people technology innovation
v 6.1 2012

Celebrate NAIT’s ANNIversAry

Bernie Fedderly • Clifford Giese • Victor Gillman • James McPherson • Jack Menduk • Bob Morgan • Ray Rajotte • Archie Roberts • Stewart Roth Fred Atiq • Gil Cardinal • Nolan Crouse • Roger Dootson • David Dorward • Marleen Irwin • Andrew Lee • Shirley Long • Holger Petersen • Brian Straub • Guy Turcotte • James Ahnassay • Naseem Bashir • Carol Blake • Dave Buchaski • James Cumming • Kees Cusveller • Randy Eresman • G Korbutt • Kevin Martin • Daryl McIntyre • Mark McNeill • Mark Ohe • George Rogers • Tracey Scarlett • Julie M. Shaw • Bruce Woloshyn • Sand Yakimchuk • Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung • Michael Anderson • Mark Hamblin • Andrew Hore • Chris Kourouniotis • Ashif Mawji Corbin Tomaszeski • Dean Turgeon • Stephani Carter • Don Oborowsky • Jules Owchar • Javier Salazar • Marlon Wilson • Bernie Fedderly • Clifford Giese • Victor Gillman • James McPherson • Jack Menduk • Bob Morgan • Ray Rajotte • Archie Roberts • Stewart Roth • Fred Atiq • Gil Cardinal • Nolan Crouse Roger Dootson • David Dorward • Marleen Irwin • Andrew Lee • Shirley Long • Holger Petersen • Brian Straub • Guy Turcotte • James Ahnassay • Naseem Bashir • Carol Blake • Dave Buchaski • James Cumming • Kees Cusveller • Randy Eresman • Greg Korbutt • Kevin Martin • Daryl McInty Mark McNeill • Mark Ohe • George Rogers • Tracey Scarlett • Julie M. Shaw • Bruce Woloshyn • Sandy Yakimchuk • Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung • Michael Anderson • Mark Hamblin • Andrew Hore • Chris Kourouniotis • Ashif Mawji • Corbin Tomaszeski • Dean Turgeon Stephani Carter • Do Oborowsky • Jules Owchar • Javier Salazar • Marlon Wilson • Bernie Fedderly • Clifford Giese • Victor Gillman • James McPherson • Jack Mendu Bob Morgan • Ray Rajotte • Archie Roberts • Stewart Roth • Fred Atiq • Gil Cardinal • Nolan Crouse • Roger Dootson • David Dorward • Marleen Irwin • Andrew Lee • Shirley Long • Holger Petersen • Brian Straub • Guy Turcotte • James Ahnassay • Naseem Bashir • Carol Blake • Dave Bucha James Cumming • Kees Cusveller • Randy Eresman • Greg Korbutt • Kevin Martin • Daryl McIntyre • Mark McNeill • Mark Ohe • George Rogers Tracey Scarlett • Julie M. Shaw • Bruce Woloshyn • Sandy Yakimchuk • Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung • Michael Anderson • Mark Hamblin • Andrew Hor Chris Kourouniotis • Ashif Mawji • Corbin Tomaszeski • Dean Turgeon • Stephani Carter • Don Oborowsky • Jules Owchar • Javier Salazar • Marl Wilson • Bernie Fedderly • Clifford Giese • Victor Gillman • James McPherson • Jack Menduk • Bob Morgan • Ray Rajotte • Archie Roberts • Stew Roth • Fred Atiq • Gil Cardinal • Nolan Crouse • Roger Dootson • David Dorward • Marleen Irwin • Andrew Lee • Shirley Long • Holger Petersen • Brian Straub • Guy Turcotte • James Ahnassay • Naseem Bashir • Carol Blake • Dave Buchaski • James Cumming • Kees Cusveller • Randy Eresm Greg Korbutt • Kevin Martin • Daryl McIntyre • Mark McNeill • Mark Ohe • George Rogers • Tracey Scarlett • Julie M. Shaw • Bruce Woloshyn • Sandy Yakimchuk • Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung • Michael Anderson • Mark Hamblin • Andrew Hore • Chris Kourouniotis • Ashif Mawji • Corbin Tomaszeski • Dean Turgeon • Stephani Carter • Don Oborowsky • Jules Owchar • Javier Salazar • Marlon Wilson • Bernie Fedderly • Clifford Gies


The Journal of Applied Research and Innovation (JARI) is a new, peer-reviewed, online journal that presents fresh approaches and innovative solutions to real-world challenges. Launched as part of NAIT’s 50th anniversary, JARI’s vision is to become international in scope and content providing a forum for researchers, administrators and industry partners from diverse sectors to highlight their applied research experiences. Articles, papers and case studies are welcome for peer review. Topics may include technological innovations, prototype and product development, proof of concept, testing and other data-driven solutions, or insight into the direct value of applied research. Are you or your team addressing the practical problems of industry, government or the community in a unique or innovative way? Let JARI showcase your process and findings!


Dr. David Carpenter, JARI Editor Email:

The Future is in your hands.
Develop your skills through Modern Machining Techniques at the NAIT Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology.

Throughout Sandvik’s rst 150 years, the combination of development and change has been the driving force behind our success. In partnership with NAIT celebrating 50 years the journey into the future continues!

table of contents

techlife > contents

on the cover
36 Celebrate NAIT’s

The Fine Art of Food A history in five courses
What does the suave, sophisticated ook reach for during the cocktail hour? A NAITini, of course

From the Ground Up
In the early 1960s, few knew a technician from a technologist, even if industry needed them more than ever. That’s when NAIT arrived with the answer

36 Top 50 Alumni
Find out why these grads made the grade

Status Update
After 10 issues, we revisit five stories of innovators and their projects. As it turns out, you win some, you lose some – but you always learn along the way

64 Ooks Through the Ages
We may not be bowling or canoeing anymore, but over the years our teams have still been known by rivals to “kick their pants”

76 Recipe


A First Time for Everything
What was NAIT’s first building? Degree? Tweet? A list of 50 points of origin

8 11 12 13 15
Contributors Editor’s Note Feedback Connections with the President Newsbytes Recent news from the institute

67 The Meaning of Ookpik
NAIT’s search for its missing mascot turns up more than just a cute and cuddly Canadian icon


The Futurists A view of the world of tomorrow, courtesy of our staff and alumni
How well do you know NAIT? Find out by taking our quiz

34 NAITology


17 76
What’s neW at
62 Contest
Sign up for the e-newsletter and win a limited edition T-shirt!

Between biannual issues of techlife, we publish stories online. here’s a selection from recent months.
Cuisine by Capra
Why Hokanson Chef in Residence Massimo Capra trains cooks, not chefs

79 5 Ways to Get Involved

Taking it to the Streets Chef Nathan McLaughlin’s new food truck makes a stop at Food Network’s Eat Street htm


Acclaim Award-winning grads, staff and friends
A piece of NAIT history comes home – thanks to an alum and his garden shed

Get Your Motor Running
Want to tour, cruise or travel at shocking speeds? Here’s how to pick the right motorcycle

Hockey Heroes
The undefeated ’84-’85 Ooks enter the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame

Scan this QR code to connect to Accompanying some of this issue’s stories are QR codes that connect you to our online content. All you need is a QR code reader; download one for free from your smartphone’s app store. Then, use it to scan the codes found throughout the magazine.

82 Rewind

Sense and Sustainability
Three alumni turn a troubled residential corner into a model of green design and construction

Canadian Content
Photographer Heather Paul rescues national treasures from the dustbins of time (and Winnipeg)

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PAGE f 45, 50, 55 & 57

As a communications specialist, Fiona Bensler loves the opportunity to work with staff from across NAIT. She enjoys learning from that – and definitely learned a thing or two from the four top 50 alumni she interviewed for this issue. Their passion, drive, dedication and desire to give back are valuable takeaways. Besides writing for techlife, Bensler edits NAIT’s weekly staff newsletter and is managing editor for A Report on Giving (included in this issue), which highlights donors to the institute. She is also a frequent contributor to

v6.1 2012

people technology innovation


Sherri Krastel

managing and online editor
Scott Messenger

associate editors art director
Derek Lue

Kristen Vernon, Heather Gray

associate art director

PAGE f 22 & 64

John Book (Photographic Technology ’87) is an avid birdwatcher, fly-fisher and, of course, photographer. “Not very many individuals have the option to work every day at what they consider their hobby, but I do,” he says. Book has been busy with his hobby for 22 years at NAIT, where he produces images to support curriculum and promote the institute. In searching out archival photos for several stories in this issue, Book selected from over 200,000 digital files and more than 60 binders of negatives to help capture the institute’s 50-year history.

Andrea Yury


Sandy Brown, Dru Davids, Trina Koscielnuk, Jennifer Lubrin, Sheena Riener

copy editor
Kathy Frazer

circulation manager
Lynn Ryan

Nicole Rose (Marketing ’08)

advertising manager contributing writers
Eliza Barlow, Fiona Bensler, Ruth Juliebo, Frank Landry, Kim MacDonald, Cheryl Mahaffy, Nancy McGuire, Lindsey Norris, Lisa Ricciotti, Sandy Robertson, Don Trembath

contributing photographers

John Book (Photographic Technology ’87), Leigh Frey (Photographic Technology ’01), Jeanette Janzen (Photographic Technology ’10), Blaise van Malsen

PAGE f 39

Heather Gray likes the challenge a new opportunity brings. Proof of this came recently when she moved from health-care education administration to communications. She performed a similar move, but in the opposite direction, 30 years ago when she traded her newspaper writing and editing career for an education in medical laboratory science. A few months ago, when given the opportunity to join NAIT’s communications team, it was a full-circle moment she couldn’t resist. For her, working as a writer and editor on this issue, which focuses on celebrating NAIT’s history, reinforced the notion that our past experiences shape us.


Send changes of address to Sign up for the e-newsletter at

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Send queries to We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

advertising and circulation inquiries

Techlife magazine is published twice a year by NAIT Marketing and Communications. Online features are published regularly at Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of NAIT or the editorial team. Techlife is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, abiding by the national magazine advertising/editorial guidelines (

PAGE f 73

Since graduating from Photographic Technology in 2010, Jeanette Janzen has travelled the world in search of curious, marvellous and unexpected things that make up its cultures. Thinking she would spend her life as a photographer overseas, she surprised everyone – including herself – when she landed back at NAIT. As a student, her favourite subject matter was food and beverages, so helping to photograph this issue’s CuliNAIT feature, in particular the NAITini, felt like catching up with an old friend over drinks. But no matter what she’s shooting, she still loves the rush she gets from one of her favourite hobbies: developing black and white film.

a report on giving managing editor
Fiona Bensler

contributing writer
Nancy McGuire

contributing photographer
Blaise van Malsen


As NAIT celebrates its 50th anniversary, we recognize the institute for helping develop the skilled workforce Canada needs to prosper.

eDitor’s note

“this institUte fUlfills one of the greatest needs in our society.”

Photo by blaise van malsen

“this institute fulfills one of the greatest needs in our society,” said Ernest Manning at NAIT’s official opening ceremony in the spring of 1963. The late premier’s remarks remain as true today as they did nearly five decades ago, when technical education was undefined and NAIT’s future yet to be written. In this commemorative issue of techlife, we celebrate NAIT’s golden anniversary, and the more than 170,000 students and thousands of staff and faculty whose lives have been enriched by the school. We’ve attempted to provide a snapshot of what has transpired at NAIT over the last five decades, but it is by no means complete. People and programs have come and gone, athletics championships have been won and lost, and facilities have been demolished and built. What has remained is Alberta’s need, and the growing demand, for the unique brand of education served up in the classrooms and labs, by experienced, passionate faculty and staff. That became evident during the process of compiling our Top 50 Alumni list (p. 36). From inventors to innovators, from artists to philanthropists, from CEOs of the largest companies to owners of small businesses, NAIT graduates solve problems, create wealth and improve lives every day – not only in Alberta, but across the country and around the world. Many of the 162 nominations we received were familiar to the 11 of us tasked with evaluating them – after all, NAIT has produced its share of interesting personalities, many of whom we have covered in the pages of techlife and its predecessor Alumnait. Many nominations,

however, were for individuals who have avoided the spotlight but whose accomplishments were as impressive as any. We honour them all. We’re also taking advantage of this opportunity for a second look at some of the stories we’ve covered in the last five years (p. 17) and, to keep it interesting, we’ve asked some of our experts to weigh in on the future of several fields, including oil sands, food production, education and alternative energy (p. 32) – their predictions may surprise you. We hope you enjoy reading this special issue and would love to hear from you about this and previous issues. You can do so in less than 10 minutes by taking our readership survey (p. 12). And, although much has changed since first student Bill Riches arrived early in a cab on that October morning in 1962 (p. 22), some things do remain the same – our students are as eager, the Ookpik as cherished and Manning’s proclamation as relevant as it was 50 years ago. Here’s to the next 50!

Sherri Krastel Editor

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here’s what you think about us
the building in the aerial photo at the top of Plenty of Parking (p. 66, V5.2) was a two-storey structure converted from a department store into new digs for the entire NAIT Architectural Technology program in 1977. It is currently called the Engineering Technologies Annex. The focus of the story, M Building, wasn’t even in the photo! Respectfully, Bruce Benjamin Architectural Technology ’78


one of our announcers brought your interview with Holger Petersen ( to our attention. Thanks for a great article about a great man. Karen Howell Web Editor, CKUA

we want to hear from you tell us what you think about the stories you read in the magazine or at
• email: • (comment online by logging in through facebook) • twitter: @nait • facebook: • mail: sherri Krastel editor, techlife magazine 11762 – 106 st. n.W. edmonton, aB t5g 2r1
Published comments may be edited for length, grammar and clarity.

reader response
We asked about these six stories in our latest readership survey. Below, the percentage of respondents who read the stories in their entirety.

1 Backing Big Oil (p. 28): 22% 2 Moveable Feasts (p. 52): 22% 3 3 Questions: The Labour Shortage (p. 15): 21% 4 Ask an Expert: Brew the Perfect Cup of Joe (p. 48): 17% 5 Northern Composure (p. 38): 11% 6 Reading Room: Sci-Fi Masterpieces (p. 13): 7% 7 
taKe oUr survey
following each issue of techlife, we survey our readers to make sure we are delivering what you want to read. We ask what content you prefer and how much time you spent reading the stories. We have learned that half of you regularly read most of the magazine, and that more than 80 per cent spend between

most-read stories from v5.2
Need a QR code reader? See p. 7.



Scan this QR code to take our readership survey or visit

10 minutes and one hour with it. We know which stories you like best, and we are working to give you more of what you want. Your feedback is important to us. Take our short survey and help us make techlife the best technology lifestyle magazine in the country. Invest less than 10 minutes today for a better techlife tomorrow!

22 21 11

connections WitH tHe PresiDent

50 great years
nait at 50! What a marvellous time to serve as president and CEO of this outstanding institution. I am amazed by what NAIT has achieved, humbled by what we are accomplishing and inspired by our plans for the future. Our remarkable successes during the past five decades are testimony to the dedication and innovation of former staff and students. NAIT has consistently built on our foundation as a relevant and responsive polytechnic. We continue to deliver hands-on, technologybased skills education in science, technology and the environment, health, trades and business. Our motto – to learn, to do, to succeed – is as relevant today as at NAIT’s founding. We are central to Alberta’s future. Partnerships with industry, government and other donor agencies, together with contributions from individuals, many of whom are NAIT alumni, have allowed NAIT to meet Alberta’s and Canada’s needs for outstanding skilled workers. For this support, we are eternally grateful. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we have embarked on a new vision. NAIT 2021 is our roadmap to the future and is critically important for Alberta in developing a highly qualified workforce. It is our pathway to becoming the most relevant and responsive polytechnic in Canada. Embedded in the NAIT 2021 vision are promises. This is our promise to Alberta: NAIT’s primary focus is on meeting the current and emerging needs for polytechnic education and research in Alberta. NAIT is relevant and responsive to the province, providing outstanding technical education. While serving the needs of Alberta, NAIT is globally competitive and recognized. To industry, we promise to work as full partners as we create an exceptional skilled workforce. We promise students an education that prepares them for success in meaningful careers in their chosen field, enabling them to have an immediate impact. To staff, we promise to make NAIT one of Canada’s most outstanding places to work, focusing on values we define as the NAIT Way.

