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National Philanthropy Day Donor Spotlight: Kevin Gill

November 15, 2022

Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) loves to hear success stories from graduates making a mark on their community. It’s particularly special when they include RRC Polytech as a part of their story. Kevin Gill, Founder and President of the Staffmax group of companies, has done just that.

Kevin Gill, Founder and President of the Staffmax group of companies and member of RRC Polytech Board of Governors

“I’m a proud graduate of RRC Polytech’s Business Administration program and was recently appointed to the Board of Governors where I want to contribute to the continued success of the College,” says Kevin. “It’s important to me that I recognize how my education helped me grow my career and give back where I can.”

“But my support of RRC Polytech also helps my recruiters,” says Kevin. “Staffmax wants to provide the best talent to fill roles across the country and if we support the best grads, we can get the best employees.”

Kevin founded Staffmax in 2007 when he saw a gap in how companies recruited and staffed positions. Growing from one office in Winnipeg to locations in Canada, USA, Australia, and Europe, Staffmax has become of the largest staffing and recruiting agencies in Canada.

“As an alumnus and now Board member, it’s important for me to give back to an organization that makes a difference for the future of our province,” says Kevin. “I love Manitoba, it’s why I made the headquarters of Staffmax here, and I know that this province has so much talent and opportunity and I want it to grow and succeed.”

“Finding ready, reliable, and experienced employees for all types of roles is our priority at Staffmax and the grads that come from RRC Polytech continuously meet the emerging needs of employers,” says Kevin. “When Staffmax was looking for community organizations to give back to, RRC Polytech was at the top of my list.”

Staffmax Staffing and Recruiting recently pledged $150,000 to RRC Polytech to create ten years of one $1,000 scholarship for Welding and two $1,000 scholarships for Business Administration as well as support for the College’s In Front of What’s Ahead Comprehensive Campaign.

“As an alumnus and now Board member, it’s important for me to give back to an organization that makes a difference for the future of our province,” says Kevin. “I love Manitoba, it’s why I made the headquarters of Staffmax here, and I know that this province has so much talent and opportunity and I want it to grow and succeed.”

As we celebrate National Philanthropy Day on November 15th, Kevin’s story is an important one and highlights how giving back can make an incredible difference. Only with the support of the community, is RRC Polytech able to enhance student experiences, strengthen and transform learning models and help shape the future for students. Simply put, RRC Polytech’s community helps build the foundation on which we are transforming today’s learners into a force for change. Thanks to all who support RRC Polytech, you allow the College to create an impact for generations.

Number TEN Architectural Group builds up an RRC Polytech student with a scholarship and co-op placement opportunity

September 7, 2022

Manitou a bi Bii daziigae at the Exchange District Campus was created by Number TEN Architectural Group in partnership with Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.

Architecture melds the worlds of art and construction; it connects function with aesthetic, and it takes the right set of skills to jump into this world.

Number TEN Architectural Group (NTAG) strives to design places that make life better and in spring 2023 they will be making life better for one RRC Polytech Architectural Engineering Technology student with a $1,000 scholarship as a part of a $30,000 donation towards an endowment fund.

“At Number TEN, we are passionate about creating spaces that work, beautifully. We love working with people who go the extra mile, strive for design excellence, and push themselves to achieve more. The students that graduate from RRC Polytech are these people,” says Doug Hanna, Partner of Number TEN Architectural Group. “As lifelong learners who see the value in a strong foundation, we are proud to support students as they develop their skills and become contributors to the design community in Manitoba.”

The scholarship will be offered to a student enrolled in their first year of Architectural Technology program or second year of the Architectural Engineering Technology program and have outstanding academic achievement. The successful scholarship recipient will also have an opportunity for an interview at NTAG for a co-op placement.  

“Any opportunity that students can have to remove some financial hardship is welcome and truly appreciated,” says Shari Bielert, Chair, Civil Engineering Technology. “There are only a few architecture specific scholarships available – and with this gift, students are not only supported in their academic journey, but it can be an incredible launch into their career as well.”

Students in the architectural programs develop practical skills with the knowledge of architecture, engineering, and construction of buildings. The programs provide opportunities to gain work experience in relevant industries through co-op work terms.

“We hope this this new scholarship will not only encourage students to pursue a career in the building industry, but also help ease the financial burden that can come with being in post-secondary,” added Hanna.

