2013

Brent Kinnaird - Business Administration, 1994

2013 Business Recipient

Brent Kinnaird

Brent Kinnaird has spent his life in Hamilton, building a network of friends, business associates, and colleagues throughout a 15-year career at the Hamilton Port Authority where he led the corporate marketing and communications program.

In 2007, he launched Inspire Marketing in partnership with his wife Amanda. He led the strategic growth of the company, building a client base for ongoing work in communications, special events, and marketing plan support. Brent has served as a contributing writer to three international trade publications; Seaway Review, Maritime Magazine and International Bulk Journal and currently writes entries for the Mohawk Alumni blog.

In 2013, Brent became the Marketing Manager for local Hamilton business, McKeil Marine. He currently leads marketing initiatives and represents the McKeil brand throughout the industry and in the communities in which McKeil works. Outside of his work hours, Brent lends his time supporting a range of charitable organizations, passionately champions Hamilton causes and actively pursues a passion for running and cycling.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

Seek out a mentor. Finding someone with experience related to the goals I was setting. Someone to be both a sounding board for my thoughts and offer sound advice.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

Making connections. Building a network that serves as your go-to resource in times of need. Sharing perspectives and working together to find success.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

Set a goal, but remain open to change. Look for opportunities to gain real world business insight.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

The practical nature of my program of study was easily translatable in the early days of my career. I was afforded the opportunity to go out to the business community, build case studies based on real Hamilton businesses and the challenges they face, all within the context of a particular course of study. This remains today, I still draw from the foundation established during my time at Mohawk.

Sharon Charters - Social Service Worker, 1975

2013 Community Services Recipient

Sharon Charters

Sharon Charters has made a career of connecting people to services and programs, charities to resources, and community partnerships to work together on common concerns. A Mohawk College and McMaster University graduate, she has shared her insights with social service worker students for over a decade. Sharon has served on the boards of many organizations including Wesley Community Homes, the Hamilton Non-Profit Housing Corporation and the Hamilton Mountain Legal Clinic.

As Grants Manager with Hamilton Community Foundation for the last 13 years, Sharon is particularly proud of her work to help citizens to play an active role in their neighbourhoods. In this position she had a role in planning, designing and implementing the Tackling Poverty Together initiative, a $8M commitment to addressing poverty in the City of Hamilton. She has also previously worked with a team to research, design and implement a Neighbourhood Granting Program which operated for 7 years and has since been integrated into the Neighbourhood Action Strategy.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

Anxiety and stress are your enemies – keep them at bay by showing up for all classes, staying organized and on top of your assignments and studying. Mohawk has many great supports for students so don’t be afraid to reach out and use them. This time will go by very quickly so use every opportunity to learn and develop networking relationships that will carry you forward in your career.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

I am most passionate about being in a role that allows me to make connections that support good work going on in our community. Sometimes it’s about connecting projects to resources; sometimes it’s about connecting like-minded organizations, and sometimes it’s about connecting citizens to decision-making processes. The complexity of the issues facing us requires a heightened degree of collaboration and partnership to move forward.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

If you are at the “thinking” point, my suggestion would be to try and talk to people already working in the field you are considering. Volunteering is also a great way to get a better first-hand understanding of whether this field is the right one for you. If you decide it is, then go for it. Believe in yourself and make the commitment.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

My experience at Mohawk College got me excited about learning again. I entered Mohawk through the Continuing Education program which was a small program that allowed for a lot of interaction between students and faculty. It helped me to build my confidence as well as my skills. As an instructor in the Social Service Worker Continuing Education program, I do my best to pass this on to today’s students.

Ava Green - Broadcasting - Television & Communications Media, 1981

2013 Creative Arts & Design Recipient

Ava Green

Ava Green began working in television right after graduating from Mohawk College where she worked her way up from being the only female member of the CHCH mobile television crews, to sound mixing for live newscasts to video editing.

Over the years she’s worked on everything from live sports events, to operas, to wrestling to some of the longest-running and cherished Canadian television shows including The Red Green Show.

Since 2008, Ava has dedicated most of her time to speaking and working on shows & her website for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Millions of viewers in North America have watched the award-winning specials she’s produced and use her website as a valued resource in an area of mental health where finding help is difficult.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

Learn what you can while you’re in the program, that’s a given. The knowledge base is great. But while you’re learning, connect with as many people in the industry as you can. Find out if there’s something that you can do to help them. Don’t worry about being in first year, or second year…You’ll never have ALL of the knowledge, even when you finish the course. So let go of having to know everything first. Get to know people and offer your help at no cost to them. Then work hard and focus on being someone who they really want to have as part of their company/team/production.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

I’m passionate about creating programs that are entertaining and that make a difference for people. To make a difference, it often means doing something that’s different or risky. And it can be a little nerve-wracking to put a project that you’ve worked very hard to create on television or the internet because there’s not an immediate response like there is in live theatre for example.So, I love it when our team gets positive feedback! At the end of the day, it’s a great feeling to know that you’ve been a contribution in some way and have had a positive impact!

