Premier's Awards

Launched in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario colleges, the annual Premier’s Awards honour outstanding college graduates from Ontario’s 24 public colleges. The awards are presented annually in seven categories: Apprenticeship,Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate and Technology. George Brown College has a fantastic history with the Premier's Awards and proudly celebrates the achievements of our nominees and our winners.

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. There are 6 categories and one graduate may be nominated in each category:

  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Community Services
  • Business
  • Health Sciences
  • Technology
  • Recent Graduate

George Brown College has a fantastic history with the Premier's Awards and proudly celebrates the achievements of our nominees and our winners.

George Brown's 2019 Premier's Award Nominees

Category: Apprenticeship
Nominee: Patrick Kriss, Chef/Owner, Alo, Aloette and Alobar
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2006, Cook Apprenticeship
Patrick Kriss is the Chef-Owner of Toronto restaurant Alo – named one of the world's best restaurants in 2018 and the only Canadian restaurant to make the list. Alo also won the top spot in Canada's Top 100 Restaurants for the past three years, with Kriss named Outstanding Chef of the Year. Kriss' two other restaurants – Aloette and Alobar also made the Canadian Top 100 in 2018. Prior to opening Alo in 2015, Kriss worked at Toronto's Splendido and Acadia restaurants and spent three years working in New York City under the celebrated French Chef Daniel Boulud in his eponymous restaurant.

Category: Business
Nominee: Jacqueline Ryan, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing, Scotiabank
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 1999, Sport and Event Marketing
As Scotiabank's Vice-President of Sponsorship Marketing, Jacqueline Ryan was responsible for the largest arena deal in North American history when she and her team won the $800 million naming rights sponsorship to change Air Canada Centre to Scotiabank Arena in 2018. Hockey News named her one of the Top 100 People of Power and Influence in 2019 – the top woman of only a handful on the list. Ryan also led the bank's sponsorship marketing strategy to the number one position in the industry. Before joining Scotiabank, Ryan worked on the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver as RBC's Head of Olympic Marketing.

Category: Creative Arts and Design
Nominee: Sage Paul, Artistic Director and Founder, Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2006, Fashion Techniques and Design
Sage Paul is the founding collective member and artistic director of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto – a celebration of contemporary Indigenous design and cultural expression. An urban Dene woman and a member of English River First Nation, the Toronto designer and artist is a recognized leader of Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles, receiving the 2017 Design Exchange RBC Emerging Designer Award. In 2018, she was one of Canada's Top 25 Women of Influence and one of the Toronto Star's 12 Canadian Changemakers who are making our lives better. Along with her fashion collections, Paul designs costumes for theatre, TV and film.

Category: Health Sciences
Nominee: Caroline Szymaniak, Administrative Division Manager, Prosthodontic Associates and Chief Operating Officer, Build Your Smile Foundation
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2012, Dental Treatment Coordinator
Providing dental care to people who don't have access or can't afford it is Caroline Szymaniak's passion. The administrative manager of Prosthodontic Associates, she's also the Chief Operating Officer of the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation, providing pro bono dental care in Toronto to women in shelters and transitional housing, and in Uganda to people in remote villages. Szymaniak and her colleagues volunteer one Saturday a month at the practice and travel to Uganda twice a year. Szymaniak is also a frequent public speaker on successful dental practice management and volunteers with the networking and mentoring organization Women in Dentistry.

Category: Recent Graduate
Nominee: Lesley Hampton, Founder and Creative Designer, LESLEY HAMPTON
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2017, Fashion Techniques and Design
Designer Lesley Hampton creates clothing with a message of inclusivity, diversity and advocacy. A member of Temagami First Nation, Hampton features models of all sizes, races, cultures and physical and mental abilities in her shows. When she featured Boston bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet walking the runway in her prosthetic leg, she caught the attention of celebrity Kim Kardashian, whose post on Facebook went viral. For her 2018 Toronto Fashion Week show Hampton turned to her cultural roots, featuring all indigenous models. Hampton launched her label in her first semester of college and has been featured in Vogue, Glamour and Elle.

Category: Technology
Nominee: Pat Lamanna, President – Salt, Soil, Waste, G&L Group
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 1991, Construction Engineering Technology
Pat Lamanna is the strategic vision behind G&L Group, recognized as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies for the past four years. Since partnering in his father's business in 1995, Lamanna's vision and leadership helped grow the business into five successful companies -- Toronto Redi-Mix, Brock Aggregates, Draglam Salt, Earthco Soil Mixtures and Draglam Waste & Recycling – employing more than 300 people. Lamanna founded Draglam Salt while still in college and frustrated that having to wait for salt at night for his snowplow business was making him late for class. Today, Draglam Salt is Ontario's largest independent bulk salt distributor.

Category: Community Services
Nominee: Beth Clarke, Director of Strategic Partnerships, World Education Services (WES)
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2000, Career and Work Counsellor
Throughout her 20-year career, Beth Clarke has developed innovative programs for the integration of skilled immigrants into the Canadian labour market, which have improved the lives of refugees and displaced people and served as models of service delivery in the sector. Clarke led the development of the World Education Services Gateway Program, providing recognized credential evaluation for refugees without official academic or employment documentation. At JVS Toronto, her work in developing pre-arrival services – providing mentoring to immigrants before arriving in Canada – helped to establish pre-arrival services as a standard service in Canada and won awards from the International Qualifications Network.