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Sheridan’s Alumni Magazine – 2015


Driving Josh Cassidy

Grads Powering the Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games Tops in Transportation Nurturing Homegrown Talent at Guru Studio

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VATION News at Sheridan 2

4 Vice President, Advancement & External Relations Lisa Piccolo Senior Editor Carol Hill Editorial Team Jennifer Clarke Jennifer Deighton Christine Szustaczek Susan Atkinson Joanne Scattolon Mark Mulloy


Graphic Design/Art Direction Stewart Dick Photography Jonathan Bielaski/Lightimaging Sheridan Brand Strategy Jane Cockton Erica Shaw Ovation Digital Christopher Milne Karina Butzek-Morris


Ovation is published annually by the Advancement Department. Comments and ideas are always welcome. Drop us a line at Ovation, Alumni Office, Sheridan College, 1430 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, Ontario L6H 2L1, 905-815-4078 or If you would like to advertise in Ovation, please contact the Alumni Office at 905-815-4078.

The Guru Effect Champion of homegrown animation talent


Hotbed of New Musical Theatre Sheridan sets the stage for tomorrow’s top productions


Sheridan Giving 8 Powering the Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games Five grads behind the scenes at TORONTO 2015


Driving Josh Cassidy Record-breaking racer on pace for Parapan Am Games


Making a Difference Celebrating 45 years of Sheridan Social Service Worker graduates


Keeping it Rolling Three business alumni who are tops in transportation


Staying Inspired Passion and positivity fuel Adam El Daba’s tech start-ups


Congratulations Award-winning Alumni Premier's Awards


Chris Williams wins an Oscar


Emmys, Canadian Screen Awards and more


To learn more about the alumni featured in this publication visit

All information provided is current as of publication and is subject to change; Sheridan Marketing and Brand Strategy, June 2015. ID#3795 Cover: Josh Cassidy (Bachelor of Illustration, 2003)


News at Sheridan I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you, our alumni, the reasoning behind Sheridan’s journey to become a unique undergraduate teaching university. We are motivated in this journey by our desire to offer more pathways to students – both to those who may have thought a degree credential was out of reach, and to those who wish to pursue graduate level studies at other Canadian universities. It is important for us to break down the barriers that students face when seeking to expand their learning opportunities. In the future, we will continue to offer a wide range of diploma studies, and all Sheridan programs will retain the focus on applied learning that has set our graduates apart for decades. The success of this approach is reflected in these pages, which capture the myriad ways in which our alumni are making a positive impact in their communities and far beyond our borders. We will be sure to keep you informed as we make progress towards this goal. I hope that you will join me in drawing inspiration from the achievements of your fellow alumni highlighted in this issue of Ovation. Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO

Hazel McCallion Campus expansion in full swing Groundbreaking for the expansion of the Hazel McCallion Campus (HMC) in Mississauga took place last October, and construction is now well underway, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2016. The new building will encompass 220,000 square feet, and include 29 classrooms, 28 labs, studios and production spaces. Special features include the Creativity Commons – a collaborative learning and meeting space – as well as a public art gallery. Once open, the expansion will increase enrolment capacity at HMC to 5,600 students. Read about the lead architects' vision for the project and more in Sheridan's blog Artist’s rendering 2


Sheridan launches unique undergraduate credential in creativity and creative problem solving Starting in January 2015, students enrolled in degree programs at Sheridan have had the opportunity to pursue an Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving while fulfilling their liberal arts and science breadth requirements. The new credential reflects Sheridan’s adoption of creativity. as a cornerstone of its institutional identity and pedagogical approach, based on an understanding that creativity and creative problem solving are essential skills for the 21st century, across all disciplines and fields of study.

Sheridan receives two national Awards of Excellence Sheridan was presented with two Gold Medal Awards of Excellence in 2014 by CICan (Colleges and Institutes Canada), the national association of Canadian colleges. John Helliker, Director of the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) received the Leadership Excellence Award for his work in establishing SIRT and developing its role as a leading research and innovation centre.

Hill returned to Sheridan in April for a "Closing Chapter" event to Sheridan Reads, where he engaged in conversation with former broadcaster (and current adviser to Sheridan’s President) Ralph Benmergui.

Ken Dryden shares his vision for Canada at Sheridan Ken Dryden – author, politician, educator, lawyer and hockey hero – spent two days in March at Sheridan, sharing experiences from his many walks of life to drive home the point that community matters. He also spoke of his love for college and university campuses and their energy, optimism and opportunity for learning. Dryden was a guest of the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies. He was participating in its Community Builder Series, a year-long sequence of events, speakers and documentary screenings with a focus on building better and healthier communities.

