2009 Recipients

Dawna Friesen, Creative Communications, 1984

Dawna FriesenNBC Foreign Correspondent Dawna Friesen has travelled a long way since her time at Red River College, figuratively and literally, as her job has taken her all over the world, both in safe and dangerous conditions. Friesen graduated from the Creative Communications program in 1984 and started off as a journalist working in Brandon, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. Growing up on a farm outside of Winnipeg, Friesen knew early on that she wanted to pursue a career in journalism. Friesen soon went on to work as a reporter, and later anchor, at CBC News in Vancouver. She also anchored the 24-hour news channel, Newsworld. Following that, she worked at CTV’s Toronto bureau as a national news correspondent and at Ottawa’s CTV branch covering federal elections. It was at CTV Toronto in 1999 that she was offered her current job as an NBC foreign correspondent based out of London. Friesen also reports for NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, and MSNBC.

Mervyn Gunter, Business Administration, 1970

Merv GunterMervyn Gunter, a 1970 graduate of RRC’s Business Administration program, owns Frontiers North Adventures. The company’s tundra buggy adventures offers tourists the opportunity to get up close and personal with Churchill’s famous furred residents. It also operates tours around Northern Manitoba, Nunavut, and British Columbia featuring beluga and bowhead whales, walruses and grizzly bears. Gunter and his wife Lynda started the tour company in 1986 while he was still a senior regional manager at the Royal Bank of Canada. After a successful 27-year career with the bank, Gunter retired in 1999, and his family committed themselves full-time to turning Frontiers North into a major player in the ecotourism market. Frontiers North has grown into one of the premier operators of wildlife and nature viewing programs in northern Canada.