Alumni Profiles

Kyle Anderson
Superintendent, Westland Construction (Carpentry)

Kyle graduated from Pre-Employment Carpentry at MITT (formerly WTC) in June of 2011 and began his apprenticeship with Westland Construction shortly after.  Hard work, reliability and dedication led Kyle to his current position as Site Superintendent. Kyle, now a Red Seal Certified Carpenter, is a competent and friendly mentor to his apprentices and he always brings a positive attitude to the workplace.


Denise Felbel
Data Integrity and Training Analyst, HSC (Medical Administrative Assistant)

Denise Felbel has been with the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) for 25+ years since graduating from the Patient Access Services Program, currently the Medical Administrative Assistant program, at the Winnipeg Technical College, now MITT. While still completing the program she was hired as a casual employee in the Admitting/Patient Registration Department at HSC as her work practicum ended in July 1990. Upon graduation in 1991, she received the Certificate of Program Excellence and the Jim Buchanan Award for Excellence. In January 2001, Denise became the Evening Supervisor then in November of 2003 moved to Manager of the Admitting/Patient Registration Department. Denise has recently (Dec 2015) moved into a new role of Data Integrity and Training Analyst and is looking forward to all that the new positions brings.

Geraldine Santos-Barenia
Manager of Admission, HSC (Medical Administrative Assistant)

Geraldine Santos Berania has been with the Health Sciences Centre for over 11 years. She graduated from the Health Access Services program at Winnipeg Technical College in June 2005. Upon completing the course and practicum at the Health Sciences Centre in the Admission/Patient Registration department, she obtained a part-time position in the department as an Admissions Clerk IV in June 2005, working on nights and days. In April 2010 she obtained a term position as the Evening Supervisor in the department and then later became Day Supervisor (May 2011-December 2015). Currently Manager, Admitting/Patient Registration (since December 2015), she is looking forward to continuing to work with staff in the department and the role of Health Information Services as connected to and assists to serve many different parts of a hospital.

Andrew Perchaluk
Technology Services, University of Manitoba (Network Computer Technology '00)

Andrew Perchaluk, is an MITT alumni from the class of 2000. He was born and raised in northern Manitoba, living in the city of Thompson. Moving to Winnipeg after high school graduation he complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Manitoba in 1999. Thinking that IT was where he wanted to take his career he immediately applied to MITT’s Microcomputer Systems Technician program, graduating in 2000. Andrew currently works for the University of Manitoba, in the Technology Services Department, where he was hired straight out of his practicum from MITT. His biggest passion in life is his wife and two children, Anya and Gemma.

Payam Towfigh
President, State Industries and State Mix (Industrial Electronics)

Payam was a member of the first graduating class of MITT in 1985, known then as South Winnipeg Technical Centre (SWTC). He completed the Industrial Electronics program. Payam recalls, “It was brand new, so the newness of the college was very memorable.” He found all the staff to be extremely helpful. Payam remembers the atmosphere and how safe and reassured it made him feel, as he had just come from an environment where he had to escape from the government of his own birth place because of his personal beliefs. Payam says, “It was very moving to see how positive and helpful everyone was. I developed relationships with individuals in that one year that still continue more than 30 years later.”

He participated in many programs that were offered at SWTC simultaneously: he was enrolled in the Industrial Electronics program, worked on his English language requirements for university, completed the TOEFEL exam and wrote the equivalency exams for a mature grade 12 high school standing. He secured employment through a local company as part of his co-op credit in the Industrial Electronics program. All these opportunities were afforded to him under one roof, much as it is today at MITT. Later he completing his degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Manitoba.

In 1989 he started his engineering career, as a control engineer in the polyurethane industry at State Industries. In 1992 Payam took over the operation, and shortly after, a joint venture was established with RollerBlade Inc. of Minnesota to manufacture patent-pending in-line skate wheels for international markets. Virtually overnight State Industries became a major manufacturer of wheels in North America. A fully automated factory was built in Winnipeg and several million skate wheels were produced during the course of production. At the same time the industrial division of State Industries grew rapidly and new techniques and methods were developed to produce more complex parts for many applications.

