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2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Finalists

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Distinguished Alumni Awards is a prestigious award presented to Kwantlen Alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the University through their outstanding career, public and community service, athletic, arts and culture, or academic achievements


Community and Public Service

Kim Baird

Kim Baird, Chief of Tsawwassen First Nation

Chief Kim Baird graduated from Kwantlen in 1992, with an Arts Diploma. She is the current elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation, a position she has held for six terms, since 1999. Her focus as Chief is to move the Tsawwassen First Nation community forward as a model for sustainable First Nation community since having implemented the province’s first urban treaty on April 3, 2009. Chief Kim Baird was the first woman, who was not an MLA, in BC history to address the BC Legislature on October 15, 2007 when the Tsawwassen Treaty Legislation process was initiated. Chief Baird has received a number of prestigious awards, including Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award, the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Distinction Award, Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 Award, and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award. She is a proud mother of three young daughters, Amy (age 8), Sophia (age 5), and Naomi (age 2).

Stephanie Cadieux

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government

Stephanie is a 1994 Business Grad from Kwantlen and serves as Minister of Social Development for the province. She formerly served as the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government. Stephanie was elected MLA for Surrey-Panorama in the 2009 general provincial election. With a background in marketing and personal finance, Stephanie has worked as a market analyst and an entrepreneur. Before her life in public office, Stephanie served as the Director of Marketing and Development for the BC Paraplegic Association and Manager of Accessibility for 2010 Legacies Now. Her leadership and resourcefulness led her to be voted one of Business in Vancouver's Top 40 under 40 for 2007 and she was named one of B.C.'s Top 100 Influential Women by the Vancouver Sun in 2010.

DJ Lam

DJ Lam, Operations Manager, Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society

DJ is an alumnus from the class of 2006, B.A. Journalism with a Minor in Public Relations. After graduation DJ stayed connected to Kwantlen and served as a director for the Kwantlen Student Association where he created a student-run newspaper: The Runner. It is an independent student-run newspaper, which includes student content and is considered to be the liberal voice of students. He put together a viable business plan for the creation of Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society that allowed this publication to take off and contributes to its continued success. DJ’s perseverance persisted even though he suffered a life-altering injury in the midst of achieving his vision for this publication. DJ has been a writer at the Georgia Straight, interned at the Tyee Online, and has worked as a freelance journalist and photographer.

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson, Co-Founder, Grace Rwanda Society

Elizabeth is a 2008, Melville School of Business, BA in HR, graduate from Kwantlen. Her story is both unique and touching. She was born in Rwanda and lived through the genocide in 1994, immigrating to Canada in 1999. Elizabeth is a co-founder of Grace Rwanda Society, a Canadian charitable organization promoting opportunities for children and youth to live in a supportive, vibrant, literate and healthy community in Rwanda. She believes that equal opportunity to universal education is essential for all.Through her efforts, Elizabeth strives to provide educational support by building collaborative partnerships and sharing resources, skills, and funds to make a better world for all. She also raises awareness of the positive progress that Rwanda continues to make since 1994. Elizabeth is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Leadership, Non-Profit Stream. She is married and has one daughter and resides in Langley BC.

Business and Industry

Jack Fox

Jack Fox, Senior Programmer, Boys and Girls Club of South Coast BC

Graduating in 2005 from Kwantlen with a Diploma in Community Support Work, Jack believes the program offered him a plethora of skills and information about the community and social service sector. He is passionate about community development and especially programs that benefit the low-income and underprivileged groups of society. Currently working as a Senior Programmer at the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, he has implemented an after school snack program, which feeds approximately 70 students each day. Jack volunteers his time to LGBTQ youth groups, Shaw Cable TV, and is the Co-Founder of T-Bodies Productions.

Gozde Hilmi

Gozde Hilmi, Director of HR, BackCheck

Gozde Hilmi, a 2011 Kwantlen grad from the Human Resources program currently serves as the Director of Human Resources at BackCheck, an international company specializing in pre-employment and HR services. Gozde started her employment with BackCheck over six years ago when the company only had 40 employees, which has now has grown to over 400. As the company’s first HR Generalist, she built the company’s HR department from the ground up. Gozde also holds a B.A. in Psychology and Minor in Education. She volunteers at the Fraser Health Crisis Line and was recognized with their annual Ely award for her long time service and dedication to the cause. She says, helping people get to where they need to go professionally and personally, and watching them succeed makes what she does enjoyable.

Shane King

Shane King, Incorporated Partner, KNV Chartered Accountants LLP

Shane is a 1992 Kwantlen, Melville School of Business graduate. He began his career with KNV Chartered Accountants LLP in 1993, through the support of a Kwantlen instructor who assisted Shane in getting the job. In 1999, Shane successfully obtained his CA designation and was promoted to a Partner in 2005. Shane and KNV are committed to Kwantlen and currently employ over 30 Kwantlen alumni. As a longtime supporter of the institution, Shane served on the KPU Foundation Board for six years, and was the first chair and a founding member of the KPU Alumni Association. Since 2008, he has been an appointed member of the Kwantlen Board of Governors and continues to support Kwantlen students through offering scholarships both personally and corporately. Shane received the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia Early Achievement Award in 2008 and was a director of the White Rock South Surrey Chamber of Commerce from 2006 – 2007.