2017 Alumni Association Awards
As part of the 2017 Alumni Homecoming Weekend celebrations, we invited friends, colleagues and community supporters to join us in celebrating the best of Lakehead University! Congratulations to our honourees!
2017 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AWARDS
The Alumni Association of Lakehead University is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s alumni awards. Awards are presented at both the Thunder Bay and Orillia Alumni Homecoming Weekend celebrations.
ALUMNI HONOUR AWARD
The Alumni Honour Award is presented by the Alumni Association to general members, as defined in the constitution of the Association, who have demonstrated distinction or outstanding achievement in one of the following areas: public service; business; humanities; research; science and technology; scholarship; the arts; or, for outstanding personal service rendered to the University over a period of years.
Those chosen will be an alumnus/a whose reputation, achievements or future potential will bring honour and prestige to the Alumni Association of Lakehead University.
Ken Boshcoff (HBA ’72)
One of Thunder Bay’s most prominent leaders, Ken Boshcoff has a long association with Lakehead University. It’s a relationship that almost didn’t happen.
Preparing to enter university in 1968, Ken had an offer from York but had yet to hear from Lakehead. The prospect of leaving for southern Ontario was upsetting to his widowed mother. That’s when fate stepped in.
“As the Westgate high school student council president, I introduced Lakehead’s athletics director Hank Akervall at a sports banquet. I told him I hadn’t heard from Lakehead’s registrar,” Ken recalls. “The next morning, admissions called.”
Ken credits his Lakehead instructors with setting him on a path of environmental activism. But perhaps the most significant development happened his first week on campus – he was elected to the Alma Mater Society (AMS), the precursor of the Lakehead University Student Union. Through the AMS, Ken had the opportunity to meet political activists such as Jane Fonda and great orators like former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.
Ken went on to earn an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Economics. He eventually attended York, graduating in 1975 with a Master’s in Environmental Studies. He returned to Thunder Bay and launched his distinguished career in planning, business, and public service. Ken has served as Thunder Bay’s Mayor and as a City Councillor. He was also a Federal Member of Parliament noting, “I relish my role as a consensus-builder.”
Whether in the public or the private sector, Ken has always championed Lakehead. As well as serving on university boards and committees, he’s been part of Alumni Association fundraising projects and advocated for the establishment of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2017, Ken contributed towards the purchase of a grand piano for Lakehead music students. “The gratification of just helping brings its own calm satisfaction,” he says.
Darren Lentz (HBOR, BSc. BEd '96, MEd '07)
For all his success inside and outside the classroom, Darren Lentz hasn’t lost sight of what’s important in life. “Never stop learning and growing as a person,” he says.
Darren is a hands-on educator who’s been celebrated for his commitment to the outdoors, innovative teaching practices, and integrating Indigenous content into the school curriculum. In 2017, he was named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by The Learning Partnership.
Though Darren grew up in the Ottawa area, Northwestern Ontario has been the centre of his life for more than 20 years. He initially came to Lakehead University because it offered a double degree in two of his passions: science and the outdoors. His most vivid university memory is paddling in one of the Canada Sea-to-Sea Alexander Mackenzie bicentennial expeditions with his classmates.
Darren’s love of the natural world continues to infuse everything he does. In his free time, he is out camping, hunting, paddling, dogsledding, snowshoeing, skiing, climbing, and building things. “Spend time on the land – it’s your best teacher,” he advises.
After graduating with outdoor recreation and science degrees, Darren returned to Lakehead to earn a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education.
His teaching career began at the Eabametoong First Nation followed by positions at schools in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. In 2009, Darren relocated to Thunder Bay and is now the principal of Kingsway and Hyde Park Public Schools.
He is a member of the Principals’ Reference Group – which advises Ontario’s education minister on new initiatives and policies – and since 2012, Darren has been an instructor at Lakehead in the Faculty of Education. Besides being recognized as one of Canada’s outstanding principals, he has received a TVOntario award for excellence in education. His biggest inspirations are his children, Skyler and Alyssa. “They honour me each day by the way they live life,” Darren says.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is presented annually in recognition of a Lakehead University graduate, 40 years of age or younger, who has achieved significant accomplishments since graduation, either in his/her profession, sport or community service. Those chosen will be an alumnus/a whose reputation, achievements or future potential will bring honour and prestige to the Alumni Association of Lakehead University.
Lloyed Lobo (BEng '05)
Passion, drive, and a sense of giving are Lloyed Lobo’s guiding principles. Since graduating from Lakehead University in
2005 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree, Lloyed has become an entrepreneurial powerhouse.
He teamed up with former classmate Alex Popa in 2011 to launch Boast Capital – a specialized accounting software and services firm that helps businesses in Canada and the United States. What started as a venture in a spare bedroom has become a thriving business with offices in Calgary, Vancouver, and San Francisco.
Recently, they launched the Traction Conference to bring together founders and experts from fast growing companies to share insights on how to attract customers and increase revenue. Speakers from influential organizations like LinkedIn and Uber headline the conference.
“Success is a long journey,” Lloyed says. “Building something that can change the way people do things and have a positive impact is my biggest motivator.”
Born in Kuwait and forced to flee during the 1990 Persian Gulf War, Lloyed and his family immigrated to Canada. After obtaining a computer engineering technology diploma from Toronto’s Humber College, he enrolled at Lakehead because it was one of the few schools accredited for software engineering.
“The small class sizes, easy access to professors, and the kind nature of the people made it an easy decision,” he says. “Some of my best friends are the ones I met at Lakehead.” Following his studies at the Thunder Bay campus, Lloyed attended New York University, the University of California, and the George Washington University School of Business.
