Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Class Notes

Class Notes 1990s

  • Jeff Hand (BSc '99) attended Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minneapolis, MN, for his doctor of Chiropractic degree. Dr. Hand now practices in Baxter, MN, at Family Chiropractic Clinic.
  • Colin Paddington (HBComm '99) is now Chief Financial Officer of Care Factor: The Data Centre Company, a leading provider of IT solutions designed to optimize the performance of its clients’ business processes, IT systems, and IT resources. He is a CFA and holds an MBA from the Ivy School of Business, University of Waterloo. David Lod (HBComm’03) is Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
  • Jim Sutherland (MA English '99) taught ESL in South Korea and China from 2000 to 2008, and is now working as a freelance editor, proofreader, and writer. He is also the author of several books, now available on Amazon Kindle, including a story about living in Korea, and three stories about farm life in southern Ontario. Tara's Story: Conversations with a Cat was published in March 2012.
  • Will Stafford (MScF '99) runs G2S Pickin Patch Inc., a you-pick fruit farm near Prince Albert, SK, with his wife Genevieve Greif and their two children Kaelum and Athena. Will also provides provides GIS/Spatial Consulting.
  • Tracy Buckler (BScN '99) has been honoured with a 2013 Influential Women of Northern Ontario Award. Tracy, who has been the president and CEO of the St. Joseph's Care Group in Thunder Bay since 2005, was named Executive of the Year. She grew up in Wawa and moved to Thunder Bay in 1985 where she found a job as a clinical nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital. Tracy moved into increasingly senior positions and is now responsible for 1,700 employees, a $130-million operating budget, and a capital planning and redevelopment fund of more than $150 million.
  • Michael Black (HBK '98) is the Business Development Manager at Attends Healthcare Products. He lives in Burlington, ON, with his wife Helen Macneil and their son Quinn, born in July 2006.
  • Tony Koukos (BAdmin '98) is a professional photographer who has found inspiration throughout the world. Tony lives in Canada but he regularly ventures off to many corners of the world and will soon visit Africa and South America. His work can be seen at
  • Brodie Fenlon (BA/BEd '98) joined the The Globe and Mail’s City Hall Bureau in 2009 after a ten-year stint as reporter, editor, and multimedia specialist at He graduated from the journalism program at The University of Western Ontario in 1999 and began his career at the London Free Press.
  • Sonya Hansen-Chunick (née Hansen) (BSc '98, BEd '98) is celebrating her tenth year of teaching with the Trillium Lakelands District School Board.
  • Madge Chan (BA '98) is the 2013 winner of Lakehead University's Award to Staff for Outstanding Performance and/or Contributions. Madge, an administrative assistant, was recognized for her many contributions to the Lakehead community, including the time she devotes to guiding and supporting our students and athletes and for embodying the spirit of the learner-centred student experience. Lakehead President Brian Stevenson presented the award at a reception on May 15.
  • Karen Simpson (BEd/BSc '97) is an elementary school teacher at Brechin Public School in Simcoe County. She married Kenneth Szijarto in 2006.
  • Erik Knutsen (HBA '96) is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen's University in Kingston, ON.
  • Debra Fawcett (HBSW '96) is a contract instructor in the Business Department, Continuing Education, at College of New Caledonia in Prince George. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Management in 2009 and is currently doing her Masters in Integrated Studies.
  • Tania Saj (HBA '96) 's second book about Thunder Bay, The Last Best Places: Storytelling About Thunder Bay’s Historic Buildings, was released in December 2009 and is looking to be another best-seller. "Historic buildings are memory-keepers, the anchors of our memories and stories," says Saj, who now teaches at University of Calgary. Her book is about the social history of such well-known buildings as the Pagoda, Whalen Building, Royal Edward Hotel, Brodie Street Library, and less well-known ones, such as the Masonic Hall.
  • Trevor Foshang (HBK '96) was appointed dean of the College of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota. He began this new position in April 2015. Previously, Trevor was chair of the department of Clinical Sciences at Parker University in Dallas, where he was the director of radiology residency and the director of clinical radiology. Trevor has served as the president of the American College of Chiropractic Radiology and has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri.
  • Petar Knezevich (BEng '95) says he has worked at various jobs in BC for the past six years and has been working in the Caspian region, first for Amec and now BP. On March 7, 2009, he and his wife Nelly welcomed their first child into the world. Petar says Aaron is an amazing baby and we invite everyone to share in our joy by viewing the photos on Facebook.
  • Andy Hartwick (BSc '95) has since September 2008 been with the faculty at the Ohio State University College of Optometry, where he both teaches optometry students and heads a retina research lab. After graduating from Lakehead, Andy completed both O.D. and M.S (in Vision Science) degrees at the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo. In addition to his graduate studies, he worked as an Associate Optometrist in busy private optometric practices in Brantford, ON, and in Halifax, NS. He received his PhD from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Dalhousie University in 2006, and then was a research fellow for just over two years at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He lives in Worthington, Ohio, with his wife Tracy (née McPherson) (BSc’96) and their sons Samuel and Elliott.
