BRANDON, Man. (January 17, 2018)— Assiniboine Community College’s Alumni Association has just announced the four recipients of this year’s alumni awards to be presented at the seventh annual Alumni Advancement Dinner in Brandon on March 8, 2018.

This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award is Wade Barnes. The award is presented annually to a graduate of the college who has distinguished themselves in both their chosen profession and their community.

As one of the foremost agronomists in North America, Barnes is a pioneer in the Precision Agriculture movement. Raised as a grower in rural Manitoba, he combined his love for agriculture, technology and business and studied the Agribusiness program at Assiniboine. He now serves as President & CEO of Farmers Edge, having grown the company into the preeminent provider of precision agriculture platform and independent data management solutions for growers worldwide.

Beny Mwenda will receive the Community Service Award, which recognizes a graduate of the college who has positively impacted the quality of people’s lives through the service of others. Throughout his career, Mwenda has had a deep commitment to education, training and rural community development in his country and has coordinated and secured funding for many training projects for rural Tanzanians, which increased their agricultural and entrepreneurial skills and therefore their ability to thrive in their local communities.

Whitney Roberts is this year’s recipient of the One to Watch Award, which honours a graduate who is 30 years of age or younger at the time of nomination and has made exceptional achievements and significant contributions to his or her profession and community. Originally from Deloraine, Man., Whitney attended Assiniboine’s Business Administration program and graduated with a Marketing specialization in 2007. After living for a short while in Western Canada, Roberts and her husband moved back to Manitoba in 2016, where she opened Tour Indoor Cycling, a boutique indoor cycling studio.

The Excellence in Teaching Award honours a faculty member for extraordinary contributions to teaching and the student experience. Hotel and Restaurant Management instructor Kyle Zalluski is the recipient of this year’s award. Originally from Neepawa, Man., Zalluski moved to Brandon to attend the college’s Hospitality Tourism Administration program. In 2004, he started his career at Assiniboine Community College as an instructor. Early on in his career, Kyle coordinated the college’s inaugural Wine & Food Festival, which began as a small event held in a classroom that is now a premiere event at the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts. As well, each year he trains and guides students through the rigorous processes and etiquette required for the highly anticipated Grey Owl restaurant.

Award recipients will be formally recognized at the alumni Advancement Dinner on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts, North Hill Campus.  

About Assiniboine Community College

Assiniboine Community College has been providing exceptional learning experiences for over 55 years. For staff and students alike, Assiniboine offers unparalleled learning environments and responds well to the demands and requirements of the Manitoba labour market. Instructors follow the philosophy of  ‘learn by doing’, combining theory with hands-on learning inside classrooms, labs, kitchens, shops, fields and the college’s sustainable greenhouse.

Assiniboine offers more than 40 diploma and certificate programs across a variety of disciplines including culinary arts and hospitality, business, agriculture and environment, health and human services, trades and technology. The college also delivers apprenticeship programming in a range of skilled trades disciplines.

The college welcomed more than 3,600 full-time and 6,000 part-time students last year. With campuses in Brandon, Dauphin and Winnipeg, Assiniboine provides comprehensive educational opportunities throughout Manitoba. The college also partners with many communities and organizations across the province to deliver customized education and training. Assiniboine’s annual provincial economic impact is $613 million.