Distinguished Alumni 2006-15
|Albert Miller, Class of '49 - 2015 Vermilion Campus|
|At the heart of Albert Miller’s success as an avid farmer and accomplished businessman, is his strong sense of community and service.
After completing Grade 11, Albert Miller enrolled in the Vermilion School of Agriculture and graduated in 1949. According to the college’s ‘49 yearbook, it was Albert Miller’s ambition to one day own a farm in the Westlock, Alta. district. His hard work and innovation paid off. Albert Miller continues to farm near Westlock today – 66 years after he graduated from college.
In addition to farming, Albert Miller owned a successful John Deere dealership in Westlock for 29 years. In that time Albert Miller’s entrepreneurial success was recognized on several occasions when his dealership was lauded as one of Canada’s Top 15 Dealerships. His Chrysler dealership and service centre store in Barrhead, Alta. also reaped the rewards of his strong business acumen.
Through his volunteerism with the Rotary Club of Westlock, Albert Miller was instrumental in creating positive change in his community. As a charter member of the club, he served as president for two years. Local projects he championed include the Rotary walking trails in Westlock and several capital projects such as the local tractor museum and community theatre. With Rotary, Albert Miller also served as the district governor leading 59 clubs in Alberta, as well as parts of British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
In honour of his community service and accomplishments, Albert Miller was presented with the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. The medal recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to society.
Giving back to students is a priority for Albert Miller. He does so by fostering an interest in agriculture and mechanics through scholarships. “I have been pretty lucky in my life. I have had good people working with me and I think it’s our duty to support as many others as you can in turn,” he says.
It is with great honour that Lakeland College inducts Albert Miller, Class of ’49, to the Alumni Wall of Distinction.
|Wendy Plandowski, Class of '91 - 2015 Lloydminster Campus|
|Since completing Lakeland College’s University Transfer program in 1991, Wendy Plandowski’s can-do attitude, commitment to excellence, and passion for her community have made Lakeland College and the midwest better.
After finishing high school in Marwayne, Alta., Wendy Plandowski enrolled in university courses at Lakeland College. She was one of 438 students who attended classes at the Lloydminster campus during its first full year of operations. She also worked part-time as a student ambassador. Today she is still one of the college’s most enthusiastic supporters.
Wendy Plandowski earned a Bachelor of Arts (English) degree at the University of Alberta in 1993 then returned to Lakeland College where she worked until 1996 and again from 2004 to 2013. During her years at Lakeland College she successfully served in many different roles including director of alumni and corporate development, Lloydminster campus principal, dean of human services, and director of community relations. She led the successful fundraising campaign for the Bill Kondro Wing expansion at the Lloydminster campus, created enrolment specialist positions which helped increase student numbers, and enhanced Lakeland’s engagement with alumni, school jurisdictions and adult learning councils throughout the region.
In 2013 Wendy Plandowski joined the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation as its chief executive officer. In the community, Wendy Plandowski’s long history of service includes volunteering with the Lloydminster Interval Home, Kiwanis Music Festival, Vic Juba Community Theatre, and Lloydminster Theatre Foundation and helping with various community events including chairing the 2008 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Lloydminster. She’s also a charter member of the Border City Rotary Club, and past president of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 she received a Difference Maker Award from the Rick Hansen Foundation.
It is with great honour that Lakeland College inducts Wendy Plandowski, Class of ’91, to the Alumni Wall of Distinction.
|Rob Saunders, Class of '83 - 2014 Lloydminster Campus|
|Rob Saunders’ leadership and community service as well as his extensive involvement in the oil and gas industry have helped make Lloydminster a better place to live, work and do business.
In the early 1980s, he was one of the first students to take the Heavy Oil Operations Technician program at Lakeland College. He later took 4th and 3rd class power engineering through the college.
Rob Saunders worked his way up in the oilfield sector, working for companies such as Husky Energy, Murphy Oil, Amoco, Corlac and National Oilwell. He also owned oilfield contracting and business management companies.
Recognizing the importance of community involvement, he joined the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce in the early 1990s. Since then he has served in many of the executive positions and is still involved with the organization. He has also been directly involved in a number of economic development initiatives in the Lloydminster area.
Rob Saunders was elected to Lloydminster City Council in 2003. In November 2012 he became deputy mayor and in the fall of 2013 he was elected mayor.
Higher education is important to Rob Saunders and he believes the relationship Lakeland College has with industry in this region is a successful formula that has helped the community and region thrive.
It is with great honour that Lakeland College inducts Rob Saunders, Class of ’83, to the Alumni Wall of Distinction.
|Allan Shenfield, Class of '49 - 2014 Vermilion Campus|
|From helping establish the 4-H Foundation of Alberta to playing a lead role in the development of the Agricom at Northlands in Edmonton, Allan Shenfield has made an extraordinary difference in his community and in Alberta through volunteer work.
