Holland College | Foundation announces 2023 Distinguished Alumni
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Foundation announces 2023 Distinguished Alumni

The Holland College Foundation has named Penny Walsh-McGuire and Jennifer Driscoll as recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Foundation Board Chair Kent Scales said that the 2023 recipients are being honoured for their accomplishments and commitment to their chosen professions.

“Penny and Jennifer have both had significant and meaningful impact in their industries and the greater PEI community,” said Scales. “They are shining examples of what hard work and a Holland College education can accomplish.”

Penny Walsh-McGuire – Event and Conventions Management, 2000

After graduating Holland College’s Event and Conventions Management program in 2000, Penny Walsh-McGuire entered her field of study with the Capital Commission of Prince Edward Island as Events Manager. After some time, she completed her business degree at UPEI, and then moved to work in New York City, where she was an account manager with the advertising agency Young and Rubicam.

She returned to PEI in 2006 and became Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Confederation Centre of the Arts until 2009, and then moved into the role of Chief Marketing Officer until 2012. In this role, Penny led the marketing and communications for the award-winning Atlantic Canada Cultural House at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In 2012, Penny accepted the position of VP of Marketing and Partnership with PEI 2014 Inc. and became the Executive Director in 2013. During this period, Penny also completed her Executive MBA.

In 2016, Penny took on the role of CEO of Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce and was the voice of business in Charlottetown for the next five years. In 2021, she was appointed to the role of Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL), a national biomanufacturing skills and training organization. As Executive Director, Penny has led CASTL to become an essential part of the Canadian life sciences ecosystem with training facilities in Prince Edward Island, and Quebec, and a new training facility will open in British Columbia this summer.

Over the years, Penny has served the community of Charlottetown extensively through her tireless work and efforts. She has been an active volunteer with the PEI Humane Society and Rotary and served as the 27th Chair of Holland College Board of Governors.  Penny is also an alum of the Governor General of Canada Leadership Conference (2017) and a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.

Penny’s drive, professionalism, and leadership has helped her build an incredible career. She is an inspiration to many, both professionally and personally, and has been a pillar of strength and positivity in the community.

Jennifer Driscoll – Police Science, 1998

Jennifer Driscoll graduated from Police Science at the Atlantic Police Academy on May 1, 1998, and began her career as a Constable in General Patrol with the Summerside Police Services the very next day.

In 2010, she took a two-year leave of absence to work with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, first in General Patrol, and later as an Authorized Firearms Officer. In 2015, Jennifer made history when she became the first female Corporal of the Summerside Police Services. From 2016-2019 Jennifer was the Detective Corporal/Acting Sergeant in the Major Crime Unit. During this time, she investigated crimes that demanded highly specialized skills to use when interviewing adult victims, child victims, witnesses, and suspects.

Jennifer was chosen by her peers and honoured with the distinction of Municipal Police Officer of the Year for PEI in 2019. In 2021, she was awarded the Twenty-Year Exemplary Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada, and in 2023, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of PEI.

She sat on the Provincial Education Emergency Management Committee and since 2006, has been a member of the provincial joint forces Crisis Negotiating Team. She has represented the Summerside Police on the Justice and Public Safety’s PEI Bridge Committee, where she collaborates with Public Health, Adult Protection, Child Protection, Victim Services, Mental Health and Addictions, and others to determine the best approach and services to help those who are at high risk of harm. She has also been a member of the Attorney General Restorative Justice Committee, the Provincial Communications Committee, and the Mobile Crisis Response Team Preparation Committee.

Jennifer’s career achievements alone are inspirational for students, as she has proven to be dedicated to serving the community and making a difference in the lives of so many. In addition to having the education and experience that makes her an excellent officer, she works and lives her life with compassion, empathy, and respect for others.

This is the sixteenth year for the Holland College Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Awards. Walsh-McGuire and Driscoll join almost 50 other worthy recipients.

Jo-Ann Campbell-Boutilier, Holland College’s Executive Director, Foundation and Alumni, said that celebrating the achievements of graduates is a priority for Holland College. 

“We have upwards of 50,000 alumni across the globe, and we are so proud of the impact they are making worldwide” said Campbell-Boutilier. “We are looking forward to celebrating Penny and Jennifer and their incredible contributions and achievements.”

A celebration and dinner will be held on March 19, 2024. For more information, contact the alumni office at 902-566-9303, or alumni@hollandcollege.com.

Learn more about nominating an alumnus of Holland College for a Distinguished Alumni Award here. Nominations are accepted year-round.

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: Tuesday, January 30, 2024