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Class Notes is your opportunity to reconnect with classmates and tell them what you’ve been up to since graduation. Share your news and updates by filling out this form and feel free to include links to your social networking profiles and websites.
We check all updates for accuracy and will call or email to confirm details before posting your note live or printing in the LINK magazine or publishing on this site.
Dave Peck (AET2 ’57) began his career at Canadair before earning his Bachelor of Science and his Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. He worked for de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Transport Canada, Aircraft Services, Bombardier and the Department of National Defence. Peck held various positions including director of engineering and chief of design approval before retiring at the age of 76. He writes, “My years at SAIT (PITA) were great years, and many of my classmates are still friends today. Thanks to SAIT for everything, and good luck to future grads.”
Richard Bell (AMT ’74), who started Border City Aviation in 1985, was named to the Lloydminster Aviation Hall of Fame in September.
Diane Skene (DA ’79) worked as a dental assistant before studying dental hygiene at the University of Alberta. Repetitive strain shortened her career, but Skene pursued three additional degrees. In 1994, she returned to SAIT as an instructor in the DA program. From there, she taught communications, became an academic chair, retired for two days, and returned to SAIT as an academic coach, working with students to enable their success. She writes, “I have completed 10 marathons, am happily married and the mother of
four retired racing greyhounds. Thanks to my start at SAIT, life is good.”
Arla Bevan (nee Wader; ’80) writes, “I took Computer Technology and have never regretted it — I have always enjoyed my career. I retired just over two years ago but missed work so much I’m now working from home three days a week and loving it!”
Derrill Perrier (TCT ’89) writes, “It’s been quite the ride since 1989. The TCT program introduced computer technology into the electronics program, which put me straight from SAIT into a job at IBM as a service tech. My 24 years there went from fixing computers, printers and green-screen terminals to working with Microsoft servers in the late ’90s and VMware tech in the 2000s. My passion for all things around virtualization brought me to start working at VMware, helping customers with cloud automation.”
Tracy Bailey (CONE ’95) writes, “When I graduated from high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up.’ My mom suggested the Secretarial Arts program. I really enjoyed the accounting and bookkeeping classes, and once I started working as a secretary (yes, we were called that way back then) I asked if I could move into the accounting group. After three months, I started doing accounts payable. Then I began taking evening courses through SAIT, earned more accounting diplomas and certificates, and registered into the CMA program. I received my CMA designation in 1998 and continued working in the oil and gas industry. Now, 30 years later, I am a senior marketing accountant at Encana Services Company Ltd. I still attend SAIT on occasion to maintain my CMA CPA designation. SAIT gave me the start to a wonderful career. Thank you.”
Jennifer Peters (LIT ’97) has been working at SAIT’s Reg Erhardt Library since 1999. Before that, she worked at the Inuvik Centennial Library for a year.
Sehra Bindal (HRA ’00) has opened Veg-In YYC. Located in East Village, it ranked number 12 on John Gilchrist’s list in the Calgary Herald of the best new restaurants of 2016.
Doug Engh (ITP ’02) started work with SAIT’s School of Business Technical Support desk before moving to the Centre for Instructional Technology and Development. He writes, “This has given me the opportunity to work with a number of learning management systems (such as Desire2Learn) and other thirdparty software. It has been a great experience in learning new technologies and working with great people.”
Melissa Malejko (EDT ’03) writes, “In 2011, I pursued a passion and became a Certified CAN-BIKE instructor. That same year, I opened Safer Cycling Calgary and I have taught more than 100 people of all ages and abilities how to ride a bike. Now I am pushing for CAN-BIKE courses to be offered through the City so that people can learn how to safely and effectively navigate the city on two wheels.”
Andrew Deans (TSR ’05) writes: “For the last three years, I’ve been the ticket sales executive for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. At SAIT, I did play-by-play for Trojans Hockey, and really embraced covering the team and working with former coach Ken Babey. Since then I haven’t really left the hockey business. It’s a fast-paced environment, and SAIT definitely got me ready for it!”
