There are several opportunities to recognize successful alumni each year, the Premier's Awards for Ontario College Graduates where up to six alumni from each Ontario College can be nominated. These awards recognize and honour the important social and economic contribution college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. Nominees must demonstrate outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their community. The premier's Awards are given out annually by the Ontario Premier's Office each year in November.
The Alumni of Distinction Award is handed out each year at Convocation. This award recognizes an alumnus who has succeeded in their career, is an inspiration to the graduating class and who has maintained a positive relationship with the college since graduation.
For more information on how to nominate a "great grad" please contact the alumni office:
Alumnus of Distinction
GIS – Applications Specialist '94 - Technology
Over the last 17 years Mark has pioneered and been a leader on location and geo-centric technologies. Immediately after graduation, while employed by the Ontario MNR and in partnership with Environment Canada, coauthored the digital mapping standards for riverine and shoreline hazard lands. These standards were then used in the multimillion dollar provincial floodplain digital mapping program. Mark also led the provincial MNR implementation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to support the provincial Great Lakes shoreline management program with Conservation Authorities, municipalities and Ministry of Natural Resource Districts.
Mark left the MNR to work with ESRI, the GIS software leader, to be the Global Manager of ArcForest, which is a GIS based application for sustainable forest land management developed for Ontario. Following ESRI, Mark co-founded his own company called Orcatec based in Victoria, BC. Orcatec consulted on the implementation of GIS, software and Internet technologies for a wide range of agencies in Canada, the US and overseas. Sample projects included the selection and implementation of GIS technologies for BC Forests, GIS for land management planning for the Yukon government, GIS implementation for the City of Victoria and Internet projects for the US Army Corps of Engineers. Orcatec beat out several larger companies to win a CIDA project to define how computer based systems could be used to cooperatively manage the Zambezi River Basin in Africa. Orcatec worked with the different federal governments, NGO's and villages involved for over two years to develop the first ever digital mapping framework for the basin.
Mark then worked on a consulting project with Wild Tangent to define map centric applications in Internet browser games. Along with the COO of Wild Tangent, he co-wrote the patent for electronic mapping on the internet which includes many of the components contained in online maps today. The patent was later bought by Google.
Mark then led product management and international deployment of Maps and Directions on MSN for Micorsoft. He was also part of a small team that wrote a "white paper" for Bill Gates called Virtual Earth. Mr. Gates picked up the project and with Mark as the group product manager, the team created what we now know as Bing Maps and new geo-visual innovations such as three dimensional aerial views called "Birds Eye". Mark was then recruited by Yahoo! At Yahoo! he was involved in the creation and deployment of the global mapping platform used to produce Yahoo! Maps and Local and by most of the Yahoo! Channels and Yahoo! Mobile. As the Director of Audience Centric Targeting, Mark lead product management for geo-targeting and behavioural targeting used in online advertising and then content targeting. Mark then moved on to become the Vice President of Product for MapQuest, a subsidiary of AOL, where he led the product team in a variety of consumer and enterprise product innovations in local content, mobile geo-applications and online map advertising.
He has recently returned to Microsoft. As a Principal PM, Mark is charged with the challenge of the next generation applications for search and social on MSN.
Premier’s Award – Business
Mary LaRocque, Tourism and Transportation, 1984
Marlin Travel (Peterborough), Owner
As a vibrant and successful business owner of Marlin Travel in Peterborough, Mary demonstrates exceptional leadership and outstanding devotion to her business and community. She is customer-driven and has generously volunteered with over 21 councils, committees and organizations. Mary is highly-regarded for her vivacious and caring nature and paramount service. Mary is the recipient of Marlin Travel’s President’s Council and Peterborough’s Business Woman of the Year Awards. Mary credits Fleming College with helping her discover her passion early in life, establish a positive work ethic and giving her hands-on applied learning directly related to Tourism.
Premier’s Award – Community Services
Teresa Burke, Early Childhood Education, 1986
Nursery Two, President
Teresa believes in a philosophy of respect and value for children, parents and staff at Nursery Two, which is a unique child care facility that services the entire family, regardless of economic status. She works extensively with outside agencies to ensure that all children, including those with exceptionalities and in difficult family situations, are welcome and cared for through her programming. Teresa has helped families by securing funding to purchase a van to transport children to and from daycare each day. Under her direction, Nursery Two has increased from one to four locations to help expand the number of children they can help and the geographical area they can cover. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.
Premier’s Award – Creative Arts And Design
Gayle McIntyre, Art Conservation Techniques, 1982
Fleming College, Faculty
Gayle is the coordinator of both the Collections Conservation and Management and Museum Management and Curatorship programs at Fleming College. Gayle’s expertise in the areas of disaster preparedness, preventive conservation applications, reducing risks to collections and preservation of culturally sensitive materials has been recognized provincially, nationally and abroad. This recognition was based on her her recovery work on the Peterborough flood damage and the nationally significant Balsille Collection (a collection comprised of over 300,000 glass plate and film negatives between 1896 and 1992), the championing of a provincially recognized post-secondary / museum partnership and her commitment to continuous education in the field through publications, presentations and professional development.
Premier’s Award – Health Sciences
Michelle Acorn, Nursing, 1987
Lakeridge Health, Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Nurse Professional Practice Leader
As a Registered Nurse in the Extended Class in Ontario, Michelle holds dual specialty certifications as a Primary Health Care and Adult Nurse Practitioner. She also holds nursing certifications in emergency and gerontology, along with geriatric and anticoagulation prescribing. Michelle is recognized for successfully leading the first Nurse Practitioner lead hospital in Ontario and Canada. She is a recipient of the Gerry Gerow Nurse Practitioner Leadership Award and Lakeridge Awards of Excellence. Michelle created multiple Nurse Practitioner roles at Lakeridge Health and holds academic cross appointments at two universities. Michelle is the Immediate Past President of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario and left her President’s legacy with the proclamation of Bill 179 and Regulation 965 of the Public Hospital Act to enable full scope of practice for NPs to optimize care access and services.
Premier’s Award – Technology
Kim Appleton, Business Administration – Information Technology, 1996
Emmatt Digital Solutions Inc., Co-Owner / President
Kim’s quiet but thoughtful leadership as the Co-owner / President of Emmatt Digital Solutions Inc. in Peterborough and at the board tables of the Women’s Business Network and the Peterborough Community Futures Development Corporation, have garnered her the respect of many. She is recognized as an innovator and leader in developing technology-based business solutions. In 2008, she was awarded “Member of the Year” by her peers in the Women’s Business Network for her work in developing their database-driven website. In 2011 and 2012, Kim was honoured as a "Women in Business Award" finalist.
Premier’s Award – Recent Graduate
Alex Parisien, Geographic Information Specialist – Applications Specialist, 2010
Ministry of Natural Resources and Fleming Alumni Advisory Council Member
In spring 2010, Alex was selected to conduct a solitary data gathering mission to post earthquake Haiti through Global MapAid to evaluate sustainable job programs available to marginalized males aged 18-30 and to gain understanding of the relief efforts. After conducting the research mission, Alexandra secured employment at the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in the Water Resources Information Program (WRIP) conducting research using stereo imaging to create large scale digital elevation models used for mapping, hydrology and surface flow. She is now working with the MNRs Water Budgeting Program.
Revised: October 5, 2012