Photo by blaise van malsen

Glenn Feltham, PhD President and CEO

v6.1 2012



at work for the boreal research institute in the peace river region.

ooKs go moBile
this spring, the athletics department struck a first for Alberta college- or universitylevel sports with a new app dedicated entirely to its teams. Available as a free download for iPhone, iPad and Android users, the app delivers Ooks news, schedules, results and more, as well as offers contests, rewards for attendance and event reminders. The idea and product came from Lyle Mozak (Electronics Engineering Technology ’68), CEO of Inc., who presented it as a marketing tool to increase the Ooks’ fan base. “As an alumnus, I thought, ‘Let’s see how a mobile app can fix that,’” he says. — Scott Messenger

funding boost
environmental studies and Alberta’s high-tech sector will benefit from over $5.6 million in federal grants awarded to NAIT. The funding will bolster ongoing research into reducing the environmental impact of the oil sands through the institute’s Boreal Research Institute and its Centre for Green Chemistry and Engineering. Funding will also fuel a project to support members of the province’s burgeoning nanotechnology industry, particularly in the areas of prototyping and product development. Awarded in May, the grants include $4.05 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and $1.6 million from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. — Frank Landry



the stars

canada’s best collegiate-level curlers will converge in Edmonton this spring, when NAIT hosts the 2013 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling National Championship. It’s fitting the institute was selected as the site, says Linda Henderson, director of athletics and recreation. The institute has a rich history in the sport: the women’s curling team won bronze at the 2012 CCAA championship, and world-class curlers Kevin Martin and Adam Enright honed their craft as NAIT students. The four-day, round-robin tournament takes place March 20-23 at the nearby Avonair Curling Club. It will feature eight men’s and eight women’s teams. — F.L.


dr. glenn feltham says when he started as president and CEO in 2011, “I heard loud and clear that sustainability is important to our staff.” As part of his response, the institute obtained its first rating from the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a self-reporting tool for educational institutes to measure economic, environmental and social performance. NAIT registered a bronze rating – a benchmark, says Feltham, by which NAIT can measure its progress. — S.M.

v6.1 2012


Photo by blaise van malsen

Finning Canada is proud to support the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Congratulations on 50 years.

thank you for inspiring the next generation to



stories by

Photos by


People, technology and innovation are at the heart of the stories we feature in techlife. after 10 issues, we decided it was time for an update on ideas, projects and business ventures we’ve covered over the years. here’s where a few of them stand today.

above, nap pepin in his homemade electric vehicle.

the hawk has landed
From Batteries Included, Vol. 2.1
if it’s above 6 c and not raining, Nap Pepin can be found commuting to work in his almost entirely hand- built, two-seater electric trike– described in a recent St. Albert Gazette article “as something out of NASA or Blade Runner.” Pepin started building the $26,000-Lithium Hawk two years ago, after making room in his garage by donating his first electric vehicle (EV) – the Lithium BugE – to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum. His intention was to learn what he could from the BugE, built since August 2011, spent last partly with a kit, and apply that to winter designing a sophisticated a new EV built from the ground up. battery management system (he The Hawk addresses many of the made more than 23,000 spot BugE’s shortcomings. “It’s just a lot welds to link 1,976 cells) and more robust,” says the Electronics is now refining the front-end Engineering Technology grad suspension and adding power (class of ’85). It’s heavier, has a assist to the steering. longer range, better suspension, As for whether there’s another is almost completely silent and EV in his future, Pepin isn’t sure. will perform just as well on a low “All the manufacturers are coming battery as when fully charged. out with electric vehicles,” he says. Pepin, who has put more than “So unless I can do something 5,000 kilometres on the Hawk unique or better – why?”

the ev advantage
Range: 210 kilometres per charge equivalent fuel economy: maximum 0.81 litres/100 kilometres (348 miles/gallon) top speed: 170 kilometres per hour, though Pepin has never travelled past 115 (“It can be pretty scary trying to test [a hand-built] vehicle for higher speeds.”) acceleRation: 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in approximately six seconds

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above, since 2009, revenues for davis mcgregor’s mobile data technologies have grown more than 50-fold. opposite, top, outsourcing elements of production has allowed tanya and ryan clarke of dr. scientist sounds to keep working from home and meet booming demand. opposite, bottom, after a few hard years, innovequity’s mark holtom (left) and ben bertrand have leads for their automated homebuilding technology.

dollars for data
From Firestarter, Vol. 3.2
few entrepreneurs opt to keep bootstrapping when investors come to the table. Yet the four engineers behind Mobile Data Technologies, which designs and sells sensor monitoring and recording units for the oil and gas industry, decided that it wasn’t the right time for external investment – despite a successful pitch to the angel investors of the VentureAlberta Forum in early 2010. Less than a year later, however, it was a different story. In early 2010, Mobile Data Technologies was selling about three units a month. In August, it sold seven. In November, it sold 11 in a single day – and 16 that month. By late 2010, the former novaNAIT incubator client needed a cash infusion to keep pace. Mobile Data Technologies got the investment needed and moved into a 560-square-metre (6,000-square-foot) shop in Acheson, a few minutes west of Edmonton. The company also started hiring, expanding from five employees to its current 24. Today, the product line has grown considerably, and demand has been so high that eager customers have bought the prototypes for systems still in development. As its 2011-12 fiscal year closes, the company is exactly where president and CEO Davis McGregor predicted in his initial pitch to the VentureAlberta investors. Back then, he forecast sales to grow from $114,000 in 2009 to $5.8 million in 2012. With sales for the year closing in on $6 million, “We’re right on track,” he says. “We’re actually ahead of that curve.” Mobile Data Technologies has since expanded from Western Canada into the United States, and sales south of the border will be the company’s focus for the coming year. By 2015, McGregor expects the focus to shift even further afield. In the meantime, the company’s engineers are working on a prototype for a new product – a prototype they had not intended to sell. Demand, however, proved too great. “Once again, the customer stepped up and said this is what we need now,” McGregor says.

web extra
Read the original stories and get updates on other previously featured innovations by visiting


pedal power
From Frazz Dazzler and the Sunny Day Delay, Vol. 1.2
when ryan and tanya clarke returned from their wedding in Tofino in the fall of 2009, the duo behind Dr. Scientist Sounds needed to find a way to up production of their boutique guitar effects pedals. After all, they were almost a year behind filling store orders. Ryan (Electronics Engineering Technology ’05), who engineers the pedals, now outsources the build of the circuit boards for two of their four pedals. Tanya (Graphic Sign Arts ’02), whose designs give the pedals their unique look, no longer applies finishes, but instead has her designs printed and applied by a company in the United States. As a result, they’ve largely eliminated the backlog (at most they’re a month behind these days). And they are able to produce more than twice as many pedals, shipping about 120 a month to 35 stores around the world. “We’re just in a lot better control of how it all goes down now,” Ryan says. The long-term goal is “to keep growing at a rate that we find comfortable,” Tanya says. After all, she adds, they do this for the lifestyle of working together at home.

building equity
From On the Brink of Big, Vol. 2.1
things haven’t gone as planned for Ben Bertrand and Mark Holtom. By now, they’d hoped to have revolutionized the construction industry with their Geometric Construction System (GCS), which can automatically build floors and walls, complete with wiring, plumbing and finishing coverings. “We would have loved to have been selling our machine a couple years ago,” says Holtom, CEO of Innovequity, a former novaNAIT incubator client. Building the $1.4-million prototype of the GCS was, at times, a frustratingly slow process. But in summer 2010 the machine built its first floor, complete with plumbing, electrical and HVAC lines. Since then, Bertrand, Innovequity’s chief technology officer and inventor of the GCS, has finished a beta prototype for building walls (minus insulation, a capability soon to follow). Without a first client, cash flow is currently the largest challenge; at times, it has the company struggling to keep its Drayton Valley factory open. But 2013 could be the year Innovequity’s fortunes change. The company hopes to break ground on two projects. One involves building rental office and sleeper trailers for industrial use. The other is a residential development tied to a major refinery project now underway. The GCS would be used to build a four-storey, 20-unit apartment block in Bon Accord, 30 kilometres north of Edmonton.

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what wood have been
From No Car, No Furnace, No Problem, Vol. 2.2
the home of Conrad Nobert and Rechel Amores was designed to be net zero, producing at least as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. Three years after the NAIT staffers moved their family of four into the 200-square-metre (2,200-square-foot) house, it has yet to reach that goal. But it’s come close – and Nobert wouldn’t change a thing. “I think it’s probably harder than we the nobert-amores family home didn’t qualify as net zero, but it still uses a fraction of the energy consumed by an average edmonton house. thought to build a net zero house in Edmonton,” he says. Nobert and Amores (Computer Systems Technology ’99) opted for baseboard heaters and a high-efficiency woodburning stove to shore up their insulation and passive solar heating. But because the energy from burning wood can’t be accounted for on the electricity meter, when they stopped using the stove to test if the house could reach net zero, they fell short of their goal. Had they installed a geothermal system – which can be accounted for on the electricity meter – Nobert has no doubt they’d have met their goal. “We learned that it’s possible, but we didn’t quite make it,” he says. The fact remains: the energy savings are remarkable. Net electricity use over a 12-month period for this home is between 1,600 and 2,600 kilowatt-hours (again, without burning wood, which can’t be counted by the power meter). The average Edmonton home, in contrast, uses 40,000 kilowatt-hours (with natural gas consumption converted to its electric equivalent) over the same period.

the zero effect
By incorporating the following features into their home, Conrad Nobert and Rechel Amores almost achieved net zero status: • 40-centimetre walls filled with cellulose fibre insulation • large south-facing windows • interior concrete floors that absorb heat during the day and then release it during the evening • a six-kilowatt solar electric system fed by 32 photovoltaic modules • solar hot water



fifty years ago, alberta wondered how it would keep pace with a booming economy.
story by

from the


Then nAIT cAme Along.



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n 1962, bill riches was a 26-year-old communication electrician with Alberta Government Telephones (AGT) in Edmonton. He knew the position well, having come to it from a job at Canadian Telephone Supplies in Vancouver. So when he and his colleagues were sent to NAIT to begin an apprenticeship program for the job he was already doing, he was a bit miffed. Previously, the company had been conducting a four-year apprenticeship program on its own for employees. “That’s what I thought I was doing,” he says. “I didn’t know what I had to go to school for.” The change had actually been set in motion years earlier. In 1959, the Government of Alberta announced plans to build a new vocational training institute in Edmonton. The timing was perfect: the province’s prosperity was growing with the development and export of its natural resources, Edmonton’s population was on track to nearly double over the decade, and new construction was transforming the capital’s skyline from brick walk-ups to the cosmopolitan look of a city with a busy future in store. With this growth came soaring demands for more technically educated workers than companies themselves could produce – a labour gap NAIT aimed to fill. At that point, the only two technical training centres in Canada were the Ryerson Institute of Technology in Toronto and the Provincial Institute


of Technology and Art (now SAIT) in Calgary. Taking advantage of a $400-million federal fund introduced to stimulate the development of such training institutions, a team of visionaries led by NAIT’s first principal, Jack Mitchell, began the daunting task of building a post-secondary institute from the ground up. In 1962, after choosing 10.5 hectares (26 acres) near Edmonton’s municipal airport as the site of the $16-million school, the group began assembling staff to coordinate programming and schedules, and to find qualified instructors. One of the first hired was Dr. Krishan Kamra. As department head of Laboratory Sciences, he could see the challenge ahead. “There was tremendous pent-up demand from industry for Canada to create a new workforce,” he says. Particularly for northern Alberta, “NAIT was put in charge of inventing a person who had not existed before.” Even defining technician proved to be a challenge. “At my job interview, [personnel officer] Bill Hobden asked me, ‘What is a technician?’” says Kamra, who was appointed NAIT’s first director of instruction in 1966. “I flubbed the answer. I didn’t know.” The industries driving Alberta’s burgeoning economy knew what they were looking for, however. Hospitals needed a proper training ground for their medical laboratory technologists and dentists wanted

“nait Was PUt in charge of inventing a Person Who had not existed Before.”

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“We gave the Kids Who came here a fUtUre they didn’t have Before.”


“i was the first student to ever attend nait. i lived on 124 street. to take a bus around the entire airport would take one hour, if i caught all my connections. i didn’t want to be late my first day, so i called a cab. i arrived quite early. a photographer from the Edmonton Journal took my picture. that was my 15 minutes of fame right there.”




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M R A , F





M L E F T .

someone other than themselves to train dental technicians and dental mechanics (known today as denturists). Communications companies AGT and EdTel demanded a local apprenticeship program. And industry leaders from fields such as engineering, building construction, banking, business communications and photography worked alongside NAIT’s administrators to ensure classroom curriculum aligned with the needs of the workplace. The challenge ultimately fell to the instructors, few of whom had formal training as teachers and little or no curriculum developed. But they did have knowledge and experience that went far beyond words in a textbook. “We had exceptionally good instructors,” says Kamra. “Most of them were in their 30s, had supervisory or similar attributes, and were competitive in their fields.” And they were able to figure out the role as they went, he adds. “There was a lot of learning by doing.” Bob Busse, an early instructor in the apprenticeship program, sums up his classroom experience as extremely rewarding. “We gave the kids who came here a future they didn’t have before.” Combining that teaching talent with state-of-theart equipment, NAIT attracted students from across

Western Canada and, by 1965, was already expanding to include the $2.5-million Tower Building. Early projections of 10,000 students and 300 instructors before the end of the decade seemed realistic. “This institute fulfills one of the greatest needs in our society,” said Premier Ernest Manning at NAIT’s official opening. “There have been complaints that technology is taking away jobs. It is not technology [that causes the problem], but the failure of society to keep pace with the training necessary to prepare young people to fulfill useful functions.” Then, as now, NAIT’s relevance to the economy put it at the top of Canada’s polytechnic institutes. “The reason we were created has remained our raison d’être,” says current president and CEO Dr. Glenn Feltham. “We are providing skilled workers. We have been absolutely true to ourselves.” Eventually, Bill Riches figured out for himself the value of NAIT. After graduating as a communication electrician, he worked in the field for eight years. Later, he returned to NAIT – to become a baker. “It was a good experience. Very good,” he says. “The difference for me was, before I went to NAIT, I knew how to do all the things for my job. After I went, I knew why. I knew the theory.”

web extra
Visit or scan the QR code with your mobile device to see more of the story of NAIT’s development. Don’t have a QR code reader? See p. 7.

v6.1 2012


Investing in education

Congratulations to NAIT on your 50th anniversary

There are few investments more important today than

with a focus on math, science & technology

promoting the skills and abilities of our young people. At Imperial Oil, we sponsor a wide range of educational programs designed to spark Canadian students students’ interest in science, mathematics and technology – skills essential to our

- one of the ways we’re contributing to Canada’s future

country’s prosperity.


a first time for everything
five decades have passed since we admitted our first students and began construction on our first buildings. more than 172,000 graduates later, we have celebrated many milestones on our journey to becoming one of the top polytechnics in the country. here’s a look at 50 firsts – the people and the events – that together, tell the nait story.
— Sherri Krastel



Mortar Trades, completed in April

issue of tHe stuDent neWsPaPer, The NuggeT
Published Jan. 1


Chosen by the NAIT Students’ Association. “We all need an Ookpik, it will help you pass, it will make you happy, it will make you great,” declared The Nugget


29 Communication Electrician apprentices, including first student Bill Riches, registered and began training Oct. 1


oPen House
20,000 visitors attended from March 11-13


The Northern Torch published



nait stuDents’ association (naitsa) PresiDent
William Miles, elected in April


aWarDs Day
Minister of Education R. H. McKinnon spoke on the need for higher education at the Oct. 28 event

full-time stuDents
The Technology Division offered 18 programs to 580 students and the Business and Vocational Division offered six courses to 498 students (the Apprenticeship Division, meanwhile, offered 19 trades programs to 2,506 students and four pre-employment courses to 49 students)