After graduating from the Vermilion School of Agriculture in 1949, Allan Shenfield returned to his family’s dairy farm north of Spruce Grove, Alta. Like his father, he had a desire to volunteer his time for the betterment of the community. “My father was very active in the community and I thought I should get involved too,” he says.
In 1949 Allan Shenfield became the leader of the Spruce Grove 4-H Grain Club. Later he would serve on regional and provincial 4-H advisory councils and help establish the 4-H Foundation of Alberta, a non-profit organization that built and now operates the Alberta 4-H Centre at Battle Lake. During his tenure as president of Northlands, he spearheaded the development of the Agricom, which is now known as the Edmonton EXPO Centre.
In his hometown of Spruce Grove, few capital projects took place without Allan Shenfield’s involvement, including agricultural and recreational facilities and a seniors’ centre. His extensive involvement helped make the city what it is today. Among his many awards and honours, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the City of Spruce Grove named the Shenfield Civic Centre in his honour.
Allan Shenfield modestly says that he received more from his volunteer efforts than he gave. “Being a volunteer is very rewarding. You don’t do this for the recognition; you do this to help others.”
It is with great honour that Lakeland College inducts Allan Shenfield, Class of ’49, to the Alumni Wall of Distinction.
|Margaret Page, Class of '96 & '97 - 2013 Lloydminster Campus|
Lakeland College’s Ever to Excel motto could be used as a mantra for many of Margaret Page’s clients.
For over 20 years, she has worked with thousands of people, groups and organizations from around the world to help them create clarity, creativity and confidence.
Margaret Page’s journey to becoming a personal development guru has evolved over time. After completing advanced training in personal and business coaching, neuro-linguistic programming, and corporate etiquette and international protocol, she launched her businesses.Beyond the Page and Etiquette Page help people find focus, build efficiency and eliminate factors that can cause overwhelm.
Margaret Page is a published author and a popular radio, television, and social media personality. In 2008, she was nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Trailblazer Award.
She is also very active in Toastmasters International. In 2012-2013, she served as District 21 Governor in British Columbia where she was responsible for 6,000 members, 295 clubs and a district leadership team of 110 people. At the 2012 Toastmasters convention, she was selected to carry the Canadian flag.
Margaret Page studied business at Lakeland College’s Lloydminster campus. She was also a student award recipient.
It is with great honour that Lakeland College inducts Margaret Page, Class of 1996 & 1997, to the Alumni Wall of Distinction.
|Dr. Arthur (Bud) McGinnis, Class of '41 - 2013 Vermilion Campus|
|Dr. Arthur (Bud) McGinnis knows first-hand the value of student awards.
During the graduation ceremony for the Vermilion School of Agriculture’s Class of 1941, Dr. Arthur McGinnis received several awards including a $100 Wheat Board Scholarship.
The scholarship made it possible for him to attend the University of Alberta where he received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He later earned a Master in Entomology and a Doctorate in Biochemistry.
Dr. Arthur McGinnis worked for Agriculture Canada for 35 years of which 25 were spent conducting research into the physiology and nutrition of agricultural pests such as grasshoppers, cutworms, and the wheat stem sawfly.
Following his retirement in 1980, he led a team of ten Canadians in establishing and managing a Rainfed Agricultural Research and Development project in Pakistan.
Dr. Arthur McGinnis says winning a scholarship made his successful career in agricultural research and research management possible. “I will be forever grateful to the Vermilion School of Agriculture and the Wheat Board for granting me that scholarship.”
Recognizing the importance of student awards, Dr. Arthur McGinnis and his wife Gladys made a substantial donation to the Lakeland College Centennial Campaign in 2012 to create an endowment fund for student awards. The Dr. Arthur and Gladys McGinnis Future of Agriculture Award is presented annually to a second year Lakeland College Agricultural Sciences student who intends to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.
It is with great honour that Lakeland College inducts Dr. Arthur McGinnis, Class of 1941, to the Alumni Wall of Distinction.
|Brent Baier, Class of '06 - 2012 Lloydminster Campus|
Brent Baier has proven that a ground-breaking invention doesn’t have to come from a major city or research centre.
He’s also proof that dreams come true, especially if you put a lot of hard work into them. That was the essence of his message to the Class of 2012 at Lakeland College’s Lloydminster campus. A message he delivered after being named to the college’s Alumni Wall of Distinction.
Fresh from his computer systems technology diploma in 2005, Baier began working on his inspiration: a new kind of gaming technology glove. From the humble beginnings of a basement apartment and a package of golf gloves came the Peregrine Glove (www.theperegrine.com), a high-tech product sold worldwide for multiple uses.
