Algonquin College alumni celebrated at 2023 Alumni of Distinction Awards

Members of the college community and guests came together in the Algonquin Commons Theatre and commemorated 10 distinguished alumni at the 2023 Alumni of Distinction Awards. The award show is held annually to recognize alumni of Algonquin College who have made significant contributions to the workforce and the communities they serve. Categories are spread through […]
Photo: TJ Sider
CTV Ottawa co-anchor Patricia Boal speaks to the crowd at the 2023 Alumni of Distinction Awards at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Nov. 2.

Members of the college community and guests came together in the Algonquin Commons Theatre and commemorated 10 distinguished alumni at the 2023 Alumni of Distinction Awards.

The award show is held annually to recognize alumni of Algonquin College who have made significant contributions to the workforce and the communities they serve.

Categories are spread through multiple disciplines taught at the college, including business, community services and creative arts and design. There were also special categories for Alumnus of the Year, the Changing Lives Award and the Brian Fraser Recent Graduate Award.

The award ceremony was presented by Patricia Boal, co-anchor of CTV Ottawa’s News at 6. Boal is an alumna of Algonquin College who graduated from the print journalism program in 1994.

“I’m also a proud Algonquin College graduate so helping pay tribute to alumni making extraordinary contributions is a true privilege,” Boal said in her opening remarks.

Boal then introduced Claude Brulé, president and CEO of Algonquin College.

“Our wonderful alumni are respected names in their fields and in their communities,” Brulé said. “Many have offered their time to give back and help those around them. They have supported community causes, Indigenous justice, youth charities and a variety of other important initiatives. Each of them embodies the college values of caring, learning, integrity and respect.”

Award recipients shared their stories as they accepted their awards.

Business award winner James Hallett is the former executive chairman and CEO of KAR Global, a digital marketplace for used vehicles. He is also the owner of the Indy Fuel, a team based in Indianapolis of the East Coast Hockey League. He is currently presiding over the construction of a new $175 million event centre for the team.

“It is really a tremendous honour,” Hallett said. “You’re among some truly great stories and great people who have given a lot and really carved the path for themselves.”

Michèle Boudria, president and CEO of McDonald’s Canada and graduate of the French-language journalism program in 1988, received Alumna of the Year in part for her glass-shattering role as the first female in the position. In her remarks, she described her love for the McDonald’s brand and her inspiration to switch gears in her career path.

“It is thanks to the head of journalism at the time, Hubert Potvin, that I embarked on this journey with McDonald’s so many years ago,” Boudria said.

Adam Joiner, CEO of BGC Ottawa and graduate of the social service worker program in 2003, received the Changing Lives Award for his work advancing opportunities for Ottawa’s youth.

Nokia Canada won Employer of the Year, the last award handed out at the ceremony. The award is given to companies “who believe in Algonquin College and alumni through the hiring of graduates,” according to the award description on the Algonquin College Alumni and Friends Network website. The company plans to recruit 15 per cent of its new hires this year from Algonquin College.

Linda Krebs, campus relations and program manager at Nokia Canada, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

“It takes a village in order to be able to receive this award,” Krebs said. “It’s really about all the people that are behind that program and the support for the students and the Algonquin alumni.”

For more information on the award recipients and categories, visit the Alumni of Distinction Awards page at algonquincollege.com/acalumniawards/.

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