Honoured 326 graduates of diploma and certificate programs

illustration by jennifer lubrin

ProVincial cHamPionsHiP
Won by the badminton team


full-time tuition
Started at $40 for one year (Student Association fee: $17)

v6.1 2012





Plastics course
Introduction of this manufacturing-focused course was unique to North America. Last offered in 2003-04

continuing eDucation sPring/ summer session calenDar
Featured more than 35 courses


resPiratory tHeraPy Program baseD at an eDucational institute in canaDa
The program was accredited in 1969, allowing the graduates (then called Inhalation Therapists) to challenge the national certification exams


atHletes of tHe year
Curler Steve Pelech and runner Julie McDonald


nait founDation funDraiser
A Corvette was raffled off




alumni magazine
Alumnait, first published as a two-page newsletter

NAIT students have since raised more than $530,000 for the cystic fibrosis fundraiser

national cHamPionsHiP
Won by the men’s hockey team

1988 1970



Themed “Achieving Together.” Held May 28

William A. B. Saunders (he held the title of principal from 1962-70; Jack Mitchell was the first principal of the proposed Edmonton vocational school, appointed in January 1960)

DistinguisHeD frienD of tHe institute
Dolliver Frederick (Business Administration ’65), a member of the first full-time graduating class and the first alumnus to speak at Convocation


time caPsule
Placed in the wall of the student lounge, The Nest, at its official opening (the time capsule is scheduled to be opened on May 28, 2013)



fantasy cruise funDraiser
The SS Benefit NAIT sailed to Jamaica on Feb. 24, starting a tradition that continued for 20 more years


nr92 broaDcast
Went on air at 8 a.m. on Oct. 23 and could be heard in the main lobby, hairstyling, pool and arena


caPital funDraising camPaign
Partners for Tomorrow raised $5.4 million




WorlD culinary cuP golD meDals
Culinary students participated on Team Alberta

alumni aWarD of Distinction
Guy Turcotte (Gas Technology ’72)

Personal $1-million Donation
Gifted by Duncan and Verda McNeill



36 animal

Voice mail
Added to all phones on Main Campus (at the time, only 30 per cent of callers were successful in reaching the desired party on the first attempt)

Honorary DiPlomas
Henry Gusse, founder and chairman of the Edmonton Exchanger Group of Companies, and Madeleine Mercier, chartered financial planner

blooD banK


instructional excellence aWarDs
Given to David Burry, Biomedical Engineering Technology; Everett Hale, Sheet Metal/Aircraft Skin and Structure Repair; Angela Bork, Biological Sciences; and Joe Acker, EMT-Paramedic

Established by the NAIT Animal Health Technology program, it remains the only animal blood bank that makes canine blood products available across Canada


aPPlieD Degree
Offered in collaboration with SAIT; two years later, 26 NAIT students graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Information Systems Technology

37 alumni

council PresiDent
Wayne Land (Business Administration – Management ’70)


Public lecture in tHe neWly oPeneD sHaW tHeatre
Delivered by journalist David Frum

v6.1 2012





baccalaureate Degree
Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management

HoKanson cHef in resiDence
Celebrity chef Rob Feenie (In addition to Feenie, top chefs David Adjey, Susur Lee and Massimo Capra have since spent three to five days mentoring students and engaging with the local culinary community at NAIT’s Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts)


entrePreneur in resiDence
VentureAlberta Forum president Randy Thompson


Techlife magazine
Published in October




full-time coacHes
The six coaches hired were a first in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association

nanotecHnology systems DiPloma
A Canadian first


On Jan. 19: “Getting ready for Info Week (Feb. 4-7, 2008)”


PolytecHnics canaDa member to get a rating from tHe sustainability tracKing assessment & rating system (stars)
NAIT received a bronze from STARS, a self-reporting tool that allows educational institutes to measure their performance within the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social


facebooK Post
On Feb. 19: “Support ecoNAIT http:/ / php?gid=6612490807 http:/ /”

aPPlieD researcH cHair
Dr. Haneef Mian named Ledcor Group Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Environmental Sustainability. Chairs in the JR Shaw School of Business and the Encana Centre for Power Engineering Technology followed, giving NAIT the most applied research chairs of any Canadian college or polytechnic


season in WHicH eacH ooKs team maDe ProVincial Playoffs
That led to these national medals: gold in men’s soccer, silver in women’s soccer, bronze in women’s curling and two golds in badminton


business incubator
NovaNAIT, NAIT’s centre for applied research and technology transfer, established to foster applied research and provide budding entrepreneurs office space, expert advice and support services


PresiDential installation
Held May 5, when Dr. Glenn Feltham was installed as NAIT’s sixth president



In 20 years, health care will be much more personalized. Prevention and treatment of disease will be customized to align with a person’s DNA. The current focus on chronic illness will shift to prevention. Technology will make diagnosis, treatment and personal health tracking much more sophisticated. Rather than blasting a person with chemo, we will target only the cancer cells. You will be able to get replacement body parts beyond a hip or a knee – toes, for example. In 50 years, people will live 20 years longer. We’ll be healthier.
Ellen Hughes Dean, School of Health Sciences

In terms of wireless communication systems, consumers are driving this industry. And it’s more than just personal communications and smartphones. Oil and gas, business and health care all use wireless systems to transmit voice, video and data in countless applications. Since demand is ever increasing, the future will focus on overcoming the challenge of limited bandwidth and vast geographical coverage areas. There will always be applications better served by wired and optical technologies, but, even now, our kids will use wired technology only when absolutely necessary.
Colin Polanski (Communication Electrician ’87) Associate Chair, Wireless Systems Engineering Technology

In 50 years, we will be twice as large: one dynamic, pedestrian-friendly campus interlinked with a vibrant community of 30,000 located on the former City Centre Airport. NAIT retail services – meat store, bakery, Ernest’s Dining Room – will be showcased at the front of this community. The next 10 to 15 years will bring new residences, academic buildings and a wellness centre. We will continue to minimize energy used in our heating and cooling systems and increase water and waste recycling. In the short term, the arrival of the LRT on campus in 2014 is a game changer.
John Engleder Associate Vice President, Capital Projects and Facilities Operations

There is currently no cost-effective technology to deal with tailings. Over the next five to 10 years, we’ll see full commercialization of that. Once we create reclaimable deposits, we’ll be hit with another challenge: dealing with the water, which contains pollutants. Technology for that will follow. The next stage will come as some of the mines close in 30 to 50 years. In some cases, the intent is to fill the pits with water to create lake ecosystems. So you’re going from tailings to water to reclamation. They go hand in hand.
Dr. Haneef Mian Ledcor Group Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Environmental Sustainability

THE futurists
as much as it’s an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come, an anniversary is the perfect time to imagine where we’re headed. what will the world look like five, 10, 50 years out? we asked staff and alumni to tell us what they see in the cards.


People will become more self-sustaining. Greenhouses attached to homes and schools will become standard, as will rooftop gardens. Culinary students will become more familiar with the entire lifecycle of food, including planting seeds and butchering meat. Dietary issues will decline as we get back to organics and whole grains and eschew genetically modified foods. Restaurants will become more sustainable, using edible cutlery and tableware – your glass could be made of ice. In 50 years, we will have eliminated food waste.
Blair Lebsack (Cook ’98) Instructor, Culinary Arts

In 50 years, students will design their own education by mixing formal learning with experience. Students will choose NAIT as a partner to help them connect with careers and growth opportunities. Educational institutions will be seamlessly integrated with workplaces and credentials will be seen as nothing more than artificial barriers to fully contributing to society. In their place, employers will lay out the skills required, placing the onus on career-hunters to demonstrate that they have the qualifications to do the job.
Dr. Paula Burns Provost and Vice President Academic

Most of what we’ll see in the next five years is already on the market. The focus will be on advancing the technology – all with the goal of helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. We’ll see advances in automated parking technologies, voice command, mapping systems and heads-up displays. As for propulsion systems, expect to see extended range for fully electric vehicles with zero emissions.
Ron Lavigne Instructor, Automotive Service Technician

Building high energy-efficient homes is still in its infancy. Obviously there’s now more public awareness of environmental issues and climate change, but to see a real mindset shift in the market takes a while. That said, the generation coming out of university is all into this. My feeling is that towards 10 years, we’re going to see a new buyer who will demand more of these kinds of homes as an option. And from there things are going to progress more dramatically.
Dale Rott (Carpenter ’96) Managing Partner, Effect Home Builders

To get a computer to do anything, you once had to know codes. Now there’s software – click this and something happens. The evolution of that is the natural-user interface: dragging with your fingers, for example, like on an iPad. From there it goes to the all-voice command – like asking Siri to do things on an iPhone. Having computers interact with you is what we’re headed towards.
Steve Chattargoon Chair, Digital Media and IT

Thirty years from now, financial planning will be seen as a profession at the same level as accountancy. It will require advisers to be less focused on product sales and more focused on process and advice. It will be much more holistic than it is now. The adviser of the future will not just talk about financial assets, but will be a career adviser as people continue to work after 65.
Hardeep Gill Associate Chair, Bachelor of Applied Business – Finance

Photo by leigh frey

We’re starting to see integrated systems really emerge in the industry. And this is probably the next big achievement for alternative energy systems. We’ve been looking at individual systems, but a lot of the economics and the gains can be realized by hybridizing technologies in a sensible way, such as using one system to supply both heat and power. Probably within a decade, these hybridizations will become quite significant.
Dr. Jim Sandercock Chair, Alternative Energy Technology

Web extra
Sandercock’s predictions about the future of a variety of alternative energy technologies.
Photo by leigh frey

visit for Dr. Jim

v6.1 2012



test your knowledge of nait with our quiz. if you get stumped, just flip through the magazine – all the answers are in these pages. then tally your score, counting a point for every correct answer. if you place low on the scale, don’t despair – every good ook started out as an egg.

1. 2. 3. What was our first apprenticeship program? In what school year did the men’s hockey team complete a perfect season? What is the name of our current president?


4. What year did we hold our first convocation? 5. What was the name of our old yearbook?
0 – 5 correct ansWers egg

6. Which NAIT Students’ Association president received our original Ookpik mascot from the federal government in 1964? 7. What is our on-campus bar called?

8. Who coached renowned curler Kevin Martin at NAIT and continues to do so? 9. In what year was the first issue of techlife magazine published?

10. What is the name of our first baccalaureate degree? 11. What is our student newspaper called? 12. What year did NR92, our radio station, start broadcasting? 13. How much was NAIT’s first full-time tuition in 1963? 14. In what sport did we win our first provincial championship in 1966? 15. Who was our very first student? 16. How much did it cost to build NAIT? 17. Which premier officially opened NAIT? 18. Which school kidnapped our Ookpik mascot in 1966? 19. What was the name of our old alumni magazine? 20. What is the name of our on-campus fine dining restaurant?
7. The Nest 13. Started at $40 20. Ernest’s

6 – 10 correct ansWers HatcHling

11 – 15 correct ansWers fleDgling
illustration by derek lue and trina koscielnuk


6. 5. 4. 3. 2.



William Miles The Northern Torch 1965 Dr. Glenn Feltham 1984-85 Communication Electrician

12. 11. 10. 9. 8.

1989 The Nugget Technology Management Bachelor of Technology in 2007 Jules Owchar

19. 18. 17. 16. 15. 14.

Alumnait SAIT Ernest Manning $16 million Bill Riches Badminton

16 – 20 correct ansWers full-fleDgeD ooK


Founded in 1947, the Ledcor Group of Companies is diversified, privately held, employee-owned collection of construction companies, specializing in building, civil, infrastructure, industrial and telecommunication projects. Ledcor is proud to be in partnership with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Through the Ledcor Group Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Environmental Sustainability as well as numerous student scholarships, Ledcor continues to see the value in NAIT’s programs and services that meet the needs of the market. Congratulations to NAIT on your 50th Anniversary!












coVer story

Photos by

39 victor Gillman 39 James McPherson 39 Jack Menduk 40 Bob Morgan 40 Ray Rajotte 41 41
Archie Roberts Stewart Roth

The 1970s
42 Fred Atiq 42 Gil Cardinal 43 Nolan Crouse 43 Roger Dootson 44 David Dorward 44 Marleen Irwin 45 Andrew lee

45 Shirley long 46 Holger Petersen 46 Brian Straub 47 Guy Turcotte

CONTENTS The 1960s
38 Bernie Fedderly 38 Clifford Giese

The 1980s
48 James Ahnassay 49 Naseem Bashir

it’s almost impossible to go a day without encountering the achievements of nait grads. they’re mainstays on tv and radio, and cultural mavens and tastemakers. they’re captains of industry, and government and community leaders. they’re winning olympic medals and setting sporting records, and making breakthroughs in science and medicine. they’re leading-edge designers at work in your neighbourhood – if, in fact, they didn’t actually build your neighbourhood. and, overall, their contributions are too numerous to mention. here, we celebrate 50, chosen for the difference they make in our communities, and for inspiring future generations of alumni to do the same.

CONTENTS 49 Carol Blake
49 Dave Buchaski The 1960s 50 38 50 38 51 39 51 39 51 39 52
James Cumming Bernie Fedderly Kees Cusveller Clifford Giese Randy Eresman victor Gillman Greg Korbutt James McPherson Kevin Martin Jack Menduk Daryl McIntyre

40 52 40 53 41 53 41 54 55 42 55 42 55

Bob Morgan Mark McNeill Ray Rajotte Mark Ohe Archie Roberts George Rogers Stewart Roth Tracey Scarlett

The 1990s
56 Michael Anderson 56 Mark Hamblin 57 57
Andrew Hore Chris Kourouniotis

43 Nolan Crouse The 2000s 43 60 44 60 44 61 45 61
Roger Dootson Stephani Carter David Dorward Don Oborowsky Marleen Irwin Jules Owchar Andrew lee Javier Salazar

54 Julie M. Shaw The 1970s
Bruce Woloshyn Fred Atiq Sandy Yakimchuk Gil Cardinal Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung

58 Ashif Mawji 58 Corbin Tomaszeski 58 Dean Turgeon

45 Shirley lo 61 Marlon Wilson

v6.1 2012


PeoPle • cover story


HoW We cHose
tHe toP

last year, we put out a call for nait grads or retirees who have made significant contributions in the categories of service, leadership, innovation and role model. We received 162 nominations. a committee representing alumni, retired staff, instructors, students and nait’s departments of advancement and marketing and communications then had the tough job of whittling the list down to 50.

web extra
Visit or scan the QR code for 50th anniversary videos, including top 50 alumni Ray Rajotte, Daryl McIntyre and Kevin Martin. Need a QR code reader? See p. 7.

Bernie feDDerly
motor mechanics ’67 compared to most people who find themselves spinning their wheels, veteran crew chief Bernie Fedderly made his name doing just that. For more than four decades, the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Famer has set lofty standards in the art of motor maintenance – and a few records on the pro hot rod circuit. After honing his skills on tracks around Alberta, the one-time milk truck mechanic worked his way to the big leagues, where he helped turn John Force Racing into one of the most successful teams in National Hot Rod Association history. Now 70, Fedderly is considering retirement. Slowing down, however, may not be easy. These 8,000-horsepower cars – and the sights, sounds, even smells of the race track – still fascinate him. “I’m in awe of them,” he says, “even after all this time.” — Scott Messenger

clifford giese
marketing ‘68 clifford giese was a young Edmonton stockbroker when he took his dad for lunch and dreamed up an idea that spawned an industry. The elder Giese had taken his car for an oil change that morning and at lunchtime, it still wasn’t ready. The minor annoyance stuck with Giese, in particular because self-serve gas stations were arriving on the scene – a shift he figured would spell the demise of the full service garage. So how about a new kind of place, he thought, with oil changes while you wait?

web extra
Visit to see what it takes to be a crew chief on the professional auto racing circuit.