Today, Payam is the President of State Industries and State Mix, specializing in design and manufacturing of automated equipment for cast polyurethane industry, which boasts several MITT graduates in its employ. He has served in a variety of roles with several associations and boards including, MITT Governing Board, nonprofit boards, the Canadian Urethane Manufacturing Associations (CUMA), and most recently finished his term as the president of Polyurethane Manufacturing Association (PMA) in United States. Payam is also a member of Manitoba’s Professional Engineers Association (APEGM).

Payam gives three pieces of advice to those considering education and they are:

    - Take time to contemplate about what you really enjoy doing and try to pursue that as your career goal.

    - Don’t give up when you hear no or when you face obstacles.

    - Consider MITT as a step forward in a career goal you have. Many times our goals may look and feel hard to achieve given current circumstances but with the unique programs that MITT offers, it can provide a bridge to where you eventually see yourself.

Payam continues to give back to the College. State Industries generously contributes to bursary awards for MITT students each year.

Todd Church
Lead Designer and Principal, Central Alberta Design Drafting Services (CAD Technician '97)

Todd Church currently lives in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, but is originally from Gimli, MB, he is a proud alumnus of the MITT Technical Drafting program. After graduating from MITT in 1997, Todd worked his way up as a junior, intermediate, and finally as a senior-level mechanical design draftsman. His initial employment, with water treatment system experts, Automated-Treatment Processes Manufacturing, in Winnipeg, was the direct result of his work practicum through MITT. Todd’s career has since led him through the fields of pipeline inspection, drilling rig and oil & gas process equipment, and pipe handling.

Years of dedicated professional development, working on team projects and serving as both supervisor and mentor to his colleagues, have rewarded Todd by allowing him to successfully step aside as Lead Designer for a major oil & gas process equipment firm in Alberta and focus his energies on his role at industrial design and drafting documentation agency Central Alberta Design Drafting Services, where he functions as both Lead Designer and Principal.

Garry Nelson
CAD Coordinator, KGS Group (CAD Technician)

Mr. Nelson has almost 30 years of multi-discipline experience in the design and/or drafting of commercial and industrial projects. As a Senior CADD technician with KGS Group, Mr. Nelson is responsible for the production of working drawings for the electrical and controls systems design team for the firm. His duties include coordination of multi-discipline projects, maintenance and development of the company’s CAD systems, and the training of drafting team members.

Dana Peddle Campbell
Web & Social Media Manager, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe - NATO (Graphic and Print Technician)

Ms Campbell is a 2000 graduate of the Desktop Publishing Program (now Graphic and Print Technician) from Winnipeg Technical College (currently Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology) Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Shortly after graduation from MITT, Ms Campbell moved to The Netherlands where she began employment with The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a Senior Technical Editor and Deputy Webmaster. Following 8 years in that position, she moved on to become the Web and Social Media Manager for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium where she resides and works today.

Currently she enjoys managing the corporate website and social media platforms for the multi-national organization. She attributes her professional success, in part, to her education and skills acquired at WTC/MITT. “Winnipeg Technical College provided me with invaluable expertise which I have utilized throughout my career with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” she said. “Without that foundation, I would not have become the expert communicator and webmaster that I am today.”

Jeff Ganczar
President, Capitol Steel (Industrial Mechanic Millwright / CAD Technician)

Jeff Ganczar is a man who sees opportunity everywhere but he believes that you have to work to get there, as he did. Jeff attended the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology/Winnipeg Technical College and graduated in 1996. He now operates one of the top steel fabrication companies in Canada – Capitol Steel - here in Winnipeg.

Jeff grew up on a fruit and vegetable farm in Headingly. As anyone who has been on a farm knows, there’s always a lot to do… and fix. He attributes these experiences to sparking his interest in machinery and metalwork early on. Today, as president and founder of Capitol Steel, he bids on projects across Canada and the USA. Aside from a healthy work ethic gained on the family farm, he also credits MITT’s predecessor – the Winnipeg Technical College – for helping him discover his passion and get started in the working world.

