Local families open homes and hearts to international students

Reaping rewards How Jerry Howell turned the family farm into an agritourist sensation



shines spotlight on NC

Meet the chefs Top talent is the recipe for success at Canadian Food and Wine Institute

Teaching is our Passion. NC Restaurant


Learning is their Passion. Indulge

Niagara College Teaching


your Passion.

The Learning Enterprises at Niagara College’s beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake campus offer visitors a unique experience where food, wine and beer combine to treat your senses, a spa treatment will relax you and the aroma from the greenhouse will send you home smiling.

Niagara College Teaching


We invite you to experience Niagara College in a way you never thought possible - an oasis of hospitality and indulgence.

As we tell our students...

Niagara College


You’re going to like it here!

Niagara College Teaching



Encore is published twice annually by Niagara College Canada. Mailing address: Niagara College Canada 300 Woodlawn Road Welland, Ontario, Canada L3C 7L3


Associate Vice-President Planning and Communications Gordon Hunchak Manager Marketing and Communications Dorita Pentesco


Director of Development Foundation and Alumni Relations Lyn Russo

President’s welcome


At a glance


NC’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee recipients


CFWI award winners


Decadence 2013


Wine educator wins Top 40 Under Forty


Rick Mercer reports on NC


Funds boost Research Innovation Centre


NC jumps into spring with Open House


Honouring top student athletes


NC hosts national volleyball championship


Celebrity chef Michael Smith visits CFWI


Student wins at Women in Business event


Editors Julie Greco, Michael Wales


Contributing writers Julie Greco, Michael Wales, Carolyn Mullin, Helen Armstrong, Catherine Barkwell, Alison Burgoyne, Joanne Cousineau, Lyn Russo Photography Luke Gillett, Julie Greco, Julie Jocsak, Carolyn Mullin, Michael Wales


Chefs become recipe for student success




Colombian project a golden opportunity


Grad spotlight: Jerry Howell


Brewmaster student’s Wild ‘rye’d’


Meet NC’s own ‘iron lady’


Graphic design Mark Hughes Comments are welcome. Contact



A home away from home


Research boosts Niagara manufacturing


Second Wind Dreams, first-rate experience

myConnection 24

Seafood Gala a swimming success

24 Many Hands, one mission



Dental clinics give kids reason to smile


Alumni benefits and services

myFuture 26

2012-2013 donors


New funds support NC students


Donor recognition


Equipping future workers

ON THE COVER Rick Mercer poses in front of the NC Teaching Brewery with students from the College’s wine and beer programs as part of a TV shoot for the Rick Mercer Report. Cover photo by Julie Jocsak

22 academics

Spring 2013 | | encore 1

Dan Patterson, Ph.D. President

Welcome to the Spring 2013 edition of encore. Our Canadian Food and Wine Institute is a big part of what makes Niagara College unique. Through our teaching winery and brewery — the first operations of their kind in Canada — and leading-edge culinary programs, we’ve created an applied learning environment that serves as a model for food, wine and beer education. It’s something that continues to gain attention across Canada and around the world. As you’ll read in this issue of encore, we had an exciting visit from the CBC’s Rick Mercer, who featured our teaching brewery and winery on his show, The Rick Mercer Report. The College also had a recent visit from one of Canada’s top chefs, Michael Smith, who told us that “the world is watching what we’re doing.” One of the key strengths of the CFWI and Niagara College as a whole is our incredibly talented team of faculty. We’re fortunate to have some of Canada’s top culinary talent as chef professors. You’ll read about some of them in this issue — Mark Picone, Olaf Mertens, Osvaldo Avila, Tony de Luca, Avi Hollo and Michael Olson. These chefs provided an outstanding learning opportunity for students this spring through our Signature Chef Series — a spectacular run of fine-dining experiences held at our Benchmark Restaurant. In these pages you’ll also read inspiring stories about our homestay program, which matches international students with local families, and important work being done in Colombia by our own chair of International Development Jos Nolle, who is spending 12 months in the South American country as part of an Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) development project. We’ve included a profile of distinguished Computer Engineering Technology alumnus Jerry Howell, who has created one of Niagara’s top agritourism destinations and was the recent recipient of a prestigious Premier’s Award. We’re also pleased to report that for the eighth time in nine years, we’ve ranked first overall in student satisfaction in Ontario. The annual Key Performance Indicator survey has also given us high marks in graduate employment and satisfaction, and employer satisfaction. These outstanding results are a testament to the great work of our staff and faculty, and their commitment to providing an unparalleled student experience. I hope you’ll enjoy this issue of encore. We’d love to hear from you. Please share your feedback, suggestions, story ideas or alumni updates at

Dan Patterson, Ph.D. President


At a Glance

We’re number one

Niagara College’s number one streak continues in 2013. In April, NC was announced as the number one college province-wide for student satisfaction. It’s the eighth time NC has achieved the top spot in nine years as part of the Key Performance Indicator Student Satisfaction Survey, distributed to all 24 Ontario colleges. Results also showed that 85.2% of NC grads were employed within six months of graduation and 92.3% of employers were satisfied with

Tap into NC’s new line of specialty beers The Niagara College Teaching Brewery launched a new line of craft beers this year, responding to a demand for unique, specialized brews and to showcase the versatility of the NC Teaching Brewery. The line includes: Wheat, a 4.5% pale, spicy wheat-based ale; Strong Ale, a 7.5% warming beer best consumed in half-pints on a cold night; Cherry Pilsner, a 5.5% marriage of fruit and beer; IPA, a 6% moderately-strong pale ale; and Stout, a 5.5% dark, full-bodied malty ale. The beers are available at the retail outlet at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus and are served on tap at select establishments in Ontario.

NC grads they hired.

Food for thought Just five years since Rory White graduated from Niagara College, he has become a household name — at least for viewers of The Food Network. At only 24 years old, White was the youngest of 16 competitors in Season Three of Top Chef Canada. White came to the show as a sous chef for George restaurant in Toronto, and held on until Episode 7. He has fond memories of his days at NC. “My experience at NC gave me confidence, a strong foundation of the basics in cooking, and great connections to the industry,” he said.

College leads the way for United Way NC has been recognized as a leader in the

Welland Campus expansion wins design award

United Way of South Niagara’s 2013 Campaign.

Niagara College was honoured with a

The College’s contribution, exceeding $32,000,

Niagara Design Award in the Large Scale

won a platinum award and was recognized as

Project category for its Welland Campus

the second-best public sector campaign for

expansion. Completed in 2011, the project

2013. The annual Peninsula Hoop Classic

added six new and expanded buildings as

basketball games between NC and Brock

well as new roadways and linkages, and

University raised $2,000 last fall and was

transformed the campus grounds.

among the top fundraising events.

Spring 2013 | | encore 3


NC counsellor receives Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

Trina Washington, a counsellor whose work has helped students with disabilities at NC and across the Ontario college system, was honoured in February with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Washington received the honour at a gala at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, given by Lt. Governor David Onley. The medal recognizes her work with the College Committee on Disability Issues, a provincial group that she’s been a part of for 14 years. “It was a shock, and it was very humbling to be chosen,” she said. “I feel like I received it on behalf of the (CCDI) members, because of the important work they do at all Ontario colleges.” Washington serves as a disabilities counsellor in Niagara College’s Centre for Students with Disabilities, and represents Niagara College on the CCDI. She has served on the executive of the CCDI for eight years. The CCDI monitors issues that affect students with disabilities in Ontario and recommends policies and procedures that support their educational experiences. Washington first met Lt. Governor Onley five years ago at Niagara College, when Onley took an interest in the work of the College Committee on Disability Issues (CCDI),

Trina Washington is pictured with Her Honour Ruthanne Onley, wife of Lieutenant Governor David Onley.

which Washington chaired at the time. “He loves the work that the colleges are doing, and our support for students with disabilities within the college system,” she said. “He sees us as a champion for the work that he’s doing.” “Trina provides outstanding support for our students, and she and her colleagues on the CCDI have done important work that enhances educational experiences and opportunities for students with disabilities across Ontario,” said Rick Anderson, Niagara College’s director of student services. “We are very pleased to see Trina’s work recognized with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.”

Crispino’s contributions recognized with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

Len Crispino, chair of Niagara College’s Board of Governors and retired president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, was also honoured in February with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. James Knight, president and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), presented Crispino with the award during a ceremony on Feb. 21 at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre. The ACCC was invited by the Office of the Governor General to nominate individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to their respective colleges, as well as Canada’s college sector. “Len’s record of public service and commitment to community are extraordinary,” said Knight. “Niagara College and the broader college sector are fortunate to have such a widely-respected business leader champion the important role that colleges play in support of their communities.” Crispino has served as chair of NC’s Board of Governors since 2009. He was president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce from 2002 until his retirement in 2012. Before joining the Chamber, Crispino had a distinguished career with the Ontario government, where he served as the province’s trade representative in Italy and held management and assistant deputy minister

Len Crispino, left, receives the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and certificate from James Knight, president of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

positions. He and his wife, Marisa, own The Foreign Affair Winery in Niagara. “It is a great honour to be recognized for my work with Niagara College. I have been fortunate to work with an exceptional group of dedicated volunteers on the College’s Board of Governors, all of whom are accomplished community and industry leaders,” said Crispino. “It has been my privilege to be involved with an organization that is truly focused on fulfilling the dreams of their students.”

4 encore | | Spring 2013


CFWI takes the cake Several awards were won by students and staff of the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute this year. Congratulations to all of our winners! Bartley Challenge, March 21

shopping for ingredients at St. Lawrence Market

For the third consecutive year, a team of culinary

in downtown Toronto, before the final cook-off at

students from the CFWI scored victory at the

George Brown College.

Air Canada Centre’s Bartley Culinary Challenge. Battling teams from Humber College and Georgian College, NC’s CFWI team was declared the winner with the best main course for 100 guests at the Platinum Club.

“Tabitha and Scott were keen competitors in King Cole’s Great Amazing Duck Race, with terrific enthusiasm and a delicious entry,” said Patti Thompson, director of Sales and Marketing for King Cole Ducks. “They were professional,

Decadence 2013 a sweet success When chocolate and Icewine come together, the result is pure decadence, and this year’s celebration of the two fine indulgences proved sweeter than ever. Visitors flocked to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on February 16 for the Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s third annual Decadence event where they had the opportunity to attend a variety of presentations and seminars. At the National Student Pastry competition,

focused and did the College and King Cole proud

CFWI students took second place overall and won

with a winning duck appetizer and duck entrée

the innovative use of Icewine, while Johnson and

— bravo Niagara!”

Wales University’s team won the title of Grand Champion and the award for most innovative use

Tony Aspler CuvÉe Award of Excellence 2013 CuvÉe Gala, March 1 Winemaker/professor Terence Van Rooyen was honoured with the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Culinary students from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute won the Bartley Culinary Challenge.

Excellence at the 2013 Cuvée Gala, for honing the skills of future cool climate winemakers for Canada and the world.

“It’s a Niagara dynasty. Not only did they

“Terence has spent many years explaining

succeed, but they also set a great example of

and practicing the production of cool climate

discipline and teamwork,” said Chris Zielinski,

wines for students at Niagara College,” said

executive chef at the Air Canada Centre.

