Mohawk Executive Group

Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie

Ron McKerlie

President & CEO

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Ron's Biography

Since 2014, Ron has served as President of Mohawk College and Mohawk College Foundation in Hamilton, Ontario.  Previously Ron served 10 years in the Ontario Public Service as Deputy Minister Open Government, Interim President of Ornge Air Ambulance, Deputy Minister, Government Services and, Corporate CIO and Chief Strategist for Ontario.

Prior to joining the Ontario Public Service, Ron’s career spanned 25 years in the private sector where he held senior executive positions with Rogers Communications and Bank of Montreal.

Ron holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Dalhousie University, an ICD.D designation from Rotman, is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Mr. McKerlie is a member of the Board of Directors for ORION and former Chair of the Board for World Vision Canada.


Mohawk College Vice-President Academic, Paul Armstrong

Paul Armstrong

Chief Operating Officer

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Paul's Biography

Paul Armstrong was appointed Vice President Academic for Mohawk College in September 2016. Paul leads a team of faculty and staff in educating 30,000 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students at three campuses.

Paul had previously served as Mohawk’s Dean of Health Sciences, Community and Urban Studies for nine years. Paul was also Director of Academic Relations, Chair of Health Sciences and Human Services and a Professor in the College’s Department of Medical Imaging.

Paul has made Mohawk a leader in simulation-based learning and has maintained strong relationships with educational partners at McMaster University and Six Nations Polytechnic. Paul led the successful repatriation of Community and Urban Studies programs to Mohawk’s Fennell Campus and has been instrumental in developing and launching new programs to respond to the needs of students and employers.

Paul holds a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University and diplomas in Medical Diagnostic Ultrasound and Radiological Technology from Mohawk College.

Paul’s career achievements and extensive community contributions were recognized with a Mohawk Alumni of Distinction Award in 2013.


katie burrows

Katie Burrows

Director, Development

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Katie's Biography

Katie provides leadership to Mohawk College Foundation, which works to create lifelong connections with our students, alumni, partners and communities. Mohawk College Foundation directly supports Mohawk students through scholarships and bursaries, initiatives such as City School by Mohawk and Campus to Community, and in-kind donations that enhance experiential learning.

Katie joined Mohawk College in 2011 as the Manager of the New Canadian and International Student Services team. She has worked in education for 16 years; previous to Mohawk, Katie worked for nine years at the University of Toronto, within the Rotman School of Management’s Executive and MBA programs.

Since arriving at Mohawk College, Katie has held a number of positions including Director, Service Integration and International; Interim Director, Aboriginal Education and Student Services; Registrar; and Director, President’s Office. Katie has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics (French and English) from the University of Toronto, and is nearing completion on her Masters of Education at Queen’s University.

Katie and her family are proud to call Hamilton home.


Tom Ferns, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Tom Ferns

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

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Tom's Biography

Tom Ferns joined Mohawk College in March 2015 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

Between 1999 and 2015, Tom worked in legal and public affairs roles in the steel industry in Hamilton and Pittsburgh, before which he practiced corporate law with a national law firm.

Tom is a member of the Board of Directors of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada and is Chair of its Governance Compliance Committee. He is also a member of the Regimental Senate of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. In 2014, he received a Volunteer Service Award from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration for commitment and dedication in his work with Mission Services of Hamilton.

Tom holds an Honours B.A. from Queen’s University, and an M.A. and J.D. from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Bar in Ontario and Massachusetts. Tom grew up in Dundas and lives in Waterdown.


Alison Horton

Alison Horton

Vice President, Academic


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Alison's Biography

Alison Horton was appointed to the position of Vice President Academic in April 2020. She leads a team of faculty and staff in educating 30,000 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students at three campuses.

Alison began her career at Mohawk in 2004 as a faculty member in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She later served as Program Coordinator for both the General Arts and Sciences and Pre-Health programs at Mohawk’s Brantford campus. Alison was the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences from 2011-2015. She was the Dean of the McKeil School of Business, Media & Entertainment, and Continuing Education from 2015-2018. In 2018, she took on the role of Vice President Corporate Services. She oversaw a dynamic portfolio including information technology, human resources, facilities, finance and ancillary services.

Over the course of her career, Alison has led initiatives focused on academic quality, pathways and student success. She has developed new programs for diverse learners. She contributed to the establishment of academic, community and industry-based partnerships at Mohawk.

A lifelong learner, Alison holds two degrees. A Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Waterloo. And a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Guelph. She is thrilled to be able to contribute to the Hamilton community through her role as a board member for both the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and YWCA Hamilton.


trish loomis

Trish Loomis

Executive Director, Office of the President


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Trish's Biography

Trish joined Mohawk College in 2011 as part of the Special Events team. In 2014, she moved into the role of Director, Office of the President. Trish's over sees the operations of the President's Office. She supports the President in the development of cooperative relationships both internally and externally. She over sees the Special Events team for the college and works closely with public affairs to coordinate communications coming out of the President's Office.

Trish has worked in the education environment at various institutions, including University of Waterloo, Old Dominion University and American University. Her strengths have always been logistical coordination and relationship building. She was able to hone these skills while working at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC. She specialized in event coordination while at the embassy and was instrumental in coordinating the inaugural "All Politics is Local" event which brought Canadian businesses to Capitol Hill.

Trish holds a B.A. in Drama and Speech Communications from the University of Waterloo and an M Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, VA. She is a Hamilton native who is proud to raise her family in her hometown.


kim watkins

Kim Watkins

Acting Vice President, Corporate Services

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Kim's Biography

Kim Watkins was appointed Acting Vice President Corporate Services in April 2020. She oversees a dynamic portfolio that includes information technology, human resources, facilities, finance and ancillary services. 

Kim joined Mohawk as the college’s Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Mohawk College Foundation in July 2016. She has also served as Interim Chief Information Officer and Acting Chief Human Resources Officer. Prior to joining Mohawk, she was the Director of Finance and Controller at Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario where she provided financial leadership to the college and Canadore College Foundation for 12 years. Previous to this, she worked as the Manager of Corporate Services at North Bay Hydro Distribution and as a senior accountant at KPMG. 

A Certified Professional Accountant, Kim holds an MBA from Laurentian University, a risk management certificate from the University of Toronto, and recently completed a Certificate in Human Resources Management. 

Kim currently serves as a Trustee on the CAAT Pension Plan Board and is a member of the Customer Council at the OECM.