With his dad, he opened the first Mr. Lube in 1976 and, within a decade, there were 47 stores across Canada. In 1987, the chain expanded into the United States after Giese secured a partnership with oil giant Exxon. In business, Giese explains, you must take calculated risks, and be prepared to lose. “To me, the thrill is to play the game.” Sometimes, the stakes are higher, as when Giese’s wife, Robin (Secretarial Technology ’68), was stricken with multiple sclerosis. When her health stabilized after she started taking an experimental drug being developed at the University of Alberta, Giese founded BioMS Medical (now called Medwell Capital Corp.). He and his team raised $270 million and took the drug as far as a worldwide trial. The results weren’t good enough to bring the drug to market, but Giese continues to dedicate his life to finding a better treatment for MS. Though essentially retired, he’ll still give a tempting opportunity his signature 360-degree look. “It’s better to have played and lost than never to have played at all.” — Eliza Barlow


Photo by brandon baker

victor gillman
Biological sciences technology ’69 alumni award of distinction ’06 fuelled by a lifelong passion for conservation, Victor Gillman helped make Canadian history in the 1980s when he was part of a team that negotiated and implemented the first comprehensive land claim north of the 60th parallel. Signed in 1984, the Inuvialuit Final Agreement protects the rights of the Inuvialuit, while protecting and preserving local wildlife in an area of the high western Arctic that includes parts of Northwest Territories and Yukon. “There were no other examples to work from. We were on new ground,” says Gillman, who was working for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and contributed expertise in the area of fisheries management. “Twenty-eight years later, this is still one of the most successful land claim structures in Canada.” He notes the agreement has functioned with little to no litigation, unlike a lot of other land claims, and the parties involved continue to operate with a sense of commonality and trust. Gillman spent nearly four decades in fish and wildlife management, retiring in 2006 as a DFO regional director. Today, he still dedicates much of his time to conservation in the North as chairman of a co-operative committee that helps to manage the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. — Frank Landry

JacK menDuK
architectural technology ’66 nait’s centre for sustainable energy technology, opened in 2011, features banks of tall windows and high ceilings. That sense of openness mirrors the design principles of Jack Menduk, the retired associate vice president of NAIT Capital Projects and Facilities Operations, who led the project to build the state-of-the-art facility. A strong belief in open communication and fairness lies at the root of Menduk’s successful 25-year career. From small renovations to new building developments, he ensured everyone affected remained part of discussions from planning to completion. “I always tried to see everything through their eyes,” he says. That extended to industry partners, too: “We wanted to be the owner of choice for contractors and consultants.” Looking back, those relationships are a point of pride for Menduk; they enabled him and his team to repeatedly deliver on time and on budget. What’s more, they allowed him to highlight NAIT’s strengths, project by project. Menduk’s ability to communicate his vision and have others share it has influenced everything from his first project renovating NAIT’s Distribution Centre to the plans for the proposed Centre for Applied Technologies. “We took out the brick walls and put in glass,” he says. “We opened up the spaces, brightened them to celebrate the teaching spaces – celebrate what NAIT was all about.” Next time you’re at NAIT, take a close look at the imprint Menduk left on the school where his post-secondary education began. The quality of the facilities proves that strong relationships lead to great spaces. — Heather Gray

James mcPHerson
distributive technology ’69 back in 1968, james mcpherson had no idea the fundraiser he helped organize would go on to raise more than $530,000. Fortyfour years after NAIT joined the annual national Cystic Fibrosis Canada fundraiser, Shinerama is still going strong. “That’s incredible,” says McPherson, who forged a successful insurance career, with a hiatus from 1982 to 1986 to serve as the MLA for Red Deer. Shining shoes – lots of them – is a memory that remains with McPherson. All told, 114 NAIT students raised $2,503.39 in the first Shinerama. That experience – coupled with the values instilled by his parents – helped set McPherson on a lifelong path of giving back, whether volunteering with the Special Olympics, United Way or a number of other organizations. It was for this type of work that McPherson was named Red Deer Citizen of the Year for 2012. — F.L.

v6.1 2012


PeoPle • cover story


BoB morgan
Baker ’66 apprentice bakers across Canada have Bob Morgan to thank, at least in part, for helping to define the skill sets they should possess. An instructor in NAIT’s Baker program from 1969 to 2000, Morgan participated in establishing Skills Canada Alberta and the Red Seal exam for apprentice bakers, both of which encourage excellence in the baking trade. “To encourage the trades also encourages the growth of our country,” says Morgan. “Canada was built by tradespeople.” As a volunteer in the early days of Skills Canada – the not-for-profit organization that promotes careers in the skilled trades – Morgan helped develop the highlevel provincial and national competitions. “The biggest impact was for the person [competing] to realize he had become the best of the best,” says Morgan. Morgan was also part of a group of instructors and industry leaders who crafted the questions posed to bakers taking the Red Seal exam, which is the inter-provincial standards exam that confirms journeymen have achieved a nationally recognized level of competency. Prior to the establishment of this exam, there weren’t national standards. Essentially, it was up to industry– the individual bakeries – to decide whether to recognize a journeyman ticket, Morgan says. Today, a Red Seal endorsement qualifies a journeyman to seek work in other provinces. — Frank Landry

ray rajotte
medical x-ray technology ’65 alumni award of excellence ’01 islet cells play a vital role in regulating blood sugars. Should they fail, the result is Type 1 diabetes. Luckily, for the roughly one million Canadians living with this disease, Dr. Ray Rajotte has spent more than 40 years investigating a treatment. An Alberta Order of Excellence recipient for his work, Rajotte established the group that performed Canada’s first islet cell transplant in 1989 – leading to the Edmonton Protocol. This procedure allows 100 per cent of transplant recipients to become insulin independent for varying periods of time. Issues may remain, but Rajotte is optimistic. He and his colleagues have made many promising advances to ensure the long-term success of the Edmonton Protocol, including improved anti-rejection drugs. Success, however, also relies on a large supply of islet cells, which the team hopes to make available through the development of genetically designed pigs that produce islets compatible with humans. Rajotte’s commitment is clear: “An islet can perform this vast function of regulating the blood sugars that sustain life; this is miraculous and fundamental to the survival of so many people.” — Sandy Robertson


We wanted your help remembering NAIT over the past five decades. We share your stories throughout this feature.

Greg’s son Kyle has spent a couple of summers on grounds maintenance. My second son, Doug, enrolled in Chemical Technology (class of ’80) and finally there was Bruce, who was employed at NAIT for a number of months before enrolling in Computer Systems Technology (class of ’88). When you consider that Doug’s wife, Janette, also spent four years at NAIT, first in med lab technology and later in computer systems, I think that the Appelts have had a considerable connection with NAIT.
– felix appelt, hired 1962 – retired 1986 as head of engineering design and drafting technology

I joined NAIT in July 1962 as head of Drafting Drafting Technology) and remained in that position for almost my entire career, which ended in June 1986. My son Greg attended Architectural

Technology (later Engineering Design and

Technology (class of ’78). He joined NAIT in December of the same year and left NAIT in 2011. Between Greg and me, we covered 49 of NAIT’s 50 years. Too bad he retired last year!

They had a ceremony when they opened the institute. Premier Manning came down. It set a platform right in the middle of A101. was conducted in the heavy duty shop. They In the heavy duty shop, there’s a great big transverse crane. It’ll pick up diesel engines.

So to be rather dramatic, they brought this crane over to the centre of the stage and they had a big velvet curtain or a canopy rigged up over this thing. I can remember the premier pushed the button and it lifted the curtain and all the dignitaries were there.
– graham johnson, dean of the industrial division (1962–96), on the institute’s official opening on may 27, 1963

steWart rotH
chemical technology ’69 alumni award of distinction ’01 as president and ceo of guardian chemicals, Stewart Roth is an advocate and supporter of responsible economic development in Alberta. In the 30 years since he teamed up with fellow alum Wilf Nikolaj (Accounting ’80) to become shareholders and eventually purchase Guardian, the company has grown into one of the nation’s largest specialty chemical suppliers. Guardian products are proprietary industrial process chemicals used in a variety of settings: mining, pulp and paper mills, transportation, oil and gas, water treatment, printing, firefighting and more. By focusing on continuous improvement through research and development, the company has moved to the front end of the innovation curve – and into international markets. As a result, Roth heads a growing crop of chemical companies spanning the United States, Egypt, Ecuador, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and China. A few, such as the U.S. oil and gas supplier Sierra Chemicals, have been sold to local managers. “We practice intrapreneurship,” Roth says. “The ideas and technology come from within our company, but we encourage employees to take it to the next level and become involved financially.” Roth also puts energy into growing community, whether the subject is education or ingenuity. Believing that success in business, as in community, depends on quality people, Guardian funds scholarships at NAIT and the University of Alberta, expanding the talent needed to continue diversifying Alberta’s economy. — C.M.
v6.1 2012

archie roberts
Ledcor Industries. Later reviving the Intex name, Roberts launched a construction management a leadership coach with a consulting practice that merged passion for building things, Archie in 2006 with Pivotal Projects Roberts is paying forward the Inc., gaining national reach. Still mentorship that began in his actively guiding up-and-comers grandfather’s workshop and through the World President’s continued with his first boss in Organization, in his own family the construction industry. Proving and at Pivotal as a senior adviser, a quick study, Roberts launched Roberts’ passion for building Intex Construction in 1983, which clearly extends to people as well. thrived through the recession, “It keeps me young, vital, thinking,” earned him a nod as Edmonton’s he says. Small Businessman of the Year in — Cheryl Mahaffy 1985, and was eventually sold to architectural technology ’69 distinguished friend of the institute ’96 Board of directors 1991-94


PeoPle • cover story


when film director gil cardinal started out, an aboriginal making films about the aboriginal community was relatively rare. Now, after 30 years in television and film, the award-winning director of Métis descent is a role model in the field. Cardinal made films on various topics in his early career, but a project about children and child welfare began to focus his attention on telling aboriginal stories. “Before I asked anyone else to bare their soul, I thought I should do that myself,” he says. The result was Foster Child, his story of the search for his birth family. Today, Cardinal continues to create aboriginal programming, most recently as a writer on APTN’s Blackstone, a dramatic series set on a fictional reserve. — Kim MacDonald

fred atiQ
mechanical engineering technology ’72 alumni award of honour ’06 Fiberex Glass in Leduc, stands having added three among Canada’s top 100 fastest successful enterprises to growing companies despite Alberta’s manufacturing serious competition from the industry, Fred Atiq is fortifying likes of Owens Corning USA, a the sector through Next major concern in the field of Equities, a fund to boost extruded fibreglass. Still serving fledgling companies. Since as Fiberex president and CEO, arriving from India as a teen Atiq takes pleasure in putting and training at NAIT, Atiq the family’s hard-earned cash has brought to the province to work through Next Equities. vinyl window and extruded “If I can put one guy into vinyl product manufacturing business a year,” he says, through two companies “I’m a happy man.” (since sold and still going — Cheryl Mahaffy strong). His third venture,

gil carDinal
radio and television arts ’71 honorary diploma ’00

During my first year of Civil Tech, I helped set up the display for Open House and thought that

for that trophy. We made a plywood model that showed how a curved roadway was built. We even added a landscape ‘architect’ component by using green floor sweeping compound granules for the landscaping of the finished roadway. I used my calligraphy skills to produce a scroll titled The Role of a Civil Technologist. Needless to say, we won and the Architectural Technology students were disappointed.
– henry vanderpyl, civil technology ’72

our display was very mundane and ordinary. of course, they had some very artistic and nice looking models, so they won the Open House trophy for best display for the third year in a row.

Our ‘rivals’ were Architectural Technology and,

In my second year, I decided that I would organize the Open House display and compete


nolan crouse
chemical technology ’73 nolan crouse, st. albert’s second-term mayor, owes much of his success to a healthy appetite for knowledge and risk. Take his transition to the big city and NAIT as a 17-year-old farm boy looking for life skills and a technical education. “I knew nothing about anything,” he says, but eventually an MBA followed his diploma, as well as a lengthy career, split between industrial management, entrepreneurship and coaching hockey. But when politics occurred to him as a way to build on his — Scott Messenger love of community service, he decided to take another chance on a learning curve. “I didn’t have any knowledge of politics per se,” Crouse admits, but he had what he needed. “You end up using all the skills you have but … in an entirely different realm.” Today, he sees the job as a way to make a positive impact – and, judging by his experience, as achievable for others. “People who want to contribute in a broader sense can get involved, make change and build their community.”

One of our very first memories was watching the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series. We skipped classes to see Canada win the final

game. I still remember jumping up and down in our living room hugging each other as Paul

Henderson scored that memorable goal.

– ed toupin, electronics engineering technology ’73

from left, ed toupin (electronics engineering technology), nolan crouse (chemical technology) and laren giacomuzzi (electronics engineering technology) in June 2012. all graduates from 1973, they trace their 40-year friendship to campus and the year they roomed together in an apartment on 109 street and 107 avenue.

roger Dootson
carpentry ’77 alumni award of distinction ’08 in 1971, a 17-year-old farm boy from Irma, Alta., got his first big-city construction job loading concrete blocks onto a scaffold and making sure the bricklayers had enough mortar. His name was Roger Dootson, and the small but vital role on the site of the Dominion Bottling warehouse in Edmonton’s west end had him instantly hooked.

He graduated from NAIT and eventually joined PCL, where he became a respected executive and leader on many high-profile projects, including the southeast leg of the Anthony Henday and the terminal expansion at the Edmonton International Airport. “I just love being part of building things,” he says. “To go back and see the finished product, even years later, is very satisfying.” Dootson is a builder not just of buildings, but of the construction industry itself, having served on several boards to advocate for the industry, such as the Merit Contractors Association and the Alberta and Canadian construction associations. During Alberta’s last boom, which hit as baby boomers began to retire, Dootson foresaw a potential leadership vacuum at PCL just when good leaders would be crucial. In response, he led teams to Germany and the United Kingdom to recruit seasoned construction managers “to help us through the high tide.” Everyone hired on those recruiting trips remains in Alberta today, he says. Dootson retired from PCL last year and now devotes much of his time to his Roger Dootson Charitable Foundation, helping young Albertans follow their dreams of a career in the trades and professions. It’s just his way of making sure tomorrow’s bricklayers have enough mortar. — Eliza Barlow

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Photo suPPlied by ed touPin

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Patricia Campus might not have been part of the institute for long if it hadn’t been for Thomas Harding. The stock keeper showed up to work his usual half-hour before everyone else, when he smelled acetylene – a gas used in welding – coming from the autobody shop. He slowly opened the door to the shop, careful not to make any sparks. “The sparks would have blown the place up,” says Harding, who worked at NAIT from 1962 to 1994. He aired out the shop and was eventually able to find the acetylene tank that hadn’t been turned off. The gas and the risk were mitigated before staff and students arrived.

david DorWarD
accounting ’73 by his own admission, david dorward wasn’t made for basketball – not as a player, anyway. A tad short at the end of high school but still drawn to the game, he took to refereeing instead. Given where that led, however, perhaps that slight remove allowed him to better see the impact the game can have on players’ lives. During that time and the years following as a coach, Dorward saw basketball as a way to reach less-privileged young people. “I used the game to encourage kids to stay in school and do well,” he says, “and hopefully make the next team as they go through life.” To that end, he boosted access to the sport by founding the Saville Community Sports Centre (Go Centre). The multi-function south Edmonton facility features as many as 12 hardwood courts and is home to local heroes kids might emulate: the players of the International Basketball League’s Edmonton Energy. Recently, Dorward has had to step back from his beloved game. Elected April 23, he’s now in his first term as MLA for Edmonton-Gold Bar, a neighbourhood he has lived in for more than half a century. Unlike point guard, politician is a position for which he’s perfectly suited. From building his chartered accountancy firm, he’s got a solid understanding of complex finances. He’s energetic to the point of making social activism look like athleticism. Most importantly, he feels as personally invested in the role as he did courtside. “To be able to serve the people in the area you grew up in is a real thrill,” he says. Scott Messenger —

marleen irWin
respiratory therapy ’75 there’s nothing half-hearted about Marleen Irwin’s career as a certified cardiac device specialist. Her contributions to combatting heart disease, one of Canada’s leading causes of death, include whittling the in-hospital stay for pacemaker surgery from seven days to day surgery and bringing in a crucial competency exam in cardiac pacing for allied healthcare professionals and physicians. A clinical researcher with the University of Alberta’s Heart Failure Etiology and Analysis Research Team, which is seeking improved heart disease therapies, she has earned accolades and awards for raising the bar in research, clinical care, teaching and management. For her, every day is an opportunity to improve patient care, and she predicts that will never change. — Cheryl Mahaffy

web extra
Visit to read more about David Dorward’s passion for basketball.