Tony Aspler, who has been presenting the

The team included second-year Culinary

award annually since 2000 to individuals or

of chocolate. This year’s new element — the Battle of Ontario culinary competition — drew students from Humber, Fanshawe, Fleming and Canadore colleges. A team from Humber College won over the roster of special guest judges, including Food Network celebrity chef Anna Olson, Top Chef Canada’s Carl Heinrich, chef Richard Braunauer, Canada’s ‘godfather of the grill’ Ted Reader.

40 under 40 toasting a NC wine educator

Management student Trevor Littlejohn as well as

organizations that have done the most to further

first-year Culinary Management students Carla

the aims and aspirations of the Ontario wine

Castro, Adam Sheridan and Daniel Germond.

industry. “With his experience of working at and

They were coached by CFWI chef professor Mark

consulting to various Ontario wineries, he is in

Picone with support from chef professor and

a great position to instruct the province’s future

wine programs, was honoured at The Business

culinary program chair Olaf Mertens and chef


Link’s 40 Under Forty Business Achievement

professor Peter Blakeman.

The award was well received by wine industry leaders in Niagara.

Great Amazing Duck Race, March 16

“Terence Van Rooyen is a fitting recipient

When it comes to the ultimate farm-to-fork

of the Tony Aspler Award of Excellence for his

experience and recipe competition, CFWI

efforts in sharing his wealth of experience to

students proved they fit the bill.

train our future winemakers at Niagara College’s

Students Tabitha Hendricks and Scott McInerney competed against teams from nine Ontario colleges in King Cole Ducks’

Teaching Winery,” said Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario. “I was thrilled to see him recognized for his

competition. Modeled after the popular television

ongoing efforts with Niagara College students

show The Amazing Race, the competition took

as well as our wine industry as a whole,” said

students from a Newmarket farm where they

Deborah Pratt, winery public relations, Great

picked up duck eggs, and cut their own ducks, to

Estates of Niagara.

Niagara’s business community raised a glass to Niagara College wine educator Jennifer Wilhelm. Wilhelm, professor and coordinator of NC’s

Award in May. The awards recognize individuals under 40 for their business leadership and for making a mark in their communities. “I am passionate about and dedicated to the Ontario wine industry and the extremely talented and inspirational people within it,” said Wilhelm. “I firmly believe that when we choose to build up the next generation of young people that we are investing not only in more competent, enthusiastic and committed professionals but also in a stronger community and brighter future for our region.” Previous 40 under Forty award winners at NC include Natalee Tokar and Gord Hunchak. Spring 2013 | | encore 5


Rick Mercer reports on NC

“Education finally makes sense to me.”

Something funny was brewing at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus March 11, as Rick Mercer and his crew from the CBC’s Rick Mercer Report visited Niagara College’s Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery. Mercer spent a day at the campus March 11, filming segments at the Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Teaching Winery and campus vineyards. Over the course of the day, students and faculty taught Mercer the basics of brewing beer and pruning vines, and provided an overview of the wine-making process. Mercer also sampled student-made wine and beer. “Education finally makes sense to me,” cracks Mercer as the segment begins. “This was a wonderful opportunity to share our winery and brewery story with viewers from across Canada,” said president Dan Patterson.

“Our students and faculty did a great job of

Canada’s top television personalities might be

representing Niagara College.”

a little daunting, Downing said Mercer put him

NC’s Brewmaster and professor Jon Downing and a group of students from the Brewmaster

and the students at ease. “It was a lot of fun, and Rick made everyone

and Brewery Operations Management program

feel relaxed and comfortable right away,” said

began the day by walking Mercer through the

Downing. “His style is genuinely funny and he

steps of beer-making, ending with the bottling

was truly interested in what he learned.”

process. While sharing camera time with one of

Top: Rick Mercer interviews students of the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations program. Middle: Mercer explores the NC Teaching Winery, Wine Visitor + Education Centre and NC Teaching Brewery. Left: Assistant Winemaker Gavin Robertson samples NC Teaching Winery selections with Mercer.

6 encore | | Spring 2013


Research boost

Funds help launch Industry Innovation Centre Niagara College was host to an exciting federal funding announcement in May, as the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced up to $990,000 for the College’s research division to assist Niagara manufacturers looking to access support and resources for growth. Above, from right: VP Academic Steve Hudson; St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra; the Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario; Mark Nantel, associate VP, Research and Innovation; Diane Simsovic, managing director of the NEDC; and Niagara College president Dan Patterson.

Goodyear’s announcement, which included news about funding for the Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), was made alongside Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, at the Welland Campus. Through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative, the funding will support the establishment of the Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara College, which will provide small regional manufacturers access to needed facilities, equipment, technical expertise, and services to assist them in product development, technology adoption, and expansion into new markets. These projects are expected to contribute to job creation and the revival of Niagara’s manufacturing sector, providing support services and mentorship to hundreds of companies.

NC jumps into spring with Open House

NiagaraCollege Niagara College’s own TEDx event capped off NC’s 2013 Spring Open House. TEDx is part of the TED Talks online phenomenon that combines live presentations and online videos aimed at sharing ideas. Speakers at the sold-out event included Niagara College’s The Spring Open House is an annual event that gives visitors an inside look at what NC has to offer.

NC’s Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake Campuses were bustling on March 23 as the College opened its doors for a Spring Open House. The event drew thousands of prospective students and their families, as well as community residents.

chair of Visualization Sciences, Mike Duncan; NC’s associate vice-president, Research, Marc Nantel; CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Walter Sendzik; founder of REFLUX

It offered everything from program information sessions and displays for those considering their post-

Consulting and the innovator of the

secondary options, to kids’ cooking contests, demonstrations, plant sales, entertainment, and more.

patented Leading Artistic Talent to

“It was great to have so many people exploring our campuses. From people looking at post-secondary

Excellence (LATTE) Method, Brian Stofer;

options to those wanting to learn more about Niagara College, there’s such a strong interest in our

director of programming at the Niagara

programs and the exciting work we’re doing here,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “This was a

Artists Centre, Stephen Remus; and

spectacular opportunity to showcase our specialized campuses and our unique approach to applied

director of professional communications


programs at McMaster University, Alex Sevigny.

Spring 2013 | | encore 7


Night of Knights honours top student athletes Another great season was celebrated at the 44th Annual

NC hosts national men’s volleyball championship

Athletic Awards Banquet April 12, where the Niagara College Knights student athletes were recognized for their athletic and academic

Canada’s top eight men’s collegiate volleyball programs


gathered in Niagara in March as Niagara College hosted the 2013 Ironwood The top honours — male and

Wealth Management Group CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship.

female Athlete of the Year awards — went to Shayne Petrusma of the Men’s Volleyball program, and Allana Arundell of the Women’s Basketball program. Petrusma, a fifth-year outside hitter from Bowmanville, Ontario, had an outstanding season for the Knights. The six-foot-six Student athletes were celebrated at NC’s annual Athletic Awards Banquet including Melanie Tanguay and Allana Arundell (front), and Jeff Scott and Shayne Petrusma (back).

Paramedic student was named a CCAA All-Canadian, SIRC-CCAA Academic All-Canadian, and an OCAA First Team All-Star.

The championship saw Vancouver Island University Mariners, Capilano University Blues, Red Deer College Kings, SAIT Polytechnic Trojans, the

Arundell, a graduating fifth-year guard, was named an OCAA Second-

CÉGEP de l’Outaouais Griffons, the University of King’s College Blue Devils, the

Team All-Star in her final season of collegiate play. The Toronto native

Nipissing University Lakers and the Niagara College Knights vie for the title.

and Child and Youth Worker student was also named a SIRC-CCAA Academic All-Canadian. The evening’s other major award winners included Rookies of the Year Jeff Scott (Men’s Volleyball) and Melanie Tanguay (Women’s Basketball), Top Leadership winners Jimmy Bilenga (Men’s Basketball) and Shelby Johnston (Women’s Basketball), Top Scholastic recipients Josh Giancola (Men’s Soccer) and Robyn Deklerk (Women’s Soccer), and the Ralph Nero Award (for a coach’s dedication to student-athlete recruitment and retention) Nathan Groenveld (Men’s Volleyball). The Niagara College Knights Hall of Fame also welcomed three new inductees. Carrie Stratford-Collver and Heidi Bench were inducted in the Athlete category, while Bernd Franke was inducted as a Builder. Stratford-Collver played three seasons with the Women’s Basketball program, leading the team to an OCAA Championship Silver Medal in 2003. Bench enjoyed two outstanding seasons as a member of the

In the Gold Medal match, the Nipissing Lakers defeated the Red Deer Kings in front of a capacity crowd at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. The SAIT Trojans defeated the Vancouver Island Mariners to capture the CCAA Bronze. The host, Niagara College Knights, finished fifth in the event after defeating the Capilano Blues in the opening match. Niagara’s Shayne Petrusma was named a CCAA Championship First-Team All-Star for his outstanding performance. “We are very proud to have hosted the 2013 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship,” said Matthew Davies, NC’s manager of athletics and recreation. “Fans had an opportunity to see some of the best men’s volleyball in the country. The institutional and community support, ticket sales, and online viewership all helped us create a first-class event.” The Championship drew more than 2,600 spectators and was broadcast live on the internet, drawing more than 69,000 viewers. More than 200 volunteers from the Niagara College community were

Women’s Volleyball program. Bench excelled both on the court and

instrumental in ensuring the event’s success. Students from the Niagara News,

in the classroom, winning two OCAA West Division scoring titles, and

and academic programs including Police Foundations, Community Justice,

two CCAA Academic All-Canadian awards.

Event Management, and Broadcasting - Radio, Television and Film were well

Bernd Franke is the sports editor of the Welland Tribune and his commitment and dedication to covering Niagara College intercollegiate athletics has been instrumental in raising the profile of the Niagara College Knights in both the local community and across the province.

represented. Leigh Goldie, vice-president of programs for the CCAA, congratulated Niagara College for hosting an excellent Men’s Volleyball National Championship. “There was an exciting atmosphere in the gym each day and the volleyball was great. Your army of volunteers were excellent and they exhibited superb hospitality,” said Goldie. “You have a beautiful college and it’s obvious your people are very proud to be a part of it.”

8 encore | | Spring 2013


Celebrity chef Michael Smith

stirs up excitement

According to celebrity chef and Food Network host Michael Smith, the work of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute is capturing national attention. “The whole country is watching what you’re doing,” he said during a visit to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on Feb. 27. Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, spoke to students and faculty from NC’s culinary programs, as well as select high school students from across Southern Ontario. His message was one of simplicity; he urged the aspiring chefs to focus on the basics and described a cook’s role as one of “gathering, preparing and sharing” food. “We’re a living link between the farmer and the guest,” he said. A self-proclaimed nutritional activist, Smith spoke of the importance of local food products and the people who produce them. “Get to know food producers, and it will make you a better cook,” he said. “There’s nothing more powerful than knowing where your food comes from.” Smith spoke and took questions for more than an hour in the culinary theatre before touring the Wine Visitor + Education Centre and the Niagara College Teaching Brewery.

Celebrity chef and Food Network host Michael Smith visited NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute in February.

Student shines

at Women in Business Awards

Smith is host of Chef Michael’s Kitchen, Chef Abroad, Chef at Home, and Chef at Large seen on Food Network Canada and in more than 100 other countries.

