The Alumni Association of Lakehead University (AALU) was proud to be a sponsor of the Northwestern Ontario Visionary Awards (NOVA), held January 23 at the Valhalla Inn. Thunder Bay’s finest were honoured at SHIFT Thunder Bay’s bi-annual event, which celebrates the achievements of the region’s young professionals and honours local rising stars under the age of 40.
Organizers received a record 100+ nominations for consideration. Of those submissions and subsequent NOVA winners, over 50 percent of the nominees were Lakehead Alumni!
NOVA-winning Lakehead Alumni include:
- Dr. Michel Beaulieu – BED ‘ 01, HBA ’01, MA ’03 – Chair, Department of History, Lakehead University
- Dave Grady – BA ’02, CERT ’03 – Owner/ General Manager, Thunder Bay Xerographix Inc and the Office Supplier
- Shelby Ch’ng – BA’06, HBA ’07 – Owner, Unveiled Bridal Boutique and Thunder Bay City Councillor (Northwood Ward)
- Dr. Christopher Mushquash – HBSC ’02, MA ’04 – Young Alumni Award Winner (2014). Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and Clinical Psychologist at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care.
- Dr. Lana Ray – MPH ’07 – Project Manager of Research, The Centre for Policy in Aboriginal Learning, Confederation College
- Jaimie Mintenko - HBCOM '05 - Owner/ Centre Director, Scholars Education Centre & Owner/ Campus Director, Academy of Learning College
- Joe Quaresima – HBCOM ’00 – Co-Founder & Systems Director, Sencia Canada Ltd.
- Robert Perrier – BED ’03, BA ’03 – Director, International Enrolment, Lakehead University
- Erin Beagle – BED ’05 – Executive Director, Roots to Harvest
- Michael Nitz – BADM ’04, Young Alumni Award Winner (2015) – Regional Manager, Small Business, Royal Bank RBC
For the first time ever, the SUPER NOVA award was presented to a young professional who has achieved outstanding success on a national platform. The Super Nova went to Lakehead University alum Coleman Hell (BA 2011). In 2015, Hell was singled out as an artist “poised to make it big” by streaming service, Spotify. He had a very successful year after releasing “2 Heads,” a catchy song that became a multi-format smash – a certified double platinum hit surpassing 50 million global streams.
Those of us in attendance that night felt like proud parents! We couldn’t be more proud of our alumni’s achievements. Whether they’re climbing the corporate ladder or taking action using their personal passions, our graduates are making an impact in our community and beyond. Lakehead alumni are truly an exceptional and unconventional bunch! On behalf of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, we congratulate all nominees and award winners. Best of luck to you!
Craig Baier, Studio 1 Photography