andreW lee
survey technology ’73 in 1970, a young andrew lee importance of hard work – a came to Canada from Hong Kong value he applied to starting Amar with $500 and a desire to study Surveys with his wife in 1982. Now, and look for new opportunities. Lee is transferring the company to Soon after, he enrolled in the his son, giving him an advantage Survey Technology program. To he never had. “I won’t tell anyone get through, Lee shared a cramped ‘If I can do it, you can do it’,” says room in a bad part of town Lee. “It’s hard work with some luck and, when not studying, waited involved, and you just have to tables and washed dishes. But keep going.” the experience taught him the — Fiona Bensler

Bread, amongst other goodies, was sold to customers in the bakery sales area to recover part of the cost of instruction. It so happened bakery program head went to the front office that flour prices took a hike in the mid-’70s. The to ask to increase the price of a loaf of bread.

shirley long
medical x-ray technology ’71 alumni award of distinction ’02 while helping train students in their clinical practicum, Shirley Long discovered that, while radiologists and physicians had texts explaining how to use mammogram images for diagnosis, there was nothing about how to get those images in the first place. “If you don’t have the right pictures or the right kind of pictures, the doctors can’t diagnose,” she says. To fill the gap, she created the Handbook of Mammography (now in its fifth edition), the first textbook specifically for technologists. Combined with high-quality digital imaging, the positioning skills outlined in the handbook enable technologists to show minute changes in breast tissue years before they can be felt. “That’s such a wonderful place to be: that you’ve caught it so early that the woman has a 95 per cent chance of 20-year survival,” says Long. — Kim MacDonald

Bread at NAIT was 10 cents. We needed to increase the cost to 12 or 13 cents to bring us near the break-even point. The answer came back from the vice president: there would be no increase because students and staff needed a break wherever they could find one.
– bob morgan, baker ’66; hired 1969 – retired 2000 as baking Program head

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holger Petersen
radio and television arts ’70 alumni award of distinction ‘04 what holger petersen talks about when he talks about music is, essentially, a lifelong love affair. Following graduation, he began his efforts to elevate roots and blues by hosting CBC’s Saturday Night Blues and CKUA’s Natch’l Blues, the latter a fixture on Canadian radio for more than 40 years. Petersen also founded Stony Plain Records, promoting new artists and legends, including Steve Earl and Ian Tyson. In the process, the DJ has become a cultural icon himself, inducted as a member into the Order of Canada in 2003. Today, his devotion to music continues unabated. Picking up from his days as a music journalist for The Nugget, NAIT’s student newspaper, Petersen recently published Talking Music, a book that documents the history of roots and blues through interviews with the musicians themselves. For Petersen, it’s just another labour of love: “We shouldn’t forget these great people.” Scott Messenger —

it’s a long way from commiserating around the coal tipple with the farmers of central Alberta to rubbing shoulders with the sultan of Brunei. But for Brian Straub, the value of both gatherings was the same: to establish relationships with people, and respect their point of view. Straub grew up near Alix, Alta., where his father owned a strip coal mine. When farmers came to buy coal, they’d sit around the coal-burning stove, telling stories while the young Straub listened. “It gave me the ability to understand people,” says Straub, and it was a skill he’d use time and again over the course of an international career in oil and gas. After graduating from NAIT, Straub was hired by Shell, which in its various entities would employ him for the next 32 years. In 1993, he got his first overseas assignment in Oman, where he ran up to 28 drilling rigs and managed an annual budget over $400 million. He was posted in several more countries including Brunei, where he and his wife got to know the sultan and his two wives. Companies that want to break into overseas markets need a thorough understanding of the region and the culture, says Straub. They also need to embrace the country’s workforce and steer clear of corruption. Even in the age of videoconferencing, he says it’s still essential to occasionally meet people face-to-face – a lesson he learned at his father’s coal mine all those years ago. Straub, who in his retirement sits on the boards of energy companies Molopo and Ridgeline, finished his career as president and Canada country chairman for Royal Dutch Shell. “I returned, in some ways, to being a miner.” — Eliza Barlow


web extra
Visit to read about Holger Petersen’s 40 years as host of CKUA’s Natch’l Blues, and to learn about his first book, Talking Music.

Brian straub
hydrocarbon engineering technology ‘75


Photo by d’angelo PhotograPhy

gUy turcotte
gas technology ‘72 alumni award of distinction ’97 guy turcotte’s foresight for economic opportunities is guided by his respect for the environment and the value he places on people. Turcotte’s connection to nature has its origins on the Chauvin family farm, where he milked cows from age eight and could spend 10 hours a day on the tractor as a teenager. That connection has remained with him thoughout his career as an oil and gas executive, financier and property developer. As president and chairman of Stone Creek Resorts, Turcotte’s approach to developments at Canmore and Invermere, B.C. reveres what nature has to offer, creating world-class destinations where visitors find tranquility, great golfing and magnificent views. He founded three successful public companies – Chauvco Resources, Fort Chicago Energy Partners (now Veresen) and Western Oil Sands – never losing sight of employees while managing these multi-billion- dollar enterprises. “Creating excellent careers, opportunities and wealth for employees, that’s what’s important.” His passion for clean energy is exemplified in Western Hydrogen Limited. “This is potentially the biggest thing I’ve done,” he says of the private company founded in 2006. With a pilot project scheduled to commence operations this year near Fort Saskatchewan, Turcotte envisions huge global opportunities from commercial rights to a leading-edge technology using sodium salts as the catalyst to manufacture hydrogen. The technology has far-reaching implications for fuel cell power, hydrogen costs and greenhouse gas emissions – good for people and the environment. — Nancy McGuire

My tuition in 1976 was about $180. Beyond the cost of books, there was the recommendation to own a good scientific calculator. I bought bookstore for around $265, more than the rest of the supplies needed for the entire year. poor student. Fast forward to today. My wife and I were on the road to buy some building supplies the other day when we realized we forgot to bring along a calculator. I pulled into the nearest dollar store and I selected one for a Texas Instrument one from the NAIT

It was one serious purchase at the time for a

$2. In the queue to pay, it occurred to me that the $2 calculator in my hand was every bit as good as the one I bought at the NAIT store 36 years earlier for, hmm, let’s see: 265/2 = about 132.5 times more, not including inflation!
– bruce benjamin, architectural technology ’78

When an april 1977 snowstorm cancelled field classes at Kidney lake camp, forest technology students built a 3.6-metre timber cruiser snowman (but only after a snowball fight).

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Photo suPPlied by garry nolan (forest technology ’78)


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James aHnassay
civil engineering technology ’88 alumni award of distinction ’09

this summer, wildfires roared within 17 kilometres of Meander River, one of three communities of the Dene Tha’ First Nation in northwestern Alberta. As a blanket of smoke drifted in, Chief James Ahnassay and his council ordered an evacuation, sending nearly 400 people to High Level, nearly 75 kilometres south. The air quality became bad enough to aggravate Ahnassay’s mild case of asthma. “For people who have more severe conditions,” he says, “I can’t imagine what it must have been like.” During four terms, that kind of focus on the well-being of others has defined Ahnassay’s approach to leadership. And it extends far beyond health and safety. Since taking office in 1993, he has promoted education as a path to personal success as well as a way to improve local services. He also remains dedicated to economic diversification in the region, including ecotourism possibilities in surrounding wetlands – which has meant advocating for the conservation of these and other parts of Dene Tha’ territory of interest to the oil and gas industry. The remoteness of the Dene Tha’ communities, home to roughly 1,800 people, will always present logistical challenges. But Ahnassay, now thinking over a campaign for re-election next fall, sees progress. Employment and education are on the rise, budgets are balanced and, as with the recent wildfire, they’ve proven themselves capable of overcoming extreme adversity. “We’re making improvements,” he says, “slowly but surely.” — Scott Messenger


In fall 1980, I enrolled in Business Administration. Coming from smalltown Alberta and a high school that had a graduating class of 12, I found adjusting to a larger, busier educational environment a bit challenging. By early December, I felt I might become a ‘Christmas Graduate,’ as I was considering withdrawing. A few days before the end of term, I was in one of the student lounges, looking a bit distraught, when my English instructor,

Paul Saville, came along. Although he was on his way to teach a class, he took the time to talk with me and convinced me to stick it out. That turned out to be the best coaching advice I ever received! The caring and compassion demonstrated by that instructor is just one of the qualities that makes NAIT the first-class educational institution that it is. Thanks for setting me up for lifelong success!
– marcel ulliac, business administration ’82

carol blaKe
dental laboratory technology ’84 carol blake’s decision to join the Canadian military in the late 1970s set her on a path to become a dedicated community-builder. “I learned so many valuable lessons in the military, but the most important is that it’s not all about you,” says Blake, who trained in a unit that delivers supplies and equipment to front line troops. Since then, that philosophy and skill set have motivated her to lead fundraising efforts amounting to more than $250,000 for schools in her

naseem basHir
electrical engineering technology ’88 naseem bashir knows the difficulties of managing a mid-sized company in Western Canada today. Competitors from outside the province, even country, are showing up hungry for work, and that demands creative leadership from the president and CEO of Williams Engineering Canada. Talent, brand and sustainability are constant priorities, as they would be for any savvy executive. What sets Bashir apart, however, is his ability to hold a company together despite disaster. That was tested five years ago. In October 2007, a company plane piloted by CEO and founder Allen Williams crashed, killing him and the CFO. Five months later, another plane flown by Allen’s son Reagan – his successor as CEO – also went down, claiming his life and those of two other top executives and two contract employees. Called up to Edmonton from his Calgary post as vice president, Bashir postponed grieving to focus on the company’s viability. “There’s no map to tell you what you should be doing,” at a time like that, he says. “All you can do is rely on your own basic instincts and principles.” He admits to thinking it would be easier to let someone else step in. Calgary was home; he’d be uprooting his family and leaving friends. But that risk had to be weighed against that faced by the company. The future of every employee, him included, lay in the balance. Today, the company is ready and eager to grow. A regional firm with a reputation for reliability, environmentally friendly designs and community-mindedness, Williams Engineering is eyeing the possibility of going international. The current economic climate – involving more clouds than sunshine – may delay those ambitions, but Bashir seems satisfied with progress under his leadership. Looking back, as hard as the decision to lead the company may have once seemed, “I think I made the right choice.” — S.M.

hometown of Kincardine, Ont., on the shores of Lake Huron. It has also influenced her professional life. Just like in her military days, Blake keeps on the move, this time through nearby countryside with her mobile dental technician business, serving the dentists and denturists responsible for rural communities. As resourceful as she is conscientious, Blake also uses the route to spread the word about programs she supports that encourage health and fitness and environmental conservation. — Sandy Robertson

dave bucHasKi
electronics engineering technology ’84 diagnostic medical sonography students benefit every day from the impact Dave Buchaski has on campus. A long-time electronics aficionado, Buchaski now teaches, mentors, funds and promotes NAIT ultrasound students – helping to prepare them for roles in Alberta’s vital allied health-care sector. (Because of his efforts, his employer, Philips Healthcare, also pitches in with resources, including state-of-the-art sonography equipment.) Buchaski also keeps NAIT instructors current by arranging seminars and bringing in stellar speakers. For him, the key is to not just promote reliable, upgradeable equipment, but to ensure it is understood by staff– and so by the grads that NAIT produces. “No matter how good the technology is,” he says, “it’s no use unless we empower the people who use it.” — Cheryl Mahaffy

web extra
Visit for Naseem Bashir’s take on the challenge of running a professional services firm in the current economy.

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Photo by michelle lazette

PeoPle • cover story

the construction industry can’t afford to stand still, says Kees Cusveller, vice president of business development and pre-construction services with the Graham Group. “We need to be able to compete with the international firms that are starting to move in.” To him, that means evolving in every aspect of the business, including productivity, safety, and environmental and social responsibility. Cusveller’s own successful career gives that point of view credibility. After holding increasingly challenging

positions at PCL Construction, he led Graham Group’s Calgary expansion, growing its annual revenues in the city from less than $30 million to $275 million in a decade. Now, he also applies that same lead-the-charge mentality to a passion for volunteering (which, incidentally, has roots in his 1979-80 tenure as president of the NAIT Students’ Association) with construction associations and to developing building-related programming in post-secondary education. — Cheryl Mahaffy

James cumming
construction engineering technology ’81 alumni award of distinction ’03 Board of governors 2004 - present when something is important to James Cumming he gives it his full attention. In 1998, not long after his son Garrett had to start using a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy, Cumming joined the Muscular Dystrophy Canada board, serving as its national chair from 2001 to 2003. After that, he continued to contribute by helping to raise $1.61 million to establish the Friends of Garrett Cumming Research Chair in Muscle Disorder at the University of Alberta to pursue cures for debilitating neuromuscular disorders. After his intense work with that board, Cumming stepped back to change the focus of his community involvement to education. NAIT was an obvious point of focus. Currently the CEO of Creative Door Services, Cumming credits his NAIT training as the foundation of his lengthy career as owner and leader of construction and development businesses. In 2004, he returned to his alma mater as a member of the Board of Governors. In October 2010, he became its chair. Going forward, Cumming is excited about NAIT’s future. Right now, amongst other priorities, he’s devoting himself to planning for the proposed Centre for Applied Technologies, which will boost simulation-based training and applied research on Main Campus. As an industry insider, he has an intimate understanding of the need for skilled workers. “We’ve got a marketplace that’s busy and begging for more trained individuals,” says Cumming. “Our challenge is to make sure that we’re in front of that demand, not behind it.” — Fiona Bensler

Kees cusVeller
Building construction engineering technology ’80

I got my first job as a secretary two months before I actually finished my coursework. I was hired by an engineering firm because NAIT was the only place that was using magnetic media storage (electronic typewriters with mag cards) and they wanted someone who could use a word processor!
– sharlene millang-borst, secretarial technology ’81

web extra
Visit for a conversation with NAIT’s current chair of the Board of Governors.


randy eresman
Petroleum engineering technology ’80

Photo by colin way

in a natural gas market that can only be described as a decadelong roller coaster ride, Randy Eresman’s grip on his company is as firm as ever. Eresman took the helm of Encana – one of the world’s largest natural gas producers – as president and CEO in 2006, 26 years after he joined Alberta Energy Company, an Encana predecessor. Before that, the Medicine Hat native was the company’s chief operating officer from 2002 to 2006. Despite a prolonged plunge in natural gas prices over the last few years, Encana has remained strong under Eresman’s leadership. It beat analysts’ predictions in the first quarter of 2012 in cash flow and earnings and has plans to weather the storm, including continuing to lead the way in a variety of oil and natural gas plays. Going forward, Eresman is buckled in and ready for the ups and downs. “I remember seeing high natural gas prices, and then those drop like a rock, and I remember seeing high oil prices, and then those drop like a rock,” he told the Financial Post in February. “Easy money, hard money – this is the business.” — Eliza Barlow

Kevin martin greg Korbutt
Then he began experimenting with dr. greg korbutt is a worldneonatal pigs as a source of islets. renowned diabetes researcher on Now he’s ready to move that to the verge of a major breakthrough. clinical trials, a North American But from 1978 to 1980, he drove first. To do so, he’s secured $26 a Coca-Cola truck with no idea million to build in Edmonton the where the road of life would first Western Canadian facility to take him. Even when he applied meet Health Canada and the Food to NAIT it was to five areas; and Drug Administration’s strict eventually, he settled on science. regulations for stem cell research. Discovering latent talents in lab “It’s not the ultimate cure for research, Korbutt worked with diabetes,” says Korbutt. “But it’s Dr. Ray Rajotte (Medical x-ray a good stop-gap solution, which Technology ’65) and his Edmonton will increase the availability of islet Protocol team to pioneer cells for transplantation.” transplants of insulin-producing — Lisa Ricciotti islet cells for severe diabetics. Biological sciences technology ’82 alumni award of distinction ’01 Petroleum engineering technology ’87 honorary Bachelor of technology in technology management ’10 alumni award of distinction ’11 as an 18-year-old from Lougheed, Alta., Kevin Martin faced a tough choice: play collegiate hockey in Red Deer or Medicine Hat, or curl at NAIT. Luckily for Canadian curling, he chose to go with who he calls “Canada’s best curling coach,” NAIT’s Jules Owchar – who likened Martin to a young Gretzky. Martin’s instructors also recognized his potential on the ice and teased him about how much time he spent at the rink. “I was there for the education,” says Martin, “but … I was living at the Avonair [Curling Club] the whole time.” Today, Martin has yet to work in his field of study. Instead, he earned rockstar status as a curler, winning Olympic silver and gold, four Briers and numerous tournaments on the world curling circuit. “It was a good decision made in the fall of ’84,” says Martin with a chuckle. — Ruth Juliebo

web extra
Visit for the story of the most successful player-coach relationship in the history of curling.