Joanna Polillo, a fourth-year student in NC’s Bachelor of Applied Business – International Commerce and Global Development program, was one of four accomplished women honoured at the Women in Business Awards. At the event hosted by NC in February, Polillo received the Up and Coming award as the most outstanding post-secondary student in business, marketing or event management. Presented by Sun Media, the Women in Business Awards event honours the achievements of business women in Niagara. In addition to her studies, Polillo has served as president of NC’s International Club, and has helped raise awareness and funds for local and international non-profit organizations, including Gillian’s Place and War Child Canada. As events manager at Heart Niagara, she was involved in many community events to promote sustainability and heart health. She has also worked in South Africa for the Centre for Rural Development and with Ntinga Development Agency, and has helped shape NC’s Be World Ready campaign and passport program. Polillo thanked her professors, including Dawit Eshetu and John McTavish, for making her experience at Niagara College such a success.

Dan Patterson congratulates student Joanna Polillo after she received the Up and Coming award as the most outstanding post-secondary student in business, marketing or event management at the 2013 Women in Business Awards.

“Being a student at Niagara College has provided me with so many opportunities and has given me the confidence to pursue my goals,” she said. Niagara College was also the sponsor of a new educator award. NC’s director of Workforce and Business Development Fiona Allan presented the award to Ann Marie Maloney of Mother Theresa Catholic Elementary School in St. Catharines. Other honourees included Deb Zahra, operating partner of Boston Pizza in Welland, who received the community spirit and corporate awards; and Sherry Campbell, owner and principal therapist at the Sherry Campbell Group in Ridgeway, who received the entrepreneur award.

Spring 2013 | | encore 9


Left to right: Osvaldo Avila, Avi Hollo, Mark Picone, Michael Olson, Olaf Mertens, and Tony de Luca. Chef photos by Stephen Dominick.

Top chef professors become recipe for student success Every day, within the kitchens and labs of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, students have an opportunity to learn from some of the top culinary talent in Canada.

From February to May 2013 however, six events gave the public a taste of the hotbed of talent that lies within the CFWI. Called the Chef Signature Series, each event shone the spotlight on a different culinary star on the Institute’s roster of chef professors — Mark Picone, Olaf Mertens, Osvaldo Avila, Tony de Luca, Avi Hollo and Michael Olson. Here’s an inside look at the six super chefs who dazzled sell-out crowds during the series. They all came from sizzling hot culinary careers and are equipping CFWI students with the ingredients for success. >>>

10 encore | | Spring 2013


Mark Picone Pioneer of Niagara’s culinary excellence mentors tomorrow’s chefs Food isn’t merely to be eaten; it’s what memories are made of. That’s the philosophy of chef professor Mark Picone who has worked at the CFWI since 2005. “Food is about sharing, people gathering.

Olaf Mertens Inspiring students by cooking straight from the heart As a chef and as a professor, Olaf Mertens pulls out all the stops. Just as he hardly flinched at the mention of preparing a soufflé for 80 guests at his Chef

Osvaldo Avila Bringing culinary creativity to the classroom Growing up in Havana, Cuba, Osvaldo Avila never imagined the distance his chosen career would take him. He had been encouraged to enter the

Signature Series dinner — a bold move that went

hospitality sector due to demand in the field and

It’s a metaphor that brings people together to

off without a hitch at the event — he’ll routinely

developed a love for cooking. After graduating

sit down, talk and exchange ideas, and that’s

wake up in the middle of the night with new

from the Technical Culinary Arts program at

what we love,” he says. “It’s about creating a

ideas for his lesson plans.

Sergio Perez College in 1995, Avila worked

memory that people will have an opportunity to experience and talk about.” Picone trained in several restaurants across Ontario, France and Italy before returning to

Fuelled by a lifelong passion for food, Mertens

at several respected establishments in Cuba

is self-professed over-achiever when it comes to

including Hotel Melia Cohiba, Morro Cabana

winning over his guests and his students.

Resort and the Tocororo Restaurant.

The German-born chef professor came to

Avila seized opportunities that came his way.

Canada in 1996 to become the executive chef at

Niagara College in 2010 after a decade at the

In 1998, he attended a post-graduate program

Vineland Estates. There, he made his mark as a

helm of the HIP Restaurant chain in Mississauga

in Spain at the University of Saint Paul de Mar.

pioneer of culinary excellence in Niagara.

as founder and owner of its three bustling

He continued his education at Niagara College

locations — On the Curve Hot Stone and Wine

and the University of Mexico before returning to

so sought-after that reservations at his studio

Bar, Ten Restaurant and Wine Bar and West


restaurant in Vineland — the Mark Picone

50 Pourhouse and Grill — as well as his own

Culinary Studio — are taken by referral only.

catering division: From the HIP.

Today, the award-winning chef is currently

Picone secured his Certified Chef de Cuisine

Cooking is where his heart is, says Mertens,

His career was on an upswing and Avila landed a job at the Japanese Embassy in Havana where he cooked for various high-profile guests

designation in 1999 and has received many

whose childhood memories revolve around his

including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter

honours. He has multiple AAA/CAA four-diamond

family’s delicatessen in Mississauga. Even his

and author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

awards, a Fellowship in the Hostelry Institute and

high school grad profile lists it as his aspiration.

In 2002, Avila had the chance to move to

DiRoNa recognition. In 2001, he was appointed

Mertens trained at some of the finest

to the Order of Professional Italian Restaurateurs,

restaurants in Berlin and Budapest. He was

(rare outside of Europe). He was a guest chef at

named top Skilled Apprentice for the class of

in Havana so it was a tough decision,” he says.

the James Beard House in New York in 2003,

1989 and was awarded Berlin’s Apprentice of

“I knew when I left it would be forever.”

and was recently awarded a Business Excellence

the Year that same year.

Award for Arts, Culture and Science by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario. His philosophy is to work closely with local suppliers to provide quality ingredients. He

He worked a corporate chef job for three years

Canada and become a Canadian citizen. “I was working in some of the best restaurants

He worked at Casino Niagara and the Fallsview Casino Resort when it opened in 2004 before

at a chain of 12 restaurants and hotels before

joining NC as a part-time teacher and sous-chef

launching the HIP chain with a business partner.

at Benchmark in 2008. Since then, educating

While he enjoyed the success of his business,

and mentoring students has become his main

enjoys passing on his respect for ingredients and

Mertens gave it all up to return to his true

joy and he enjoys sharing his zest for culinary

passion for cooking to aspiring chefs at NC.

passion: cooking. It’s this desire that brought

creativity with his students.

“Teaching provides me with a creative outlet to instruct, to foster, to mentor, while sharing the excellence and passion for quality food,” he says.

him to teach at NC, along with an enthusiasm for sharing his expertise with his students. “I love every part of teaching,” he says.

“One of my greatest joys as a chef is seeing the

“Cooking is about giving and I like to pass this

next generation develop skills that allow them to

onto my students.”

“I tell them, ‘in this beautiful country, it’s up to you. What are you willing to give,’” he says. “If I’m doing a good job, it’s because I’m willing to give everything to it.”

pursue their dreams.” Spring 2013 | | encore 11


Tony de Luca Pairing a love for cooking with respect for producers Tony de Luca’s love for cooking goes hand-inhand with a respect for the ingredients he uses.

Avi Hollo Former culinary student returns to College as celebrated Niagara chef For Avi Hollo, becoming a chef professor at Niagara College is like coming home.

Michael Olson Father of Niagara’s farm-to-table movement puts down roots at NC Michael Olson is one of the best known chefs in the Niagara region, is often featured in print

“Now it’s called ‘farm to table’ but to me,

More than 20 years ago, Hollo first arrived

farmers have always been important, as well as

at NC as a student. The aspiring chef had been

around the world with his wife — celebrity chef

respecting the integrity of the ingredients and the

interested in a culinary career since he was

Anna Olson — but there’s nothing he’d rather do

seasons,” he says. “I believe, as chefs, our job is

a child. He graduated from NC and was an

than teach.

not to reinvent the wheel but to highlight what is

apprentice at the prestigious Gate House Hotel

already good.”

Ristorante Giardino in Niagara-on-the-Lake where

All of the other activities I do simply help me in

he fell in love with Italian cooking.

the classroom to relate any of the topics at hand

This philosophy has influenced the celebrated chef de Luca has become. Before moving to Niagara, de Luca built up his career by working in fine dining establishments

“It was the simplicity of it, to have clean, simple flavours without over-complicating it, that appealed to me,” he says.

media and on television shows, and travels

”My role as chef professor is my favourite part.

to practical application,” he says. Olson, who has been called the ‘father of Niagara regional cuisine,’ had a successful

around the world. He’s worked in the United

Hollo was selected by the Italian Trade

States with the famous Jean Louis Palladin

Commission and travelled to Italy as one of

such establishments as Coco Lezzone and the

at the Watergate Hotel, as well as the Inn at

Canada’s chef representatives in 1999. In 2002,

Liberty in Toronto, and Navy Blues in Oakville.

Little Washington. He’s worked the kitchens

he completed his Certified Chef de Cuisine

His interest in the farm-to-table movement stems

of Troisgros in France, the Chewton Glenn in

certification and spent the next decade working

back to the late ‘80s when he joined a group

England, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Germany,

at some of the finest restaurants and hotels in

of cooks called Knives and Forks, interested in

and La Ginestra in Italy.

the Niagara region. He opened the kitchen at 17

seeking out better quality produce.

In 1996, he made his mark in Niagara as opening chef of Hillebrand Estates Winery, the first in the region to achieve a four-star rating

Noir at the Fallsview Casino and became its chef de Cuisine in 2003. In 2007, Hollo returned to NC as an

career before arriving in Niagara, working at

When he moved to Niagara 20 years ago to become opening chef at Inn On The Twenty, the first full-service winery restaurant in Canada,

from Toronto Life magazine. He went on to open

instructor. He began in the production kitchen at

it became the perfect opportunity for Olson to

various establishments in the region before

Benchmark teaching part-time, then transitioned

cultivate relationships with the region’s abundant

becoming a chef professor at NC.

to full-time faculty two years later. Since he

supply of producers and farmers. This move

began teaching, he has also been pursuing his

sparked the rise of Niagara’s farm-to-table

Bachelor of Education.


Teaching is a new chapter in de Luca’s rich career that he began at Niagara College two years ago. He enjoys collaborating with the College’s team of talented chef professors at the CFWI. “It’s like an incubator of inspiration being around so much talent every day,” says de Luca. For him, the biggest reward is working with culinary students at the College. ”The best part is when you see a light go on

Hollo attributes his success in the field to his

“It was an exciting time for me as a cook

tenacity, determination and love for cooking. He

because I was able to be a part of a movement

tries to pass this on to his students.

that led to Niagara becoming a food and wine

“Some students think it’s glamorous but it’s not an easy road; it’s hard work,” says Hollo.

destination,” recalls Olson. Olson attributes his success in the culinary

He finds it rewarding to work with students.

world to his enthusiasm for the work — a quality

”When you introduce them to something and

he strives to instill in his students.

and you just know that cooking has gone from

they have no frame of reference, they respond

just something they wanted to try to something

with pure honesty, pure passion and pure

skills in them but, as importantly, a passion and

that really gets into their blood and becomes a

enthusiasm,” says Hollo. “It reminds me of my

enthusiasm for their work,” he says. “If they have

passion for them,” says de Luca. “I look at many

apprenticeship days when everything was new

that, they will reap the rewards of a job well done

of my students and see myself in them.”

and it was just about the love of food.”

that will outstrip any of the financial rewards.”