  • Blaine Penny (DipEng Tech’ '95, BEng '99) was selected as one of Avenue Calgary magazine’s 2010 Top 40 Under 40. Described by writer Jesse Semko as a “laid-back, goal-setting junkie,” Penny runs ultramarathons, ranging in length from 50 to 100 kilometres. As manager of projects with Worley Parsons, he oversees 2,000 projects in the company’s infrastructure and environment division. He is also founder and chief executive officer of MitoCanada, the first registered charity of its kind in Canada to provide support to those affected by mitochondrial disease. Penny’s son Evan experienced severe brain damage as a result of the disease and is a quadriplegic. “Running is important for me to stay happy and healthy for my family,” says Penny.
  • Serena Lynn Yersh (HBOR '95, BA '95) (BEd 1997) passed away on her 42nd birthday on April 29, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. Serena was a dedicated teacher with the Halton District School Board, an avid tennis player, an adventurous traveller, and an animal lover. She also had a keen appreciation of the arts. In addition to her Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts, and Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation degrees, Serena obtained a Certificate in Tourism and Recreation Resources Management from Lakehead University. Serena was the cherished daughter of Walter and Irene and will be lovingly remembered by her aunts, uncle, cousins, co-workers, and many friends. The family of one of her students has said of Serena: "Her infectious personality and obvious enthusiasm and love of her job was without question and she had a huge impact on her students, her students' parents, and her colleagues. She was much loved and will be without doubt much missed by all that knew her." A memorial service was held for Serena in Oakville, Ontario, on May 3, 2014. Donations in her memory may be made to your local Humane Society or to the Canadian Cancer Society.
  • Cindy Kawahara (BA '95) returned to her alma mater in September 2013 as a philanthropy associate with Lakehead University’s External Relations department. Cindy lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, for many years before moving back to Thunder Bay with her family in 2006. A geography grad, she previously worked for Benton Resources Inc., a mineral exploration company in Thunder Bay, and currently serves on the board of directors for Women in Mining – Thunder Bay and NWO. Cindy has two daughters, Katie, 12, and Paige, 9, and they both say they can’t wait to attend Lakehead University!
  • Debbie Okun Hill (BA '95) was the first editor of the AGORA, a newspaper for Lakehead University faculty and staff. Her goal upon leaving Lakehead was to write a book and in 2014, her first collection of poems, Tarnished Trophies, was published by Black Moss Press. Debbie returned to Thunder Bay in September 2014 to present the workshop "Being Your Own Publicist: Media, Reading and Book Promotion." She's a former president of The Ontario Poetry Society and a member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers' Union of Canada. Debbie has received two Ontario Arts Council Writers' Reserve grants and writes full time in rural southwestern Ontario. Find out more at:
  • Ron Greidanus (HBMus '94) is a pianist who performed Hummel's Piano Concerto, Opus 85, in the Caledon Chamber Concerts series in February 2008. After graduating from Lakehead, Ron studied at the Sweelink Conservatory in Amsterdam. He has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Vancouver Philharmonic, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra. The Hummel Piano Concerto is rarely heard in concert as it is considered "impossible" to play.
  • Gregory Peterson (HBSc '94) writes to say that after 15 years away from the Lakehead he came back for an intense three-week ancient DNA training program with the Paleo-DNA Lab. The campus was a dichotomy with so much having changed yet so much staying exactly the same, he says. It was hard not to spend time reminiscing about undergraduate days, labs in the Centennial Building, and meeting my wife by the tennis courts at Residence."
  • Jeremy St. Louis (BSc '94) is now working as an on-air host and executive producer at the American national TV sports channel beIN Sport USA in Miami, Florida.
  • Melanie Mallinson (née Kaartinen) (HBCom '94) recently returned to the workforce after an extended maternity leave. She is the project manager of LifeHouse Church in Mississauga, Ontario. After Melanie received her Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Lakehead, she earned a Bachelor of Education degree and taught in London, Ontario, for five years before moving abroad. She lived overseas for 12 years teaching computer studies in Egypt, Germany, and South Africa before returning to Canada in 2012.
  • Mark Tilbury (HBCom '94) Lakehead University's director of alumni and community relations, earned his Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in December 2014. The CFRE is a globally recognized credential for philanthropic fundraising professionals. In the spring of 2014, Mark was honoured for his volunteer work with the Alumni Association of Lakehead University (AALU) when he received an Alumni Legacy Award. "Mark is a passionate Lakehead supporter," declares Rob Jamieson, the past president of the AALU.
  • David Gosse (BEng '93) is Vice-President, Manufacturing, for Canexus Income Fund in Calgary, AB, responsible for production and operating costs for all North American plants, and the provision of functional support to South American operations. He joined Canexus' predecessor company (Nexen Chemicals) in 1997, holding various positions of increasing responsibility. He received an MBA from Athabasca University and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta.
  • Judy Dancause (BAdmin '92) is the Executive Director of the Agape Centre in Cornwall, ON, a position she has held since 2003. She is also involved with the Canadian Red Cross, Community Health Centre, Social Development Council, Team Cornwall, and the Ontario Association of Food Banks.
  • Michael Power (BA '92)