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daryl mcintyre
radio and television arts ’83 ctv’s daryl mcintyre has been an evening news anchor longer than anyone in Edmonton. He credits that to a willingness to embrace change. During his 26 years with the station, he’s witnessed seismic shifts in the media landscape: mergers, declining advertising revenue and the explosion of social media. For him, the beauty of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and blogging, is how they increase the connection with viewers. That power became evident with the Maddox Flynn story. In 2010, McIntyre accompanied the two-year-old, born with a severe facial deformity, and his family to New York for surgery. Combined with his traditional reporting, the journalist’s blog, Twitter and Facebook posts allowed people to stay fully engaged with the story, which saw the generation of nearly $300,000 in donations to help the family cover costs. “When people decide to mobilize it’s an extraordinary thing to watch,” he says. — Ruth Juliebo

he’s spent 33 years growing his family’s Edmonton-based manufacturing business into a global export powerhouse – but the last thing Mark McNeill wants to do is keep the secrets of his success to himself. McNeill is president and CEO of Stream-Flo Industries, founded in 1962 by his father Duncan McNeill (Distinguished Friend of the Institute ’03), and Master Flo Valve, which they acquired in 1982. “As the experienced crowd, we need to educate and pass on our life’s learning – and learn from the new generation – to make sure we service our customers and our industry as best we can,” he says. To that end, the McNeill family has a passion for sharing their expertise with up-and-coming businesses. NAIT’s Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation provides early stage businesses and entrepreneurs with office space and advice from NAIT experts. And McNeill knows a thing or two about building a business. He joined Stream-Flo in 1979, sweeping floors and building wellheads, then put his aversion to losing and competitive nature to use with a shift to inside sales. He estimates he spent 40 per cent of his time on the road, living in most parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. But he really cut his teeth in 1986, when he started a five-and-ahalf year stint in Indonesia, opening up Southeast Asia to the company, whose leadership in manufacturing wellheads, valves, chokes and other equipment for both the offshore and surface oil and gas industry has seen its products installed in at least 50 countries across four continents. Doing business overseas means managing cultural differences and time zones, but McNeill says building and nurturing personal relationships with customers is a universal imperative. His words of advice? “Be open-minded. And expect to work very hard.” — Eliza Barlow

for scott matheson (Building construction engineering technology ‘83), “crushing the competition in the bridge building challenge without getting wet,” was a highlight of the 1981-82 school year. matheson, team captain, came up with the winning design pictured here.

marK mcneill
Business administration – marketing ’82


marK oHe
air conditioning engineering technology ’81 alumni award of distinction ’98 Board of governors 2010 - present founder Bill Ohe, who always told just as mark ohe was taking a his kids, “Giving needs to be part lead role in the family mechanical of your life,” recalls Ohe. “Not just business in 1991, a backfiring airplane propeller smashed his leg. money, but your time and energy.” Now one of Western Canada’s Less than four years later, he ran leading mechanical service a marathon and raised $10,000 for the Rainbow Society of Alberta companies, Gateway’s corporate generosity helped build the NAIT to help grant the wishes of kids with chronic illnesses. Ohe’s blend Gateway Mechanical Services Centre for Building Environment of grit and generosity has also Technology, which is teaching the served environmental, social and next generation how to optimize health-care groups. He traces building environments. his attitude back to his father, Gateway Mechanical Services — Cheryl Mahaffy

When NAIT was first automating the Executive with a certain academic VP who had no interest in joining in on the fantastic opportunity. We replaced the unused computer in his office with

Office (sometime in the ’80s), we had a challenge

a cardboard replica and he loved it! Today, our a change!

executive all use the latest technology – what
– helen wladyka, hired 1972 – currently chief information officer, nait information services

Oh, the Ronald McDonald Cups. It started when the [University of Alberta Golden] Bears were ranked No. 1 in the country in their conference and we [the all of a sudden the talk shows started saying: ‘Who is the No. 1 college team in the country?’ and it just mushroomed from there. It was exciting. And that’s when we really felt the school was behind us. I think there were 15,000 people [at the game at Northlands

george rogers
Business administration – accounting ’80 born in a jamaican village, George Rogers knows what it is to go without. So it’s a point of pride that as an elected official, first for the City of Leduc and now as MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, he has helped lay the groundwork for communities to enjoy improved quality of life. Trained as an accountant, Rogers turned to real estate, and then public office, to work more closely with people. Attracting recordsetting vote tallies, he served as Leduc alderman then mayor while active in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. “I grew up in Leduc, and back then we had to go to Edmonton for almost everything,” he recalls. “Today it’s all available right here, and a lot of the decisions I’ve been a part of led to that successful growth.” — C.M.

Ooks] were ranked No. 1 in the country in ours. And

Coliseum]. We lost that game. It was 5-4. Exciting game. Lots of hits. The crowd was going nuts. It was a really good experience.
– ron amyotte, respiratory technology ’87; member of the ooks men’s hockey team from 1984 to 1987

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PeoPle • cover story
julie m. shaw was working her first job at Nelson Lumber in Edmonton when a young couple came in, house plans in hand, to buy the materials they needed to build their new two-storey home. She immediately noticed a glaring omission. “I said, ‘You know you don’t have a staircase in these plans.’ They just kind of looked at each other.” Three decades later, Shaw applies the same matter-of-factness to her role as vice president facilities, design and management with Shaw Communications. Founded in 1966 by her father, JR Shaw (Distinguished Friend of the Institute ’97, Honorary Diploma in Business Administration ’07), the company has grown to become Canada’s leading communications provider. She also serves as vice chair of Corus Entertainment. Shaw has always had a keen interest in the mechanics of how buildings come together. After she completed her education, she landed an interior design job with Vancouver firm Hopping Kovach Grinnell while “moonlighting” for the family business back in Alberta. “When your family asks you to do something, it’s always, ‘It won’t take long,’” she says with a chuckle. “My dad or brother would ask, ‘Could you just do this? Could you just do that?’ You feel compelled.” Today, she and her team run all of Shaw’s sites across Canada, managing everything from building improvement and design to parking. She’s overseeing the construction of a 25,200-squaremetre (280,000-square-foot) data centre in Calgary, due to open around 2015, and a new Global TV studio in Halifax. “We want to make sure it’s a creative environment that’s exciting and motivating [for the company’s more than 14,000 employees].” One thing’s for sure: she’ll never miss a staircase. — E.B.

tracey scarlett
medical laboratory technology ’87 nine to five? no thanks, says tracey scarlett, who prefers to control her own destiny – and loves to help others do the same. The CEO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization that assists women with business ventures, Scarlett cut her entrepreneurial teeth raising 4-H calves on the family farm near Sexsmith, Alta., an environment she credits for teaching her to blaze her own trail. “Growing up on a farm teaches you a lot of independence and self-sufficiency, and how to handle things you can’t anticipate.” After graduating from NAIT, she went from managing labs for small companies, to running an electrical contracting business, to starting a consulting practice working with scientists on market research. KMT Hepatech, which had developed a technology involved with Hepatitis C testing, became a huge industry success in two years with Scarlett as its chief operating officer. When the opportunity came along to head Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, Scarlett jumped at the chance to help other women work for themselves, which contributes $117 billion a year to the Canadian economy. “Seeing businesses come to life on a daily basis, creating jobs, creating wealth – these are tangible outcomes that I find really rewarding.” Many women who come to her are dealing with young families or aging parents, but the need for flexibility isn’t what’s driving them from the corporate world, says Scarlett. “They don’t want to be passive about their lot in life. They want to create their futures.” Just as Scarlett continues to create her own. Eliza Barlow —

JUlie m. sHaW
architectural technology ’82


BrUce WolosHyn
radio and television arts ’84 people don’t think of vancouver as frontier territory. But in 1995, when Bruce Woloshyn joined visual effects startup Rainmaker Digital Pictures, it was. At least as far as Hollywood was concerned. “We had to do things to show we could be taken seriously and that the industry could grow and thrive in Canada,” says Woloshyn. Thanks to those early efforts, Vancouver is now one of the largest production centres for visual effects in the world. Woloshyn was instrumental in helping to establish the Visual Effects Society, an international

I almost burned the school down. I was making a music video…. We were shooting in the bigger of the two studios in the RTA building. One of the things was to have a Valentine’s card on fire drop to the floor. It caught the bed on fire on the set

Photo by john cairns

and everybody started flipping out. There was a put the fire out. And then everybody was thinking,

entertainment industry professional group, in Vancouver, and, in 2007, hosted the voting for Special Visual Effects for the Emmy Awards at Rainmaker – the first time it was held outside the United States. The award-winning visual effects supervisor, who now works for Method Studios, has also been charting new courses on the big and little screens, where his many credits include Stargate SG-1, The Twilight Saga movies and Night at the Museum. “Almost every project demands that we do something we’ve never done before. And I really thrive on that.” — Kristen Vernon

fire extinguisher right at the door. I grabbed it and ‘You’re going to be in a pile of trouble when they find out you discharged the fire extinguisher.’ And I thought, ‘Yeah, but I’m going to be in a lot less trouble than if I burned the studio down.’
– bruce woloshyn, radio and television arts ’84

daniel Wai yUK yeung sandy yaKimcHuK
electronics engineering technology ’85 after nait, sandy yakimchuk worked with electronic control systems on oil rigs around the world, travelling all continents except Antarctica, a life-changing experience he believes wouldn’t have happened without his education. Now owner and operator of Control Freaks Automation, an Edmonton-based firm that specializes in designing electronic controls, Yakimchuk volunteered nearly 500 hours to build 13 custom programmable logic controllers (PLC) for NAIT’s electronics engineering and nanotechnology programs, and also helped write an accompanying course. Students will learn about applications for PLCs in different Alberta industries and how to write the software they use to control machines and equipment– broadening their career options upon graduation. “This is a favour back to NAIT for allowing me to have such a lot of fun in my career,” he says. — Fiona Bensler

dental laboratory technology ’81 alumni award of distinction ’06 as the youngest of 14 siblings, daniel yeung learned that collaboration is the only way to get things done. “I am lucky to have learned these lessons, because I continue to apply them to my work,” he says. Once, it saved his career. After Yeung got his first job as a dental technician in 1981, a downturn led to layoffs. “I was saved because one of our clients said they wouldn’t work with anyone but me.” Since becoming president of Universal Dental Laboratories, a provider of dental services and products, he continues to put people first. Yeung is known as a student mentor and adviser, and as a tireless community volunteer. As the only dental technician in the Edmonton and District Dental Society (most members are dentists), he contributes to the Shine for Dentistry Program, which offers dental care to Edmonton’s less-fortunate youth. — Sandy Robertson
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PeoPle • cover story
whatever environment Mark Hamblin chooses to inhabit, he’ll find ways to make it better. As a teen, he designed inventory control software for his favourite motorcycle shops. At NAIT, and later at Matrikon, he created more software to streamline manufacturing processes. Still in pursuit of productivity fixes, in 2008 Hamblin launched Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions to help improve business operations – efforts that have earned accolades for innovation and rapid growth from Profit and Alberta Venture magazines. In addition, he regularly mentors and hires NAIT students, and organizes an annual industry event at the NAIT Shell Manufacturing Centre to showcase technologies and practices manufacturers can use to excel. “The manufacturing industry in Alberta is definitely behind the times compared to other jurisdictions in North America,” he says. “They need us and they need NAIT to help move them forward.” — C.M.

michael anDerson
Business administration – marketing ’98 Business administration – management ’99 mike anderson brought a whole new buzz to campus life, creating events that became the stuff of memories. As a student, his zany antics made him top choice as Ook mascot; Ookfest, which he launched as a NAIT Students’ Association (NAITSA) vice president, grew into one of North America’s top campus parties during his nine years as NAITSA entertainment and marketing manager. “I love entertaining people,” he says. Anderson parlayed that passion into a career with the launch of Trixstar Productions. Quickly becoming a go-to firm for celebrity events, its list of big snags has included UFC’s Forrest Griffin and William Shatner of Star Trek. The Little Brother Anderson mentored for a decade now wants to follow in his footsteps, and no wonder. Not every little brother enjoys backstage access to the likes of Ookfest veterans Nickelback. — Cheryl Mahaffy

marK Hamblin
computer engineering technology ’95 alumni award of distinction ’01

I loved being the Ook. It was an outlet for me to have a lot of fun…. One time I was dancing in the bleachers and I jumped down and cracked my heel. I’d do a figure skating show after the game. I’d spin around and fall on my face. I was still determined to put on my show. I laced up and went out there. It took me about an hour to get my skate off after.
– mike anderson, business administration – marketing ’98, business administration – management ’99; ook mascot ’96

I would play for the NAIT staff hockey team because we had such a rivalry with SAIT and there was a lot of pressure for me to play. One time we went down … and about the second period or halfway through the third, I got a puck in the ear. And they took me to the hospital and they said, ‘Boy, are you lucky. We happen to have a plastic surgeon here.’ Thirty-four stitches later … I even bled for NAIT.
– stan souch, nait President 1980-97


andreW Hore
Business administration – marketing ’99 when andrew hore attended NAIT’s hockey camp in 1986 at 10 years old, the powerhouse men’s hockey team made it the place to play. But during his own time as a student and Ooks forward from 1996 to 1999, the facilities and equipment had seen better days. So in fall 1999, Hore co-founded the Ooks Hockey Alumni Association to help improve the program. Last year, it gave $200,000 – its largest donation ever – to cover scholarships, maintain equipment and send kids to NAIT hockey camps. Today, Hore, currently corporate partnerships director for the Edmonton Oilers, thinks NAIT hockey is ready to match its glory days. “In my mind,” he says, “it’s one of the top college hockey programs in Canada.” — Fiona Bensler

“ “

During my time at NAIT, my father was a welding instructor. He loved his breads and visited the NAIT bakery almost daily. Sitting in the study hall, I could often catch a glimpse of my dad off to the bakery to check the daily goods during his breaks. Dad is now long retired but still remembers his fulfilling years at NAIT.
– david robinson, electronic service technician ’85, business administration ’91

My husband Rory and I met in 1996 while both attending NAIT. He was in the Architectural Technology program (class of ’98), and I was in Civil Engineering Technology (class of ’98). We both played basketball for the Ooks. We met one night at a social after one of the games and realized that we both attend classes in the same building. We dated all through college and were married on June 2, 2001.
– stephanie koska, civil engineering technology ’98; civil engineering technology instructor 2001 – present

chris Kourouniotis
interior design technology ’94

with restaurateurs for parents, Chris Kourouniotis grew up with an insider’s view of the hospitality business. But it wasn’t food that influenced his career path, it was the dining experience – and the special role a designer plays in that. “We’re creating a two-hour holiday,” says Kourouniotis, principal of CKDesign Associates, an Edmonton-based firm responsible for hundreds of restaurant and office interiors across Alberta and, through franchised clients, as far afield as India and Pakistan. Today, Kourouniotis seeks to inspire

up-and-comers like his younger self by acting as an adviser to NAIT’s Interior Design Technology program and mentoring its students. “It’s my opportunity to steal someone every year,” he says, and that way continue to transform common Alberta dining experiences into meals to remember. — Scott Messenger

web extra
Visit to see Chris Kourouniotis’s recent redesign of The Nest, NAIT’s campus bar and grill.

