Premier's Awards recognize exceptional college graduates for their contribution to Ontario's social and economic growth

Archived Release

Premier's Awards recognize exceptional college graduates for their contribution to Ontario's social and economic growth

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

LONDON, ON, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - The Ontario Government will recognize excellence in college graduates by presenting the 2001 Premier's Awards, Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham announced today.
The Premier's Awards are presented to college graduates who have excelled in their careers and made a significant contribution to society. Recipients receive a bronze medal and designate a $5,000 prize to the college of their choice for student bursaries.
"Today's recipients demonstrate the exceptional quality of students who are graduating from our colleges," Cunningham said. "These students are not only high achievers in their fields, they are also deeply involved in their communities."
Awards are presented each year in the following areas: creative arts and design; community services; business; health sciences; and, technology. For the first time this year, a new award category has been established to honour a recent college graduate. The 2001 Premier's Award winners are:

Business
Anthony Longo - Humber College
President and Chief Executive Officer, Longo's

Creative Arts & Design
Chuck (Spider) Jones - Seneca College
Speaker for Student Alliance and Freelance Broadcaster

Community Services
Diana Capponi - Centennial College
Executive Director, Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses

Health Sciences
Dr. Anthony Brissett - George Brown College
Clinician Investigator and Instructor, Mayo Clinic

Technology
Ken Anderson - Algonquin College
Retired - Former CIO, Canadian Blood Services

Recent Graduate
Tina Maddigan - Sheridan College
"Sophie" in Mamma Mia (Broadway)

Dr. Bette Stephenson, a former Minister of Education, Colleges and Universities and former head of the Ontario Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association, will be given the 2001 Honorary Premier's Award for her contributions to postsecondary education in Ontario.
Eighty-four college graduates were nominated for this year's awards. Award recipients and nominees will be honoured tonight at the annual banquet of the Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology's Annual Conference.
"All of the college graduates nominated have extraordinary careers and provide important role models for younger students now making choices about their future education," said Cunningham. "I congratulate each of them on this honour and also extend congratulations to the colleges for their track record- in providing education and training that equips students to excel in our fast- changing world."
There will be a Media/Photography session for the Premier's Awards Recipients and Nominees today, February 18, 2002, in the Carleton Room (lower level), Hilton Hotel, 300 King Street, London, Ontario, 4 - 5:00 p.m.

Backgrounder
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2001 PREMIER'S AWARDS RECIPIENTS

Chuck (Spider) Jones, Speaker for Student Alliance and Freelance
Broadcaster
Toronto radio personality Spider Jones is a multi-award winning journalist. A Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and motivational speaker to youth at risk, the Grade 5 dropout overcame his gang-filled youth and returned to school at 35 years of age, graduating with honours from Seneca College.

Diana Capponi, Executive Director, Ontario Council of Alternative
Businesses
As Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses, Diana Capponi creates employment opportunities for psychiatric survivors. Told work and school were out because of her psychiatric condition, Diana earned a college diploma at Centennial College and established the business incubator which helps psychiatric survivors reclaim their lives.

Anthony Longo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Longo's
President/CEO of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc., Anthony Longo has made quality and service hallmarks of his chain. One of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies in 2000, Longo's partnership with GroceryGateway.com has made it Ontario's premier online grocer. Longo, a Humber College graduate, was recently elected Chairman of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

Dr. Anthony Brissett, Clinician Investigator and Instructor, Mayo Clinic
Dr. Anthony Brissett of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, performs head and neck surgery, but his real passion is research. Also instructing medical students, interns and residents, the George Brown College graduate established a scholarship for minority young people at his former high school in Kitchener.

Kenneth B. Anderson, Retired, Formerly CIO Canadian Blood Services
As Chief Information Officer for the Canadian Blood Services, Anderson played a significant role in re-establishing trust in our blood services among the Canadian public. His work has saved lives by improving methods for tracking blood supply and donors. An award-winning professional, Anderson was CIO of the Year in 1995. He is a graduate of Algonquin College.

Tina Maddigan, "Sophie" in Mamma Mia (Broadway)
From St. John's, Newfoundland to Broadway, via Sheridan College. It's been a fast journey to success for Tina Maddigan, a 1997 Sheridan Music Theatre graduate. Nominated for the 2001 National Broadway Touring Award to "Best Actress in a Musical", she's now playing the role she originated in New York City.

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For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Contacts: Dave Ross, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; Tanya Cholakov, Communications Branch, (416) 325-7526; Irveen Powley, Council of Regents, (416) 325-1790