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

It’s a competitive industry, there aren’t a lot of jobs. Many of the jobs are project based or on contract so you’ll need to learn to network, even if you’re shy. Don’t let that stop you! Put your creativity to work and look for opportunities. Mohawk is a great place to learn, expand, and try out your ideas.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

Mohawk prepared me for my career by showing me that I was capable of learning many things and stepping into new roles. In our course, we learned many aspects of television production: concepts, script writing, lighting, camera, etc. I didn’t excel at all of them, of course, but I learned that I could do many things. In third year, I remember being completely overwhelmed. I felt I had too many projects, too many challenges and not nearly enough sleep. Getting through that gave me the confidence to know that I could solve many problems, I could handle more than I thought, and I didn’t have to work alone, I could rely on the team working with me. I know that I wouldn’t have accomplished as much as I have without having had that experience and learning to work as part of a team or to lead a team.

Paul Armstrong - Radiological Technology, 1988

2013 Health Sciences Recipient

Paul Armstrong

Paul Armstrong is a two-time graduate of Mohawk College with credentials in Radiological Technology ’88, as well as a post-graduate diploma in Medical Diagnostic Ultrasound ’89. With this training, Paul began his career as an Ultrasound Technologist and joined Mohawk College in 1991 as a clinical instructor. This would chart the path to a rewarding career at Mohawk College that would ultimately see him become the Dean of Health Sciences, Community and Urban Studies.

As Dean, Health Sciences, Community and Urban Studies for Mohawk College, Paul Armstrong provides administrative leadership for more than 36 academic programs at 4 campus locations. Paul represents Mohawk College on two Provincial advisory planning committees comprised of Deans from colleges across Ontario: Heads of Health Sciences and Heads of Community Services. As well, he represents Mohawk on the Canadian Allied Health Programs Committee which is a national committee that looks at issues surrounding health care programs.

Paul has been involved with many organizations in the past and currently is a Board Member for the Brain Injury Services of Hamilton as well as a Member of the Best Start Network and Services Integration Committee for Brantford and Brant County. Paul has previously coached hockey for a variety of extramural and charity teams. And he has previously received Sport Hamilton Volunteer Recognition Award as well as a Mohawk Students' Association teaching award.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

Enjoy the experience. People are very nervous that first day, worried about not only the next step in their education, but in many cases worried about the ability to get by on their own. It will all work out!

What are you most passionate about professionally?

Community Development – In both my professional and personal life, volunteerism and contributing to my community in order to make it a better place for everyone is something that gives me great reward.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

I would let them know that they have made a great choice. The opportunities to find employment and excel in your career are very strong and they will be happy they made the decision to become a health professional. It is also important for them to understand that as a health care professional, empathy and compassion for the people we serve is just as important as understanding the technical components of the role.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

My Mohawk education developed not only my abilities to be effective as a professional, but gave me the confidence to try new things and take risks. Over my career that confidence has prepared me well to take reasonable risks and opportunities that have paid off so far.

Bronko Jazvac - Industrial Engineering Technology - Management, 1978

2013 Technology Recipient

Bronko Jazvac

Bronko Jazvac graduated from Industrial Management Technology Program as a Silver Medalist in. Immediately after graduation, he started at Arcelor Mittal Dofasco where he enjoyed a very successful and rewarding career for 38 plus years. In his position at Dofasco he has had the opportunity to travel across North America and around the world including India & Luxembourgh.

Bronko moved through the organization during the early part of his career and held many different leadership positions. His assignments included General Foreman Materials Handling, Manager Materials Handling Division, General Manager Manufacturing Services to his current role as Director of Health & Safety and World Class Manufacturing - the first person to hold this position.

His community involvement includes being a Community Representative on the St. Joseph’s Health Care Committee Board, as well as spending 6 years on the Mohawk College Board of Governors including one term as Chair.

Bronko was part of the Executive Team as the Director of Health and Safety and Wrold Class Continuous Improvement for the last four years.

Bronko retired at the end of 2016 and is now enjoying his retirement focusing on his family , golf and travel.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

View and take the experience as just another step in a “life long journey” of learning and a huge opportunity that will be instrumental in shaping the rest of my life.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

The value and importance of people and culture in any organization.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

Focus on the journey itself as learning is a life long endeavour that will play a key role in shaping your life style and your future.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

It provided me with a very pragmatic, effective foundation and evolution of great opportunities and fantastic career with an exceptional employer.