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PeoPle • cover story
own and that would be it,” says Tomaszeski. By focusing on his craft – and on a philosophy that great food has the power to bring people together – he rose to the rank of executive chef at Toronto’s Holt’s Café. Only then did a producer notice his talent (and his congeniality and quick wit). Since then, life under the bright lights has galvanized his resolve to remain realistic – and authentic. “The person you see on TV is the one I am in real life,” says Tomaszeski. “I want to be genuine. If I lose sight of that, I have to think about doing something else.” — Scott Messenger


corBin tomaszesKi
cook ’92 alumni award of distinction ’10 corbin tomaszeski is an ideal role model for students cooking up plans to become celebrity chefs – mostly because the host of Food Network TV shows Crash My Kitchen, Restaurant Makeover and Dinner Party Wars never expected his success. A realist raised on a central Alberta farm, “I thought I would work at a few restaurants, be a chef at my

web extra
Visit to watch Corbin Tomaszeski make soup with his mom, and for his views on what makes good food television.

ashif maWji
computer systems technology ’92 alumni award of distinction ’03 Board of governors 2004-10 as the former president and ceo of upside software, Ashif Mawji remembers the first time the company bought new chairs for the office. “That was a big deal – everyone was really excited.” Formed 12 years ago, just as the dot-com bubble burst, the contract management software company had to be frugal to weather the shattered market. “We got a lot of things from eBay,” he recalls. Mawji learned the value of self-sufficiency while growing up in Kenya, where, from the age of 12, he sold watches on consignment to make pocket money. And he’s long had a keen sense of the smartest uses for his money, one that would help his future business survive and thrive through market ups and downs. On a family trip to the United Kingdom, he bought a computer to sell at a profit back in Kenya. After he immigrated to Canada, Mawji used that same entrepreneurial savvy to start two companies, including Upside. Its first client was Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and, a couple of months later, Hewlett Packard signed on. From there, the deals kept coming. In time, so did offers to purchase the company. This August, he finally accepted one, freeing him up to focus on volunteer efforts with charities including the Kids Kottage Foundation and the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. It has also allowed him to look toward new ventures. Among them: a software-as-a-service venture to help non-profits become more efficient and, just as he learned to do, survive and thrive. — Eliza Barlow

dean turgeon
engineering design and drafting technology ’90 dean turgeon has never stopped asking, Why? After graduating from NAIT at 20, this habit caused clashes when he worked for construction firms as a surveyor, drafter and design technician. “I never wanted to follow the norm if there was a better process to improve efficiencies,” says Turgeon. But when he discovered an emerging green building philosophy in the early 2000s called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), his big question became, Why follow when you can LEED? So in 2003 he started his own company, Vital Engineering, with a focus on educating clients about the benefits of design options including geothermal, solar and passive energy sources. Turgeon has become a leader in his own right, too. He regularly shares his expertise with industry and government associations, and helped develop NAIT’s Alternative Energy Technology program, for which he continues to serve as an advisory board member. — Lisa Ricciotti


T-SHIRT, $19.95 NAIT@50 on back neck. HOODIE, $59.95




BALL CAP, $24.95 Navy with NAIT@50 logo.

Full zip in retro-looking charcoal.

five decades of great memories 1962 – 2012

APRONS, $20.95 ea. 7 sassy styles feature NAIT@50 logo on neck tie. COMMEMORATIVE COFFEE TABLE BOOK Oversize 84-page format features photos and memories marking 50 years of life at NAIT and notable happenings in the city, the country and the world. WRIST BAND, $9.95 With 4GB USB flash drive. COFFEE TABLE BOOK, $50.00

MULTI-USE POCKET TOOL, $49.95 So handy!

FLOAT PEN, $6.95 Remember them?

We make shopping easy: Online: | Phone: 780.491.3104 | Email: Visit the NAIT Bookstore: Room X114, 11762 106 Street, Edmonton, AB


PeoPle • cover story
in 2006, stephani carter turned her private war on waste and toxins into her profession, taking on the challenge of greening the construction industry by founding EcoAmmo Sustainable Consulting in Edmonton. Despite that artillery allusion, Carter’s only weapon is eco-knowledge. To her pleasant surprise, industry colleagues have willingly joined the campaign. “Our society is demonstrating a strong social desire for more sustainable living; that’s now influencing the building industry,” says Carter. She traces her path back to her first interior design position, where she realized she was more concerned with paints that weren’t poisonous rather than the perfect shade. So she partnered with the provincial government and Climate Change Central to create Green Alberta, an online database of green building materials. Since then, her progress has been, well, organic, with one project seeding another. Along the way she became an accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) professional and helped start Alberta’s LEED chapter. As her expertise and experience have grown, she’s blossomed from “that green girl” to a professional whose insight is sought after at conferences and by industry members keen to go green. EcoAmmo, in the meantime, has grown to three partners and consulted on everything from net zero housing to commercial projects for clients, including Walmart Canada and Second Cup, as well as international firms. Regardless of the frontiers the company will conquer next, Carter hasn’t forgotten her roots, and gives back by guest lecturing on sustainable building products and materials to NAIT design and architecture students, and by serving on its interior design advisory committee. — Lisa Ricciotti


web extra
Visit to watch Stephani Carter’s tutorial on building with environmentally friendly materials.

stePhani carter
interior design technology ’01

don oboroWsKy
carpenter ’07 honorary Bachelor of technology ’09 Board of governors 2002-08

“tradespeople with certificates are not born, they’re made.” So says Don Oborowsky, who has dedicated much of his career to advancing the trades and apprenticeship training in Alberta. As president, CEO and co-founder of Edmonton-based Waiward Steel Fabricators, Oborowsky says that at any given time, 20 per cent of his 500-plus employees are apprentices. Qualified tradespeople, he says, require less supervision on the job, increase productivity and help make workplaces safer. “The whole apprentice program is important, not only to me but to the whole industry. It plays a very important role in our whole economy.” The need for more spaces to train apprentices to sustain the economy led Oborowsky to make a significant investment in establishing the NAIT Waiward Centre for Steel Technologies. The world-class facility opened in 2006, boosting NAIT’s steel trades training capacity by 60 per cent. Interestingly, Oborowsky – already a successful businessman – returned to NAIT four decades after starting his Carpenter apprenticeship to complete his own training in 2007. He says he always felt “a little bit of guilt” about not completing his training. “I finished it because I wanted to finish it.” — Frank Landry


it’s like an episode of Cheers: Jules Owchar walks into a curling rink in northern Alberta and everyone knows his name. He’s had his fair share of media attention for coaching curling’s golden boy, Kevin Martin, for the past 27 years, but that’s not the only reason for his celebrity status. He’s also coached hundreds of junior and professional curlers from around the world. “I just fell into coaching,” says Owchar. In 1969, he began at NAIT as a physical education instructor. Throughout the decades of mentoring young athletes, “the kids,” as he fondly calls them, have gone on to win more than 40 provincial and national championships (some of those were in golf – Owchar is an expert instructor in that other Scottish sport as well). “There’s such a satisfaction if you can give something to the kids,” he says, “and watch them climb.” Arguably, none have climbed higher than Kevin Martin, a gold medallist at the 2010 Winter Olympics. “Jules has an eye for seeing the mechanics of a curling delivery,” says Martin. Over the years, the two have developed a working relationship that continues to produce positive results. “We understand each other,” Martin adds. Although Owchar officially retired from NAIT in 2003, he continues to coach the men’s and women’s curling and golf teams. With his rare, natural talent for spotting a winner, there’s no better scout for curling’s next star. — Ruth Juliebo

Javier salazar
Photographic technology ’09 javier salazar inspires confidence in others – whether it’s the high school students he mentors or the low-income Edmontonians he photographs. Salazar, who emigrated from Mexico to attend NAIT, has been organizing Edmonton’s HelpPortrait since 2009, offering those in need a professional portrait as a way of boosting their self-esteem. “You don’t really understand the value of a portrait until you give it to a person who hasn’t ever had a professional portrait taken – who receives that portrait and cries in front of you,” says the owner of Javier Salazar Photography. By day, Salazar works for Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta, where he mentors high school students. “The way we empower kids, that’s what’s kept me there for so long,” he says. — F.L. independent urban music record label, he also nurtures local musicians. That’s just one example of how he gives back. For 13 years he has volunteered as a radio host at CJSR. He’s been a member of several highprofile arts boards and continues to serve on the Juno Awards’ rap advisory committee. And beyond music, he supports his larger community through fundraisers including his annual Hip-Hop for Hunger event, which has aided the Edmonton Food Bank since 2002. Call him Marlon or Arlo Maverick, his is a name to watch. — L.R.

marlon Wilson
Business administration – marketing ’02 if marlon wilson – musician, marketer, mentor, producer, radio DJ, philanthropist and ambassador– had an alias for each of his successful endeavours, we’d never know his real name. Wilson’s better known as Arlo Maverick, onequarter of the successful Edmonton hip-hop group Politic Live. As co-founder of Music for Mavericks Entertainment, an acclaimed

web extra
Visit to learn why some call him the father of Edmonton’s urban music scene.

JUles oWcHar
athletics Wall of fame ’03

v6.1 2012




ooK t-sHirt!
DID YOU HEAR about Nathan McLaughlin, the Edmonton food truck chef soon to appear on Eat Street? DID YOU KNOW Olympic gold-medallist Shannon Szabados plays net for the men’s Ooks hockey team? HAvE YOU DOWNlOADED DinerInspect, a free app that rates restaurants by health inspection reports? DID YOU IMPROvE your personal bottom line with our tax, savings and budgeting tips? HAvE YOU TRIED our students’ award-winning recipes for pear desserts? IF NOT, NOW IS THE TIME TO SIGN UP for the e-newsletter. Eight times a year, we send our subscribers the latest from, our online technology lifestyle magazine where you’ll find the stories listed above and many more. SUBSCRIBING IS EASY. Just visit, click Subscribe and fill in the appropriate fields (or scan the QR code on this page with your mobile device; see p. 7 if you don’t have a code reader). Do so before Nov. 30, 2012 and we’ll enter your name to win one of 25 limitededition Ook T-shirts. If you’re already a subscriber, just send your name to Use T-shirt as the subject.

a limited-edition


good luck! see you online.


“the sait troJans Better BeWare for next year – We shall KicK their Pants for them!”

tHrougH tHe ages
nait’s entry into intercollegiate athletics – at least on the basketball court – was tentative at best, if a 63–28 drubbing of the men by a veteran SAIT squad on March 6, 1964 is any indication. Judging from The Nugget that week, all that mattered was that NAIT had entered the fray: “The SAIT Trojans better beware for next year – we shall kick their pants for them!” Since then, NAIT has indeed kicked some pants (some years more than others). Consider this the highlight reel: the records set, the dogged development, the major players and the big wins. This is the story of the Ooks through the years – champions, win or lose. — Scott Messenger

too cute to cut it
adopted in 1964, the Ookpik remains the perfect sports mascot for a northerly polytechnic: also known as a snowy owl, it’s a Canadian icon and an adept hunter. Its only drawback is that it can look a bit cute – hence the most recent redesign initiated by athletics director Linda Henderson. “The previous one looked too much like a caricature,” she says. “We wanted it to look a little bit more intimidating.”

tHe instigator
immortalized on the Athletics Wall of Fame, first dean of Student Services Gary Meadus set balls rolling, pucks sliding and all manner of sports paraphernalia in motion by establishing the institute’s athletics programs and joining the Western Intercollege Conference in 1964, now the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

tHe Perfect season
the 1984-85 Ooks men’s hockey season ended in a statistical improbability: 25 wins, no losses. That perfect season carried into the playoffs, as the men swept the provincial and national championships. In recognition of this history-making feat, the squad was inducted this June into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame.

nix on tHe cHicKs
the 1989-90 season represents a slam dunk for gender equality in NAIT athletics. That season, women’s basketball finally traded the Chicks moniker (they were even the Ookpikettes at one point) for Ooks, the name emblazoned on the men’s jerseys.

bygone teams
The Ooks once made their mark in these discontinued sports: Alpine skiing Bowling Canoeing Cross-country skiing Fencing Racquet sports Swimming Wrestling

186 23
total alBerta colleges athletic conference chamPionshiP titles (varioUs sPorts)

total canadian collegiate athletic association chamPionshiP titles (varioUs sPorts)


clockwise from left, the chicks basketball team, the 1984-85 ooks men’s hockey team, the most recent version of the ooks logo.

full-time commitment
shortly after henderson took over as director of athletics and recreation in 2008, she floated the idea of full-time coaches – a first for Canadian colleges. She asked for 12, got six (men’s and women’s hockey, basketball and volleyball), and set the standard high, hiring and firing like the pro leagues. The result: stronger internal support of athletics, increased post-season representation and more provincial and national banners. “Other schools didn’t really believe it would be successful or sustainable,” says Henderson. “When it became both, I just smiled.”

tHe contenDers
until the 2011-12 season, never had all women’s and men’s teams advanced to the postseason. Last year, studentathletes competed for provincial championship titles in soccer, volleyball, curling, hockey, golf, basketball, badminton and cross-country running. They won national gold in men’s soccer and men’s singles and women’s doubles badminton.

just one of tHe guys
shannon szabados joining the men’s hockey program as its first female goalie qualifies as another victory in athletics gender issues. It was also an obvious choice. When not tending the Ooks net, the Personal Fitness Trainer student backstops Team Canada. “She’s the best female goalie in the world,” says Kyle Johnson, captain during Szabados’ first year in 2011-12. “And we have her on our team.”

tHe future
more championship banners are an obvious goal, says Henderson. Providing full scholarships for every studentathlete in every sport is another. But for her, the way forward is defined by much bigger thinking: “We need a new facility.” With it, NAIT could host more national championships, attract more student-athletes and, she adds, continue to give the institute plenty of opportunities to gather and celebrate by cheering on its Ooks.

Photos by nait staff PhotograPhers

“she’s the Best female goalie in the World, and We have her on oUr team.”

web extra
Visit for features on Linda Henderson’s efforts to rebuild NAIT athletics, Shannon Szabados as the men’s hockey team’s first female goalie, the 1984-85 men’s hockey perfect season, and the full results of the historic 2011-12 season.


v6.1 2012




The meAnIng of
story by

Photos by

what happens when the search for a cherished, iconic artifact turns up empty? sometimes you reconsider what it is you’re looking for.

v6.1 2012



top left, first naitsa president william miles received nait’s first ook mascot in 1964. bottom left, the mascot-napping went both ways between alberta’s polytechnics; in 1964, nait students captured sait’s. above, right and below, though the stuffed version of ookpik has remained nearly unchanged throughout the years, other depictions of the mascot have gone through several incarnations.

hen it comes to picking a school mascot, powerful creatures like eagles, tigers and bulldogs reign supreme. But in 1964, NAIT made a different choice. The NAIT Students’ Association (NAITSA) chose a 20-centimetre-tall Inuit handicraft: a snowy owl – known in Inuktitut as an ookpik. “At that time, ookpik was a big pop icon in Canada. There was even a song about it,” recalls William Miles, NAITSA’s first president. On Oct. 28, 1964, Miles was presented with an authentic ookpik by an official from the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources at NAIT’s first awards day. “Being the most northerly institute of its kind in Canada, we thought it was a perfect fit,” he says. Although adorable, NAIT’s Ookpik represents a creature that was no less ferocious and strong than the mascot of any other school of the day. The snowy owl, which can be found as far north as the Arctic Circle, is one of North America’s biggest owls at approximately half a metre tall and with a wingspan of about a metre


and a half. The powerful birds are keen hunters and have few natural predators. Naturally, NAIT athletics teams took the name in 1964 (shortening it over time to Ooks) and several incarnations of a full-size mascot followed over the next five decades. Going forward, the Ookpik became firmly embedded in NAIT’s identity, providing a positive image for the institute and helping to build community and camaraderie amongst students. But over NAIT’s 50-year history, most people haven’t had the chance to see that original Ookpik. No one knows where it went – a situation that has caused quite a stir on campus. That said, Ookpik has always had that effect on the staff and students of NAIT – not to mention those of other institutes. Soon after its arrival, word of its importance to the institute made it south to the office of SAIT’s student newspaper, The Emery Weal. In 1966, its editor decided to act. “We drove to Edmonton, rented a motel room and liberated Ookpik,” says Dan Lind.