One of the things Jeff remembers most fondly about his experiences with WTC/MITT is having instructors who supported him and understood his competing desires of his studies while also working two jobs. Jeff’s Millwrighting instructor – Dan Zvanovec – remembers how driven Jeff was: “Jeff was always incredibly hard working, and ahead in his studies, so when he needed to get out of class early to work at one of his jobs, I had no problem with that.”

Jeff started attending WTC while he was still in high school, through a partnership agreement with Oak Park High School. By the time he finished his first year, he was working 40 hours a week for Standard Manufacturing in North Kildonan, and also as a landscaper – in addition to going to school full time. In his second year at WTC, he started working at Shopost Iron Works in St. Boniface, which his welding training helped him get. From then on, Jeff had found his calling and was all about working with steel.

Jeff’s constant drive to expand his learning and understanding of how things come together was ever present, so he took Technical Drafting (now “CAD Technician”). This allowed him to understand how to interpret drawings, which proved extremely useful a few years later when he started his own business and began to took on larger and more complex jobs.

After graduating, he took a job in Kenora at Docks and Lifts, working on metal-framed docks and boat lifts. Ultimately he knew that he wanted to come home to Manitoba and run his own shop, so a year later, he moved back to Winnipeg and started working out of the back of his truck doing mobile welding. What he didn’t know from college, he soon figured out from real world experience.

After mobile welding for a year, his father gave him use of an outbuilding on the family farm to provide him with the ability to take on larger jobs year-round. Most of the projects were things such as steel handrails and sheet work. Word got around the industry that Jeff provided a superior product and workmanship and soon his business increased to the point where in 2000, he took a big leap forward and sublet 1,000 sq. ft. of space at the former Dominion Bridge facility. He remembers people looking at him as if he had bit off more than he could chew, but soon he started bidding on – and winning – bigger and bigger structural steel supply and erect jobs on buildings and bridges.

Today, the facility he runs near his first site is over 100,000 sq. ft. and does work nationwide and into the US, and his business ranks in the top five steel bridge firms in Canada. In Addition, Jeff has opened an Engineering office in Montreal, with plans to open a second fabrication shop in that area to accommodate market growth.

As he looks back, and like most MITT grads today, he says his instructors were great, and when he felt challenged, they helped him get through it. The ability to accelerate his training and be able to work while going to school was invaluable. “University really wasn’t for me, even though my parents wanted that for me – once I got a taste for building and fixing things, I never looked back. The MITT/WTC approach and structure fit me to a ‘T’.”

Jeff sees unlimited opportunity with a career in the trades and also sees the stereotype of trades training changing as well, although it still has a ways to go. He has hired several MITT grads in the last decade and says he looks for young people who, like himself, have a strong work ethic and are willing to keep learning.

Here’s how he put it: “When you’re young, sometimes you can’t see very clearly what the important things are. You have to stay focused and ignore the distractions that don’t really matter in the long run. With trades training, you’re in high demand and can earn as much or more than many others. Apply yourself, work hard and your opportunity is unlimited.”

Courtney Gagne
Manager, Segovia (Culinary Arts)

Courtney has worked in the restaurant industry for half of her life. She’s had the opportunity to work in many different kinds of restaurants and learn different ways to operate the business. She has a passion for flavours; in food, wine and cocktails. Her favourite thing about being in the hospitality industry, is that we are able to be a part of people's memories. That we can create an experience for the guests, and hopefully give them a great story to tell.

Sachin Fernadopulle
Senior Chef de Partie, Fairmount Hotel Winnipeg(Culinary Arts)

Sachin move to Canada in 2000 and started his culinary career in 2003 as a line cook. In 2005 he registered at MITT in the Culinary Arts & Design program to enhance his skills.  Sachin has worked in many of Winnipeg’s hotels and restaurants.  Currently, he is the Senior Chef de Partie, at the Fairmount Winnipeg.

Completing his Red Seal Certification in 2011, he is now working towards his Certified Chef du Cuisine (CCC) designation. He has trained under French Chefs and his specialty is “French Fusion.” Seeing people enjoying his creations is one of the reasons he loves what he does! His favourite quote is “Tell me what you eat, I will tell you who you are,” He truly believes foods can reveal your personality.  This is the one piece of wisdom he always shares with new cooks and students.

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