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Senecans of Distinction

Alumni category

Barbara Adamek
Barbara is a graduate of the Financial Services Management degree program. Today, she is a senior personal banking officer with Scotiabank. Barbara came to Seneca after seeing an ad for the Financial Services Management Degree program on the TTC. After attending university, she was looking for the right mix of practical and theoretical knowledge about the financial services industry. Not only did she find this at Seneca, she was also hired prior to graduation by Scotiabank. Since graduating, Barbara has served as a mentor to students and fellow alumni through her participation in School of Accounting and Finance industry events and workshops.

Julia Bridges
Julia is a graduate of Seneca’s Government Administration program and today she is the manager for South court operations with the Toronto Court Services. Julia has spearheaded several courtroom design improvement initiatives—most notably, she was the Project Manager for the Digital Audio Recording Project, which has had a dramatic impact on how court proceedings and endorsements are preserved on record. While finding success in her career, Julia has been an outstanding supporter of Seneca. Each year, she welcomes and mentors a number of field placement students, and she has volunteered as an advisory committee member, while serving as a Divisional Lead for co-op student placement opportunities with the Toronto Court Services.

Anthony Chau
Anthony Chau graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Technology and now works as a machinist for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. During his studies, Anthony was always willing to offer help and advice to his fellow classmates, based on his own experiences. Since joining Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Anthony has continued to offer support to Seneca by facilitating the hiring of Seneca graduates and offering his time as a guest speaker.

Alison David
Alison graduated from the Office Administration program at Seneca and is an office administrator with Deeth Williams Wall—a boutique law firm specializing in intellectual property and technology. Alison is the long-time chair of the College’s Office Administration Advisory Committee. Each year, she participates in Career Preparation Days for both the Office Administration and Law Clerk programs.

David Flood
David graduated from the Police Foundations program. Today, he is a constable with the York Regional Police Marine Unit. York Region hired David as a cadet during his fourth semester at the College. David’s connection to Seneca is multifaceted; along with his police foundations background, he achieved his commercial diver status through the Underwater Skills program and is continually engaged with the College through York Regional Police’s specialized course for divers, which is conducted at the King Campus. This year, David received an award for bravery from the York Region Police for his role in a daring ice water rescue of four individuals on Lake Simcoe. This award is given only once per year to a select number of officers.

Suzanne Price
Suzanne is a graduate of four Seneca programs: Cosmetics Retail Management; Esthetics; Computer Graphics; and Designing Curriculum Using Industrial Technology. Today, she is a co-ordinator with the School of Media and Marketing at our Seneca@York campus. Suzanne has done just about everything at Seneca. Along with her extensive career, she has also served as a faculty member, academic advisor, curriculum developer, program co-ordinator, professional development instructor and donor. In 2007, Suzanne established the “Synergy Media Studios Award,” a bursary that provides financial assistance to graduates of Seneca’s Media and Communications Fundamentals program. As well, she serves as a mentor to students in many other Seneca programs.

Nate Simpson
Nate graduated from Seneca’s Fire Protection program. Today, he is a senior code consultant with Genivar, a multi-faceted professional services and consulting firm. Nate also has career experience in fire systems design and service and fire protection engineering. He is an active member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Over the past 15 years, Nate has held various roles on Seneca’s Fire Protection Program Advisory Committee, including Chair. He is also an on-going source of encouragement and a provider of employment opportunities for students, while mentoring many graduates. Nate has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the Fire Protection Program. His insight has been especially valuable as the program has evolved in response to the changing marketplace.

Barbara Weeden
Barbara is a graduate of Seneca’s Outdoor Recreation program and is Seneca’s Manger of Community Recreation and Recreation Services. She also manages the King Day Camp, as well as the sports, arts and arts & science camps at the Newnham Campus. Barbara founded the King Day camp in 1993 and has seen the enrolment grow from 75 to 400. She is an avid outdoors person, volunteer and fundraiser—at Seneca and externally. Her leadership has been acknowledged by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario.
At Seneca, Barbara also led the creation of the King Environmental Group and represents Seneca on environmental committees in King Township.