Number TEN Architectural Group in partnership with Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. worked with RRC Polytech to create Manitou a bi Bii daziigae at the Exchange District Campus. This building is one of the most advanced and forward-thinking buildings in Canada with little to no net carbon emissions. The project included the re-use of the historically designated Scott Fruit building and an above-ground pedestrian walkway connecting it to the Roblin Centre. In 2018, NTAG also designed the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at the Notre Dame Campus.

Learn more about Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries, including how to apply.

Glenn Garbett Award Inspires Innovative Teamwork

July 13, 2022

Glenn Garbett in the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at RRC Polytech

RRC Polytech alumnus Glenn Garbett has made the full circle journey from determined student to successful business owner to trusted partner and generous donor. As someone who received financial support during his studies, he knows what a difference it can make.

“I have never forgotten how big of an impact a few extra bucks from a small business owner had on my life when as a Civil Engineering Technology student I received an award for a paper I wrote,” says Garbett, President and CEO of Keystone Projects Limited. “After I graduated, I worked a number of jobs to gain experience, but when I set out on my own the business plan always included finding a way to return the favour – to me, it’s the right thing to do.”   

Garbett established Keystone Projects Ltd. in 2010 providing customized and sustainable services in construction and project management. His experience and expertise ensure required work is completed, the quality of that work is of the highest standard and costs are kept down by the early identification and elimination of potentially costly errors before they occur.   

His work as a Project Manager and Contract Administrator has been instrumental in the completion of many of the College’s recent building projects, including the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, Paterson GlobalFoods Institute and Manitou a bi Bii daziigae.

This spring, he was able to extend his College relationship from trusted partner to proud donor.                                                                                                                                                                  

Keystone Projects Ltd. created a $5,000 award for applied research teams in their fourth-year of the Construction Management Degree program. The award is given to the team that completed a project that focuses on leading-edge technology and improves or benefits the construction industry.

“I believe the cooperative effort of motivated professionals will bring a solution to any project. Cutting-edge technology and innovation drive industries forward, but teamwork will always be essential in construction,” says Garbett. “The goal of this award is to motivate students to place value on both as they enter the workforce and for them to dream big, be ambitious, and learn to communicate.”

This year’s winners Jasraj Gill, Hyung Jin An, Julian Brontsch, and Matthew Paquette evaluated the status, potential, and challenges of drone use in construction inspections. After conducting a literature review, a case study comparing manual to drone aided stockpile surveying, a hands-on drone survey test, and opinion surveys with industry professionals, they concluded that drone technology has shown enormous potential but is better served in other construction site applications.

“A big take away was going through the steps to complete each task on deadline which helped us to value the importance of planning and managing our time. Working together as a team to come up with and execute our objectives required us to further develop less tangible skills like problem solving, organization, asking the right questions, and presenting ideas,” says Matthew Paquette.

Their cash reward is multiplied by the experience of sharing their findings with their mentor who has hired several RRC Polytech grads.

“The construction industry in Manitoba seems like a very small and tight knit community so his advice and this connection is invaluable to us. We cannot thank Mr. Garbett enough for this prestigious award and opportunity,” says Paquette.

Garbett was intrigued by their project and believes drone technology will eventually become a powerful tool in construction, as it has in other industries. He is pleased that instructors plan to take their investigation further with future applied research groups.

“Glenn is a valuable resource not only to the winners, but to every student in our class. He demonstrates the trust and belief that industry leaders place in the next generation and emphasizes the importance of teamwork,” says Dr. Bright Ng’andu, Instructor in RRC Polytech’s Construction Management Degree program. “His donation encourages students to be confident that a great idea can originate anywhere and that you should always be striving to find a better way.”

Garbett is driven by personal development and guided by the philosophy that you can create happiness by surrounding yourself with good people, treating them fairly, building and maintaining relationships, and sharing in their successes.

He views his partnership with RRC Polytech as a win-win and is eager to find new ways to collaborate in the future.  

“The industry needs creative thinkers and good communicators who can work together and adapt when there are setbacks. I’ve learned that integrity, details, and positive language matter as much as knowledge and experience and have a feeling of accomplishment that these students now know there are good people out there, helping good people – provided you put in an honest day’s work.”