Unlike its speedy namesake, the glove’s development was slow. However Baier’s passion for and commitment to his invention carried him through all the steps required to go from idea to successful product. Along the way he refined prototypes through thousands of engineering and testing hours, started his company (Iron Will Innovations Canada Inc.) and secured more than $5 million in financing for his keyboard-in-your-hand concept.
Unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2009, the Peregrine’s first commercial success was with gamers, in particular, pro-gamers. But the technology isn’t limited to entertainment. Baier’s vision includes medical, educational and military uses. He hopes the Peregrine might someday be one of the computer accessories found in every household.
Original from Macklin, Sask., Baier maintains Iron Will’s head office in Lloydminster. The business also has offices in the US.
Baier was also Lakeland College’s 2012 Outstanding Alumnus PACE nominee. The Alberta Association of Colleges & Technical Institutes (AACTI) recognize distinguished and outstanding alumni every two years with Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence (PACE).
See photos of Baier at convocation on Flickr.
|Brian Keating, Class of '76 - 2012 Vermilion Campus|
|As part of his address to the Class of 2012, Brian Keating recalled he didn’t really like school until he came to Lakeland and studied his passion.
For Keating, a Class of ’76 wildlife and fisheries grad, that passion was wildlife and landscapes. As a boy, Keating was a bird watcher. As a young man he pursued an education that would keep him in touch with nature. From Lakeland, he moved on to Brandon University and an environmental sciences degree.
His path would lead him to become a world-renowned naturalist, author, adventurer, conservationist, media personality, acclaimed speaker, wilderness explorer and champion of biodiversity. It also brought him recognition as the 2012 Vermilion campus Distinguished Alumni.
Attitude, he says, makes a difference about how you do in life. During a skiing lesson his instructor informed him that there was no bad snow, only a bad attitude. It’s an object lesson that can be used in many life situations.
Keating’s zeal and zest eventually brought him to the Calgary Zoo. From 1982 to 1996, Keating was the Calgary Zoological Society’s curator of education. He then served as head of conservation outreach until his retirement in 2011. He’s still an honorary conservation advisor for the zoo and the fund named in his honour.
Early in his tenure he started the zoo’s nature-based travel program. His responsibility for external conservation projects led to the founding of the Wechiau Hippo Sancutary in Ghana and an honorary chief title from a nearby village.
During his 29-years at the Calgary Zoo, he became a recognizable media personality on CBC Radio and the Discovery Channel, and began writing a series of children’s books. Since 1998 he has been an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Calgary teaching an introductory anthropology course on primates.
A sought after international presenter, Keating has shared his passion about wildlife and spaces as well as his observations and video footage from extensive world-wide travel--50 countries and counting on all 7 continents. A pilot, scuba diver and mountaineer, Keating is always joined on his adventures by his wife Dee.
Although retired from his long-time job, he is far from retired from his role as educator and conservationist. His focus now is his company, Going Wild (www.goingwild.org), where he is head naturalist. The business includes media production, guide/travel and speaking endeavors.
Keating was also Lakeland College’s 2012 Distinguished Achievement PACE nominee. The Alberta Association of Colleges & Technical Institutes (AACTI) recognize distinguished and outstanding alumni every two years with Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence (PACE).
See photos of Keating at convocation on Flickr.
|Jason Holtby, Class of '90 - 2011 Lloydminster Campus|
|Jason Holtby’s accomplished career has taken him from an accounting firm to the oil and gas industry, and on to become a key player in Canada’s investment banking field.
Well-known for his business acumen, Holtby leads the Canadian investment banking group Raymond James Ltd. He is also a member of the Equity Capital Markets Executive Committee which is responsible for the direction and stewardship of the Capital Markets Business in Canada.
Throughout his career with Raymond James Ltd., Holtby has been involved in major transactions that involve multiple sectors and range in value from $10 million to $3.5 billion. He has been active in mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings, trust conversions, corporate restructurings, valuation and fairness opinion mandates in the oil and gas sector and industrial sectors.
Holtby began his career as an accountant at Dunwoody and Company before becoming the chief financial officer at Inter-Tech Drilling Solutions. He has been at Raymond James Ltd. since 1998 where he serves as the senior managing director and head of investment banking.
After completing the Business (accounting major) program at Lakeland College in 1990, Holtby added an MBA and a CGA designation to his credentials.
|John Morris, Class of '06 - 2011 Vermilion Campus|
|Most people know John Morris as one of Canada’s most accomplished curlers.
As a member of Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, John Morris threw third stones for the Edmonton-based team of Kevin Martin, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert as they thrilled Canadian curling fans by winning the gold medal on home ice.
In addition to being an Olympic champion, Morris is a 2008 World champion, a two-time Canadian Brier champion, and a three-time Alberta provincial champion.
