September 15, 2008 15:00 ET

BCIT Honours Outstanding Alumni

Five pre-eminent alumni will be recognized at BCIT's Distinguished Alumni Awards event

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2008) - On September 17, a technologist, a vice-president of Marketing and Sales, a communications director, a Prosthetics and Orthotics instructor, and an accounts coordinator will be recognized for their outstanding achievements at the British Columbia Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Distinguished Alumni Awards, which honour BCIT alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and community endeavors.

"BCIT's Distinguished Alumni Awards is an opportunity for the institute to celebrate the graduates of our programs as well as their impact on the social and economic development of this province," says Don Wright, president of BCIT. "Our grads become leaders in their field, making strong and successful contributions to business and industry that clearly reflect the value of technology and trades studies at BCIT."

"The BCIT Distinguished Alumni Awards showcase inspiring individuals," says Adam G. Pion, president of the Alumni Association. "Through this program, the Alumni Association is proud to honour graduates who so compellingly demonstrate that a BCIT education will get you far along the path to career success and community impact."

John Leech, executive director and registrar, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) since 1974, has helped build the organization from a membership of 1,200 to 9,000 over his career. Leech has also lead efforts to promote technology education and careers. A native of Nanoose Bay, BC, and a graduate of BCIT's Surveying and Photogrammetry Technology diploma programs, Leech was a member of the BCIT Board of Governors serving a term as vice chairman, president of the BCIT Alumni Association and the BC Chapter, and chair of the National Board of the CSAE. Leech will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Providing outstanding leadership during his 29 years with Canfor Corporation, Don Kayne helped to establish the company as Canada's largest lumber producer. With Wood Products and Business Administration Technology diplomas, Kayne, in his current role as vice president of Wood Products Marketing and Sales, is responsible for $5 billion in sales and marketing revenue and a worldwide transportation and distribution budget of approximately $600 million. Throughout his career, Kayne has remained a strong and vocal supporter of BCIT, working in partnership with the School of Construction and the Environment and continues to champion BCIT through the school's ground-breaking Industrial Wood Processing and Management program. Kayne will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Leadership and Significant Contributions to a Trade or Industry.

Ian Robertson has worked tirelessly to advance his career by giving back to the community and city that he loves. First elected to the Vancouver Park Board in 2005, Robertson served his first two terms as vice chair and chair, returning to vice chair in his third term. In addition to his work with the Park Board, Robertson has demonstrated leadership in his community, acting as coach and president of Dunbar Little League and as the chair of Southlands Elementary School PAC. Armed with a BCIT diploma in Marketing Management, Robertson is currently the executive director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs with Armstrong Group, owner and operator of the world renowned Rocky Mountaineer and Whistler Mountaineer trains. Robertson will receive the Alumni Award for Public Service and Service to the Community.

BCIT's own Jason Goodnough has been a dedicated orthotics and prosthetics practitioner for over 12 years and has contributed significantly to his field. Having completed the Prosthetics and Orthotics diploma program at BCIT in 1994, he earned certifications in prosthetics and orthotics in both Canada and the United States. Priding himself on facilitating learning in a positive and fun environment, Goodnough's students are not only open to his teachings, but he is open to their thoughts and suggestions. His passion is apparent in his classroom and he goes out of his way to be accessible to his students. Currently a Masters candidate in prosthetics and orthotics at Jonkoping University in Sweden, Goodnough will receive the Excellence in Teaching and Research Award.

Over the past two years, Julia Pakovic juggled a full-time course load, was the president of the Association of Integrated Marketers (AIM) BCIT chapter, served as an active member on the 2007 and 2008 Case Study team, and worked as a marketing intern for Quay Strategies in Vancouver's Gastown district. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from UBC, a Mediation certificate from BCIT, and a certified web site designer, Paskovic shone in the Marketing Communications diploma program at BCIT, and was recommended and hired for one of the most sought after internships of the 2008 class. Paskovic's instructors and colleagues insist there is no other student at BCIT that better fits the description of the Outstanding Student Leadership Award.

The sixth annual BCIT Distinguished Alumni Awards will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver on September 17. This event is presented with the support of our Diamond Presenting Sponsor, Wellington West Clearsight. For further information, visit http://www.bcit.ca/alumni/news.

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