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Alumni of Distinction

Alumnus of Distinction

This honour is awarded to an alumnus who attains outstanding career success and professional achievement and has been nominated for a Premier’s Award in the previous year. The award is presented at one of the convocation ceremonies in June.

2020 Alumnus of Distinction

Philip Heard
Business, 1970

International Leader Earns Alumnus of Distinction Award

If ‚ÄėThe Purple Thorn‚Äô sounds familiar to you, then you may remember the man who edited Sir Sandford Fleming College‚Äôs first student newsletter in the ‚Äė70s. Phil Heard (BA‚Äô70) chose the name (submitted by fellow student) for consideration as part of a newsletter naming contest; the name deriving from the purple colour on the walls of the old factory on McDonnel Street in Peterborough, where college courses were first taught.

This was just the beginning of Heard’s leadership and entrepreneurial success. Following on the heels of the newsletter, he was elected Student Administration Council President. Heard’s college experience became a launch pad for an outstanding business career that 50 years later has led many industries to strong economic growth and success.

Heard’s impressive career in the business industry began in entry-level positions with Outboard Marine Corporation and The Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows. In less than a decade, he rose to the Vice President position of Western Canada where he was responsible for the largest family of boating, fishing, sportsmen and outdoor shows in Canada over his next ten years. The Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows continue to protect Canada’s outdoors with grants exceeding $27 million over the past 50 years. Heard had a huge hand in getting it started.

In 1987 Heard took on the role as Vice President (VP), New Business Development for the British Columbia Pavilion Corporation, a provincial crown company responsible for public assembly facilities including the BC Place Stadium, Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, the Bridge Film Studio and Robson Square Conference Centre. As VP Heard spearheaded seven new trade shows and conferences including the extremely profitable ‚ÄėIndependence ‚Äô92‚Äô, an international event for Persons with Disabilities, chaired by Rick Hansen.

After seven years in leadership at BC Pavilion Heard began a new role as the General Manager for Molson Indy Vancouver, a world-class three-day Indy style automobile race. Managing all aspects of a large multi-million-dollar budget Heard attracted an annual audience of more than 160,000 people.

In 1997 and for the two years that followed Heard led a commercial real estate development company, as the President, in the building of recreational hockey arenas through the southern United States.

Heard returned to the world of racing in 1999 when he was appointed the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of the Hawaiian Super Prix to create a world class Indy Style automobile race on a temporary street course in Honolulu.

In 2000, Hastings Racecourse offered Phil a prestigious opportunity to lead its $150-Million Hastings Entertainment enterprise. As President, Phil was the driving force for two acquisitions including a $20-Million merger with Woodbine Entertainment while managing 480 employees.

In 2005, Heard was approached by the Canadian Government to consult with them on hosting the 2006 World Urban Forum ‚ÄĒ the world's most important conference for city urbanization convened by United Nations-Habitat. He designed the budget and was asked to run the $14-Million forum. He achieved tremendous success; increasing expected attendance from 6,000 delegates to 12,400 from 160 countries. His direct influence put Canada up front at an international level.

Heard became the Chief Executive Officer for the Vancouver Economic Development Commission. He managed business retention, expansion, research, investment and policy related to economic development for one of Canada's largest cities (population of 2.23-Million in 2007) and controlled the 2007 budget of $750,000 that he grew to over $3-Million by 2010. It was a huge undertaking, one that mirrored enormous success for Phil.

Heard's entrepreneurial spirit erupted even further when he took a business leap to establish Heard Consulting Services Inc. and Heard Productions Inc.

Through his businesses, Phil provides expert advice in municipal and economic development issues and projects and produced a consumer show/auction for classic cars at the Pacific National Exhibition. In 2015 The New Car Dealers Association hired Heard and his son (and business partner), to run the annual Vancouver International Auto Show until 2022. Under his first four years of leadership Heard grew attendance by 36% and profit by 68%.

In 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 100th Anniversary of the Vancouver International Car Show had to be postponed. This led Phil to help develop a Regional Economic Prosperity Service within Metro Vancouver for its 22 municipalities.

As a partner at Kenko Conference Foundation --a non-profit corporation that produces world-class conferences to help bring societal challenges into the main stream, Phil collaborates with Persons with Disabilities, Alzheimer's, Autism, and Senior Care Residences to produce events that help find solutions for improving quality of life.

Phil Heard’s business acumen in operations, community betterment, marketing, and government relations has made him an influential leader across Canada today. Demonstrating further his value of hard work and a college education, he has become a renowned event industry leader and expert in international events, business, and economic development. His excellent leadership ability and drive for results is key to building a strong reputation at an international level.