12 encore | | Spring 2013

“I’m trying to develop some basic professional


Colombian project a golden opportunity It makes sense that the first stop on Jos Nolle’s professional journey was with

Jos Nolle (right) stands with Sandra Castaneda at the Sericio Nacional de Aprendizahe (SENA) offices in Bogata.

an aircraft company; it’s airplanes that have taken him to projects around the world, as a specialist in international development. Trained in engineering and business, Nolle began his career working in international commerce for Fokker Aircraft in his native Holland. At 32, his career banked hard in a different direction — he joined Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Mozambique and Holland before coming to Niagara College as director of International in 1995. A few years ago, he stepped away from the director’s role to be chair of International Development. International Development is a passion for Nolle, and he is a strong advocate for Niagara College’s involvement in aid projects around the world. He says he sees a great value in learning abroad. “Learning to work together in a multi-national setting, about ethical international trade, and

of internal conflict, and where the gold mineral resources are very rich. “Because of the conflict, the informality and

finding sustainable solutions for our earth with

illegality of the gold mining is a huge problem,”

finite resources requires skills that you can’t learn

he says. “With the current peace talks between the

in a classroom,” he says.

guerrillas and the Colombian government, there’s

Anxious for an opportunity to get back into field work, Nolle recently accepted a one-year secondment to the Association of Canadian Community Colleges’ (ACCC) Education for

a window of opportunity to access this region and

that encourages students to develop inter-cultural skills and values. Nolle’s secondment expires in January 2014,

artisanal miners and farmers.”

work is rewarding, he looks forward to his return.

Nolle’s job is to help SENA select a short

advisor for a CIDA-funded project in Colombia.

mining program improvements, two to provide

skills training programs and youth employability.

introduced a Be World Ready passport program

when he’ll return to Niagara College. While the

list of five Canadian colleges — two to provide

partner organizations improve their vocational

than 15 countries around the world. In 2011, NC

provide vocational training for the small-scale,

Employment (EFE) program, acting as technical

The goal of the EFE program is to help local

Since 2001, NC has helped place more than 350 young Canadians in internships in more

a program in rural farming and one to work on entrepreneurial training for rural areas. “The main opportunity is to open up a part

Nolle is working closely with Servicio Nacional de

of this country to a more normal and formal

Aprenzidaje (SENA), Colombia’s national training

economy,” he says. “My specialty is the start-up

agency, which delivers technical training to six

of projects, and that’s what I’m doing here, sort of

million Colombians each year. The project is set

ploughing the ground for the experts who will do

in an area of the country that has faced 50 years

the more technical work afterwards.”

Being separated from his family is part of a life in International Development, but over the course of his career such a long separation has been rare. “It’s impacting me more than I expected,” he says. “I love the work experience and I enjoy being immersed in the Colombian day-to-day life, but there is only one real ‘home’ and that’s where your family is.” Follow Nolle’s experiences on his blog at

Spring 2013 | | encore 13


Grad spotlight Jerry Howell Computer Engineering Technology, 1988

Jerry Howell’s singing chicken shows and other lively animatronics are enjoyed by millions around the world every year.

What happens when an aspiring pumpkin farmer graduates at the top of his class in Computer Engineering Technology?

Through singing chicken shows, animal bands, talking corn stalks, moving skeletons

Ask Jerry Howell.

began selling pumpkins at the edge of the road. Not only did Howell’s farm became known for its pumpkins,

and other imaginative mechanical characters, Howell has created an animatronic wonderland that has not only put his Fonthill family farm on the map as an agritourism destination, but has sparked a new business helping farmers around the world do the same. While Computer Engineering and farming may not go hand in hand for some, Howell has been bringing the two worlds together since he was a child, continually dreaming up new ways to lure more customers to the family farm. During his youth, the 100 acres purchased by his grandfather in 1942 housed chickens and pigs. Howell the young Howell sold enough of them to finance his post-secondary education at Niagara College. His education, in turn, has been paying off ever since. Selling pumpkins soon wasn’t enough for Howell, who graduated at the top of his class in 1988. He began creating imaginative displays that became increasingly sophisticated every year, drawing more and more visitors to the farm.

14 encore | | Spring 2013


“All of a sudden, with my diploma from NC, I had some good knowledge, so the displays kept getting bigger, and the customers kept coming out to see them,” he recalls. “It was a feeding frenzy.” Pumpkin dinosaurs were replaced with a pumpkin robot, utilizing his knowledge of electronics, welding and hydraulics. In 1994, Nessie, the 70-foot-long pumpkin dinosaur with the makings of a robot, was built to

“All of a sudden, with my diploma from NC, I had some good knowledge, so the displays kept getting bigger, and people kept coming to see them.”

much fanfare. In 1996 came Rex, a pumpkin-eating dinosaur. In 1997, his first pumpkin catapult made its debut. A 3,000-square-foot haunted house with computer controlled side effects, characters that jump out, and special lighting — all created by automation skills he learned at NC — was up and running by 1998. In 1999, when Howell came upon some spare chicken puppets and an assortment of scrap parts, inspiration struck once again. Soon, his first singing chicken show was born, sparking a significant turning point for Howell’s as a leader in agritourism. Once other farmers saw what Howell’s had created, they had to have it, planting the seeds for an off-shoot venture that keeps him busy year-round to this day: Chick-n-mation. Through Chick-n-mation, Howell creates and sells his lively animatronic characters to farmers who are also interested in drawing more visitors to their properties. Chick-n-mation products are sold to farmers across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and New Zealand. Howell takes great pride in his programming and the quality of his work, particularly the technique he has developed to allow the characters to move their mouths completely in sync with the audio. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. In 2011, Howell won a prestigious Colleges Ontario Premier’s Award in the Technology category. He was the regional winner of the Premier’s Award for Agrifood Innovation Excellence in 2009. Earlier awards include a first place from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (2006), winner of the Thorold Business of the Month Award (2006), and a second place Trade Show Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (2004). He won the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Youth category in 1995 and was nominated for a Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the International Trade category in 2010. Howell is scheduled to address graduates at NC’s Spring Convocation ceremonies in June, as the recipient of NC’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The biggest reward for Howell is knowing how many people enjoy the

Howell’s Family Pumpkin Farm has been a showcase for Jerry Howell’s creativity since he was a child. Every year, he adds new animatronic attractions to the popular Fonthill site.

fruits of his labour. With about 70 farms around the world now featuring his animatronic creations, he estimates that number is in the millions. He hopes his work brings as much joy to people in faraway lands as those who visit Howell’s family farm. The best part, for Howell, is watching children’s faces light up when watch his animatronic characters ‘come to life.’ “The smaller children don’t understand if it’s real or not, and some of them are just mesmerized,” he says. “To them, it’s magic.”

Spring 2013 | | encore 15


Caps off to Brewmaster student’s wild ‘rye’d’

It’s been a wild ride for Brewmaster student Kellye Robertson. Just months before graduating, Robertson had a beer recipe she created, produced and specially released by Garrison Brewing. Its name: Kellye R’s Wild Rye’d. The beer is a 6.7% alcohol American-style Rye India Pale Ale now for sale at Garrison and throughout her home province of Nova Scotia at the Nova Scotia Liquor Control. Robertson was only a first-year Brewmaster student when she answered the Halifax-based microbrewery’s call for Rye IPA beer recipe entries as part of Garrison Brewing’s Ultimate Brew-Off last year. In March, she not only had an opportunity to follow her beer from start to finish in the production process at Garrison, which held an awards gala to celebrate the beer release on March 21, Robertson was also offered a full-time position with the company after graduation. “Kellye is part of a growing wave of women determined to have just as much fun with brewing as the men,” said Brian Titus, president, Garrison Brewing. “They’re learning about styles, perfecting techniques and making exceptional beer.” For Robertson, it’s a young brewer’s dream come true. She values the education she received at NC’s

As a first-year student, Kellye Robertson won Garrison Brewing’s Ultimate Brew-off. In her second year, she not only got her special recipe brewed and bottled by the Halifax-based brewery, she landed a full-time job to begin after she graduates this June.

Meet Niagara College’s own ‘iron lady’

Teaching Brewery that equipped her with the skills to make it happen. “There’s a really great team of professors that work with us and I’ve met a lot of great people who are really passionate about what they do,” she said. “Breweries are trying to snap us up because there’s no other technical brewery training school in the country right now. We’re a sought-after commodity.”

Before she graduates this June, Stephanie Bucknall has already been applauded as a leader in the welding industry. The 26-year old Welding Technician student — who is one of only two female students in her class and a handful altogether in the College’s welding programs — was recognized by the Canadian Welding Bureau with a $2,000 bursary. Recipients were chosen based on skill level, marks and their personal application which described why they are interested in welding as a profession. “Stephanie is a pioneer. There are not many women in the welding trade, but Stephanie is willing to take on the challenge and promote welding careers to other women,” said Dan Tadic, executive director of the Canadian Welding Association. Bucknall’s interest in entering the welding field was fuelled by a demand for the skilled trade and her interest in the hands-on nature of the work. While she occasionally encounters those who are puzzled by her decision to enter the male-dominated industry, she encourages other women to follow in her footsteps and enroll in the program where she has received so much support from her

Welding student Stephanie Bucknall was granted a bursary by the Canadian Welding Bureau. One of the few female students enrolled in the College’s welding programs, Bucknall is recognized as a pioneer in her trade.

16 encore | | Spring 2013

professors and classmates. In fact, her professor encouraged her to apply for the bursary. “This bursary is a very nice honour to have. Being in a field traditionally dominated by men, with only one other girl in my class makes it even more meaningful,” she said.


A home away from home

Left to right: Denise Marr shows a wall in her home that holds photos from 30 years of hosting international students; Denise (right) with her husband Gary (left) and Ramil Rezaytinov, a student who lived with the Marrs after coming to Niagara College from Russia.

Denise Marr shows off a wall in her Welland home that holds stories from around the world. Call it a retaining wall of sorts — it’s covered in photos and clippings that keep fond memories of her ‘international family’ alive. Denise and her husband Gary first

With grown children of their own and a sizable

where he has places to stay and friends to

entered Niagara College’s homestay program

house, it was a way to avoid an empty home,

re-connect with wherever he goes, whether it’s

back in the mid-1980s, hosting two students,

says Denise. What she’s found is something

students he’s hosted or their grateful families.

one from Canada and one from Botswana. In the

that’s almost become a way of life — providing

years since, close to 400 students have gained

students who are new to Canada with more than

an education, embraced Canadian culture and

a roof and a bed; she gives them the support,

built lifelong relationships — all while living

companionship and motherly advice to ease the

under the Marr family’s roof.

stress from being miles from home.