Jason Barton-Browne (PCK ’06) is Executive Chef at Hayloft. Located in Airdrie, it was given the number one spot in the Globe and Mail’s list of Calgary’s best new restaurants for 2016.
Steven Zachary (BA ’06) writes, “I’ve been fortunate enough to work at Forzani Group, Mark’s, Shaw, Suncor and Alberta Health Services as a management consultant and operational line manager.”
Lionel Gardner (PELP ’09) is working in wine and spirit sales.
Josh Bates (AAST ’10) and his wife, Alysha, are the new owners of Langdon Automotive, the only full service automotive garage in Langdon, Alberta.
Jerid Arthur Chambers (AWEP ’10) writes, “Through a series of motivational speakers, I’ve been driven to become the best of what I can be. After five years of owning my company as a B-Pressure welder, I have decided to change my perspective and reach my limitless potential by opening up another company in the health services industry. Once you realize that you’re the only person that can hold you back, you’ll be a legend.”
Jordyn Guckert (PCK ’10) opened The Shop, a bakery and deli in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, in September. Located beside the Jasper Hotel, it offers fresh and ready-made sides, salads and full entrees.
Kelsey McEwen (RTBN ’11) joined CTV National’s new Your Morning program as its meteorologist when it launched in August.
Justin Seward (JA ’11) earned his Communications Studies degree at the University of Calgary after graduating from SAIT. He worked at the Strathmore Times for two years and in January 2017 became a reporter for the Cypress Courier.
Teisha Huff (BPA ’12) was offered a job as head bread baker while interning at a bakery in Regina, Sask. Once graduated, she moved to Regina and is now baking sourdough daily and working at an independent culinary school as the school coordinator. She writes, “While I have sharpened my knife skills under Aimee Schulhauser (PCK ’04), I also have the opportunity to teach baking classes. On the side, I bake small batches of sourdough bread, all hand mixed and fermented long hours, under the brand name Northern Belle Bread & Pastry.”
Chantelle Kolesnik (JA ’12) had her five-minute documentary Down the Rabbyt Hole picked up by Global News in November. The doc tells the story of a Lethbridge transgender woman and is part of a video series called Human Impact Stories started by Kolesnik at Deluxe Design Group in Calgary.
Stacey Robins (RTBN ’12) writes, “Since leaving radio in the fall of 2015, I’ve been the outdoor school director at Kamp Kiwanis, just outside Calgary near Bragg Creek.”
Maggie McDonald (AIM ’13) applied to Royal Roads University right after graduation, completed her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communications, changed jobs three times, then moved across the country to Nova Scotia where she currently works at St. Francis Xavier University as an administrative assistant. She writes, “I found my passion working in post-secondary. I love the traditions and the constant changes: new students, new goals, new studies, yet the same wonderful ethics and practices that allow post-secondary grads to be part of something bigger. I have to thank SAIT for the skills and confidence I gained — I wouldn’t have had the drive to go onto university or even consider moving out of the city where I grew up.”
Kelsey Tarraran (EMR ’13) writes, “I have been teaching CPR and AED skills to others in hopes that they will take their learning and save a life with their skills. I have also been working as an EMT, where I have helped trauma victims young and old, delivered a baby on my practicum, and helped the world become a better place.”
Michela Biffert (AT ’14) began working at Clark Builders as a project assistant shortly after graduation. She has progressed into the project coordinator role and is currently working on a 100-bed seniors’ home in High River, Alta., slated for completion in fall 2017. She writes, “Clark is supporting me in attending short courses to enhance my skill set and taking part in many industry events … SAIT was an amazing stepping stone into my career and I hope to stay involved as an alumna!”
Kelsey Boprey (LA ’14) writes, “Since graduating, it’s been a bit of a rough start because employers were looking for assistants with five to 10 years’ experience. I took a few positions but realized I needed to take my time and find my fit. I spent 2016 covering for a maternity leave in a family law firm downtown, and my contract was extended because another assistant was leaving. In January, I was offered a permanent position. SAIT prepared me for the working world but also taught me valuable lessons for my personal life: value yourself. You will find your place, but it may take some time. Enjoy the ride. Thanks, SAIT!”