Bridge to the future: M.D. Steele helps students get In Front of What’s Ahead

June 3, 2022

Richard Wilson, President of M.D. Steele is second from the left along with his team.

Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) is excited to announce a $110,000 donation from M.D. Steele, a Winnipeg based construction company, in support of students in skilled trades programs. As part of this gift, M.D Steele established two new scholarships; one to support students in Civil Engineering Technology and the other in the Carpentry program.

“Without RRC Polytech, I don’t think I’d be where I am today,” said Richard Wilson, President of M.D. Steele, and graduate of RRC Polytech’s Civil Engineering Technology program. “I’m always thinking about things I was taught 20 years ago — I draw on a lot of knowledge from back then.”

To recognize this generosity, a classroom in the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre has been named for the company. The classroom, located on the second floor of the building, is primarily used by level three apprenticeship carpentry students. The company has a long history of partnerships with RRC Polytech, from presentations to students about the construction industry, to advising how to keep the curriculum current, to taking on apprentices and hiring graduates.

“I’ve been with M.D. Steele since 2005 and there hasn’t been one year we haven’t had an apprentice out in the field,” says Wilson. “The college has been very good for us to find quality employees — and we’re always hiring people.”

The company has many RRC Polytech graduates among its ranks — project managers, estimators, surveyors, safety professionals, and an ever-growing number of carpenters — and this donation will help attract new students and ensure M.D. Steele and RRC Polytech stay in front of what’s ahead. Since many industries are facing a skilled labour shortage, donations, partnerships, and collaborations with RRC Polytech ensure graduates continue to be job-ready on day one.

“It’s donations like these, and stories like this one, that give our students a competitive advantage,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, Skilled Trades and Technologies. “They leave the college so well prepared — with real-world skills, college credentials and certifications — that they want to pay it forward to the next generation of students. We’ve always been happy to work with M.D. Steele and we’re extremely grateful for what they’ve done, and will do, for our students.”

The appreciation is mutual. Aside from shared benefits to donating and collaborating with the College, Wilson said he also appreciates the effort it must take to train students.

“It’d be a very difficult thing to do, if you think about it,” says Wilson. “To go and ask every single company what they want students to learn, take all that information, collaborate with it, and put it in a nice little package where you can sprinkle it on these students over the course of four years. To try and capture everything. I think that’s why I can sit here and say, ‘Hey, everything they taught me was relevant.’” Passionate donors like M.D Steele are crucial for RRC Polytech to continue to deliver and support trades programs. This support ensures students have the most up to date tools, materials & resources to learn effectively and best prepare them for work in industry.  

Haas Foundation Legacy Award sparks new future for CNC Machinist student

July 14, 2021

Intrigued by the prospect of using computers to do a job he was trained to do by hand, Brian Carmona enrolled in Red River College’s CNC Machinist program to learn the computer numeral code that instructs the high-precision welders, cutters and other tools used in advanced automated manufacturing.

Now, two years later, he’s the recipient of the 2021 Gene Haas Foundation Legacy Award, given each year to a student in the CNC Machinist or CNC Machining & Advanced Technology program.

The recognition, he says, “has changed my life.”

“I’ve always loved the process of turning materials into useful things,” says Carmona, who began his manufacturing career right out of high school, working as a plasma operator for a company that built trucks for agriculture.

Before long, it became clear to him that trading the cutter for code would open up new career prospects in an industry shifting rapidly towards automation.

However, when Carmona wasn’t learning CNC in class, he was working long hours to make ends meet. Receiving the Gene Haas Foundation Legacy Award, which covered the cost of his tuition, program fees, books and supplies, removed the financial burden and let him focus on his training.

Now he has his sights set on becoming a Red Seal Machinist or Red Seal Industrial Mechanic/Millwright after completing RRC’s CNC Machining & Advanced Technology program – an opportunity, he says, that would have been impossible without the award.

Carmona is one of 17 RRC students honoured this year by awards and bursaries funded by the Gene Haas Foundation and presented in partnership with Thomas Skinner & Son. The Gene Haas Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the western world. Thomas Skinner & Son is the Haas Automation distributor for Western Canada.

Awards like these are vital to drawing students to programs aimed at filling critical workforce gaps, says Mark Blackner, Chair of RRC’s Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing programs.