For Gary and Denise, it has not only expanded their ‘family,’ it has extended it from South America to Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“You can tell that mothers are the same all over the world,” she says with a smile. For travel enthusiast Gary, it’s created a

So strong is the bond that a student from Mexico who lived with the Marr family, after losing her father, turned to Gary — her ‘second father’ — to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. “It was a surprise, but I was so happy and proud to be asked,” said Gary. “Her family was so nice, and made us feel like a part of it.”

network that extends to almost every continent,

Spring 2013 | | encore 17


Two of their former students have named their

According to NC’s international housing

She’s hosted students from Korea, Japan,

daughters after Denise — one in Nigeria and one

coordinator Brenda Bronson, more than 250

China and Spain. She keeps in touch with almost

in the Middle East — and she’s godmother to

international students are in homestay settings

all of them, has attended weddings of students

three boys, all sons of former students.

at any given time, living with the 130-or-so

she’s hosted, and is ‘grandma’ to two children in

homestay families currently participating in the

Korea. She’s visited students and their families


in Asia where the tables are turned and she finds

“It’s so nice to know that there are such good people all over the world,” said Denise. “We’re so happy that we’ve been able to be here for all

Homestay is much more than simply renting

these students, and that we’ve made a difference

a room in a house; the students have access to

in their lives.”

all areas of the home and share in the family’s

“It’s really been a better experience for us than for the kids,” adds Gary.

daily life. “If your interest is in getting to know students

herself adapting to new cultures. “It’s like having a home away from home for me,” she says. Like any mom, she keeps a close eye on the students who live in her home. Over the

The first stop on Ramil Rezaytinov’s journey from Russia to Niagara was in England, where he stayed with a homestay family while studying. In 2002, when he came to Canada to complete Niagara College’s ESL program and ultimately study Culinary Management, he was well aware of the benefits of homestay, and he was placed with the Marr family. He remembers staying with five other international students who were all from different countries, and all trying to find their way in unfamiliar surroundings. It can be an intimidating process, he says, remembering the challenges of trying to communicate and adapt. It’s much easier, he says, having a family to provide guidance and help you find your way. “Homestay makes it an easy transition going from the international world to Canadian society,” he says. As Niagara College’s enrolment has grown

Rossanne Berardi shares experiences with some of the students she’s hosted, including first snowfalls (top), weddings (above) and cultural dress (at right).

significantly over the last 10 years, its student

and to become aware of the world, then this is

population has become much more diverse. An

for you,” said Bronson. “It’s an experience that

international student population that not long

reaches into the core of people’s lives — that’s

ago numbered around 150 has blossomed to

the value of homestay.”

more than 1,700 students from 70 countries. When these students arrive in Canada they have options for how and where they will live whether it’s residence, an off-campus apartment, or NC’s homestay program where local families host international students in their home. It’s a unique and rewarding program that provides a

When Rossanne Berardi took in her first international students seven years ago, she thought it would be a way to earn an extra income. She quickly learned that the real value was in the experience itself. “Now, I really do it for the love of it,” she says.

valuable cross-cultural experience for students

“They’ve become part of my family. I’m ‘mom’

and families alike.

to them.”

18 encore | | Spring 2013

years, she’s developed a keen sense for when a student is feeling lonely or homesick. When that happens, she helps them reconnect through international products and food or bringing them to visit a neighbourhood in Toronto that reflects their culture. “I try to do something that brings them back home. They need to see things that are familiar,” she says. “I’m willing to learn from them, and they’re willing to learn from me.”


For Rick and Betty Ann Chandler,

counsellor, advocate and disciplinarian at times.”

homestay is another strong connection to Niagara

highs and lows. A bit of both came in 2001

College. Both are long-time NC faculty — Rick in

when Orlando Iglesias, who came to Niagara

the Paramedic program and Betty Ann in English

College from Mexico, graduated from the

as a Second Language.

Environmental Management (post graduate)

Betty Ann says their entry into the homestay

As with any family, Betty Ann says there are

program and left the Chandler home for New

program came by accident. She was teaching

York City. When the devastating events of

in NC’s nursing program in the early 1990s,

September 11, 2001 occurred, Orlando’s well-

and overheard a group of international students

being was Betty Ann’s immediate concern. It was

who were unhappy in residence. “Oh well,” she

three days before she was able to reach him.

“It can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.”

Betty Ann and Rick Chandler share memories as they browse through photos of students they’ve hosted as part of NC’s homestay program.

thought, “I’ll take them home with me.” It wasn’t long before two students from Korea

“I was petrified,” she says. “When I heard his voice on the phone I just broke down and cried.”

were living in the Chandler home. In the years

Iglesias has kept in touch and returned to

since, close to 15 students from Korea, China,

visit the Chandlers a few years ago. He recalls

Japan, Grand Cayman Islands, Mexico and

choosing the homestay option with the hope

Germany have stayed with Betty Ann and Rick.

that it would add to his cultural experience in

“It can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have,” says Betty Ann,

Canada. “Studying abroad is an opportunity that a

“but you must have a sincere desire to make

student doesn’t get very often and I wanted to

these students a part of your family. These

get the most out of it,” he says. “It was great.

kids need a home away from home, and they

The Chandlers really made me feel at home and I

need their host parents to be a mother, father,

was treated like a member of the family.”

Spring 2013 | | encore 19


Powering Niagara’s manufacturing economy through industry partnerships

Rick Baldin, professor of Mechanical Engineering at Niagara College, works as a researcher and industry liaison with Niagara Research.

Rick Baldin doesn’t like to hear pessimistic talk

students. Spin-off projects, a renewed commitment to Niagara College’s

about the state of manufacturing in Niagara.

co-op programs, and more job positions are expected to open up throughout

The Mechanical Engineering professor knows first-hand there are plenty of opportunities for skilled workers to find employment in the region. And in his

the rest of 2013 as well. “There’s nothing more satisfying for us than to be able to unleash the

role as a researcher and industry liaison with Niagara Research, Baldin also

College’s equipment, faculty and students on these important challenges,

knows there are ample partnership possibilities for industry with NC.

and to see them succeed for the benefit of all involved,” notes Marc Nantel,

Niagara Research is the Research and Innovation Division of Niagara College, which works with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to meet their innovation goals, and to keep them competitive. With funding from various provincial and federal agencies, current students and recent

NC’s associate vice-president, Research and Innovation. “Niagara Research is there to help companies solve their pain points, develop new products or services, and become more competitive in the market.” Niagara Research has teams currently working in five specializations:

graduates are hired to work alongside faculty to help industry partners leap

advanced manufacturing; digital media and IT; food, beverages and tourism

forward in the marketplace.

innovation; agriculture/horticulture and environment; and business and

Through applied research, Niagara Research has been able to take a leadership role in revitalizing the regional economy, by working with SMEs

commercialization services. “Companies call us, because with a consultant, you might not be able

— a stakeholder group representing more than 90% of Canada’s businesses.

to get more than a report, but we will actually come in and work with that

In tracking 15 projects in a one-year period, there were 21 new jobs created

company on a project to implement something that works,” Baldin notes.

in the Niagara region. At the same time, Niagara Research is able to enhance the quality of

As a former GM engineering team leader, Baldin has been sharing his expertise with Niagara Research’s advanced manufacturing team,

the College’s academic programs and professional development of faculty,

working on projects that develop efficient, quality-driven processes that are

while supporting the development of applied research competencies in its

implemented without interrupting the existing manufacturing systems.

Baldin’s team recently worked on what’s known as a lean

improvement” — with W.S. Tyler personnel, to develop an action plan. Over

manufacturing work-cell project with W.S. Tyler, a St. Catharines-based

the next few months, targeted activities were implemented, including the

company manufactures screening materials for the quarry, aggregate

creation of standardized work, some tool organization, along with technical

and mining industries. The company wanted to find ways to compete by

solutions such as a machine vision system. These actions were completed

increasing its internal capacity to serve customers.

without adding significant cost or adding extra work to anyone’s job.

The Niagara Research team, which included students from Mechanical

“We have a great relationship with the College, and the research team,”

Engineering and Business, analyzed the production and quickly identified

says Wilm Schulz, media process and product engineer, W.S. Tyler. “We hire

several waste items that had a negative impact on equipment utilization.

Niagara College graduates on a regular basis, and take them on as co-op

The team found there was too much down time for the machines to be at

students as well, because we have confidence in their abilities as being well-

their optimum. As a result, Niagara Research facilitated Kaizen meetings

trained for the workplace environment.”

— a Japanese philosophy of work which essentially means “continuous 20 encore | | Spring 2013


From left, Wilm Schulz, media process and product engineer, W.S. Tyler; Rick Baldin, researcher and industry liaison, and professor, Mechanical Engineering; and Jonathan Pinchbeck and John Feenstra, research assistants and students; inspect the new double heddle loom at W.S. Tyler’s facility in St. Catharines.

Another team from Niagara Research’s advanced manufacturing

when Niagara Research unveiled its working prototype of a pothole-

division worked on a re-design project that will have a significant impact on

patching machine, industry partner and Niagara College alumnus Keith Ryan

the health-care industry. Abatement Technologies faced a problem with their

(Mechanical Engineering Technology, 1998) stood proudly alongside. Ryan’s

portable, in-room HEPA filtration systems akin to the constant hum of a late-

family company, Ryan Industrial Technologies, first approached NC in May

model refrigerator. While you might not notice that constant buzz during the

2012 with the idea of developing a new asphalt pothole-patching machine to

day, the noise it emits in the quiet of the night can get downright annoying.

be sold to construction contractors and municipal works.

Abatement’s line of HEPA-Care® portable air filtration units is widely

The patented machine streamlines the process and makes it more

used in the health-care industry to convert hospital rooms into regulation-

efficient, without the need of a three- to four-person crew to patch each

compliant negative or positive pressure isolation rooms to eliminate the

pothole (the new machine only requires one operator). It also improves its

spread of Infectious Airborne Pathogens. But the design of the equipment

performance through a superior asphalt mix that lasts three to five years,

had a noise level that affected the comfort of the patients. The Niagara

instead of the currently used mix that lasts less than a year.

Research team was approached to work on improving the HC800F model, which had a noise level on par with one of those humming fridges. The team created a working prototype that reduced noise levels by 5 dBA — a 68% reduction in the sound power level — and at a unit cost reduction of 7%. It also maintained the unit’s baseline airflow performance. “Abatement Technologies is already seeing an uptake in sales as a result of our work with Niagara Research,” notes Andrew Harber, general manager of Abatement.

A mechanical engineering team worked on the design of all components of the working prototype, including the hydraulic circuit and electronic control, and worked with the Grimsby-based machine fabricator to construct the prototype. “This project builds on the students’ classroom skills and takes them into the real world,” said Lindsay Engel, research project manager, Niagara Research. “They had the opportunity to work with other engineers, fabrication shops and suppliers, providing them with real-world experience as they move forward with their careers.”

Michael Holderney, left, senior research associate, Niagara Research, and Andrew Harber, general manager, Abatement Technologies, discuss modifications to one of the company’s air filtration units. Photo by Bob Tymczyszyn.

Bryan Mewhiney, researcher and industry liaison, and professor, Electrical Engineering, works on the circuitry of the pothole-patching prototype built by a Niagara Research team for industry partner, Ryan IT.