Adelle Ellis (JA ’14) is working as a reporter with the Strathmore Times. A graduate of the photojournalism program, she also runs her own freelance photography company specializing in family and individual portraits.
Jacqueline Rix (AIM ’14) went on to Royal Roads University after graduation and earned a bachelor’s degree in professional communication. She is now working as an administrative assistant at accounting firm Grant Thornton.
Morgan Sawchuk (RTBN ’14) writes, “Since graduating, I worked on a few feature films and even published a novel called The Deadly Song. Now I’m back at SAIT, studying in the New Media Production and Design program to further my education and knowledge!”
Kimberly Vanden Broek (BPA ’14) worked as a pastry chef for a year after graduation, then travelled around Europe to experience pastry and baking in a different world. She and fellow SAIT alumna Julena Schipper (BPA ’15) have just opened the Homestead Bakeshop on Fort Macleod’s main street. Vanden Broek is also taking online courses to complete a business degree and writes, “It’s a crazy journey but exciting and very worth it!”
Tara Barnes (PLA ’15) is back at SAIT. She writes, “I was taking medical transcription but realized it was not for me. I was able to switch into the medical office assistant/unit clerk for this semester — loving it already like I loved PLA!”
Avree Bujaczek (BCPM ’15) served as an executive member during the inaugural year of the Young Construction Leaders Committee through the Calgary Construction Association. This developed into an opportunity in November 2016 to present in Ottawa to the Canadian Construction Association about the concerns of the generational differences in the Canadian construction industry. Since completing her degree, Bujaczek has been working with PCL Construction, where her recent projects include the Rundle Pedestrian Bridge and the Calgary Zoo Flood Mitigation Project on St. George’s Island. She is currently working on three Field Research Station Redevelopments for the University of Calgary and is enjoying her career in construction.
Chelsey Fisher (BA ’15) took a year off after graduating and is now back working towards her Bachelor of Commerce, all while working full-time. She writes, “Never. Stop. Learning.”
Veronique Lemay Kamke (AAST ’15) has been busy expanding her knowledge and experience by working at local dealerships and independent shops. She writes that, when not working on cars, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing hockey for the blind with her fiancée.
Jonathon Lyng (HMGT ’15) writes, “Since graduation I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to open a Boston Pizza in Virden, Man. — hometown of the chain’s founder, Jim Treliving — under the ownership of another SAIT graduate, Jillian Cockbill (nee Irvine; HRA ’04)!”
Given Grace Santiago (OFPR ’15) began working with SAIT’s Communications and Marketing department on a three-month contract as a web migration assistant, and is currently the department’s administrative assistant.
Abir Birani (AT ’16) writes, “I’ve been working as an architectural technologist at Type Three Homes, a design and build company in Lethbridge, Alta., and also attending the University of Calgary studying urban studies.”
Bri Braithwaite (MOA ’16) writes, “I’ve been looking for work, I got married, I’ve been having fun with cousins and just enjoying life, really.”
Laurie Breitkreuz (NMPD ’16) has been working on graphic design and digital illustration contracts. She writes, “I recently finalized my divorce and bought a new home to accommodate my blended family as well as my thriving home business.”
Sage Holmes (MOA ’16) writes, “I have taken the tools I learned at SAIT and applied them to my job, which resulted in my promotion to assistant manager. I hope to go back to school in the next few years to study in either nursing or EMT.”
Ashley McLarty (TVT ’16) was offered a summer position with Travel Alberta right after graduation. She is now living in Prince Albert, Sask. and working as a travel counsellor with CAA Saskatchewan.
Tracy Tapang (JA ’16) writes, “Getting my Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies degree at the University of Calgary. Graduating next summer and heading to public relations!”
It is with sorrow that we share the obituaries of SAIT alumni, students, instructors, staff and friends. Links to their individual obituaries are listed online at sait.ca/alumni. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.