The Bachelor of Applied Information Sciences (Information Systems Security) program received the Program Excellence Award. Created in 2003, this degree remains the only one of its kind in Canada. Students graduate with a critical understanding of the complex and integrated information and communication technology issues in today’s business environment.

Sheridan joined with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) last fall in launching Canada Makes, a national network of excellence dedicated to the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. Through Canada Makes, we’ll provide small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada with access to additive and direct digital manufacturing capabilities that would not otherwise be within their reach.

Author Lawrence Hill featured at inaugural Creative Campus Series event An enthusiastic crowd attended the launch of the Creative Campus series in January, featuring an address by well-known Canadian author Lawrence Hill. Hill is the author of The Book of Negroes, which was selected by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as the title for the Winter 2015 edition of Sheridan Reads, an initiative aimed at encouraging students, staff and professors to read and engage in discussions around a selected title. In a wide-ranging talk on the life of a writer and the creative impulse, Hill described his own journey to becoming a successful author and some of the lessons he's learned along the way.

Photo: Jordan Morrison

Sheridan an inaugural partner in Canada Makes

Bruins claim national championship The Sheridan men’s soccer team captured gold in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) tournament in late 2014. The white-knuckle battle against the Vancouver Island University Mariners took place on Sheridan’s home turf and marked the first national championship in the history of Sheridan's soccer program.

Ovation magazine is now online As you read through this issue of Sheridan's alumni magazine, please note that full stories and videos about the alumni featured are available online. We encourage you to visit


The Guru Effect Frank Falcone has long championed homegrown animation talent. The result is an international success story for Canadian animation. Case in point: preschool series Justin Time created by Brandon James Scott (Bachelor of Animation, 2007). Toronto’s Guru Studio led by Falcone (Computer Animation, 1992 and Art & Art History, 1991), turned an idea from Scott’s Sheridan student days into an award-winning global hit. The success of Justin Time, along with the studio’s other series Paw Patrol and Dinopaws – international winners in their own right – have cemented Guru’s growing reputation as an incubator of top-tier animated children’s programming. Developed at the studio under the guidance of Executive Vice President 4


of Content Mary Bredin, along with Falcone and Scott, Justin Time was launched in 2012 and is now licensed in over 70 countries. The show has been broadcast on top U.S. platforms including Universal's Sprout Channel (where it was No. 1 in its time-slot), NBC Kids and Netflix. More episodes will come online next year in Canada on Disney Junior, and in the U.S. as a Netflix Original Series. Justin Time has also earned a steady stream of industry accolades: a 2013 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Preschool Animated Program, two Canadian Screen Awards

(Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series in 2015, and Best Preschool Show in 2014), the 2014 Shaw Rocket Prize for Best Preschool Series, and six Annie nominations, the industry’s top honour. Falcone is keen to keep the door open to fresh ideas, gaining inspiration from both the current and upcoming talent pool in Canada. “This is the most exciting time that I've seen in all my years in the animation industry. Its depth, breadth and sophistication is unsurpassed.” Pictured: Brandon James Scott (left) and Frank Falcone (right)

“The fact that we can make hit shows with international reach in Canada is a game changer.” – Frank Falcone

Watch the video and read more online: SHERIDANOVATION SHERIDAN OVATION| |2015 2014 5 5

Hotbed of New Musical Theatre Sheridan sets the stage for tomorrow’s top productions

The Theory of Relativity (pictured) is just one of several new musicals incubated at the CMTP that have been performed around the world to critical acclaim. May 2015 saw the professional debut of two productions: The Theory of Relativity premiered at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, while Come From Away had its professional debut at California’s 6


La Jolla Playhouse, the theatre which has brought hits like Jersey Boys and Memphis to Broadway. Perhaps the strongest example of how Sheridan is breaking new ground in music theatre is Brantwood 1920-2020. Launched in April 2015, it's the largest production of immersive, site-specific musical theatre in Canadian history. Just as exciting as the success of these productions is the unique opportunity they offer Sheridan students: direct access to professional writers and an insight into the creative process.

Shereen Mroueh Photography

In just four years, The Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) has transformed Sheridan into a place that not only interprets music theatre but develops new works destined for the world’s stages.