All three projects were made possible with funding from the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative through the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario. To learn more about partnership opportunities with Niagara Research, contact or visit

Spring 2013 | | encore 21


Second Wind Dreams, first-rate experience They enrolled in NC’s Recreation Therapy program with a desire to help others. what they achieved was making dreams come true. A small group of Recreation Therapy students became ‘dreamweavers’ this year, forever altering the lives of long-term care residents at the Welland Hospital’s Extended Care Unit (ECU). The experience was through their involvement in an international program called Second Wind Dreams (SWD), a non-profit organization with a mission of fulfilling the wishes of long-term care residents. At NC, Recreation Therapy students have an opportunity to become involved in the SWD program through a partnership between the College and the Niagara Health System. As part of their course work for a 60-hour independent

of being up in the air, while feeling safe in an

project, each participating student is paired with

enclosed space.

a different ECU resident and dedicates time to meet with the resident on a weekly basis. After weeks of making a connection with the residents, students identify the residents’ dreams and set the wheels in motion to making them happen. This year, four Recreation Therapy students

She began making arrangements with Niagara Helicopter Tours. For weeks leading up to the experience, staff would see how Clapp’s face brightened up at the mere mention of her upcoming ride. Many arrangements needed to be made to not only transport Clapp from hospital to

became involved with the program. Student

the launch pad location in Niagara Falls, but to

Stephanie Graveline considers herself fortunate

lift her from her wheelchair into the helicopter.

to be one of them. Graveline was matched with Robin Clapp who, in her late forties, is one of the ECU’s youngest residents. Clapp had suffered a brain injury more than a decade ago. While it was challenging to dig up memories of the past due

After arrangements were secured and all safety measures were taken care of, Graveline with the help of two hospital staff members. “It was so rewarding to see the smile on her

Clapp’s dream: to fly. She discovered that Clapp

face and how excited she was,” says Graveline.

had never been on a plane and had always

“It was the best day.” Student Chelsea Van Hoffen also reports

out that as much as she yearned to experience

a positive experience. She was matched with

the sensation of flight, Clapp feared being out in

resident Gerry Swartz, a country music fan and

the open. Graveline found a solution: a helicopter

guitar player. While Swartz kept to himself at

ride, allowing Clapp to experience the feeling

first, he eventually opened up after Van Hoffen

22 encore | | Spring 2013

“It was so rewarding to see the smile on her face and how excited she was. It was the best day.”

accompanied Clapp on the ride in early April

to her condition, Graveline eventually uncovered

dreamed of a hot air balloon ride. She also found

Long-term care resident Robin Clapp’s dream came true when she was taken on a Niagara Helicopter tour, thanks to Second Wind Dreams. Clapp is pictured with Stephanie Graveline and staff from the NHS.

Stephanie Graveline presents Robin Clapp with a photo souvenir of her helicopter ride.


“It’s more than a school project or something to put on my resume.” brought in a CD player and country CDs to break the ice. After learning that he dreamed of attending a Hank Williams Junior concert with his son, Van Hoffen organized a trip for them to attend the March concert at the Fallsview Casino. “I watched them talking, reminiscing, dancing and clapping together, and saw how the dream brought him and his son together doing something they loved,” says Van Hoffen. “It was so rewarding to see him so happy when he normally just sits in his room.” Christine Wilkinson, professor, Community Services, is an enthusiastic supporter of Second Wind Dreams. She initiated the College’s partnership with the Welland Hospital, where her students have also worked placements for several years, and launched a pilot project to implement

Caitlyn Cheyne holds a uniform army shirt she ordered for the resident she was matched with who had always dreamed of being a pilot in the Armed Forces.

Cindy McGill looks at old photos with long-term care resident Yolanda Szarka who has fond memories of visiting Niagara Falls every weekend with her husband.

ECU, enjoys participating in Second Wind

Robert Eigan who had always wanted to be

Dreams, working with the residents and students

a pilot in the Armed Forces but his colour

to make dreams happen. She witnesses the

blindness prevented him from living his dream.

benefits it has on ECU residents first-hand.

Cheyne organized a trip for Eigan to visit the

“Amazing doesn’t begin to cover it. It just

the program at NC during winter 2012. The

means so much to them,” she says. “It makes

pilot was a resounding success, paving the way

the residents feel so special and creates a

for Second Wind Dreams to become an annual

memory they can reminisce about.”

project for NC students. Through the experience, participating students

Student Cindy McGill was paired with resident Yolanda Szarka. After weeks of meeting with

Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton and arranged for many extras, such as having the Armed Forces to bring her resident on a tour of the Haida ship and speak to him about his time in the Forces. As a souvenir, Cheyne specially ordered a uniform army shirt for him to wear, with his name embroidered on it.

put key skills they learn in the classroom

Szarka and flipping through her old photos,

into practice including relationship-building,

McGill learned that a day trip to Niagara Falls

assessment, planning and evaluation skills.

was something Szarka used to enjoy every

The College’s Recreation and Leisure Services

weekend with her husband, who died a few

students also have a vital role in the process,

years ago. McGill arranged for Szarka and her

planning fundraising events to support Second

daughter to visit the Butterfly Conservatory where

Wind Dreams. In fall 2012, students raised more

she could take in the beauty of nature, before

seniors in the future and values her involvement

than $2,500 through various fundraisers.

enjoying lunch in Niagara Falls. Szarka smiles

with Second Winds Dreams for the rare

each time the outing is mentioned.

opportunity to gain one-on-one experience with

“Second Wind Dreams is the best initiative that I have been involved with professionally,”

“I was trying to read but I couldn’t

says Wilkinson. “It’s a total feel-good program

concentrate because all I can think about was

and a win for everyone involved — the residents,

that day,” Szarka says, weeks after her Second

the students and the community.”

Wind Dreams trip. “It was so beautiful.”

Cheryl Ramburn, program manager of the

Caitlyn Cheyne was paired with resident

“When I first started, he never smiled. Now when I visit, he invites me to stay and has a smile on his face,” she says. “It feels good to know that I have helped.” Graveline has her sights set on working with

a resident. Even though her course work is over, she plans to continue her visits with Clapp. “We spent so many hours together. It’s more than a school project or an experience to put on my resume,” she says. “We built a friendship.”

Spring 2013 | | encore 23


Seafood Gala swims in fundraising success The Niagara College Foundation’s 24th Annual Seafood Gala, held April 6 at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, generated $135,000 to support student learning and success. A record number of more than 660 business, community and educational leaders attended the Foundation’s premiere annual fundraising event. Proceeds will fund priority equipment for academic programs, and scholarships and bursaries to support student success. “The Seafood Gala is our most important friendraising event during the year and we are very pleased with the record attendance and money raised to help our students,” said Sean Kennedy, CEO of


the NC Foundation.

›› Special 25th Anniversary Seafood Gala

Entertainment was provided by Josephine Biundo, Ben Burland,

›› Saturday, April 5, 2014

George K. Tirpko and Stella. More than 100 students from a variety

›› Fallsview Casino Resort

of programs volunteered for the event. Lead sponsors included Fallsview Casino Resort, Sun Media Niagara Newspaper Group, R A Shaw Designs, Beatties Basics and Design Electronics.

Many Hands, one mission

Left: Richard Taylor, centre, vice-president of Niagara College’s Board of Governors, presents a cheque for $25,000 to Blair Pollard, chair, Niagara College Foundation Board of Directors, and Dan Patterson, president of Niagara College.

When many hands come together, there are no limits to what can be achieved. The Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre, that provides services to less fortunate residents in Port Colborne, received a dramatic transformation from January to April 2013 thanks to Niagara College’s Many Hands project. The project was a labour of love for the NC students involved. Event Management students, who planned fundraisers to support the cost of the project, raised about $20,000 for renovations and an additional $3,000 for dining room furniture. Students from NC’s Construction Studies programs completed the renovations and gained valuable work experience in the process. “We would never have been able to accomplish what the NC students have done, the expertise they have brought,” said Lynda Reinhart, executive director of Port Cares. “It will be a lasting monument in

NC Event Management students organized fundraisers to support the cost of renovations to Port Cares.

Reason to smile

this community of what we can all do when we all put our hands together.” Canadian Tire Financial Services has been a lead sponsor for Many Hands for the past 16 years. Local elementary school students are sporting healthier grins thanks to the Shiny Smiles for All Clinic, run by Niagara College’s dental programs for the past seven years. Students from five Welland schools visited NC’s dental clinic in February for the first of three dental clinics designed to help children who may not otherwise have access to dental care. At the first clinic, children were paired with second-year Niagara College Dental Hygiene students. Each child received a dental examination from dentist Dr. Mario Filice, as well as x-rays, scaling and polishing, oral hygiene instruction, and a fluoride treatment. A preventive and assessment clinic was held on March 20, and those who required fillings were treated on April 19 when local dentists volunteered their time. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to combine hands-on learning with an important lesson in

Children who may not otherwise have access to dental care visited NC’s Shiny Smiles for All Clinic. 24 encore | | Spring 2013

community outreach,” said David Veres, NC’s dean of Health and Community Studies. “We’re grateful to Niagara Region Public Health, our community partners and members of the local dental community who have joined us in meeting this important need in our community.”


Benefits and services available for our grads

Golf Classic

Niagar a College


Free access to OptimalResume™

Alumni Relations provides free access to OptimalResume™, a comprehensive career management platform with a variety of tools to help you create, present, manage and share your professional credentials. ›› Generate a professional resume in a variety of formats with Resume Builder ›› Create an online gallery of your work with Portfolio Manager ›› Refine interviewing skills with real-to-life, multi-media interview scenarios with Optimal Interview ›› Visit to obtain the alumni access code.

NC frames available

Foundation & Alumni Relations has frames in stock for a certificate, diploma, degree or photo. For more information and/or to place an order, visit: or call 905.735.2211, ext. 7551.

Discounts and special offers

We have a loyal group of affinity partners, which offer competitive group discounts for NC grads. For every client that signs up, these companies provide financial support to help fund equipment and learning resources for students.

Peninsula Lakes Golf Club Hwy #20, Fenwick, ON

Performance Cars ›› Special rebate for graduates, students, staff and retirees on all new and used cars purchased or leased ›› 15 brands with a model suitable for any time in life ›› Amount of the rebate depends upon cost of the car ›› Visit for details: Johnson Insurance – Home and Auto ›› Monthly premium payments with no interest or service charge ›› Access to scholarships and academic grants ›› Personal priority attention, 24 hours a day MBNA Mastercard ›› No annual fee ›› Credit limit up to $100,000 ›› Around-the-clock fraud protection ›› Emergency replacement within 48 hours

Golf Package: 18 holes of golf, golf cart, select competitions, professional golf clinic, lunch and dinner.

Canada Life – Life, Dental and Health Insurance ›› Low cost coverage term life plan that pays a tax-free lump sum payment of up to $250,000 ›› Select a health and dental plan to optimize your coverage ›› Get a no-obligation quote online

Proceeds will fund scholarships for student athletes! Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 Noon Tee Off

Grads: Have a story to share?

We’re always looking for stories to share with the NC community. Send your profile to us and we may include it in a future edition of encore.

Contact us!

Stay connected with us on Facebook and Linkedin.

