2015 Premier’s Awards Nominees
Category - Creative Arts and Design
Brad Goreski, Graduate 1999, Theatre Arts
Fashion stylist and TV personality, Los Angeles
Brand Stylist, Kate Spade, New York
Brad Goreski turned a love of fashion and his college theatre arts training into a successful career as a celebrity fashion stylist and television personality. A host of the hit show Fashion Police, Goreski also dresses stars like Demi Moore, Christina Ricci and Jessica Alba for special events and red carpets. Goreski also starred in the fashion reality shows The Rachel Zoe Project and his own It's a Brad, Brad World.He is the author of the 2012 memoir Born to Be Brad: My Life and Style, So Far, and is the official Brand Stylist for Kate Spade New York.
Category – Community Services
Susan Gapka, Graduate 2000, Community Worker
Community and political organizer
Overcoming major obstacles in her own life, social activist Susan Gapka now fights for the rights of other vulnerable members of society. She successfully lobbied to: amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to prohibit transgender discrimination; change the Vital Statistics Act to allow transgender people to change their birth registration; and restore funding for sex reassignment surgery. Homeless for 10 years previously, Gapka credits college for building her self-esteem and helping her gain the courage to come out as a transgender woman in 2000. In 2015, Gapka was named LGBTQ Person of the Year by the Toronto Inspire Awards.
Category – Business
Cheryl Cecchetto, Graduate 1980, Theatre Arts
Founder and President, Sequoia Productions, Los Angeles
For over 25 years, Sudbury native Cheryl Cecchetto has been producing Hollywood's most prestigious events, including the Academy Awards Governors Ball for 26 years and the Primetime Emmys Governors Ball for 18 years. In 2015, Cecchetto produced the opening ceremonies for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles and published Passion to Create, a coffee table book featuring personal memories, photographs of her events, behind-the-scenes stories, and event planning tips. A theatre arts graduate, she was assistant to Oscar-winning actress Shelley Winters and appeared in movies and TV shows, before becoming a top Hollywood special events producer.
Category – Health Sciences
Louis Busch, Graduate 2008, Behavioural Science Technology
Behaviour Therapist, Forensic Rehabilitation Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Louis Busch is passionate about behaviour analysis and its potential for improving people's lives. The Behaviour Therapist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) uses behaviour analysis - interventions to bring about positive behaviour change - to help individuals with autism, acquired brain injury, intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health issues. Busch created and implemented a successful pilot program to increase the capacity of staff in community group homes to care for individuals with complex needs and challenging behaviour. The program has since been expanded province wide. Bear Clan Cree from the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, Busch also consults with CAMH's aboriginal outreach program.
Category – Technology
Graduate 1986, Tool Design
Graduate 1987, Mechanical Engineering Technician – Manufacturing or Design
Director of Sustainable Development Programs, Teknion, Toronto
As Director of Sustainable Development Programs, Doug Hietkamp has helped grow Teknion's reputation as an organization committed to environmental sustainability. Under his leadership, the company has won numerous environmental awards, including the Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Hietkamp speaks at industry and environmental events and mentors students in Toronto area colleges and universities. Passionate about environmental sustainability, he has installed solar and geothermal systems and energy-saving upgrades on his own properties. An Ironman triathlete and an active volunteer, he has participated in Habitat for Humanity builds in Chile, Bolivia and Honduras.
Category – Recent Graduate
Benjamin Valliquette Kissell, B.Tech, GSI, ICIOB
Graduate 2013, Bachelor of Technology, Construction Science and Management
Graduate 2011, Construction Engineering Technologist
Graduate 2010, Carpentry – Advanced Certificate
Project Manager, Gillam Group Inc.
Benjamin Valliquette Kissell has played a key role in several high-profile construction projects, including the internationally acclaimed Aga Khan Museum. Ben was a recipient of the Mike Holmes Mike it Right Award, and the 2014 CIOB International Outstanding Achievement Award. He works as Project Manager for the Gillam Group, and serves as Chairman of CIOB Novus Canada. As past Director of the Habitat Campus Coalition, Ben’s efforts had an enormous impact on the growth of affordable housing in Ontario. Motivated to make the world a better place, Ben and his wife Naly manage a child literacy project in the Philippines.
Do you know of a candidate for the Premier's Awards?
If so, please submit this nominee information form.
The Premier's Awards is an annual provincial awards program created by the government to recognize the important economic and social contribution college graduates make to Ontario. Award nominees receive a bronze medal and direct a five thousand dollar bursary to the college of their choice.
There are 6 categories and one graduate may be nominated in each category:
- Creative Arts and Design
- Community Services
- Health Sciences
- Recent Graduate