Premier's Awards


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 2017 Premier’s Award Nominees

Shannon Hosford
Category: Business
Nominee: Shannon Hosford, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Fan Engagement
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 1999, Sport and Event Marketing
Engaging Toronto sports fans is Shannon Hosford's mission and passion. She launched the popular 'We the North' campaign for the Toronto Raptors -- named one of Canada's most successful marketing campaigns ever by Yahoo! Canada – and brought the NBA All-Star Weekend to Toronto in 2016 for the first time outside of the U.S. Her 'Stand Witness' campaign for the Maple Leafs and 'It's a Bloody Big Deal' for Toronto FC have also engaged and excited sports fans.  Hosford was named 2014 Marketer of the Year by Strategy Magazine and one of Canada's Power 50 by Bay Street Bull Magazine.



Natasha Falle
Category: Community Services
Nominee: Natasha Falle, Founder/Advocate, Sex Trade 101
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2003, Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate

Natasha Falle escaped a life of prostitution to become an advocate for other victims of sexual trafficking.  The founder of Sex Trade 101, a survivor-led political activism coalition, Falle has provided support for more than 1,000 women victims and survivors of the sex trade; provided training to police forces across Canada and internationally; and spoken to audiences at the United Nations, as well as  to community centres, colleges and universities.  She served as an expert witness before Senate and Parliamentary committees; contributed to many documentaries on the sex trade; and was a college professor in the Police Foundations Course at both Humber and Sheridan College.


Rene DeSantis
Category: Creative Arts and Design
Nominee: Rene DeSantis, President, Montana Steele Strategic Marketing
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 1974, Graphic Design Technician
Rene DeSantis won a competition to design the City of Toronto's official flag while still a graphic design student.  Almost 45 years later, his design still flies over Toronto City Hall.  DeSantis is the co-founder and President of of Montana Steele Strategic Marketing, a full service firm with over 25 years experience developing over 700 successful retail and real estate campaigns across North America.  With Montana Steele, DeSantis has won more than 200 national and international industry awards.  Thirty years ago, DeSantis was a member of the team that developed the iconic Pizza Nova jingle, still featured in ads today.


Deborah Simon
Category: Health Sciences
Nominee: Deborah Simon, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Community Support Association
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 1977, Nursing
As CEO, Deborah Simon advocates for the Ontario Community Support Association's 270 home and community health services organizations across the province.  Since graduating from nursing in 1978, Simon's career has spanned the acute care and home care sectors.  She served as Ontario's Provincial Nursing Coordinator when legislative changes expanding the role of nurse practitioners were passed in 1997 and she developed the first home nursing program at VHA Home HealthCare.  Augmenting her education with degrees in administration and business, Simon credits her nursing diploma for providing the foundation for her career and says she's immensely proud to be a nurse.


Avish Sood
Category: Recent Graduate
Nominee: Avish Sood, Associate Marketing Manager, Brita and Co-founder and CEO, The Sponsorship Space
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2013, Sport and Event Marketing
Since graduating in 2013, Avish Sood has achieved significant success. Recognized for launching an annual sports marketing conference, helping attract record sponsorship revenue for the 2015 Pan Am Games and creating the Sponsorship Space marketing website, Sood was named one of '30 Under 30' by both Marketing and Sports Launch magazines. He was the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce's 2015 'Young Achiever of the Year' and called a 'Rising Star' by two sports industry websites. In addition to the Sponsorship Space, Sood works with Brita on a number of initiatives including their ME to WE partnership providing closer access to clean water to people in Kenya.


Andrew Lindsay
Category: Technology
Nominee: Andrew Lindsay, Vice-President, Engineering and Technology Development, Blutip Power Technologies
Program/Grad Year: Graduate 2000, Mechanical Engineering Technician
Andrew Lindsay is the inventor of a patented engine controller for Blutip Power that helps mining companies conserve fuel and improve the environment. With customers on four continents at six of the world's largest mining companies, the controller works on massive diesel-powered engines to save fuel burn rates by about five percent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve operations through digital data collected by the device. For many years, Lindsay and his brother produced Lindsay Lights, a computerized, music-synchronized holiday light show that raised over $70,000 for local charities, won international awards and was featured on the TV show Ellen.