To register online, visit: “Niagara College Canada Alumni”

For more information or to update your contact information, please visit:

Or call: 905-735-2211 ext. 7775

“Niagara College Canada Alumni”

Spring 2013 | | encore 25


Thank you Organizations

Algoma Central Corporation Amora Portrait Studios Applebee’s Aquicon Construction Co. Ltd. Aramark Canada Ltd. Art Gallery of Ontario Astral Media Radio-Niagara Atrium Spa Balance Fitness Studio Balanced Way Consulting Beatties Basics Beechwood Golf & Country Club Bell Best Western Rose City Suites Bird Kingdom Borden & Elliot Briggsy’s Sports & Promotion Brock Centre for the Arts Brock University Business Education Council of Niagara Business Link Media Group Busy Bee Lavender Farms Campus Living Centres Inc. Canadian Federation of University Women-St. Catharines Canadian Niagara Hotels Inc. Canadian Opera Company Canadian Tire Financial Services Ltd. Canadian Tire Store 162-Graham J. Keene Enterprises Ltd. Canadian Tire Store 282 Canadian Tire Store 33 Canadian Tire Store 40-RJJ Holdings Ltd. Canadian Tire Store 90 Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Centre for the Arts, Brock University Chartwells, Compass Group Canada Cheese Secrets Chef’s Hat Inc. Cherry Hill Club Christie’s Dairy Ltd. Citrus Boutique City of St. Catharines City of Welland Clean Air Environmental Monitoring Inc. COGECO Cable Canada LP College Compensation & Appointments Council Colleges Ontario Comfort Inn Convergent Telecom Inc. Copper Creek Golf Club Customs House Cigars Darien Lake Deborah Hill Massage Therapy Inc. Deloitte Design Electronics Desjardins Caisse populaire Welland DHL Express Direct Cash Payments Inc. District School Board of Niagara Doug Forsythe Gallery Dr. Brian Stewart & Dr. Carolyn Blair at Port Dental Centre Eagle Valley Golf Club East Main Dental Care-Dr. Tony Cianfarani Eclipse Technology Solutions Inc. Embanent ULC Embassy Suites Niagara Falls Fallsview Falls Manor Resort & Restaurant Fallsview Casino Resort Feastivities Events & Catering Flett Beccario Barristers & Solicitors Follett Higher Education Group Framecraft Ltd. Framing & Art Centre Fresh Collaborative Events Fringe Skin & Hair Group Garland Canada Gary Waters General Motors of Canada Ltd.

To the following donors and supporters who gave between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. Their financial investment helped support student success.

GeNuit Inc. GIANT FM 91.7 Girotti Machine Golf Association of Ontario Golf Nutz Great Estates of Niagara-Les Clos Jordanne, Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs Great Wolf Lodge Greg Frewin Theatre Hair Gallery Hamilton Waterfront Trust Hernder Estate Wines Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP Hillebrand Winery Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara HOCO Entertainment & Resorts Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Centre Honeymoon City Toastmasters HorsePlay Niagara Hydro One Inc.-Employee’s & Pensioner’s Charity Trust Fund Imperial Sovereign Court of St. Catharines & Greater Niagara Ironwood Wealth Management J.D. Wiley Ltd. Jeffery’s Greenhouses Inc. John Deere Foundation of Canada Johnny Rocco’s Italian Grill Joseph McCallum Barrister & Solicitor June Lindedfield Salon Kamatovic Orthodontics Keefer Mansion Inn Keg Restaurants Ltd. Kimono’s Chinese Buffet KitchenAid Canada Konzelmann Estate Winery Koppert Canada Inc. KPMG LLP Ladson Creative Millworks Lailey Vineyard Lakeport Paint & Wallpaper Lakeview Vineyard Equipment Inc. Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP Landscape Ontario Le Crueset Canada Legends Estates Winery Leon’s Les Marmitons Niagara Levi’s Outlet Lex Parker Consultants Ltd. Lincoln Garden Club & Horticultural Society Login Canada Lookout Point Country Club Mafeking Holdings Inc. Malcolm Bernstein Consulting Mandarin Restaurant Franchise Corporation Marineland Market Street Loft Mark’s Work Wearhouse Martin Farms Ltd. Mary Kay-Bonnie Brooks Independent Consultant Medieval Times Toronto Medi-Massage Inc. Mercer Tool Corporation Meridian Credit Union Métis Nation of Ontario Metro Toronto Convention Centre Mirvish Productions Miss Dar’s School of Dance Mori Gardens Design & Garden Centre Mountainview Homes MT Bellies Music Niagara Neat Stuff Nella Restaurant Supply Niagara Area Business Women’s Network Niagara Bruce Trail Club Niagara College Retirees Association Niagara Community Foundation Niagara Construction Association

26 encore | | Spring 2013

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Niagara Falls Sportsplex Niagara Helicopters Ltd. Niagara Ice Dogs Niagara Inflatables & Games Inc. Niagara Parks Commission Niagara Restaurant Supply Niagara Rovers Inc. Niagara University Nokara Farms Nortel Network Oban Inn Spa Restaurant O’Connor Mokrycke Consultants Oh Canada Eh? Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants Olson Foods Concepts Oncatek Ontario Chamber of Commerce Ontario Science Centre Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association & Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara Ontario Wine Society-Niagara Chapter OPSEU Local 242 OPSEU Local 243 Oracle Canada Corp. Pampered Chef-Jocelyn Staynes Peller Estates Winery PenFinancial Credit Union Peninsula Lakes Golf Club Personal Optical Pillitteri Estates Winery Pinder’s Security Products Pinewood Homes (Niagara) Ltd Pistachios Bulk & Health Foods Pondview Estate Winery Primavera Concerts Inc. Professional Carpet Systems D.J. Quattrini Professional Corporation Queenston-St. David’s Golf Club Rachel Delaney Insurance Agency Ltd. Rankin Construction Inc. RBC Foundation Regional Municipality of Niagara Ricoh Document Management Rockway Glen Estate Winery Rogers Rotary Club of Welland Scotiabank Scott Thornley & Company Inc. Stephen Dominick Photography Shaw Festival Shoppers Drug Mart-Barry Ray Pharmacy Ltd. Shoppers Drug Mart-Ali Salif Pharmacy Ltd. Sinclair Dental Company Sodexo Spin-Doctor Inc. Sport Line Productions St. Catharines Horticultural Society Steelite International Canada Ltd. Stokes Seeds Ltd. Stratford Shakespeare Festival Strewn Winery Sullivan Mahoney LLP SunMedia Group Sunshine Building Maintenance Inc. Suntastic Tanning Inc. SWS Warning Systems Inc. TD Bank Group TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Telcon Datvox Cabling Solutions Teva Canada Ltd. The Brass Bell Bed & Breakfast The Fairmont Royal York The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Thundering Waters Golf Club Timbro Design Build Contractors Toronto North Dental Hygienist Society Toronto Sun Unilever Canada Vanderwesten Rutherford Mantecon Inc.

Vermeer’s Garden Centre & Flower Shop VIA Rail Canada Vine Floral Vineland Estates Winery Vineland Research & Innovation Centre Vintage Hotels Virtek Vision International vxFusion Walker Industries Holdings Ltd. Walpole Lawn & Garden Equipment & Grinding Service Ltd. Welland Funeral Home Welland Horticultural Society Welland International Flatwater Centre Welland/Pelham Chamber of Commerce WestJet Westport Golf Practice & Training Facility White Oaks Resort & Spa Wholesale Esthetics Willodell Golf Club of Niagara YMCA of Niagara Zehrs Food Plus


Anonymous (5) Edith Adelstein Dave & Leslie Alderman Liz Aldrey Fiona Allan Theresa Anzovino Helen Armstrong Cathy Ashby Nancy Avolio Jennifer Babin Shawn & Candace Baguley Joanne Bakker George & Sandra Ban Catherine Barkwell Patricia Barta Ahmad Bashir Douglas J. Bearss, C.E.T. Anne-Marie Beausoleil Ali & Cameron Belbeck Krista & Dean Belcamino The Bellows Family George, Brenda, Stephanie & Andrea Berger Calvin Beresh David Berry Rosemarie Blackwood The Blair Family Christopher Blake Tanya Blankenburg Dr. Nicholas Bodo Carolyn & Lance Boduc Dr. Peter Boersma Michael Boldin Leslie Boldt Jeanie Bourque Deborah Boutilier Janet Bradley Jim Bradley Dr. Roger Brook Gerald Brown Dr. Ian & Tina Brown Jay Burdon Marion & Russell Buchanan Ralph Buerger Marilyn & John Burt Thomas Busnarda Jim & Louise Butko Patty & Don Butler Barbara Butler Gerald & Lydia Caerels Lesley Calvin Denise Camire Kim Campbell Maria Cancellara Alice Cassidy Dr. Ben Cecil Dan Chalmers Hazel Chandler


Brigitte Chiki Blake Christ Joan & Ken Clancy Clutterbuck Family Robynne Cole Patricia Coleman Shannon Collison Brad Compton Sean & Rachelle Coote Lyn Corbey Soren & Jane Coulson Joanne & Michael Cousineau Heather Cross John Crossingham Bill Crumm Mark Csele William & Elizabeth Csinos Joe & Karen Csoff Gary Cwitco & Fern Valin Donna Dalgleish Dr. Charles R. Daly Richard & Anne Davis Kristine Dawson Robert Debrone & Reanne Crowley Kim, Dave & Courtney Deelen Brian & Cathy Dejaegher John & Tracy Delgaty Sue Den Besten Zane DeSilva Marilyn Dickinson Vince DiCosimo Family Neil Dixon & Marilyn Bodogh Christopher Doctor Gary Dolch Richard & Shelley Doucet Sargeant Daniel Doyle The Duncan Family Wendy Duncan Barbara & David Durley Joseph Eigner Gerry & Edna Elliott Kathy Ellis Joanne Fedosov Stefane Filion Dr. Brian Findlay Barbara Fraser Colin Fraser Janet Fraser Friends in the HR Department at the NHS Rene Galipeau Richard Gark Jim Garner Tom & Jane Gauld Dena Gavin Deb & Lynn Gehring Allan & Margaret Goddard James Gossifidou Samantha Grenier Charles Gunter & Sarah Jayne Rose Greta Haanstra (deVries) Ruedi H. Hafen Gary & Susan Hall Robert Hann Tirian Hanson Jack Hamer Gerald Harrison Cole Hayes Phil Hayes Trisha Haynes Lynne Heaman Sandy Herkimer Jacquie Herman-Wing Jeff & Tina Holman & Family Ross Holmes Jennifer Hoyle Steve Hudson Gord Hunchak Sandra Huppe Julie Iemmolo-Stuart Bob & Amy Jackson David Jastrubecki

