2018 Premier's Awards recipients

2018 Premier's Awards recipients


Don Gosen
Conestoga College

Program of Study: Electrical Apprentice; Air and Water Resources Technology
Graduating Year: 1980; 1974
Job Title: Director
Place of Employment:  Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

Don Gosen is the Ontario apprenticeship program’s biggest champion. A college-trained electrical apprentice, he sponsored more than 70 apprentices throughout his four decades in business before ceding Gosen Electric Limited to three of his former trainees. Today, as director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Gosen works to strengthen the apprenticeship system by bridging communication and fostering collaborations between the government, union and non-union organizations, and employers and apprentices. He is an electrical apprenticeship instructor at his alma mater and recipient of the 2007 Minister’s Award for Apprenticeship Training.

Neil Hetherington
Seneca College

Program of Study: Building Construction Regulations Administration
Graduating Year: 1995
Job Title: Chief Executive Officer
Place of Employment:  Daily Bread Food Bank

Neil Hetherington is the CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank — the largest food bank in Canada. Prior to the Daily Bread Food Bank, he was the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Toronto and New York City, as well as Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services. During his tenure, Habitat accelerated its building program dramatically, increased its social enterprise operations and expanded its community impact and advocacy role. Hetherington was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and was also awarded Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals.

Community Services
Colleen Hele-Cardinal
Sault College

Program of Study: Native Community Worker – Addictions Counselor
Graduating Year: 2002
Job Title: Co-founder / Executive Director / Coordinator
Place of Employment:  National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network

Colleen Hele-Cardinal is the daughter of a residential school survivor, a ’60s scoop adoptee, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls family member, and social justice activist organizer. She is the co-founder of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network and has successfully organized three national Indigenous adoptee gatherings. Hele-Cardinal is also collaborating with Dr. Raven Sinclair on the Pekiwewin Project to create an innovative and interactive GIS map of the displacement of the Indigenous ’60s scoop survivors. She is a human rights champion, author, producer and internationally recognized advocate for Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

Community Services
Ernest Matton
Canadore College

Program of Study: Drug and Alcohol Counsellor; General Arts and Science
Graduating Year: 1995; 1993
Job Title: Manager, Indigenous Culture and the Aboriginal Healing Program
Place of Employment:  Michael Garron Hospital – Toronto East Health Network

Métis healer Elder Little Brown Bear (Ernest Matton) blends Indigenous teachings with mainstream western practices in an award-winning approach to addictions treatment for Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, and the professionals working with them. Community members in Matton’s Toronto-based healing program embark on intensive healing journeys from deep emotional and mental trauma. He purposely has no wait list, and intakes have more than doubled over the past six years. His accolades include investiture to the Order of Ontario; a national Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Difference Makers award; and a Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Outstanding Indigenous Leadership.

Creative Arts and Design
Helen Lebeau
Sheridan College

Program of Study: Media Arts
Graduating Year: 1982
Job Title: Vice-President, Production
Place of Employment: Nelvana Studios, Corus Entertainment

Helen Lebeau is an award-winning producer and storyteller working with Nelvana, the animation arm of Corus Entertainment. As vice-president of production, Lebeau oversees animation production of Nelvana’s Studio. Her producing credits include Bravest Warriors, Hotel Transylvania, Max & Ruby, the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award-winning Bubble Guppies and International Emmy Award-winning Mike the Knight. Lebeau began her career working as an editor at CBC and TSN. “I started my career by telling stories, and now as a manager, I support artists wanting to tell their stories,” she says.

Health Sciences
Allan Cole
Humber College

Program of Study: Funeral Service Education
Graduating Year: 1978
Job Title:  President and Owner
Place of Employment:  MacKinnon & Bowes Ltd.

Allan Cole is president and owner of MacKinnon & Bowes Ltd., Canada’s specialist in international repatriations of deceased persons. Cole was the first (and remains) civilian mortuary affairs director for the Department of National Defence and the RCMP, serving his country by overseeing the repatriation of fallen Canadian soldiers and heroes who lost their lives protecting Canadian freedom. Cole is fundamental in disaster preparedness efforts alongside government institutions, and in the face of the 1980s AIDS epidemic, created a protocol for those who had died with this and other infectious diseases.

Recent Graduate
Allie Libertini
Conestoga College

Program of Study: Community Integration through Cooperative Education
Graduating Year: 2017
Job Title:  Athlete
Place of Employment:  Special Olympics Canada

Even among the outstanding graduates of a unique program for students with learning challenges and exceptionalities, Allie Libertini stands out. A world-leading Nordic skier, she represented Canada at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games, earning two silver medals. An advocate of healthy living, she volunteers at a community kitchen and works as an assistant server and member of the food prep team at a restaurant. She was instrumental in recruiting young women to her gym’s first inclusive women program and she is a valued ambassador of her college and program, winning the Alumni of Distinction Award in 2018.

Jad Saliba
Mohawk College

Program of Study: Computer Systems Technician – Network Systems
Graduating Year: 2001
Job Title: Founder and CTO
Place of Employment:  Magnet Forensics Inc.

Driven by a desire to combat terrorism and child exploitation as a police officer investigating high-tech crimes, Jad Saliba used his college education in computer science and network security to build Magnet Forensics, a global leader in the recovery of digital evidence. Saliba developed software that is now used by more than 4,000 organizations in more than 90 countries in investigations of crimes such as child exploitation, human trafficking, terrorism and fraud. His software has been used in high-profile prosecutions, including that of the Boston Marathon bomber, and he is a renowned expert in the field.