2019 Alumnus of Distinction

Tim McClure
Recreation Merchandising, 1986

Tim McClure is a seasoned marketing professional with over 25 years of senior management experience. Tim has successfully managed teams to record-breaking results throughout his storied career. Early on in his career, Tim rose to the top of the professional sports marketing business as the Vice President of Starter Corporation - the world's leading supplier of licensed apparel. He helped to ensure the brand became a household name throughout North America.

Much of Tim's success has come from his ability to electrify teams and develop them into highly respected, winning organizations. In 2005, Tim join Luxottica Group, the dominating giant of the fashion eyewear industry. He was quickly promoted to Senior Director, North America in early 2006 and moved to New York to manage the United States sales team.

Currently, Tim is a highly sought-after motivational speaker, and business and brand consultant at Tim McClure & Partners. In 2013, Tim was awarded the prestigious Scotiabank Game Changers Award, and in 2014 he was presented with the BMW Hero Award. In November 2018, Tim was honoured as a Premier's Award nominee (business category) for outstanding college graduates.

2018 Alumnus of Distinction

Michael VanDerHerberg
Geomatics Technician, 2005

Michael VanDerHerberg is a compelling advocate for causes in social housing, refugee settlement, and community development, in both his professional and personal endeavors. Michael’s work with New Canadian Centre (NCC) began in 2009 and saw a tremendous amount of growth, beginning as an Employment Counsellor, then becoming an Employment Services Coordinator and later becoming a Refugee Resettlement Coordinator.

Michael has faced the refugee crisis first hand having spent a week along Syrian and Iraq borders. It was this experience that led to such a strong motivation to take refugee settlement to new and significantly higher levels. Michael has helped more than 125 newcomers find and retain work in Peterborough. Resettlement goals over the past year and a half had set out to help 36 Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) families. Michael surpassed that goal, helping 43 families.

Along with his wife Andrea, Michael owns and operates Silver Bean Caf√©, a community-style restaurant they established in 2004. It is a popular community hub of buzz, ideas and infectious spirit that patrons call the ‚Äúwaterfront cottage in the city‚ÄĚ.

2017 Alumnus of Distinction

Tracey Randall
Tourism and Transportation, 1988

As the General Manager of Musicfest Peterborough, Randall's vibrant personality, passion for community development, and commitment to excellence joins community friends and tourists together for free summer concerts in Del Crary Park, Peterborough. Under Randall's leadership, Festivals and Events Ontario recognized Peterborough Musicfest as a Top 100 Festival in 2015 and the 2016 Economic Impact Study revealed that Musicfest provides a $4.2 million boost to the region through hotels, restaurants and shopping, with 125,000 attendees each year.

2016 Alumnus of Distinction

Robert Jameson C.E.T., Fellow OACETT
Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology-Robotics, 1982

Bob Jameson is the dynamic President and CEO of Canadian Instrumentation Services Group. He commissioned both the largest hydro generator in Canada and the largest water volume pump storage unit in the United States. Bob credits his success to providing a rewarding and happy environment for customers and employees (60% are Fleming College graduates), emphasizing that customer and employee satisfaction is never sacrificed to gain a profit. At Tetra-Pak, Bob increased milk sales exponentially with the development of Moo-to-Win milk cartons. Through lead volunteer roles with OACETT and Fleming College, Bob strongly encourages college education for skilled trades and technology careers.

2015 Alumnus of Distinction

Lorrie Baird
Early Childhood Education, 1985

An expert in pedagogical leadership with 30 years of experience, Lorrie educates and cares for our youngest citizens. She spent many years exploring the Reggio approach to learning, and applied this pedagogy and engagement in reflected practice to transform early childhood education. She is the Associate Executive Director for Kawartha Child Care Services in Peterborough, where she championed the implementation of Reggio Inspired Emergent curriculum into 25 sites (when this innovative approach was rarely considered). Lorrie is a contributing author in Ministry of Education documents that support early learning and shares her expertise worldwide, most recently inspiring Ontario’s First Nations communities.

Our 2014 Alumnus of Distinction

Murray Hall
Fish and Wildlife Technician, 1980
Murray Hall - Fish and Wildlife Technician, 1980

Murray Hall is renowned as a Canadian innovator, founding Halltech Environmental Inc. and Halltech Aquatic Research. He designed and produced countless custom fresh water sampling apparatus, integrated the first GPS receivers with rugged computers for georeferencing large data sets in remote locations, and developed the first Canadian-made Backpack Electrofishing System. Murray is a pioneer in precision in the agricultural sector, breaking ground with the first high-precision autopilot system on a tractor using GPS. This technology is now widely spread within the industry to allow farmers the ability to greatly reduce the amount of fertilizers and herbicides used. Murray became the first to successfully transport 200,000 live mink breeding stock to Dalian Province, China, and reduced mortality rates from 10% to 0% over five shipments. Murray’s many distinguished awards from industry partners include the Ontario Global Trader’s Award for Innovation and the Award for Market Expansion.

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