“As a manufacturing hub, Manitoba is home to big industry players hungry for employees trained in advanced skills and technology. We’re grateful for this partnership because it ensures our students, equipment and facilities stay at the cutting edge, so we can support the manufacturing industry as it continues to grow and change.”

The manufacturing industry spans a wide range of sectors, adds Blackner, including transportation, medical technology, and agriculture – continuously adding to the need for highly specialized skills in computer-aided drafting, design, manufacturing, 3D printing, and mechatronics.

RRC’s partnership with Haas and Thomas Skinner began in 2008, when the College approached the two companies about acquiring CNC machines to help students catch up to the technology.

Since then, the partnership has grown to include scholarship and bursary support, and a $500,000 investment in the Haas Innovation Lab at the College’s Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, where manufacturing industry partners work with RRC experts and students on applied research projects. Thanks in part to this investment, the College now has one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing training programs in the country.

Paul Krainer, president of Thomas Skinner & Son, says he and his father, who owned the company before him, both saw the value of investing in education after they began supplying machines to local high schools.

“By forging deep relationships with schools and polytechnics like Red River College, we have a direct hand in training the future of our business. Technological advancement and disruption mean that training programs can’t lag behind. They must always stay one step ahead – and that takes ongoing investment.”

That belief was shared by Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and the Gene Haas Foundation, whose generous financial support drives the partnership forward.

Krainer says the results of the partnership and others like it are already bearing fruit across the industry.

“We’re seeing more and better-trained people pursuing careers in precision manufacturing – and a stronger workforce making our country’s industry more globally competitive.”

Strong roots, mutual growth

June 30, 2021

With strong roots in Manitoba soil, a commitment to community, and a workforce brimming with Red River College talent, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance has grown over the past 125 years into one of Canada’s largest mutual insurance companies – and a generous RRC partner and supporter.

Since 2009, the company has made significant donations to a number of College programs, awards and capital projects aimed at helping RRC students excel in business, management, and information technology.

That includes a recent $50,000 gift in support of the College’s 100,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Innovation Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

“Looking after one another is the essence of who we are at Wawanesa,” says Selena Hinds, Vice President of Culture, Community and Communications at Wawanesa Insurance. “That’s why Wawanesa is proud to support Red River College, its students, and the new Innovation Centre. Together with RRC, we share a commitment to making our community a better place to live and learn, and we know students and all of Winnipeg’s downtown will benefit from the new Centre and surrounding greenspace.”

Eighteen per cent of Wawanesa employees say they attended RRC, and more than 240 indicate an RRC connection on their education profile.

“We’re proud to have a partner and supporter who understands first-hand the value of supporting our students and grads,” says Kirk Johnson, Dean, School of Business & Applied Arts and Dean, School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Red River College. “Wawanesa has hired many talented RRC graduates over the years. I’m excited to continue working with Wawanesa as our Innovation Centre opens up new opportunities for our students in Information Technology, Business, the Creative Arts, and more.”

Support for the Innovation Centre Project is directed to the Elgin Avenue Plaza (shown above), a greenspace and pedestrian plaza located between Princess Street and Adelaide Street. The new outdoor space will include seating areas, recreational space, and power outlets for food trucks, entertainment and vendors. Students and community members can use the space to study, eat lunch, or host events such as concerts or maker markets. The greenspace is located across from the new Market Lands, a creative hub, housing and market space that will attract more people to live, work and play in the growing neighbourhood.

In addition, the company has provided a $10,000 annual donation to support RRC students since 2009. This year, eight Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Awards will be distributed to individuals in the Business Administration, Business Information Technology, and Business Technology Management programs, providing opportunities for students to achieve success in their education and into their careers.

Wawanesa is also a sponsor of RRC’s Girls Exploring IT technology camp program and previous capital campaigns at the College. “As a member of the community, we know how important it is to ensure accessible education,” says Hinds. “As an employer, we see great value in the education and training RRC provides.”

That passion for community support extends far and wide. Last year, Wawanesa increased its community giving by $1.8 million in response to COVID-19 – bringing the company’s total community giving in 2020 to $5.3 million.

Wawanesa takes its name from the small Manitoba town where it was founded 125 years ago by a group of farmers determined to keep insurance premiums down. Since then, the original “Wawanesa Insurance” has grown into one of the largest mutual insurance company in Canada, with growing operations in the United States. Its North American corporate headquarters remain here in Winnipeg, at True North Square – where, in the years ahead, its Manitoba roots will grow even stronger.

