2017 Premier's Awards recipients

2017 Premier's Awards recipients


Duane Parnham
Fleming College

Program of Study: Mineral Engineering Technology; Geological Technician — Mineral
Graduating Year: 1985; 1985
Job Title: President and CEO
Place of Employment:  Broadway Gold Mining Ltd.

With a successful business track record, Duane Parnham is a prominent entrepreneur who champions the high-risk development of mineral resource companies. Since 1996, Parnham’s companies have generated over $1.2 billion in investor returns. In 2011, The Parnham Foundation was established by Parnham and his family to support academically talented yet economically disadvantaged or underprivileged students from Namibia, Africa, in pursuing a diploma at an Ontario college. In addition to the foundation, Parnham’s charitable support includes a gift of $1 million made to his college.

Community Services
Natasha Falle
George Brown College

Program of Study: Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate
Graduating Year: 2003
Job Title: Founder / Advocate
Place of Employment:  Sex Trade 101

Natasha Falle escaped a life of prostitution to become an advocate for other victims of sexual trafficking. The founder of Sex Trade 101, a survivor-led political activism coalition, Falle has provided support for more than 1,000 women victims and survivors of the sex trade; provided training to police forces across Canada and internationally; and spoken to audiences at the United Nations, as well as to community centres, colleges and universities. She served as an expert witness before Senate and parliamentary committees, contributed to many documentaries on the sex trade, and taught in the police foundations course at Humber College.

Creative Arts and Design
Stephanie Gorin
Sheridan College

Program of Study: Music Theatre
Graduating Year: 1981
Job Title: Casting Director
Place of Employment: Stephanie Gorin Casting Inc.

During her 26-year career as a casting director, Stephanie Gorin has cast for more than 200 television shows, movies, and musicals, including the Tony Award-winning musical, Come From Away. She has also cast for Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, and Mamma Mia. She’s a five-time Emmy nominee, and won in 2014 for Best Casting for a Mini-Series for her work on Fargo. Gorin is well known among her colleagues for supporting new talent in the industry. She champions young actors in auditions, and is the creator of The Casting Room, an award-winning web series that uses humour to show fledgling actors how to nail an audition.

Health Sciences
Patrick Hickey
St. Lawrence College

Program of Study: Nursing
Graduating Year: 1976
Job Title:  Clinical Associate Professor and Faculty Principal
Place of Employment:  University of South Carolina

The New York Times described him as “a cross between Florence Nightingale and Indiana Jones” but Patrick Hickey brings his adventuring spirit into the classroom, educating the next generation of nurses at the University of South Carolina. When he summited Everest – the last of his seven-summit quest – he did so while raising funds for nursing scholarships. His book on the journey became the basis of an innovative learning opportunity, encouraging 2,000 students each year to take on a personal challenge of their own. His backpacking treks through 75 countries inspired this transplanted Canadian’s passion to advocate for ‘culturally competent’ health-care provision.

Recent Graduate
Brent Lessard
Durham College

Program of Study: Mechanical Engineering Technology
Graduating Year: 2014
Job Title:  Co-founder and Project Manager
Place of Employment:  rLoop

Brent Lessard proudly leads an independent group of more than 1,100 members from more than 50 countries around the world who have come together to revolutionize the future of transportation. He is the co-founder of rLoop, a non-profit, online think tank and talent resource that is developing and launching a conceptual, high-speed transportation system called Hyperloop. Lessard is focused on the continual integration of expertise and talent from across the globe in order to successfully develop a technology with the potential to change the way we live and conduct business in Ontario, in Canada and around the world.

Andrew Bowerbank
Humber College

Program of Study: Industrial Design
Graduating Year: 1989
Job Title: Global Director, Sustainable Building Services
Place of Employment:  EllisDon Corporation

Andrew Bowerbank is the global director of sustainable building services at EllisDon Corporation, where he has become a well-known figure in the Canadian energy and building infrastructure sectors. He has established a reputation as a leading authority on emerging clean technologies, high-performance building design, and low-carbon economics. Bowerbank is the former CEO and executive director of the World Green Building Council, where he successfully worked with council members to grow WorldGBC membership from eight founding nations to more than 60 member countries.