"Friends" category

Amsdell Inc.
Based in Richmond Hill, Amsdell provides built-to-order computer systems and networking solutions to the government, education and corporate sectors. Amsdell has a relationship with Seneca that spans almost ten years, as a vendor and philanthropic partner. In 2010, the company once again demonstrated its commitment to Seneca student success with a donation to the College’s bursary fund. Accepting Amsdell’s Senecans of Distinction Award are President Raymond Kwan and CEO Edward Zheng.

The Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACCE)
The ACCE has been developing initiatives to connect Seneca's Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Small Business students with the Chinese business community through free memberships, guest lectures, job shadowing, speaker series and advisory committee participation.  The Association has also been a strong supporter of “the Shark's Pond,” an annual event for Seneca’s Entrepreneurial students and has provided several scholarships in support of these students. Accepting the ACCE’s Senecans of Distinction Award will be Executive Member Amanda Collucci.

Josie Brathwaite
Josie is a manager for staffing and recruitment at Scotiabank. A certified human resources professional, she has been with Scotiabank for the past 19 years in various positions throughout the organization. Since 2005, Josie has partnered with Seneca, working primarily with students from the Financial Services Management Program. She has participated in career information sessions and “Dialog with Industry days,” while providing students co-op placements, as well as employment opportunities with Scotiabank.

The Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies
The Canadian Association of Life Independent Brokerage Agencies is the voice for the managing general agencies across Canada. The Association has been a strong supporter of Seneca’s Financial Services Practitioner program. It has been instrumental in procuring corporate donations to expand the program to other colleges in Ontario. The Association has also facilitated faculty appointments to a number of industry committees and functions that featured the Centre for Financial Services at no cost to the College. Accepting the Association’s Senecans of Distinction Award will be Executive Director Bob Ferguson.

Stephen Chait
Stephen is the director of economic development with the Town of Markham. Stephen has helped strengthen Seneca's ties to the Markham community in various ways including advocating for the College’s presence on the board of the Innovation Synergy Centre at Markham (now VentureLAB), as well as the Markham Small Business Centre. Stephen has also supported Seneca’s applications for federal research grants and was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian Institute for Financial Crime Analysis. He has also been a steadfast, positive liaison between the College and the Town on issues ranging from master planning and business partnerships to government relations and research.

Denise Cole
Denise is the executive lead with the Ontario government’s Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare. Prior to that, she was a partner with StrategyCorp Inc., a government relations and public affairs firm. She also has more than 20 years experience in policy development and leadership with the provincial and federal governments. Denise served Seneca as a volunteer member of the Board of Governors from 2005 to 2011, and she was elected as the Board’s Vice-Chair—a position she has held for the last two years. Denise is also a Seneca donor, having contributed generously to the Board of Governors Endowed Bursary Fund.

Edwin D'Cruz
Edwin is a vice-president and regional sales manager at BMO Capital Markets. Prior to joining BMO, he was the assistant director-corporate banking with Barclays Bank in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Edwin has been a member of Seneca’s International Business Program Advisory Committee for a number of years and is currently serving as Chair. Under Edwin’s leadership, the Committee has supported changes to programming that address the requirements of part-time students in the international business sector. In addition to his role on the Advisory Committee, Edwin often arranges guest speakers on a variety of topics and ensures that these events are designed to accommodate part-time students.

Developing Excellence Celebrating Achievement “DECA”
DECA is an extra-curricular program for secondary school students in Ontario that allows them to develop confidence and demonstrate leadership in the business community.
Over the past three years, DECA has chosen to host its regional competition at the Newnham Campus. This event allows Seneca to showcase our facilities and programs to potential students, while engaging Seneca faculty members, students, advisory committee members, partners and administrators as competition judges. Different case competitions touch on programming areas from across the College, including accounting, business law, apparel, merchandising, marketing, tourism and sports entertainment. Accepting DECA’s Senecans of Distinction Award will be President of DECA Ontario, Kat Tchebotareva.

Janet Ecker
Janet Ecker is President of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and an advisor with the Tramore Group. Janet has been a supporter of the Centre for Financial Services (CFS) for many years. She has provided guidance and direction, as well as engaging CFS faculty and students in events and committees pertaining to enhancing financial services-based education initiatives in the GTA.