 

Grads give back through new annual award

March 1, 2021

As Distinguished Graduates of RRC we felt it was important to support our alma mater on an ongoing basis. Stu also felt that, as a member of the Board of Governors, it was important to show his support for the College by contributing monetarily.

Throughout our careers we advised RRC on their IT programs, and we thought it was important to continue supporting those programs in other ways in our retirement.  When we thought about ways of giving to the College we went back to when we first attended, right out of high school, way back in 1977. We remembered how difficult it was from a financial perspective when you go right from high school to college and all you had for money was what you’d been able to save from part time jobs. It’s even more difficult when you’re paying your own way.

We decided we wanted to support a student, in particular one that is coming straight from high school who would have less opportunity to save money towards their college education. As well, we preferred to support a female student as there is a definite lack of women in the IT profession.

In supporting a student financially it is our hope that it can relieve some their financial burden to allow them to concentrate more on their studies in a very challenging program.  We hope that the successful applicants will benefit from the Business Information Technology program in the same ways that we did. We hope they build a good solid foundation of technical and soft skills that they can take to their prospective employer to start their lifelong journey of learning and growth. The difficult part of working in IT, which is also the most rewarding, is that the field is always changing and you must be a continuous learner in order to achieve real success.

We truly hope by providing this annual award that we are in some small way setting someone on a path to a challenging, rewarding, and successful career in IT.  We are excited to embark on this new stage of giving to RRC.

Stu and Heather Charles
Business Information Technology (1979 and 1981)

Bockstael Gives Back For The Future Of Skilled Trades In Manitoba

July 1, 2020

John BockstaelWhen John Bockstael made the decision to donate to Red River College’s Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, he knew he would be providing an opportunity for generations of Manitobans to receive high-quality education and training.

“It’s not basement learning,” says Bockstael, the President and CEO of Bockstael Construction Ltd. “The College’s programs are hands-on right from the beginning and highly practical. There’s a direct correlation between the classroom process and what’s done on a work site.”

Bockstael was the first donor to the 104,000 square-foot facility, which opened its doors to students in Fall 2018. The building acts as a celebration of the trades and technologies, and allows the College to train an additional 1,000 students every year.

“The skilled trades need talent. It takes knowledgeable people — you have to have a good head on your shoulders,” he says. “Anybody who gets into construction now is getting into it at a time where we’re becoming more and more advanced in our technologies and processes. You still have to pound a nail and drill a hole as part of the job — but what we need is highly skilled, quick thinking people.”

Bockstael Construction has been in operation since 1912, and has built and renovated many prominent buildings in Manitoba, including the VIA Rail Winnipeg Union Station, the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre, and the newest, the Richardson Innovation Centre. In 2009, Bockstael completed construction on RRC’s Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology and Research Centre (formerly the Heavy Equipment and Transportation Centre), one of the first education centres in Manitoba to receive LEED® Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

It’s rewarding for Bockstael to be able to give back, knowing that his future employees will be trained in the STTC. He says that in an ever-changing industry, RRC has been very responsive in advancing the needs of businesses, and has adapted its programs to be able to train new skilled workers, while providing re-skilling for workers who are in the middle of their careers.

“At the time we committed to our pledge, we were experiencing a real shortage of skilled trades workers,” he says. “In a way I was fulfilling a business need. Your business thrives and is driven by the workforce that you hire.”

Bockstael says that although construction has adapted to include more technology, the satisfaction of a job well done remains at the core for skilled workers. “There’s so much independence that individual tradespeople can derive for themselves. People can look back when a project is done and say ‘I was a part of that’ — there’s a lot of pride in their work,” he says. “That’s something tangible at the end of the day that seems to resonate with everyone from engineers to labourers.”

The Bockstael Construction Labs are located at the east end of the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, and are used by hundreds of students every day.

We are grateful to John Bockstael and Bockstael Construction Ltd. for their contribution to the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we had to postpone the celebration honouring Bockstael Construction Ltd. — and all donors to the STTC — originally planned for April 15, 2020. We will reschedule this event when it is safe to celebrate together.

Giving Back Strengthens Connection to College at Dillon Consulting Limited

June 18, 2020

Staff from Dillon Consulting’s Winnipeg office take part in a recent Earth Day community clean up.

