Introducing the 2022 NAIT Celebrates award recipients

“We're so honoured to celebrate their inspiring contributions"

The NAIT Celebrates Class of ’22 has been announced! In keeping with the tradition of the annual awards program, the group represents the breadth of the contribution the polytechnic hopes to make to the community through alumni and in collaboration with others.

“NAIT Celebrates gives us an opportunity to celebrate grads, friends, and partners of NAIT, recognizing their outstanding achievements and thanking them for their continued support of our proudly polytechnic approach to education," says Melanie Rogers, vice-president external relations.

The event, she adds, is the polytechnic’s chance to acknowledge the impact of hands-on education.

“Our 2022 award recipients embody our values of respect, creativity, collaboration and accountability and we're just so honoured to celebrate their inspiring contributions."

Here are the latest recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Alumni Award of Excellence and Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Marni Panas (Computer Systems Technology '02, Management '91)

What she does: Diversity and inclusion leader with Alberta Health Services

Her impact: Marni Panas earned the Distinguished Alumni Award for her professional achievements, diversity and inclusion advocacy and unwavering dedication to creating positive change.

What she says about what she does:

“Working in a place where my role is about removing as many barriers as possible so people can bring their whole selves to their work environment, and for patients and families to be able to bring their whole self into their health-care experience – it is a privilege to be able to do the work that I do.”

Read more about Marni

Alumni Award of Excellence

Su-Ling Goh (Radio and Television – TV ’98)

su-ling goh, nait grad and global edmonton health reporter

What she does: Health reporter for Global Edmonton

Her impact: Su-Ling Goh earned the Alumni Award of Excellence for her achievements in journalism, her heartfelt storytelling and her dedication to examining health-related issues in the Edmonton area.

What she says about what she does:

“People come to me because they have a mission or a message that they want to get out, and I’m happy to be the messenger for them.”

Read more about Su-Ling

Kathy Leskow (Management ’96)

kathy leskow, nait grad and owner of confetti sweets

What she does: Owner of Confetti Sweets, a bakery, café and market

Her impact: Kathy Leskow received the Alumni Award of Excellence for her achievements as a business owner, her dedication to the entrepreneurial community and her spirit of philanthropy.

What she says about what she does:

“I wouldn’t want to have a business if I couldn’t help people with it.”

Read more about Kathy

Spirit of NAIT Award

Chris Kallal (Forest Technology ’10)

chris kallal, nait grad and founder of wild and pine

What he does: Founder and CEO of Wild + Pine, a company committed to delivering sustainable, innovative land reclamation and strategic natural resource management

His impact: Chris Kallal received the Spirit of NAIT Award for his leadership in Canadian climate action, passion for sustainability and transformative approach to doing business.

What he says about what he does:

“Our Canadian identity is defined by nature, so that’s really in the hands of foresters. I want to bring an unrelenting sense of creativity and curiosity to hopefully solve some of the [environmental] challenges we’re facing.”

Read more about Chris

Michelle Holland (Biological Sciences Technology – Renewable Resources ’11)

michelle holland, nait grad and nait celebrates award recipient

What she does: Assistant manager and educator with the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s WILD Outside program

Her impact: Michelle Holland received the Spirit of NAIT Award for her accomplishments in environmental education and commitment to mentorship, community-building and inclusivity.

What she says about what she does:

“I’d be very happy if people saw me as someone who helped either change a lot of minds or open a lot of eyes to what is happening, and to the beauty of the natural world as well.”

Read more about Michelle

Distinguished Friend of the Institute Award

Arnold Rumbold

What he does: Philanthropist, electrician and construction industry veteran

His impact: Arnold Rumbold received the 2022 Distinguished Friend of the Institute Award for gifts to NAIT focused on supporting apprenticeship, women in trades and nanotechnology students.

What he says about what he does:

“I believe strongly in the power of a trade and that those who have built a good life from their vocation should give back to their communities.”

Read more about Arnold

Distinguished Industry Partner

ConocoPhillips Canada

What they do: Energy exploration and production

Their impact: ConocoPhillips Canada is the 2022 Distinguished Industry Partner for their long-standing partnership with NAIT, funding applied research as well as power engineering and geoscience programs, and their role as a leader in industry and the community.

What they say about what they do:

“Through working with NAIT, we’ve been able to experiment and try different techniques to challenge the status quo of reclamation practices. [This] has already contributed to reducing our footprint at ConocoPhillips Canada, and we’re going to continue to learn what works and doesn’t work to improve our practices.”

- Evelyn Ferchuk, Director of Communications and Community Investment

Read more about ConocoPhillips Canada

Nominations are open for the Class of ’23

Do you know inspiring NAIT alumni who are making a meaningful impact in their career, industry or community? Make your nomination today for next year's NAIT Celebrates Awards!

Nominate an alum

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