Emily Baynes - Public Relations, 2011

2013 Recent Graduate Recipient

Emily Baynes

Emily Baynes is a motivated young professional and graduate of Mohawk’s Public Relations program. In the short years since graduating, she has applied her communications skills to the areas of economic development, education, child poverty, and healthcare.

First working as an intern in the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development department, Emily then enjoyed a two-years at Mohawk College, where she worked as part of the Fennell Renewal team. Emily has since joined the Redevelopment Office of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Emily actively volunteers with several community organizations and is currently Board Chair of Food4Kids, a local non-profit that provides a weekend food supply for impoverished children.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

Stay committed and be resilient. This program is designed to challenge you, and it will – especially when you’re also juggling a part-time job or other responsibilities outside of your education. It’s not an easy journey, but when you reach the end you’ll see that it was all worthwhile.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

I really enjoy helping others to develop and implement strategies to achieve their goals - whether it is telling their story, planning an event, or launching an effective information campaign. So much can be accomplished when we are connected to the right people and resources.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program or a similar program what would it be?

Enter this program with an open mind. You’ll have the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of Public Relations work, and will graduate with a diverse set of skills that will allow you to pursue your passion.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

My education from Mohawk has been very valuable to me. The Public Relations program helped me develop the skills and the confidence to begin my career in a quickly growing and competitive field. I use what I learned at Mohawk on a daily basis, and continue to build on the educational foundation that began at the college.

Ray Adamyk - Recreation Leadership, 1983

2013 Entrepreneur Recipient

Ray Adamyk

Ray Adamyk is the Founder and President of Spectra Company. Spectra Company is headquartered in Pomona, California and has been in business for over 25 years. Ray is well known in the Restoration community as an “expert” in historic preservation. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the California Preservation Foundation, while holding memberships in the Association of Preservation Technology International, the National Trust, Los Angeles Conservancy and the Western Association for Art Conservation. His historic preservation projects have received recognition from the National Trust, California Preservation Foundation, Los Angeles Conservancy, Long Beach Heritage and Pasadena Heritage.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

Stay the course – know that what you learn is not as important as the process of learning and building good work habits.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

Restoration – the restoration of buildings and people.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

Learn from the professors, be humble and teachable!

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

It was the foundation for future learning. It was the place that I learned discipline & leadership.

Anthony Frisina - Enterprise Business, 2002

Also a graduate of: Office Administration - Executive, 2003/Office Administration - General, 2005

2013 Mohawk College Employee Recipient

Anthony Frisina

Anthony Frisina's passion and true loves are the Hamilton community and volunteering. Anthony serves on the local planning committee with Rick Hansen's Wheels in Motion, as well as with the Canadian Paraplegic Association to raise funds for people living with spinal cord injuries.

He is an active member of Mohawk College's Accessibility Planning Committee, representing the committee as an alumnus and facilitating accessibility-focused Campus Renewal Projects. Anthony also serves on the advisory committee for the Catholic Youth Organization's Marydale Park - Ontario's first barrier-free, fully accessible park & recreation facility.

Starting out part-time at Mohawk, Anthony has continued to increase his responsibilities doing a variety of jobs and involved with multiple programs. His work at Mohawk College has been so valuable that McMaster University saw a need for his skill set. Anthony now commutes between the two campus',working hard every day to ensure that both Education Centers and their students are experiencing success, inclusion, and acceptance.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice on the first day of college, it would be to explore the greater picture Mohawk College. I would tell my younger self to be more active in extracurricular activities because I have learned through experience that that is truly what being a student and a member of the Mohawk community is all about.

Anthony carried the torch for the Pan Am Games in 2015. He also pitched, produced and hosted a pilot on Cable 14 all about Accessibility & Inclusion, entitled Above & Beyond - Bridging the Gap to Accessibility & InclusionNominated for a TedX speaker in Toronto and asked to represent Hamilton as a "Community Champion" - waiting for more information.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

My passion professionally here at Mohawk has always and will continue to be my membership on the Accessibility Planning Committee. I have a difference of ability when traveling through my everyday experiences, which has motivated me to align with other astounding advocates and allies who promote inclusion within our campus as well as the larger community. I am grateful and inspired every day to be a member of this tireless community whom shares my passion to make sure everyone feels valued and included on our campus and in the community.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program, or a similar program, what would it be?

I had the opportunity of studying both Enterprise Business, and Office Administration- Executive at Mohawk College. My best piece of advice for students entering my program(s) of study, or any Mohawk College program, as a new student I say Carpe Diem! Whether you are aware of it or not while sitting in the classroom, Mohawk College will allow you to attain the skills to recognize, have the confidence and to take control of your future.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

Education at Mohawk College happens both inside and outside the classroom. Inside the classroom, I learned about Business and Professionalism. Outside of the classroom I built up my life skills toolbox, learning about networking and public speaking. I learned so much about myself, in my time here as a student at Mohawk, that I gained the confidence to be successful.