“You can’t get this type of experience anywhere else.” Read more about music theatre online: – JJ Gerber, Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance, 2015 SHERIDAN OVATION | 2015 7

Sheridan Giving Groundbreaking marks historic day for Sheridan Sheridan hosted a historic celebration at the Hazel McCallion Campus (HMC) in Mississauga on October 24, 2014. We broke ground on the expansion of HMC, launched the public phase of Sheridan’s $9M Get Creative campaign and announced a transformational gift and Faculty renaming, all in one morning. Over 250 business and community leaders, donors, alumni, students and Sheridan employees shared in the celebration.



Focused on supporting our evolution to Sheridan University, the Get Creative campaign will raise the remaining funds required to complete the new building at HMC. The campaign will also raise funds for scholarships in support of Sheridan’s growing international student body. Find out more about Sheridan's Get Creative campaign at

Sheridan unveils the Pilon School of Business

Gift will enhance services to international students

In recognition of the lead $2.5M gift by Sheridan alumnus Randy Pilon and his wife Catherine (both pictured above), Sheridan was pleased to rename its Faculty of Business the Pilon School of Business. This gift is the largest personal donation to Sheridan in the college’s history.

On November 27, 2014, Keith and Sharon Segal (pictured above), Founders of International Insurance presented Sheridan with a cheque in the amount of $500,000. provides insurance for Sheridan’s international students. In honour of the gift, the learning centres at each of Sheridan’s campuses in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville were renamed the Tutoring Centres. The company’s gift will support expanded programming in the Tutoring Centres and also help to fund scholarships and bursaries for international students.

A 1982 graduate of Sheridan’s business program, Pilon credits his time at the College with laying the foundation for his success in both the corporate world and later as an entrepreneur. After graduating from Sheridan, Pilon joined Bausch & Lomb, where he rose through the ranks to become the company’s youngest Vice President. In 1998, he founded Virox Technologies Inc., which is today recognized as a global leader in hydrogen peroxide-based infection control products. A committed mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, Pilon sponsors the annual Virox Future Forum at Sheridan. Founded in 2008, the Forum offers business students with an entrepreneurial drive the opportunity to interact with a panel of top industry leaders. Pilon's decision to present this generous gift to Sheridan was made in consultation with his wife and three children. The Pilon School of Business is named in the family’s honour. Thanks to the continuing generosity of our alumni and friends in the community, this year has been a momentous one for Sheridan as we're well on our way to our campaign goal. The difference between a good institution and a great one is the support of its alumni and friends. Thank you for making Sheridan great. Bottom photo, left to right: Lisa Piccolo, Vice President of Advancement & External Relations at Sheridan; Norm Loberg, Chair of the Board, Enersource; Hazel McCallion, former Mayor of Mississauga; Iain McNab, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology at Sheridan; Peter Gregg, President & CEO, Enersource; Ron Starr, Councillor, City of Mississauga.

Partnership to support Sheridan’s energy-related programs This past year, Sheridan and Enersource announced a partnership to help ensure that graduates of Sheridan’s energyrelated programs have a greater understanding of the business of electrical power and sustainable energy practices. The partnership includes a $100,000 donation to the campaign.


Powering the Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games When the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am /Parapan Am Games open this summer, Sheridan alumni will be part of the action. Athletic therapist, adviser, recruiter, athlete and artist: just some of the roles graduates are playing both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Here’s a look at five gathered at the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome.

“We're investing in the future of our athletes and our communities. It’s very exciting and well worth it.” – Warren Sawkiw



Amanda Halls Certified Athletic Therapist Outdoor Field Hockey Teams

Warren Sawkiw

Sports Injury Management, 2002

Athlete Advisory Council TORONTO 2015 Information Technology Professional Intern, 1999

1988 Canadian Olympian, Baseball

Nicole DiFilippo Certified Athletic Therapist, Water Polo Teams Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences (Athletic Therapy), 2008

Meaghan Ogilvie Commissioned Artist PANAMANIA Applied Photography, 2003

Jahrobee Dean College and University Engagement Program Volunteer Volunteer Recruitment Representative Business Administration – Marketing, 2012

Read about these & more grads online: ovation.sheridancollege/panam SHERIDAN OVATION | 2015 11

Driving Josh Cassidy Record-breaking racer on pace for Parapan Am Games Josh Cassidy holds the record for the fastest marathon ever, a title he earned at the 2012 Boston Marathon. This August, the two-time Paralympian will put the power behind that win and more when he represents Canada on home soil at the 2015 Parapan Am Games. A 2009 Bachelor of Illustration graduate, Cassidy is excited about the legacy that these games will leave for this city and country. “Sport has truly changed my life, and showing children the opportunities available to them in sport is priceless. I believe anything is possible with passion, hard work and time.”