Eugene Johnson Lois Johnson Dr. Robert Josefchak Erica Jurus Michael Katz Paul Kazmir Estate of Edith Mary Kees Shawn Kelley Dr. Richard Kelly Donna Kemp Edward D. Kendall Paul Kendrick Bob Kennedy Michael Kennedy Sean & Kerry Kennedy Vic & Farida Kerschl Dr. Mary Kilmer-Tchalekian Vivian Kinnaird Jeff Kirwin Nestor Komar Vera & Jan Korinek Frank Krahn Luella & Bruno Kuska Nelson Lacroix Jim & Sue Lambert Rita Lampman Tracy, Kevin, Ryan & Jesse LeBlanc Esther Lee Don & Joy Lefler Patsy Lefler & Family Clarie Legarde Stephen J. Letwin John & Dot Levay Darlene Levinski Ida Ligata Jean Marc & Georgina Losier Robert Loucks Leslie & Beverly Louks Amber Lupish Lauren Lynden & Barry Hodgson Scott, Joanne, Ashley & Frank MacLeod Sean & Jennifer MacLeod Ginny MacLeod Betty Maend Rebecca Magistrale Allan & Betty Magnacca Vince Malvaso Frank Mancuso Michael Mann Dr. Arthur Marchand Gus & Julia Marchio Virginia Marr Bonnie Martel Norbert & Rose Martel Bob & Kathy Martin Gary Mason Joseph Matthews Diane Matyas Dean & Susan McCann Ryan McComber Karen McGrath Jennifer & Marc McGregor Don & Marianne McLean Agostino Menna Shelley Merlo Lora Miani Joelle & Tim Michael Annie Michaud Narendra Misra Jay & Kathy Mitchell The Mogyorodi Sisters-Barbara, Vicine & Carolyn Marilyn Montgomery Dino Morabito The Moran Family Sue & Dan Morgan Jan & Al Munro Timothy Murray Alan Mutch Susana Nagy The Nantel & Ward-Smith Families Robert Neill

Marcie Newell Susan & Sid Nickie Nellie Nicks Rosemarie Nicks Tricia & Ian Nielsen Ralph & Klara Numan Jon & Lynn Ogryzlo Richard & Kim Olecka Nancy Ostrander Michael Page Wing Pak Peter P. Papp & Estate of Valerie A. Lane Heather Pare Jeff Pare David Pastirik Dr. Daniel & Saundra Patterson David Penny Dorita Pentesco Nicole Perreault Robert Perrott Pamela Peskett Sandra Philbrick Dean Pilon Janet Pizzati Blair & Lynne Pollard Cheryl & Dave Porchak Andy & Kathleen Putoczki Teresa Quinlin Lois & Dan Raats Douglas Rapelje Art Rebek Ian Reece John & Betty Reynolds John & Sheila Richards Jay Ricketts Jacqueline Robarts Cynthia Roberts Frank Roberts Wally, Ken & Melissa Roberts Margaret Robertson Dale & Candy Rockefeller Miranda Rodrigue Dr. Bonnie Rose & Dr. Walter Kubiski Andre Roy Jennifer & Darren Russell Lyn & Dan Russo Laurie, Tod, Kyra & Halle Rutherford Jim & Dora Ryan Ryszard Rybak Linda Saari Gladys & Dave Saltzberry Allan Schmidt Charmaine Scollon Marc & Mary Scoones Michael Scott Keith Seguin Darrell & Cindy Shepherd Lisa & Rob Shepherd Mark Sherk Terri Sherwood Clarence & Sandy Showalter Eric & Linda Silvestri Lewis Silvestri Mark Simchison Andrea Sinclair Rick Sinnige Darrell & Melody Slaght Dottie Smith Greg Smith Martin Smith The Sperling Family Edward Stark Jeff Stewart & Jackie Agnew Bill & Iris Stone Carolyn & Nelson Stroud Greg Swick David & Mary Jo Swindley Lucia Szeplaki Gary Talosi Andrew Tamchyna Bryan Taylor

David Taylor Jay Thatcher Dave Thomas Kevin Thompson & Christine Howes Jim Thomson Jay & Barrie Tober Natalee Tokar Phil Tregunno Dean Tudor Alan J. Unwin Karen Usick Laura Van Clieaf & Family Carolin Van Den Boogaard & Steven Toth Ted Van Geest Marc & Mary VandenBussche Nicola Varalli David & Louise Veres Archie & Kelly Verhoeve Neil & Michele Verhoeve Dr. Beth & Rob Visser Ian Waddell Kim Walker Rudy Walters Jim & Charlotte Warren Washington Family Paul Weerdenburg Patti Welch Thomas Whitelaw Brian Whyte Doug & Sally White Lance Wiebe Steven & Lorna Wilhelm Barbara & Jeff Wilson Matthew B. Wilson Karly Wittet & Ainsleigh Pierssers Nellie Wonzo Richard Wonzo Liz Wood Malcolm Woodhouse Vita Wren Jay Yatulis Craig Youdale

In Honour/Celebration Brigitte Chiki Jim Garner Steve Hudson Dean McCann Dan Patterson David Pratt Blair Pollard Jennifer Turner

In Memory

Albert Cipryk Jody Clark Randy Cole Jacob de Vries Kate Dixon Edward Eldred Tyler Faviere Alex Fedorkow Chuck Frigault Jean Nancy Green Goldie Hill Ed Hoekstra Mark Johns Phillipe Lalonde Valerie Lane Glen Letwin Chantal Millet Steven Saltzberry Phillip D.J. Scoones Mary, Frank & Carmella Spano Maria Uribe de Piedrahita Arthur Sidney Watkinson

Spring 2013 | | encore 27


New funds support NC students In 2012-2013, there were 19 new scholarships and bursaries established to provide financial assistance to students. That brings the total number of awards to more than 500 to recognize academic excellence and to help students overcome the financial challenges of a postsecondary education.

“We really appreciate donations from businesses, organizations and individuals. We work with each donor of a named award to develop a customized terms of reference to guide how the bursary or scholarship will be distributed,” said Lyn Russo, director, development and alumni relations. New funds were set up in memory of loved ones: Philippe Lalonde, Steven Saltzberry, Kate Dixon, Chuck Frigault and Maria Uribe de Peidrahita. Awards were set up in honour of individuals: Dean McCann, Canadian Tire; and Blair Pollard, chair, Niagara College Foundation Board of Directors. The College also received donations to recognize two Premier’s Awards winners: Jerry Howell, 2011 Technology category, and David Pratt, 2012 Recent Graduate category. Faculty members, Barrie Tober, and Rick and Betty Ann Chandler, made donations to start new scholarships to help students in their academic areas. New awards were set up with donations from business and industry: Desjardins Caisse populaire Welland, Girotti Machine and the Welland/Pelham Chamber of Commerce. Donations were also received for new awards from Gary Cwitco and Fern Valin of Toronto, the Niagara Community Foundation, Landscape Ontario Golden Horseshoe Chapter, and the former employees of John Deere Welland Works. The minimum amount is $500 to establish a named bursary and $1,000 for a named scholarship. Smaller amounts may be added to the general award fund, or to an established scholarship or bursary. For information, contact the Foundation and Alumni Relations department at 905-735-2211, ext. 7847.

Donor Recognition Edward Kendall was a pioneer in the wine industry as the first manufacturer of wine-making kits in the Niagara Region. When he sold his company, Vineco – Niagara Vine Products in St. Catharines, Kendall wanted to use some of the proceeds to invest in the future of the industry that had provided him a successful career for many years. Edward and Marian Kendall donated $100,000 to support the wine and viticulture areas at Niagara College. This generous donation will be used to purchase priority equipment, and support applied research. In honour of this significant gift, a recognition plaque was installed in the Wine Visitor + Education Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.

Surrounded by recipients of the Andrusiw-Niagara Paramedic Association Scholarship, Marg Cyr, executor to Andrusiw Estate, presents a $200,000 cheque to Sean Kennedy, vice-president, Student and External Relations and CEO, Niagara College Foundation. The donation is a gift from the Estate of Olga Andrusiw to support educational opportunities for paramedics at Niagara College. The principal in the endowed fund remains untouched and a portion of the interest earned funds 10 scholarships every year for students demonstrating academic excellence, leadership skills and community involvement. Recipients pictured, from left: Dyllan Carr, Ashley Gagnon, Cody Race, Bryan Pomeroy, Charles Aubie, Samantha Stewart and Sandra Pedler.

28 encore | | Spring 2013

Ruedi Hafen completes his $100,000 pledge for Niagara College scholarships and bursaries with a cheque presented to Helen Armstrong, gifts officer. By assisting students in Hospitality and Tourism programs, Hafen demonstrates his belief in the importance of a college education and the significant role graduates will play in Niagara’s ongoing prosperity. Hafen has established two awards with Niagara College. A portion of the annual interest earned from the endowed scholarship goes to a student demonstrating academic excellence in a hospitality and tourism program. The second scholarship assists international students demonstrating academic excellence entering their first year in a hospitality or business program. CFWI honours donors The Canadian Food and Wine Institute held its annual Awards Reception in March, honouring more than 100 donors and student recipients. The TD Bank Group Award recipient, Michelle De Bourbon, centre, of the Winery and Viticulture Technician program, is shown with Amber Grenville, TD Bank small business advisor, left, and Kimberley Deane, TD Bank branch manager in Welland.


Equipping future workers

Employers want GRADUATES ready to work, which means they need to be trained on state-of-the-art equipment by the time they finish college. Each year, the Ontario government provides about $350,000 to Niagara College for instructional equipment; however, the requests from the program areas typically total more than $3 million. This significant gap cannot be bridged without donations. It takes foresight and investment to make sure that all of the College’s more than 100 programs have the equipment and learning resources they need to prepare successful graduates, and to meet employers’ needs. The College receives feedback and advice on program content and emerging technology from the more than 600 industry representatives serving on its Program Advisory committees. Your donation will help purchase new and replacement equipment that Niagara College has identified as the highest priority to support student learning and success.

Please remove along the dotted line and mail or drop off your pledge to the address indicated below

Yes, I want to support Student Success! Contribution type: q One-time

q Monthly

Monthly pledge contributions will be deducted from your bank account or credit card on the 10th day of each month.

Credit Card contribution amount: q$25 q$50 q$100 q$250 q$___________ (Please enter credit card information at right)

Pre-authorized contribution amount: q$10 q$15 q$20 q$25 q$___________ (Please attach a VOID cheque)

You the Payor may revoke your authorization at any time, subject to providing notice of 5 business days. To obtain a sample cancellation form, or for more information on your rights to cancel a PAD Agreement, contact your financial institution, or visit You have certain recourse rights if any debit does not comply with this agreement. For example, you have the right to receive reimbursement for any debit that is not authorized or is not consistent with this PAD agreement. To obtain more information on your recourse right contact your financial institution or visit

Name__________________________________________ This donation is made on behalf of an qIndividual qBusiness Company________________________________________ Address_________________________________________ City____________________Prov______ PC_____–_____

Please direct my contribution to: q q

Equipment & Learning Resources q Scholarships & Bursaries q

Applied Research New Facilities

How to make a donation: > Donate online at > Mail a cheque payable to Niagara College > Pre-authorized payment (fill out the form at left and mail) > Charge to your Credit Card (donate online or use this form) Select Card Type:




Card Number

Expiry Date Security Code

Signature All donors of $100 or more will be recognized in Niagara College publications and other media. Please list my recognition as: __________________________________________________________________

q I wish my gift to be anonymous


Completed pledge forms can be mailed to:


Foundation & Alumni Relations Niagara College 300 Woodlawn Rd., Welland, ON L3C 7L3

Thank You for Your Support! Registered Charitable Number 11905 7180 RR0001

For more information please contact us at 905-735-2211 ext. 7775

Spring 2013 | | encore 29

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encore - Spring 2013  

Read the Spring 2013 edition of Niagara College's official magazine.

encore - Spring 2013  

Read the Spring 2013 edition of Niagara College's official magazine.