Essilor offers personalized hi-tech service to Canadian eye care professionals from coast to coast. Essilor has been a dedicated supporter of Seneca since the late 1970s when the College’s Opticianry Studies program began. The company’s contributions in support of the program have led to the establishment of the Essilor Centre for Opticianry Studies and the Seneca Vision Centre. Today, the Vision Clinic offers an extensive line of Essilor’s products and is a key component of the Opticianry program: Each opticianry student completes a field placement at the Clinic prior to graduating. Accepting Essilor’s Senecans of Distinction Award is Sales Representative for Essilor Canada, Richard Cheong.

Stan Gershman
Attorney Stan Gershman came to Seneca in 1973 as a faculty member and volunteer. Beginning in 1975, Stan volunteered his services not only to students, but to staff and faculty by starting the Seneca Legal Aid Clinic. At the Clinic, students can discuss any legal issues or concern they may have and, more importantly, receive a sympathetic and compassionate response.
After retiring from practicing law in 2006, Stan continued run the Legal Aid Clinic at Seneca, while also providing a clinic on Thursday evenings at the Fairview Mall. He also works with Seneca students in the Legal Studies Program to provide training and mentorship.

Helen Hayward
Helen is a partner with Western Management Consultants, where she consults on matters pertaining to organizational effectiveness, governance, strategic planning and leadership development.
She also has 20 years experience as an executive in the public and private sectors in the areas of planning, finance, human resources and agency liaison. Helen served as volunteer member of Seneca’s Board of Governors from 2005 to 2011. She was elected as Board Chair in 2008 for a two-year term. Helen was also a generous supporter of the Board of Governors Endowed Bursary Fund.

Derrick Klotz
Derrick is a regional field applications engineer with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. He is a Microcontroller specialist with experience in automotive, industrial and consumer applications. In 2010, he became a Senior Member of Freescale’s Technical staff. Derrick is the program advisory committee chair with Seneca’s School of Information and Communication Technology (previously the School of Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology). He also volunteers as a career mentor for students while attending countless events in support of the Department.

Chris Landreth
Chris is a filmmaker and animator, who has made many CGI-animated films since the mid-90s, including The End, Bingo, The Listener, Caustic Sky: A Portrait of Regional Acid Deposition, and Data Driven The Story Of Franz K. Chris has been an invaluable mentor and collaborator with the students of Seneca’s Animation program with some outstanding results, including an Oscar® for the animated short, Ryan. Most recently, he engaged 15 Seneca students on the production of his second Oscar®-nominated short, called The Spine. These projects gave students an opportunity to work on a real-world project during their studies, while bringing crucial acclaim to the School of Arts and Animation (previously the School of Animation Arts).

Karen and Ross Mason
Karen’s connection to Seneca dates back to 1967, when she came to the College’s accounts payable department on what was supposed to be a two-week work placement. It ended up lasting nine years. Ever curious and ever the student, Karen took two years of advanced accounting courses at Seneca while she was working, before leaving the College to travel Europe with Ross. She returned to the College in 1985 as a continuing education student in computer studies and graduated as valedictorian of her class. Karen and Ross are dedicated supporters of education across Ontario. As a result of Karen’s strong ties to Seneca, they have made a commitment to support Seneca students through an endowment to the School Information and Communication Technology (previously the School of Computer Studies).

Barb McFater
Barb is the Executive Director, PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs.  PTP provides basic skills education, academic upgrading, job search and related services to adults preparing for employment, training or further education, while empowering them to learn and find work they value. Barb is a long-time collaborator with Seneca’s Faculty of Workforce Skills Development in the creation of academic upgrading partnerships. Under her leadership, PTP has been delivering literacy and basic skills programs to adults in Toronto for more than 15 years and has also partnered with Seneca in refining assessment methods for essential skills development for adult learners.

Jean Anne McLeod
Jean is chief administrative officer with Stikeman Elliott, where she leads the firm’s strategic operations. Prior to joining Stikeman Elliott, Jean held senior executive positions in the Ontario Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Realty Corporation. At Seneca Jean served on the Board of Governors from 2002 to 2008. During her six years on the Board, she held the positions of chair and vice-chair, while also serving as the chair for the presidential search committee that brought President David Agnew to Seneca. As well, Jean was a strong supporter of the Board of Governors Endowed Bursary Fund during her tenure on the Board.