For employees at Dillon Consulting Limited, a desire to enrich the student experience at Red River College (RRC) led to a recent donation to College’s general fund.

There are 12 RRC graduates who currently work at Dillon’s Winnipeg office, all of which have maintained a close connection to the College by participating in student information sessions, classroom presentations, projects with partner organizations and sitting on advisory committees.

“We have strong ties to the College, so donating seemed like a good way to give back to an educational facility that many of us attended,” said Tina Sontag, Associate at Dillon Consulting Limited.

Sontag graduated from the Civil Engineering Technology program in 2014, after a successful career in hairstyling, and was hired at Dillon shortly after.

“I like working with people and numbers – problem solving,” she said. “The education I got from RRC was a springboard into the consulting field. I’m very happy where I am.”

The donation was made possible through the Environment & Community Investment Fund, which is part of the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. Since 2005, Dillon has provided more than $300,000 in scholarships across Canada, including contributions to Indspire bursaries for indigenous learners.

Sontag said donations and volunteerism bring the staff at Dillon together and creates a positive work environment.

“Our staff are quite engaged in our communities, and we make our decisions on which organizations to support based on staff buy-in,” she said. “There is the desire to make an impact in our staff, and it’s important that we are able to match their enthusiasm and connect with our communities.”

Dillon staff have volunteered their time at Winnipeg Harvest, Bike Week Winnipeg, Wrench and organizations that help Winnipeg’s underserved communities.

Sontag said she is proud to be able to support students at RRC and looks forward to meeting the next generation of skilled workers.

Other pillars of Dillon’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative include a commitment to its workplaces, the environment and the marketplace. Learn more by visiting https://www.dillon.ca/about/corporate-social-responsibility

Class of ’84 grad donation gives boost to RRC’s Directions Conference

February 6, 2020

Ron Margolis, Margolis Capital, and Tony Balaz, Kensington HomesIt’s a donation 35 years in the making.

Red River College grads Ron Margolis and Tony Balaz have gifted nearly $1,000 to RRC’s annual Directions Conference with money from a group project they helped complete in their graduating year – 1984.

[Editor’s Note: 1984 was the year the World Wide Web and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were born, Steve Jobs launched a boxy little number called the Macintosh PC, and Bill Gates shared the cover of Time magazine with a floppy disk. Historical records indicate that 1984 was also the epoch of the cassette tape, pager, answering machine, and peak Murder, She Wrote.]

At that time, Margolis (shown, above) and Balaz (below) were studying Business Administration and working on a huge final project with a team of over a dozen other students. The group raised funds to pay for the layout and printing costs needed to produce their group’s business plan, only to find out, just before the plan was due, that the printing company couldn’t produce the accounting tables and wouldn’t be able to complete the job.

“Cut to a dozen of us hammering away on typewriters around the clock, trying to get this thing into some kind of presentable form when we should have been prepping our oral presentation instead,” Margolis recalls.

[Editor’s Note: 1984 was also before word processing and layout software were basic human rights.]

“The final result wasn’t pretty, but we ended up with something we could hand in.”

The money to cover the printing costs sat in the account in case it was still needed, and was then forgotten – until Margolis discovered the bank statement book in a pile of papers just over a year ago.

The discovery prompted Margolis, now president of Margolis Capital Group Inc., a commercial mortgage firm, to reach out to Balaz, another member of the group still living in Winnipeg. (Balaz is vice-president of Kensington Homes.)

“It made sense to both of us to donate it back to the College on behalf of our group, Seminar 13.”

They earmarked their donation for this year’s Directions Conference, which connects RRC Business and Applied Arts students with industry and business leaders through a series of speakers, information sessions, and a roundtable networking event. Obby Khan, local restaurateur and former Blue Bomber, will share his story of family, football and entrepreneurship at the conference’s keynote address on Thu., Feb. 6, inspiring the next generation of professionals and leaders.

“We love how this donation gives a group of our grads the opportunity to bring their Red River College experience full circle,” says RRC Alumni Engagement Officer Katrina Sklepowich. “We couldn’t be more grateful to this awesome group of people for boosting the impact of potentially career-shaping networking events like Directions for our students.”

Thinking of making a gift to Red River College? Donate now!