Premier's Awards

  • Celebrating Ontario’s Outstanding College Graduates

    The Premier’s Awards recognize the tremendous social and economic contributions that Ontario’s college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world.

    Presented annually, the Premier’s Awards recognize graduates in the following six categories:

    • Business
    • Community Services
    • Creative Arts & Design
    • Health Sciences
    • Recent Graduate
    • Technology
  • 2019 Nominees

    Bolatito Alawode


    • Business Management – Marketing, Class of 2015
    • Founder, MyChopChop.Inc
    • Premier’s Award Category: Recent Graduate

    Bolatito Alawode is an entrepreneur who has turned her passion for staying connected to her African culture through food into Canada’s largest online African marketplace. With Mychopchop, Bolatito has shipped African specialties to over 2000 homes across Canada and the United States. Mychopchop also supports two part-time employees and provides volunteer opportunities to immigrants needing Canadian work experience to gain employment. Bolatito was a 2018 recipient of the YMCA Women of Distinction Award and has been featured on CBC radio and on their website. She is also a Registered Mutual Funds Representative with the Royal Bank of Canada.

    Richard Marcano


    • Clinical Counselor, Lifes Seasons
    • Premier’s Award Category: Community Services 

    Richard Marcano has dedicated his career to amplifying the voices of youth in Ontario’s systems of care. He is the President of the Board of Directors for the HairStory Project, an initiative that brings together black youth living in care to discuss their experiences, learn their rights, and advocate for change. Richard has participated in a roundtable with the federal government, consulted on a bill with the provincial government, presented the HairStory project to UN delegates, and worked with the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the issue of racial profiling. He is also a trauma counsellor for children and youth.

    Robert Quirion


    • Programmer Analyst Diploma, Computer Science, Class of 1990
    • Founder, CEO, Owner, DealerMine
    • Premier’s Award Category: Business

    Robert Quirion is the founder and CEO of DealerMine, a company that produces customer relationship management solutions in use by 529 automotive dealerships across North America. As of June 2019, DealerMine boasts 251 fulltime, permanent employees in Richard’s home community of Saint John, New Brunswick. In October of 2018, Robert sold DealerMine for $14 million, and in January of 2019 announced a five-year strategic partnership with a dealership group that allowed him to expand the company by 85 employees. Through DealerMine Robert has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to charitable and community organizations.

    Salvatore Cardu


    • General Studies, Class of 1982
    • CEO, YogoBogo
    • Premier’s Award Category: Technology

    Salvatore Cardu is the founder and CEO of YogoBogo, a location-based mobile application that combines Salvatore’s two main passions: community, and innovation. Through his mobile application, Salvatore is helping businesses reconnect with customers they may have lost touch with as the digital age took over in an overall effort to improve tourism. Hardly content with what he has already achieved, Salvatore is working on developing a virtual reality technology that would further boost customer engagement for businesses, and is partnering with other innovative technology firms.

    Stephen Gamble


    • MET (Engineering), Class of 1983
    • Marketing Strategist, CEO & Founder, Frame Concepts
    • Premier’s Award Category: Creative Arts and Design

    Stephen Gamble is the founder and CEO of Frame Concepts, a firm dedicated to making complex technologies and solutions accessible and marketable through visual communications. In his 20-year marketing career Stephen has worked with companies ranging from small start-ups to major corporations including JP Morgan, IBM and GE. His company employs 25 people in both fulltime and contract capacities. Stephen has also authored a book titled Visual Content Marketing: Leveraging Infographics, Videos and Interactive Media to Attract and Engage Customers, and has worked as an adjunct professor teaching business, humanities and philosophy.

    Marcel Blais


    • Nursing, Class of 2003
    • Rural Health Nurse Practitioner, Bluewater Health
    • Premier’s Award Category: Health Sciences

    Marcel Blais is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner who has split his 16-year career between high-ranking healthcare administration positions, and providing critical care to patients with life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Using his administrative experience, which includes stints as a Professional Practice Leader in Chatham-Kent, Director of Critical Care Services in Port Huron, and Executive Director of Hospice in Sarnia, Marcel helped create his own current Nurse Practitioner role with Bluewater Health to improve access to care in the rural community of Petrolia. Marcel has also spent over 20 years volunteering with the Community Concerns for the Medically Fragile organization.

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