Jeff Mumford
Jeff is Honeywell Limited’s district general manager for Ontario. Honeywell invents and manufactures technologies to address macrotrend challenges such as safety, security and energy.
Since 2002, Jeff has been the driving force behind Honeywell’s support of Seneca’s Building Environmental Systems programs. At that time, Jeff began discussions and investigations into how Honeywell could help Seneca and, in particular, how they could contribute to Seneca’s building systems-related programs.Honeywell has generously donated Pneumatic equipment to the Centre for the Built Environment, and Jeff and Honeywell have worked closely with Seneca in creating a complete Intelligent and Integrated buildings simulation lab.

Seneca Alumni Association Board of Directors
The Seneca Alumni Association’s Board of Directors is composed of a dedicated group of graduates from across the College who volunteer their time to support Alumni initiatives and advise the College on issues of relevance to Seneca’s thousands of graduates. Throughout the school year, Alumni Board members can be seen at various events, on-campus and off, mentoring current students and serving as ambassadors for the College.This past year, the Board has decided to establish the “Seneca Alumni Bursary.” This fund will assist current students with strong academic records, whose academic careers are in jeopardy due to financial hardship. Accepting the Senecans of Distinction Award on behalf of the Alumni Board of Directors will be President Paul Sloggett.

The Seneca Retirees Association
The Seneca Retirees Association (SRA) was founded in September 1994 by retirees Jack Routh, Dick Grannan, Mike O'Driscoll, Marie Wenman, Shirley Blain, Jean Hoult and Harold Atkins. The organization grew quickly and in 1999 it officially became a Chapter of the Seneca Alumni Association. The SRA promotes continuing contact and dialogue among the retired members of the Seneca College community, while providing social functions, valuable information, and support for all of its members and maintaining a healthy relationship with the College Community.
In 2011, the SRA voted to establish “the SRA Bursary Fund,” which is supported solely by donations from its members and designed to support scholarships for Seneca students. Accepting the SRA’s Senecans of Distinction Award will be President Bill Riddell.

The Seneca Student Federation
The Seneca Student Federation (SSF) is composed of elected Seneca students who volunteer as government representatives. SSF members serve a one-year office term. It is the goal of every council member to offer a wide variety of programs and services to students and to convey students’ needs and concerns to the College’s administration. Over the past two years SSF has made two contributions to support Seneca student bursaries. The first SSF donation came as part of the Seneca Emergency Appeal for Student Support, and the Federation voted to repeat this level of support the following year. Accepting the Student Federation’s Senecans of Distinction Award will be President Samir Abdi.

Nancy Shanoff-Weis
Nancy has established a student bursary in memory of her late husband, Peter, to support of the students of Seneca’s Creative Advertising program. Peter was a passionate member of Ontario’s advertising community, which makes Nancy’s contribution to the College’s Creative Advertising students a fitting tribute. Students in this program focus on the creation of advertising and marketing communications for both print and broadcast media. Along with her generous support of this program, Nancy has engaged in the Seneca community as a participant at awards presentations and master planning workshops.

Stan Talesnick and Naomi Fromstein
Stan Talesnick is the dean for the Faculty of Workforce Skills Development at Seneca. When Stan and his sister Naomi's mother passed away in 2010, they wanted to do something to publicly honor their parents, Jack and Ann Talesnick and decided to establish an award for Seneca students. As the children and grandchildren of immigrants, Stan and Naomi were surrounded by the "immigrant experience." Naomi became a mentor and advisor for immigrants in the financial sector, and Stan has been a driving force in Seneca's efforts to integrate immigrants into the workforce.  Stan’s and Naomi’s passion for their work and their heritage led to their decision to honour their family with the "Newcomer Award” for Seneca students.

Grace Walker
Grace is the Manager of Corporate Services at Stikeman Elliott. She has been with the firm’s Toronto office since 1985. She oversees the corporate database system and assists with Stikeman’s model corporate precedents. Grace is also a member of the Training Colleges Task Force. Grace has experience in all aspects of corporate law including mergers and acquisitions; corporate and tax reorganizations; due diligence; and corporate proceedings. She is a strong supporter of Seneca’s Law Clerk program as an advisory committee member and participant in career preparation days. She has also been helpful in facilitating field placements for students and thanks to Grace’s help, many law clerk graduates have been hired by Stikeman Elliott.