The students broke the glass on the display case holding Ookpik (which they later had to pay $50 to replace), and took it to Calgary – making it wear a white Stampede hat. It was eventually sent back to NAIT in a black shoebox resembling a coffin. The incident was part of a friendly tradition of mascot-napping between Alberta’s polytechnics. In fact, the hijinks got so heated that NAITSA had a replica Ookpik made and placed in a display cabinet for wouldbe thieves. The real deal was safely hidden away. In the meantime, Ookpik fever spread across campus. The bookstore was named the Ookshop. The student pub was called The Nest. In 1977, Frosh Week (held in September to welcome new students) was renamed Ook Week. Even classes and labs were inspired by Ookpik. In 1967, the electrical and electronics departments combined their talents to build an electric ookpik more than a metre tall. Sitting on four castors and completely covered in sealskin, the robot was manoeuvrable with wire-controlled brakes and steering.

It seemed that nothing happened at NAIT without Ookpik. In light of that, as preparations began for NAIT’s 50th anniversary celebrations, it was only natural to want to include the missing mascot. “We started an intense search all over campus,” says Erin Kuebler, advancement relations officer. “There was an amazing response from our staff. It didn’t matter which program or department you were in – the Ookpik represented the whole of NAIT and it was a way we could express our affinity and appreciation for NAIT.” NAIT offered a five-course meal for six at Ernest’s, NAIT’s on-campus fine dining restaurant, as a reward for the tip that would lead to Ookpik’s return. But not even national media coverage, broadcasting the story to some five million Canadians in every province and territory, produced a viable lead. Instead, NAIT got other ookpiks – donations of about a dozen dolls from staff and friends of the institute. But none came quite as close to the real thing as the one from Peggy Richardson. Upon hearing about the

“the ooKPiK rePresented the Whole of nait and it Was a Way We coUld exPress oUr affinity and aPPreciation for nait.”

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left, new ooks under construction. right, inuit elder peggy richardson (centre) presents newly made ookpiks to dr. glenn feltham and naitsa president teagan gahler.

“We are recaPtUring oUr Past. as We thinK aBoUt Where We’ve come from, restoring this symBol is aBsolUtely Priceless.”

Web extra
Visit to watch a video of NAIT Inuit elder Peggy Richardson making Ookpiks, or scan the QR code. Need a QR code scanner? See p. 7.

predicament, the NAIT Inuit elder was inspired to create two replicas of the original Ookpik. She was up for the task. Richardson grew up in the 1960s in the community of Hall Beach in what’s now Nunavut, and had a special affinity for the bird: “The ookpik is very special to the Inuit,” she says. “They are our protectors.” As well, her father worked along the Distant Early Warning line, a system of Arctic radar stations set up to detect Soviet bombers. He took orders from other workers for hundreds of souvenir ookpiks to be made by his daughter. She used the money to purchase clothes from the Sears catalogue – clothes she would later wear to attend NAIT. Richardson presented one Ookpik to NAIT’s president and CEO, Dr. Glenn Feltham, and the other to

NAITSA president Teagan Gahler. “It’s very important that students have something to identify with when they’re here on our campus,” says Gahler, “and [also] when they become alumni.” “We are recapturing our past,” says Feltham. “As we think about where we’ve come from, restoring this symbol is absolutely priceless.” NAIT never did find its original mascot. But the quest to locate it undoubtedly brought all of NAIT closer to Ookpik and its true meaning to us as an institute. Ookpik is NAIT’s symbol of tradition and strength. More importantly, it continues to unify five decades of students, staff and alumni. And it will continue to do so for decades to come. What more could you ask from a school mascot?



story by

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art of food

the fine

when the first students enrolled in NAIT’s culinary program in 1963, they embarked on “cook’s training” and served food in the aptly, if unremarkably, named Dining Hall. Today, students study culinary arts on the path to becoming chefs – or food writers, stylists, photographers, even researchers. Program chair Stanley Townsend describes the modern chef as a culinary artist producing an “evolving art.” The shift from cook to chef to artist speaks to the growth of the program, but also to the changing way we look at food: no longer is it just sustenance on a plate. In recognition of five decades of culinary training at NAIT, we asked the faculty to identify some of the most dramatic food trends of the past half-century. While some have proven to be a flash in the pan, others have laid the groundwork for the way we eat today.

a PerioD of conflict
the 1960s doesn’t often get a lot of respect on the culinary timescale. It was a conflicted period in the kitchen. While technology was bringing more processed, convenience foods to market, it was also, through mass media, making it easier for home cooks to learn traditional techniques. It was the decade that saw the sale of the first countertop microwave and the creation of Cool Whip, the “non-dairy” spread (developed by a chemist, not a chef). But in the same decade, Julia Child and company published Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Soon after, Child’s TV show aired, and people could watch her spend an afternoon preparing beef bourguignon or roast chicken with port wine. For the first time, home cooks were encouraged on a mass scale to produce classic, restaurant-worthy food in their own kitchens. it doesn’t get much more classically french than this: foie gras terrine paired with apricot chutney.

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tHe centre of attention
by the ’70s, chefs and home cooks alike recognized that food was an opportunity for theatre. While cooking may once have been done in small, closedoff kitchens, roasts carved tableside and elaborate productions involving brandy and flame brought technique into the dining room. “It was the start of the open kitchen that you see more often in restaurants today,” says Teja Atkinson, a chef and instructor’s assistant with the Culinary Arts program. “Food was made right before your eyes, and it was a way to put on the best show, to get the aromas, and even for chefs to one-up each other.” While few home cooks today are regularly setting fire to the dessert, the original concept has taken hold in the open-concept kitchen, which literally brings food to the centre of the home. dishes like flambé cherries jubilee brought the action to the dining table.

a tall orDer
if you had to distil 1980s style into one word, you might use big – or, more accurately, tall: tall hair, tall shoulder pads and equally stylized cuisine, which often placed structure and presentation ahead of flavour. Elaborate presentation was a must, and a truly spectacular dish might resemble a Jenga tower on a plate. By the latter half of the decade, flavour was beginning to catch up to presentation in importance. California cooking, or Tex-Mex, marked a continuing march away from classical preparations to a more contemporary approach in the kitchen. “People started veering away from the old masters, and started to invent lighter fare, much stronger in presentation and bolder in flavours,” says Stanley Townsend, Culinary Arts chair. “They were still using the classical methodologies, but they were using nontraditional ingredients.” with its strong lines and abundant avocado, the cobb salad combines both the stacked structure and fresh ingredients common in the ’80s.


tHe WorlD is your oyster
by the 1990s, globalization and the Internet helped contribute to a shrinking world. It became increasingly easy to travel and experience international cuisines, as well as ship and import foods. People began to experiment: fusion was big, and Canadian chef Susur Lee (NAIT’s third Hokanson Chef in Residence) earned international recognition for his interpretation of Asian and French fusion, or “Nouvelle Chinoise.” Meanwhile, growing health consciousness was pushing butter- and cream-laden classics further to the back burner. (Interestingly, in the 1996 book Culinary Artistry, 32 celebrity chefs were asked which 10 ingredients they would take with them to a desert island. Only three listed butter; half listed olive oil.) fast transportation networks brought more seafood to alberta. here, a grilled salmon steak is flavoured with low-calorie lemon and fresh dill.

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bacK to basics
farm to fork. Nose to tail. Slow food. Is it a coincidence that modern food trends can be condensed to such simple phrases? Elevated cooking today is remarkable for what it isn’t: complicated, over-seasoned, elaborate. It’s taken a few years, but today a bottle of locally produced cold-pressed canola oil can respectfully take its place on the counter alongside the imported Greek olive oil. In 2005, NAIT’s newly renovated Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts began training students on some of the highest-tech equipment available in the food realm, though it’s used to produce some very old-school concepts. “Right now, we’re focusing on seasonal ingredients and nose-to-tail books, so more utilization of what may not be considered prime cuts of meat,” explains Atkinson. how to combine local, seasonal cuisine into one soup bowl? try french onion soup, a recipe that has stood the test of time.

tHe future
what’s next for food? Atkinson and Townsend believe many trends that exist today will continue. Townsend also predicts that people will become more health conscious and move away from big portions. They’ll become more concerned with sustainable products and cleaner flavours that highlight the ingredient. People will eat seasonally and locally more often, and make more sustainable choices. If he’s right, it’s quite possible that what we eat for dinner 50 years from now will bear more resemblance to food from the 1860s than from the 1960s – though with a lot less butter.

sHaKen or stirred?
NAIT Food Services has turned one of the quintessential before-dinner drinks into a commemorative cocktail to celebrate the institute’s golden anniversary. Whether you prefer your martini shaken or stirred, this one is perfect for your next dinner party, or better yet – class reunion.

THE NAITINI 15 ml (½ oz) BlUeBerry JUice 45 ml (1½ oz) vodKa 15 ml (½ oz) triPle sec 15 ml (½ oz) lime JUice
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake

Web extra
Visit for the recipes for each of these dishes.

for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with floating blueberries or a lime wedge.


5 Ways

get inVolVeD With nait


TIme cAPsUle
Contact Erin Kuebler at 780.471.8499 or if you have something to contribute. For more information, visit

As part of the NAIT@50 celebrations, we’re asking alumni, staff, students, friends and supporters to help produce a time capsule that will be opened on NAIT’s 100th anniversary. The capsule will represent our first half-century of success as well as this milestone year.

50th anniversary merchandise


Show your Ook pride by getting 50th anniversary gear. Gadgets, office supplies and clothing can be purchased at the Bookstore on Main Campus or online at



stay connected
To ensure you don’t miss out on the latest benefits and events, keep your contact information current. To make updates, visit or email

alumni recognition awards
Celebrate 50 years of student success by nominating a deserving alumnus for an alumni recognition award. Application deadline is Dec. 31, 2012. For more information, visit

give back
Show your appreciation of NAIT by making a $50 donation during our 50th anniversary year. Donations can be designated for programs, emergency bursaries, athletics or new equipment. Donate online at

v6.1 2012


Who are we? Who are we looking for?
n n

Proud to support the 50th anniversary of NAIT
We are the world’s largest oilfield services company 1. Working globally—often in remote and challenging locations—we invent, design, engineer, and apply technology to help our customers find and produce oil and gas safely.

years of

We need more than 5,000 graduates to begin dynamic careers in the following domains: Engineering, Research and Operations Geoscience and Petrotechnical n Commercial and Business

What will you be?
1Based on Forbes Leading Companies Report 2011.

Copyright © 2012 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. 12-RC-0007


anD tHe aWarD goes to...
grads, staff, students and friends of the institute continue to amass awards and accolades in everything from industry to innovation to athletics. here are a few recent winners.
financial futures
When it comes to economic forecasting, NAIT faculty members are among the best. This January, max varela and hardeep gill, JR Shaw School of Business finance instructors, won two of six awards given by the Edmonton Chartered Financial Analyst Society for best forecasts. Varela won for the Canadian Equity Index, while Gill most accurately pegged the U.S./Canada exchange rate. ellen wilson, chair of business in the Department of Continuing Education, was runner-up for the overall best forecast award. Participants were asked to forecast oil prices, exchange rates, bond yields and other key economic indicators for the coming year.

BraWny and brainy
Tying with Red Deer College, NAIT led the nation with 10 Academic All-Canadian Awards from the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. This prestigious designation is awarded to student-athletes who not only demonstrate outstanding athletic achievement but also attain honours in their academic programs.

the shoe fits
Continuing Education business student huseyin mullaoglu won first place in the Business Strategy Game. Over the past year, 43,000 post-secondary students in 50 countries operated virtual athletic footwear companies in the online competition. Participants in the simulation assessed and responded to a variety of market conditions in a quest to have the most successful business. Mullaoglu won with the overall best-performing company.

business Booster
For promoting entrepreneurship, sandra spencer received the 2012 HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow Award for Western Canada in March. As former president of NAIT’s Students in Free Enterprise team, she started the Hatch business competition, which has awarded three winners $20,000 each in seed funding and incubation space at NAIT. A Bachelor of Business Administration student, Spencer is also a business manager at novaNAIT – NAIT’s home of applied research and enterprise development.

from sea to sUmmit
marl technologies’ subsea drill (p. 26, V5.2) received the Project Achievement Award at the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta 2012 Summit Awards. Led by production manager mark gurnett (Machinist ’01, Mechanical Engineering Technology ’03), the project was recognized both for its engineering and for its contributions to technical progress and the betterment of society.

floUr PoWer
Culinary Arts grads mallory bowes and elizabeth dowdell (class of ‘11) won the provincial Mission ImPULSEible food development competition in March for their celiac-friendly angel food cake recipe. Made with garbanzo and fava bean flours, the dry cake mix – called BE Lite (BE for Bowes and Elizabeth) – is free of gluten, wheat, nuts and dairy. In June, Bowes and Dowdell were runners-up at the national Mission ImPULSEible competition.

mr. fix-it
Photos by nait staff PhotograPhers

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta awarded rj oil sands its Technical Excellence Award. The honour recognizes the ingenuity of the company’s phase separator, which scrubs hydrocarbons from water (see p. 28, V5.2), invented by wade bozak (Civil Engineering Technology ’93). The RJ Oil Sands vice president hopes to see the technology put to use remediating tailings ponds.

v6.1 2012



besides its 50th, nait is celebrating another anniversary this year – and, technically, it’s just as cool. Thirty years ago in Calgary, the men’s Ooks hockey team skated to its first of seven national championship titles, beating Toronto’s Seneca College 3 – 0. To help mark the milestone, Brian Stein (Radio and Television Arts ’82, Computer Systems Technology ’88) recently gave the institute an athletics relic: the Ooks sign that hung in the SAIT arena the day of that historic win. At the time, Stein – an inductee into NAIT’s Wall of Fame – was handling announcing and PR duties for the team, a job for which he was recruited by legendary coach Peary Pearn. Still working with the team in the 1990s when SAIT renovated its rink, Stein saw the sign had come down and asked Trojans’ coaching staff for it. “We brought it back on the team bus,” he says. From there, the four-by-eight plywood sign went carefully into his garden shed.

“I just wanted to save it,” he says. The sentimental value appealed to him: the “flying” NAIT logo, the Big Bird-like mascot, even the name Ookpiks, long since shortened to Ooks. But the sign also stood for a remarkable stretch of athletic achievement, Stein points out. Following that first national win, the Ooks entered their most storied decade, winning four national titles and posting a perfect 1984-85 season during a run that included four Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships back to back, from ’84 to ’87. That was no small feat, says Stein. The league may have been smaller then, he adds, but the other schools weren’t pushovers. “They rose above the competition,” he says of the NAIT squads. They had leaders on ice and off, talented recruits and spirited determination. And, apparently, they had a good luck charm made out of threequarter-inch fir – now rightfully home. — Scott Messenger


Photo by blaise van malsen

Investing in tomorrow’s big ideas.

At Cenovus, we support programs that help passionate people come up with new ideas and new approaches for the development of energy resources. Cenovus Energy. A Canadian oil company. Congratulations NAIT on your 50th anniversary.

New ideas. New approaches.

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