    TOP 40 UNDER 40

    Congratulations to Michael Power for being chosen one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 for 2009. Power is the vice president of Regional Cancer and Diagnostic Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and the chief executive officer of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI). He is responsible for all clinical, financial, administration, decision support, building and facilities, and regional operations of the Regional Cancer Program for Northwestern Ontario and for the new Molecular Imaging and Advanced Diagnostics Research Program at the TBRRI. In June 2010 he received the Robert Zed Young Health Leader award from the Canadian College of Health Services Executives. Michael Power is chair of the TBayTel Board of Directors, Canada's largest independent telecommunications company as well as being a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He received his master's degree in International Management from the University of St. Thomas and holds a bachelor's degree from Lakehead. In addition to his accomplishments in healthcare administration, Power has a passion for hockey. He is a two-time National Junior A champion, playing for his hometown Thunder Bay Flyers, and an OHC drafter with the Hamilton Steelhawks. He was also drafted to play professional hockey as a goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers in 1990. He and his wife Joanna live in Thunder Bay with their two children, Grace and Carson.
  • David G. Leonard (BEng '91) In 2007, David G. Leonard (BEng'91) was appointed President of Keata Pharma, a subsidiary of PharmEng International Inc., a full-serve consulting and contract manufacturing company with manufacturing facilities in Perth, ON, and Sydney, NS.
  • Shaun Naroski (HBAMusic '91, BEd '93) and Barbara Kukko (BA’84, BEd’85) sent us this photo of their daughters taken last summer when all four were enrolled at Lakehead’s Thunder Bay campus (l-r): Alexandra, Kathleen, Tess, and Hannah.
    Alexandra, Kathleen, Tess, and Hannah
  • Glynn Sharpe (BEd '91) was awarded a 2015 Aboriginal Circle of Educators Researcher/Curriculum Development Award. Glynn is an associate professor at Nipissing University's Schulich School of Education where he studies bullying and the abuse of elementary-aged students. Glynn has a Master of Education from Nipissing University and a Doctor of Education from the University of Toronto. In 2007, he was shortlisted for TVO's Best Lecturer Award.
  • Darcy Killeen (BAdmin '90) is Executive Director of CONTACT, the largest photography festival in the world with over 1,000 artists at more than 200 venues across the Greater Toronto Area. Previously Darcy held a variety of positions in the financial community including VP Finance and CFO of Comnetix Inc., CFO of Delta Engineering, and Associate Director of Arbitrage with Nesbitt Burns in their Wall St. office in New York City. Subsequent to graduating from Lakehead, Darcy also completed his CMA designation and received his MBA from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Visit
  • Matthew Hollands (HBScF '90) has recently relocated his business, Hollands Forestry Consulting, to Sudbury, ON. He offers business, forestry, and economic development services.
  • Larry Hope (BA/BEd '90, MEd '01) has been appointed director of education for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board effective January 20, 2010. Hope was a principal at elementary and secondary schools for five years before becoming superintendent with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in 2005 and later Director of Education.
  • Robert Poulter (HBCom' '90) is president and chief executive officer of Mitomics, a world leader in research and development of mitochondrial genome-based products to improve clinical insight and therapeutic decisions. He joined Mitomics in 2007 to oversee the company’s transition from a research and development position to the successful commercialization of its products. Previously, he worked for IBM’s business consulting division, where he was in charge of the diverse and dynamic markets of Southeast Asia and India. Last October, Mitomics was selected by “Canada’s Top 10™ Competition” as one of the top 10 companies in the life sciences sector for 2010-11. Mitomics, formerly Genesis Genomics Inc., was previously recognized as one of Canada’s Top 10 life sciences companies in 2007-08, and Poulter says Mitomics is at a pivotal stage of commercializing products from its portfolio of Mitomic Tests.
  • Stacey Saukko (HBFA '90, HBSW '11) a master of social work student at Lakehead, won first prize in the student poster competition at the 19th International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal, Quebec. Her poster entitled, Music Students' Experiences of Music Interaction with Residents Living in Two Northwestern Ontario Long-Term Care Homes, beat out more than 250 submissions from around the world.
  • Laura Kokocinski (BScN '79, MEd '95) was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) effective September 1, 2010. She previously served as the senior director, planning, integration and community engagement (since January 2006) and was appointed interim chief executive officer in February 2010. Kokocinski has extensive leadership experience in the education and health care sectors including acute care, long-term care, and community care.
  • Robert Manson (BA '74, BEd '93) (HBA 1995) works for AIDS Thunder Bay, a non-profit organization aimed at raising HIV/AIDS awareness in Northwestern Ontario. As the organization’s education communication coordinator, Bob is an advocate for community involvement and outreach at the local, regional, and international levels. Bob would like to extend a special invitation to attend the fourth Annual World AIDS Day Breakfast hosted by AIDS Thunder Bay at the Victoria Inn on December 1, 2011 from 7:30 to 8:45 am to all students and alumni who have connections, direct or indirect, to those affected by HIV/AIDS.

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