Along with the support of his parents, Lloyed credits his business partner and his wife for his rapid career trajectory. “Boast Capital wouldn’t exist without Alex Popa’s spark,” he says, “and my entrepreneurial journey, especially in the early days, wouldn’t have been possible without my wife.”
ALUMNI LEGACY AWARD
This award, given at the discretion of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, recognizes a volunteer alumni leader who has retired from active service. The recipient of the Alumni Legacy Award has helped contribute to and/or has furthered the purpose and the mission of the Alumni Association over a period of ten or more years.
The recipient of this award has demonstrated exceptional commitment and contributions to the Alumni Association and the University, exemplifying the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, civic responsibility, vision and leadership. This award identifies the recipient as a valued member of the alumni community.
David Heroux (HBComm '84)
David Heroux has some simple advice for Lakehead University students and alumni: follow your dreams, laugh often, and be passionate about what you do.
“If life were a train ride,” he says, “know that when it’s time for you to disembark, those remaining will have had their lives enriched by having known you.”
Those who’ve encountered David would certainly say that of him. The Thunder Bay native first attended the University of Ottawa before enrolling at Lakehead to study commerce and economics.
“I had great educational experiences and personal growth at Lakehead,” David says. “The most vivid moments involved connecting with other students. I remember befriending a master of economics student from Tanzania. Hassan had always dreamed of being able to ice skate, and on a cold Saturday morning, I took him out on Lake Tamblyn and helped teach him how.”
After graduating in 1984, David joined the Toronto Dominion Bank, eventually attaining management positions that took him across Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. In 2001, he returned to Thunder Bay with his son and wife Julie – also a Lakehead graduate – to work with RBC Royal Bank.
Coming home allowed David to renew his ties with his alma mater. He became a member of the Alumni Association (serving as president from 2008-10) and the Lakehead Board of Governors. “I feel especially honoured to receive the Alumni Legacy Award,” David says, “because the recognition has come from my peers within the Alumni Association – peers that I greatly respect and have shared many experiences with over the years.”
David is an active volunteer with several other local organizations and is the past chair of Thunder Bay’s Scandinavian Home Society. “It’s not the things you’ve done for someone or the advice you’ve given that makes you memorable,” he says. “It’s the way you make people feel connected and valued.”
In 2014, the Alumni Association of Lakehead University instituted an Honorary Membership Category. It is the highest honour the Association can bestow on a non-graduate, and recognizes a person’s exceptional service to, affinity for, or support of the University and Alumni Association.
Cameron (Cam) Clark
In the years since Cameron (Cam) Clark left his Southern Ontario home, the North has made an impression on him, and he has certainly made an impression on the North.
Cam is a long-time member of Lakehead’s Board of Governors and a former board chair who supported the University’s evolution during a crucial period. “I’m a consensus builder and I enjoy working collaboratively to get worthwhile things done,” he says. Cam’s ability to foster collegiality, dialogue, and transparency helped the Board make decisions that benefited the entire University community.
Born in Kingston and raised in Toronto, Cam received an HBA in geography from the Waterloo Lutheran University and a master’s degree in geography from the University of Waterloo. He would then spend over three decades in the Ontario public service in cities scattered across the Canadian Shield – Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Wawa, and Thunder Bay. “I, my wife Janet, and our two daughters embraced the ‘northern’ lifestyle and the challenges and opportunities it provided,” Cam says.
His résumé includes positions as chief provincial negotiator with the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat, deputy minister of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, and assistant deputy minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Along with his professional work, Cam has volunteered with the Trans Canada Trail Board and the Quetico Foundation.
His proudest Lakehead achievement was the development of the University’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan. “It was no easy task,” Cam says, “but it stands out for me as an accomplishment where all the pieces came together. The plan laid out a framework to foster intellectual and human connections.”
Cam’s tenure with the Board of Governors has also introduced him to an important group of people – Lakehead graduates. “I now appreciate the critical role our alumni, all 50,000 of them, play in the success and the sustainability of the institution.”
As she settles into a new phase of her life, Cathy Trojan is proudest of two things –her children and her three-decade career at Lakehead University.
The latter, of course, comes with wonderful memories of caring co-workers, lifelong friendships, and inspiring alumni stories. While at Lakehead, she also got to know every inch of the Thunder Bay campus, including the former alumni office in the Evans farmhouse – a building once situated across the road from the rest of the University.
“We had skunks under the front porch, mice running through the back office, and deer grazing in the back yard,” she recalls. “Every day was a challenge.”
But challenges are something she’s accustomed to facing. As a young single mother, Cathy attended college for a re-training course and secured a four-month placement at Lakehead. That led to a full-time position and a 29-year association with the University. She was an External Relations financial assistant with unrivalled knowledge when she retired in December 2014. “My motivation was always to do the best job I could,” she says.
Cathy’s impact went beyond just doing a day’s work, says Mark Tilbury, Lakehead’s alumni and community relations director. “She is the kind of quiet individual who goes about their job in ways that are crucial to the Alumni Association’s efforts.”
“She was a primary point of contact with the alumni,” Tilbury says, “and one of our best ambassadors, even if she never saw herself that way.”
A book lover, Cathy now has more time for reading as well as staying physically fit. As for future plans, nothing is set in stone. “I’m still getting used to retirement,” she explains. “I’ve done some travelling but there’s still places I’d like to visit.”
Cathy encourages retirees and alumni to remain connected to Lakehead and to each other. “There is value in sharing experiences,” she says.