“Obstacles are meant to be overcome. Anything is possible.” – Josh Cassidy Watch the video and read more online: 12


Celebrating 45 Years of Making a Difference Since 1970, graduates of Sheridan’s Social Service Worker program, the largest in Ontario, have impacted the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. With more than 950 community partners, the program’s reach is deep and wide. Karen Bridgman-Acker (left) and Cheryl Robinson (right) are two alumnae who are part of this network of caring professionals. Bridgman-Acker (1986) has built a career protecting the welfare of children. A Crisis Counsellor at Victim Services of Peel, Robinson (2014) found her calling after 20 years in the banking industry. .

Read more online: SHERIDAN OVATION | 2015 13

Keeping it Rolling Business alumni ride the road of success in the transportation industry Since transport drivers move 90% of consumer goods and food in Canada, it’s safe to say that if the trucks stopped rolling, the Canadian economy would grind to a halt. Three Sheridan business alumni have built careers taking on the challenges of this important industry. Despite the major change that technology has brought to their industry over the years, all three alumni agree that the importance of maintaining relationships remains constant. “It’s as much about people and relationship building as it is about logistics and technology,” says Frank Prosia (Business Administration, 1981), President and Founder of TransPro Freight Systems Ltd. Marking its 25th anniversary in 2015, the company has much to celebrate, receiving Canada’s Shipper's Choice Award for four consecutive years.

“This business is based upon trust, delivering what you said you would,” agrees Henry Piworowicz (Business, 1979). Full of ambition and hustle, he started out selling forklift trucks in Ottawa, developing an enviable sales record before branching out on his own. Piworowicz has been Managing Partner of international freight broker, NATS (North America’s Transportation Service) since 1991. Doug Payne (Business Administration – Marketing, 1981), has built a reputation for leading companies to great heights through growth. He was at the helm of transportation heavyweights, including Consolidated Fastfrate Inc. and Clarke Logistics before joining Nulogx in 2009. President and COO of Nulogx, the largest freight audit operation in Canada, Payne feels lucky to be part of such a far-reaching industry. “I've had an insight into the production behind so many goods and services. I don’t think I’ve had two days the same since I started.” Pictured from left: Frank Prosia, Doug Payne and Henry Piworowicz at TransPro Freight Systems Ltd.

Read more about their journey online: 14


“It's as much about building relationships as it is about logistics.” – Frank Prosia


Staying Inspired Adam El Daba puts passion and a positive attitude behind every venture he touches. His many tech start-ups – including a loyalty program, a pet service and a food app – reflect the young entrepreneur’s varied interests. Those start-ups are also gaining some serious ground in Canada and overseas. Although El Daba spends much of his time in Egypt and Dubai, the 2007 Computer Science Technology graduate and former star varsity athlete remains connected to Sheridan. His software development company, Softmills Inc. sponsored the 2014 National Men’s Soccer Championship hosted (and won) by Sheridan.

More about El Daba's ventures online: 16


“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Sheridan.” – Adam El Daba


Business | Frank Prosia, Business Administration, 1981 President and Founder, TransPro Freight Systems Ltd.

Sheridan graduates take home two of six awards

Community Service | Lisa Louca, Correctional Worker, 2001 Manager of Residential and Reintegration Services, Elizabeth Fry Society Peel-Halton

Health Sciences | Marcia Franklin, Athletic Training and Management, 1985 Consultant at Quality Care Sports Injury and Rehab and the York University Sport Concussion Centre

Congratulations to James Forbes (Mechanical Engineering Technology, 1971), pictured left, and Tibor Madjar (Computer Animation, 1999), pictured right, on winning 2014 Ontario Premier’s Awards. Sheridan President and CEO Jeff Zabudsky is pictured centre. An expert in rail car design with over 100 patents, Jim Forbes received the award in the Technology category. Tibor Majdar, who won the Creative Arts and Design Premier’s Award, played a leadership role in devising Mudbox, a 3D sculpting software used to create complex visual effects for Oscar-winning films, including King Kong, Avatar and Life of Pi. He received a 2014 Academy Award for scientific and technical achievement.

