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College announces 2012 Distinguished Alumni

The Holland College Foundation is once again pleased to pay tribute to the accomplishments of Holland College graduates by honouring its fifth slate of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Quentin Bevan, Chair of the Holland College Foundation Board of Directors, announced that this year’s recipients should inspire pride in all who are associated with Holland College.

“The Holland College Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to three individuals whose accomplishments are truly worthy of celebration, Barry Sheen, Kathy Ward Doucette, and Steven Barber. All three have built exceptional careers from their Holland College educations and proudly use their knowledge and skills to enrich their communities and the lives of others,” he said.

Sheen’s career in hospitality began in his teenage years, when he worked at the Tartan Restaurant in Summerside. He first entered the field of hotel management at 18, running both the Bay Vista Motor Inn and Clinton Heights. A graduate of the Holland College Hospitality program in 1973, Sheen’s education and hard work enabled him to rise to the very apex of his field. The first Canadian employee of Westmont Hospitality, he spent fifteen years as their senior vice-president operations, responsible for over 100 hotels. Sheen is a key supporter of Holland College and was a dedicated member of the Campaign Cabinet for the College’s recent Learning. For Life. Capital Campaign, which was deemed an overwhelming success.

“As Holland College was such a very important part of my career journey, I am honoured and humbled to be recognized as a recipient of this Distinguished Award,” said Sheen.

Since graduating from Holland College’s Human Services Program and launching her business, K&K Quality Care in 2002, Kathy Ward Doucette has been an innovative force in her field. K&K Quality Care provides individually tailored day programming to approximately 25 adults with intellectual disabilities. Ward Doucette’s fundamental principle is to accept people with disabilities as people, and to help them accept greater responsibility and control over their own lives. Ward Doucette serves on a variety of government and private sector committees and is actively involved in the Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s annual Transition Expo. She is also committed to promoting the need for well-trained individuals to work in the field of disability and has been a member of the advisory committee of the Human Services program at Holland College, contributing her knowledge and experience to ensure the program’s continued growth and relevance.

“I am so excited and honoured to be receiving this award, not only for myself but for all those in the human service field,” said Ward Doucette. “It is a field not often recognized, but which has many excellent Holland College educated direct support professionals working in many areas of our community.”

Steven Barber graduated from the Hotel and Restaurant Management program in 2001 and went on to complete a degree in Commerce specializing in Hotel and Resort Management at the University of Calgary in 2003. Today, he is the director of operations and co-owner of three high profile food and beverage facilities in Charlottetown under the corporate umbrella of the Red Island Hospitality Group Inc.: Hunter’s Ale House, Globe World Flavours, and The Factory Cookhouse and Dancehall. Barber is a well-known supporter of local musicians and the local music industry. He is a past board member of Music PEI, as well as a member of the Organizing Committee for the Malpeque Folk Festival. As a music venue, Hunter’s Ale House has received several nominations and awards from Music PEI, the East Coast Music Association, Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Charlottetown Inc., and the CBC.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t use the information and skills attained from Holland College in my everyday dealings. I continue to lead and train our coworkers with the education that I obtained from Holland College”, said Barber.

Sheen, Ward Doucette, and Barber join past recipients Tim Banks, Louise Vessey, Chef David Garcelon, Mayor Basil Stewart, Jeff Poirier, Eva O’Hanley, Jamie Hill, Sonya Corrigan, Alan MacLeod, Steven Collicutt, John Avery, Brent Blackmore, Alanna Jankov, and Kevin O’Brien as Holland College Distinguished Alumni.

Holland College President Dr. Brian McMillan stated that celebrating the achievements of graduates is a priority for Holland College.

“Holland College alumni are making significant contributions on the Island, throughout the region, and around the world and they bring our College tremendous pride. We are delighted to recognize Barry Sheen, Kathy Ward Doucette, and Steven Barber as Distinguished Alumni for 2012 and we applaud the leadership they have modeled in their industries and their communities.”

For more information about this release, please contact:
Jo-Ann Campbell-Boutilier, Executive Director - College Advancement and the Holland College Foundation
Tel: 902-629-4273
Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2012