As passionate as Morris is about curling, he is also passionate about firefighting. He completed his firefighter training in 2006 at Lakeland College’s Emergency Training Centre at the Vermilion campus. He’s since taken additional courses and instructor’s training to advance his expertise in the field.
Morris also believes in giving back. As an alumnus, he is a champion of Lakeland College’s emergency services training programs and courses. As a firefighter with the Rockyview Fire Services in Chestermere, Alta., he speaks to youth at local schools about fire prevention and the importance of health and fitness. Morris can also be found supporting various charitable organizations and community events.
|Derek Dedman, Class of '09 - 2010 Distinguished Alumni - Lloydminster Campus|
|Derek Dedman’s dedication to excellence personifies what it takes to be successful in business and in life—and the numbers speak for themselves.
On a 2009 adjudication of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam, business graduate Derek Dedman scored among the top 10 financial planners from across Canada who challenged the exam.
The result is a remarkable achievement. Only 409 of the 1,029 people who wrote the national professional exam passed. Dedman’s score makes him the first Lakeland College graduate ever to place in the exam’s top10 rankings. He is also the first Lakeland graduate to make the CFP’s President’s List.
Dedman’s pursuit of excellence began long before he began his career in the financial sector. As a business student at Lakeland, his academic achievements included a spot on the Dean’s List in 2008 with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. As a member of the Rustlers men’s volleyball team, he earned an academic award from the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference in 2007.
Dedman’s ability to work with others and his in-depth business expertise have benefited his clients and others who know him. He is an excellent role model and a strong believer in continuous education to maintain high industry standards.
|Robert McLeod, Class of '89 - 2010 Distinguished Alumni - Vermilion Campus|
|Robert McLeod’s sense of social responsibility drives him to make people’s lives better.
A former carpenter turned government cabinet minister, his ongoing work has improved social programs for people in Canada’s North. As a resident of the Northwest Territories, McLeod began working with the Aklavik Housing Association and the Inuvik Housing Authority to improve local housing needs.
Wanting to serve on a larger scale, McLeod launched his political career in 1983 and was elected as an Aklavik municipal councillor. In 1987, he was elected mayor.
In 2004, he was elected to represent Inuvik Twin Lakes as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. He was re-elected in 2007.
In office, he is a constant advocate of social programs and community development. He has served on standing committees for social programs and is the minister responsible for youth, housing corporation, workers safety and compensation, and municipal and community affairs.
In the community, McLeod gives his time to support many community sports teams and clubs. He is a recipient of the NWT Volunteer Award and the Good Neighbour Award. In 2010, he was Lakeland College’s nominee for the Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence program.
A graduate of Lakeland College’s carpentry program in 1989, McLeod is a builder of brighter futures.
|Bill Fox, Class of '58 - PACE Nominee 2008|
|Bill Fox graduated from the Vermilion School of Agriculture in 1958 with a diploma in Agriculture and has been breaking new ground ever since.
Fox is truly a steward of the land. He willingly shares his knowledge and passion for the environment with others locally, provincial and nationally. His belief that man, domestic livestock and wildlife can live together in partnership on the land has been the basis of his farming practices for over 40 years.
Fox has been an active member of several organizations including the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, whose purpose is to protect and improve water quality and ecosystem functioning in the North Saskatchewan water system. The Alberta Beef Producers as well as other provincial boards and groups have benefited from his work, knowledge and experience.
In 2007, Fox received a Countryside Canada Stewardship Recognition Award in appreciation of his work and commitment to sustainable agriculture, watershed protection and healthy ecosystem maintenance.
As the need continues to increase for everyone to do their part for conservation and environmental management, Fox certainly leads the way
|Jack Lewis, Class of '51 - PACE Nominee 2006|
|Farming is no small potatoes for Jack Lewis.
Together with his family, Lewis has grown his father’s original 320-acre farm dating back to 1932 to an operation that includes 800 acres of seed potatoes, 3,000 acres of grain and 800 head of purebred Simmental and Angus cattle.
Lewis, the patriarch of Lewis Farms, is a leader in the agricultural field. His willingness to embrace innovation and new technology has set a standard for excellence in an ever-changing industry. His support for the involvement of youth in agriculture has helped develop the next generation of young cattlemen and cattlewomen. A former 4-H member himself, Lewis remains actively involved with 4-H and the Young Canadian Simmental Association.
Lewis is a supporter of further education and producer collaboration. After graduating from the Vermilion School of Agriculture in 1951, he attended the University of Alberta. Since 1960, he has been involved with the Edmonton Potato Growers, a farmer-owned cooperative, and the Potato Growers of Alberta. As an alumnus, Lewis strongly supports Lakeland College and frequently attends Homecoming.
In 2006, he was Lakeland College’s nominee for the Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence program. Fostering a spirit of innovation, cooperation and teamwork, Lewis is well-respected in the agricultural industry.