Recent Graduate | Rose Streete, Community Worker – Outreach and Development, 2013 Founder, Mothers Anonymous

Presented annually to six recipients, the Premier’s Awards recognize outstanding achievements of Ontario college graduates. Sheridan has received 14 Premier’s Awards, more than any other college. Read more about our 2014 nominees at


Chris Williams: Oscar winner for Directing Best Animated Feature Congratulations to director and Sheridan-trained animator Chris Williams on winning the 2015 Oscar for Big Hero 6! This was Williams’ second trip to the Oscar ceremony, six years after his nomination for Bolt. Growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Williams earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree before enrolling in Sheridan’s Animation program. Prior to completing the full program, he was hired in 1993 by Disney when the studio’s recruiters visited the College. Williams credits Sheridan with launching him on his animation career. In a banner year for Sheridan, three of the five films nominated for Oscars in the Best Animated Feature category were directed by animators who studied at the College. Among the other films nominated was How to Train Your Dragon 2, written and directed by Dean DeBlois (Animation, 1990), and The Boxtrolls, directed by Graham Annable (Classical Animation, 1991). Many other Sheridan graduates also contributed their talent to the three animated features. Williams’ bond with fellow nominee Dean DeBlois goes back to their first days at Disney in Los Angeles when they worked together on Mulan. “We've been close friends ever since,” said Williams. Sheridan's nominees share their awards season experiences in



Getty Images: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

“My respect and love for animation took root at Sheridan. I can’t say enough good things about my experience there.”

Read more about our award winning alumni: SHERIDAN OVATION | 2015 19

Ryan Andal (Interactive Multimedia, 2005) and Pietro Gagliano [Art Fundamentals, 2002 & Bachelor of Design (Honours), 2006] won three awards in Best Cross-Platform Project categories for Played – Interference, Grojband – The Show Must Go On! and Big Brother Canada Digital. 1 Stephen Barden (Media Arts, 1995, pictured centre), Alex Bullick (Computer Foundations, 1999 & Media Arts, 2002, pictured second from left), J.R. Fountain (Media Arts, 2001, pictured third from left), and Jill Purdy (Media Arts, 1996): Achievement in Sound Editing for Pompeii.

Mauro Casalese (Animation, 1989): Best Animated Program or Series for Rocket Monkeys. 3 Matt Ferguson (Classical Animation, 2001): Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series for The Day My Butt Went Psycho.

Maria Gordon (Computer Graphics, 1997 & Computer Animation, 1998) and Eric Lacroix (Computer Animation, 2007): Best Visual Effects for Vikings – Invasion.








Peter Persaud and Mark Zsifkovits (both Media Arts, 1993): Achievement in Overall Sound for Pompeii. Scott Riopelle (Classical Animation, 2001): Achievement in Visual Effects for Pompeii. Anastasia Trofimova (Communication, Culture and Information Technology, 2009): Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research for Tales from the Organ Trade. Robert Warchol (Media Arts, 1991): Best Sound in a Dramatic Program or Series for Vikings – The Choice. 2 Supinder Wraich (Advanced Television and Film, 2009): Best Performance in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media for Guidestones: Sunflower Noir.

GOLDEN GLOBE AND ANNIE AWARDS How to Train Your Dragon 2, written and directed by 4 Dean DeBlois (Animation, 1990), won the 2015 Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and took top honours at the Annie Awards (the animation industry’s highest honour), winning Best Animated Feature and Best Director.

EMMY AWARDS Children’s series Mike the Knight, directed by Charles (Ted) Bastien (Classical Animation, 1983), received a 2015 International Emmy Kids Award in the Kids: Preschool category. Stephanie Gorin (Media Arts-Music Theatre, 1981), won the 2014 Emmy for Casting for the mini-series Fargo.

OSCARS How to Train Your Dragon 2, written and directed by Dean DeBlois, and The Boxtrolls, directed by 5 Graham Annable (1991) were nominated for Best Animated Feature in 2015.

ORDER OF CANADA 6 Brenda Clark (Illustration, 1977) was

named to the Order of Canada in December 2014. She's best known as the illustrator behind the beloved Franklin the Turtle books which have enjoyed worldwide success.

ENTERPRISING WOMEN OF THE YEAR Julia Fournier (Retail Management, 1989) was named one of 2015’s Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine. She's the Founder and CEO of HCMWorks and Payment Services Corporation. G. Pimentel Photography, DreamWorks Animation



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Sheridan Ovation - Celebrating, People and Achievements  

Feat. Driving Josh Cassidy

Sheridan Ovation - Celebrating, People and Achievements  

Feat. Driving Josh Cassidy