Lambton College presents the 2017 Premier’s Awards Nominees

November 22, 2017

2017 Premier's Awards Nominees - Tara Duff-Cloes, Richard Teskey, Dan Edwards, Dr. Don R. J. Castaldi
2017 Premier's Awards Nominees - Tara Duff-Cloes, Richard Teskey, Dan Edwards, Dr. Don R. J. Castaldi

SARNIA, November 22, 2017 – On Monday, November 27, Lambton College will celebrate a select group of alumni at the 2017 Premier’s Awards. Presented annually as part of the Higher Education Summit, the Premier’s Awards recognize and honour the important social and economic contribution that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. Nominees are selected by each college based on skills, determination, and their ongoing contributions in both their field and the community.

This year, Lambton College has nominated graduates Tara Duff-Cloes, Richard Teskey, Dr. Don R. J. Castaldi, and Dan Edwards, for this prestigious awards program. The four alumni will be honoured during the annual awards gala, scheduled to take place at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto.

“These outstanding graduates exemplify the Lambton College spirit of innovation, community, and perseverance, so it’s a privilege to celebrate their achievements,” says Judith Morris, President & CEO, Lambton College. “We’re proud of their accomplishments and pleased that they have used their Lambton College education to have a positive and lasting impact on their professions and within their communities.”

The following alumni have been nominated for their outstanding career achievements and their path to success:

Tara Duff-Cloes, Business Administration Marketing, Class of 1986
Nominated in the Business Category

Tara Duff-Cloes is the President of John Duff Ltd, a custom metal fabricating business that has prospered for 50 years. At the age of 22, she immersed herself in the steel business and overcame the prejudice she encountered as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Under her leadership, the firm has acquired specialized tools and welding certifications to fabricate unique steel projects, including the Canadian Arrow rocket ship and the emission-free energy producing Atmospheric Vortex Engine. Using a framework of respect, charity, and honesty to run her business, Duff-Cloes enjoys a positive reputation among clients and boasts numerous long-serving employees.

Richard Teskey, Child and Youth Worker, Class of 1997
Nominated in the Community Services Category

For 20 years, Richard Teskey has created unique educational and recreational programs to help youth build resilience and self-esteem. In 2009, Teskey founded the ACT II Theatre Program, a free therapeutic arts initiative, which has empowered more than 500 youth dealing with mental health and self-confidence issues. Teskey’s innovative use of milieu therapy has helped hundreds of high-risk youth graduate from high school. In 2006, he authored the Therapeutic Classroom Curriculum that continues to be used in group homes and classrooms today. Teskey also contributes countless volunteer hours to various youth-oriented organizations in Sarnia-Lambton lending his expertise and counselling skills.

Dr. Don R. J. Castaldi, Law and Security, Class of 1991
Nominated in the Health Sciences Category

Dr. Castaldi holds a doctorate in clinical psychology with specializations in trauma, attachment, and forensics. He has over 25 years of experience working with people of all ages with severe psychopathology, brain injury, neuro-developmental challenges, addictive/obsessive behaviours, and with people who have endured and perpetrated traumatic events. In both Canada and the United States, Dr. Castaldi has been celebrated for his knowledge, insight and ability to understand complex cases and transform how professionals think about the people they engage and support. Dr. Castaldi's SIVA holistic, relationship-based approach has guided professionals in their support of individuals with complex needs.

Dan Edwards, Business, Class of 2014
Nominated in the Recent Graduate Category

Motivational speaker, accessibility advocate and author Dan Edwards wants to make the world a better place. He does this by sharing his personal story of becoming paralyzed at the age of 18 and the emotional challenges he encountered afterwards. His public awareness initiatives have raised $75,000 to support mental health services in the community, contributed to the installation of 30 accessible ramps at local businesses, and informed thousands of youth about the mental health resources available to them. A passionate advocate for inspiring positive change, Edwards serves on various committees that support mental health and accessibility issues.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s nominees on their spectacular contributions to their communities and the industries in which they serve.

Lambton College is always looking to honour our alumni. If you know of a graduate who has an inspiring story to share, please contact The Lambton College Foundation and Alumni Association at

For media inquiries or more information:

Jami Kloet
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Lambton College
Telephone: 519-542-7751 ext. 3337
Mobile: 519-328-2081