Premier's Awards for college graduates announced

(Toronto, Nov. 19, 2008) - Patricia O’Connor, one of Canada's first female paramedics and the founder of an air ambulance service for remote communities in Northern Canada, is one of six winners of the 2008 Premier's Awards for outstanding college graduates.

O'Connor, a graduate of Durham College's health sciences program, founded Medflight Ltd., which serves residents in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

She was among the Premier’s Awards recipients officially announced today. The awards cover six categories: business, community services, creative arts and design, health sciences, technology and recent graduates. Graduates are honoured for outstanding career success, strong community involvement, and passion for their work.

"We are so proud of these outstanding individuals, who represent the highest levels of personal achievement and community service to which our graduates aspire," said Anne Sado, the chair of the colleges’ committee of presidents and president of George Brown College. "Our colleges are pivotal to an innovative, competitive economy and a vibrant, productive community."

The other recipients, selected from 89 nominees by a distinguished committee of business and community leaders, are:

Andrew Moorey (Business) of Confederation College. He is the founder, president, and CEO of Global Hydration Water Treatment Systems Inc., which is a world leader in emergency water purification. Moorey’s innate sense of responsibility directs Global Hydration in humanitarian projects around the world.

Carol-Lynn Chambers (Community Services) of Lambton College. The highest ranking female officer in the Canadian professional fire service, Chambers is deputy fire chief for the city of London. Since her progress to a larger provincial role with the Office of the Fire Marshal, she has launched innovative programs in fire services across Ontario.

Kevin Doyle (Creative Arts and Design) of Fanshawe College. A Juno and Grammy Award winner, Doyle has an eclectic and impressive client list. The late Glenn Gould, Anne Murray, KISS, The Canadian Opera Company and Yo Yo Ma owe much of their wide acclaim to Doyle's superior studio production skills.

James Harrington (Technology) of Loyalist College. Harrington is a renowned electronics and mechanical product designer. He is recognized worldwide for the design and fabrication of Canada’s first successful fuel cell-assisted sailboat.

Jordan Harris (Recent Graduate) of Niagara College. Harris is director of wine making, viticulture and operations for Tarara Winery in Virginia, U.S. One of the Ontario Hostelry Institute's Top 30 Under 30, Harris was part of the technical committee that developed the Sustainable Winemaking Ontario Charter to establish environmental standards in Ontario’s wine industry.

The winners receive their awards at a celebration at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto on Feb. 23.

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For more information:

Sally Ritchie
Senior Communications Officer
Colleges Ontario
(416) 596-0744, ext. 242