Outstanding Graduates Nominated for Ontario Premier’s Awards
The Premier's Awards honour the important social and economic contribution college graduates make in Ontario and throughout the world.
The Awards, launched in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario's colleges, are administered by Colleges Ontario. Presented annually in six categories, the recipients are chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario's 24 colleges.
Nominees must demonstrate outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their community.
Seneca has a wealth of experienced and accomplished alumni. Six have been nominated this year for the Premier’s Award for College Graduates.
(Accounting and Finance)
Vic Pynn is the Chief Operating Officer for Amadeus North America Inc., a Certified General Accountant, author and public speaker. Over the past 25 years, he has held senior positions in the travel industry with American Express and TRX, Inc. A graduate of Seneca’s Accounting and Finance program, Vic wrote the book, Anything is Possible When You Lead with Your Heart, which shares his insights on leadership and human potential. He served as the executive sponsor for the Amadeus Haiti Orphanage initiative. This led to Vic being named among the Global Business Travel Association’s Top 25 Most Influential Executives.
Const. Monica Rutledge works with the Toronto Police Service’s Aboriginal Peacekeeping Unit. An Ojibway from Red Lake, Ont., she was four years old when she and her twin brothers were adopted during the Sixties Scoop in which many Aboriginal children were apprehended by the child welfare system. She is a graduate of Seneca’s Law Enforcement (now Police Foundations) program. Through community outreach, she has worked to foster positive police-community relations and improve the quality of service to the Aboriginal community. Prior to becoming a police officer, Monica spent two years volunteering with the Anishnawbe Health Toronto.
Creative Arts and Design
Janelle Griffin is an award-winning editorial guest producer with CNN based at the broadcast network’s headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. Born and raised in Toronto, Janelle is credited with producing award-winning guest segments for stories ranging from Whitney Houston’s death and the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, to the final flight of NASA's space shuttle in 2011 and the last three U.S. presidential elections. Janelle was a member of the production team that earned a Peabody Award in 2010 for CNN's coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Gail Courneyea is President and CEO of Angels of Flight Canada, a company she established to offer expertise for clients needing in-flight medical care. Now in its 29th year, Angels of Flight has successfully transferred 21,759 critically-ill clients within Canada and 100+ countries worldwide, by airline and air ambulance. A registered nurse and graduate of Seneca's Aeromedical Care Program, Gail also facilitates training in aviation safety and in-flight medical care to healthcare providers, helping to improve patient outcomes. In 2007, she founded the Global Angel Charity Organization, which provides financial assistance to families in crisis needing medical transportation.
(Bachelor of Aviation Technology)
Erin Grant is a Boeing 767 First Officer at Air Canada with 10 years of aviation experience. A graduate of Seneca’s Bachelor of Aviation Technology program, she has served as a Standards Officer at the Armed Forces Central Region Gliding School and assisted 90 cadets in receiving their pilot licence. Hired by Jazz Aviation LP as a first officer in 2014, Erin was subsequently promoted to captain, becoming the youngest captain in the department. She is a recipient of the Rising Star Award Elsie MacGill Award and named Top Female Power Pilot in Canada by the Royal Canadian Air Cadet.
(Mechanical Engineering Technology)
Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Toronto, Lalith Gunaratne is an entrepreneur who established renewable energy industries in Asia and promoted them for rural development. A Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate from Seneca, he lived and worked in Asia and Africa for 27 years, working extensively on development, education, organizational leadership, corporate social responsibility and governance. Lalith’s current work focuses on the Canadian extractives industry and Aboriginal relations to bring renewable energy to remote communities. He links spirituality with emotional and rational intelligence through critical thinking and finding a balance with technology for a sustainable and resilient world.