Athletes, educators, entrepreneurs and entertainers are among the eight University of Windsor grads who will be honoured for their successes early in their professional careers during the University of Windsor Alumni Association’s annual general meeting on Thursday, November 15.
This year’s recipients of the Odyssey Award are:
Kara Ro (BA 2000), a professional boxer and Canadian champion, uses her career in the ring as a platform to inspire women and girls to achieve their dreams. A certified professional life coach, the owner of KORE Consulting, she served as the women’s boxing analyst on TSN, CTV and Sportsnet for the 2012 Olympics, and is currently a commentator for professional boxing and mixed martial arts on FOX, HBO, MYTV20.
Jamie Adjetey-Nelson (BA 2007, BEd 2009), a champion athlete, made history when he captured the men’s decathlon title and won the gold at the 2010 Commonwealth games in New Delhi. One of his ultimate goals is giving back to those who have supported him – his schools, his community and his country. He travels to share his experiences with young people and gives motivational speeches on healthy living and setting goals to help them reach their full potential.
Gary Kalaci (BSc 2005, LLB 2009, MBA 2009) is co-founder and president of Alexa Translations, which provides interpretation in more than 110 languages and dialects. In the past year, the company has evolved its service offerings to include multicultural/localization web-development and design. His community work drew national attention, making him the first-ever recipient of the federal government’s Therese Casgrain Volunteer Award.
Michael Kaye (MBA 2008) is co-founder and vice president of sales and operations of Alexa Translations. He is currently a member of the Executive Management Advisory Board of the Odette School of Business. This past year, he became chair of the organizing committee for the Toronto Chapter Annual Humphrey Memorial Golf Tournament, which has raised more than half a million dollars in support of student scholarships.
Laura Condlln (BFA 2001) has been acting with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for 11 seasons. Among her favourite roles at the festival are Irene Molloy in The Matchmaker, Chrysothemis in Elektra, Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan, Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Polly in the King of Thieves. She has received the festival’s Mary Savidge Award, which recognizes an actress who has shown outstanding commitment to her craft.
Kyle Blair (BFA 2001) joined the Stratford Festival in 2001 with his first role as Rolf in The Sound of Music. Since then, he has distinguished himself in such featured musical-theatre roles as Jack in Into the Woods and Will Parker in Oklahoma! His talents have been recognized by winning the festival’s Tyrone Guthrie Awards, the Maureen Forrester Award to study classical voice and the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding contributions to the festival.
Meighen Nehme (BComm 2002) is founder and president of The Job Shoppe, a privately owned and operated work solutions firm, which represents many of Ontario's most exciting organizations and candidates. The agency’s growth—it has three locations, 25 internal staff, 550 external works and annual revenues between five and ten million dollars—earned Nehme the number six spot on PROFIT magazine’s list of Canadian female entrepreneurs for 2012.
Marcia Mayhew (BComm 1990), president of Mayhew and Associates, is responsible for all aspects of the workplace design company—revenue and profit, market development, and the “go-to” market strategy. The firm has been named among Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies; a success for which she credits the entire team’s strength and talent.
Shantelle Browning-Morgan (BA 2000, BEd 2001, MEd 2008) is a Windsor teacher who received the nation’s highest teaching honour for transforming her high school history classroom into a vehicle for learning. Her course “The History of Africa and Peoples of African Descent” illuminates the history of a unique group of people who settled in the local region to escape slavery and won her recognition with the Governor General’s History Award.
The November 15 alumni evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. in the CAW Student Centre’s Ambassador Auditorium before the formal program begins at 6 p.m.
In addition to the Odyssey awards, the association will confer its Excellence in Mentoring Award on law professor Donna Marie Eansor (LLB 1980) and kinesiology professor Margery Holman (BA 1968, BPE 1969) and the Alumni Award of Merit on David Phillips (BA 1967), senior climatologist for Environment Canada, and educator and music professional Maureen Harris (BMA 1997, MEd 2006).