The Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction awards recognize graduates for their career achievements and community contributions that provide an exceptional source of inspiration for future generations. In honour of every recipient, the Alumni Association supports a bursary with a one-time donation of $500 to Mohawk College to support current students in achieving their goals. They alumni will be honoured at the 2020 Alumni of Distinction Award Virtual Celebration, Thursday, October 22, 2020 on a Zoom platform. Zoom Opens 5:50 pm | Offical Greetings 6:00 For more information click here https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/alumni/alumni-awards-0
Two of the ten alumni that will be honoured this year are
In the Affinity category, Chris Vanhouten – Civil Engineering Technology, 1995. Director, Virtual Design and Construction, Walters Group
Chris Vanhouten is director of virtual design and construction at Walters Group, a family-owned structural steel construction company based in Hamilton that designs, fabricates, and constructs commercial and industrial projects throughout North America.
During his 23-year career, he has worked on some of Canada’s most amazing engineering structures, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, the Bow Tower in Calgary, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and the Concord Adex Sky bridge, which is suspended between two high-rises, in Toronto, to name just a few.
Chris has recently assumed the role of a group leader on the detailing team at Walters, where he coaches and mentors a group of team leaders who are leading several complex projects.
For Apprenticeship Karen Breitner – Electrician: Construction & Maintenance (AP), 1988, Industrial Electrician – HITD (AP), 1992 Owner, Lumination FX
Karen Breitner decided she needed to go back to school when she found herself single-handedly caring for her young daughter. It was her father who suggested the electrical trade. Even though she had no experience in that area, she decided to enroll in the electrician, construction and maintenance program.
After graduating she worked as an apprentice-journeyman at an aerospace company and in the electrical department of Home Depot, where she quickly became an assistant store manager.
In 2002, Karen decided to go into business for herself as she recognized a need for women in the electrical sector. She also returned to Mohawk as a professor and taught first-year and advanced electrical apprenticeship courses until 2016. Inspired by her mom’s success, Karen’s daughter has followed her into the trades.