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SAIT Alumni Awards

catalyst graphic with a graduate inside with text over top saying Celebrating Alumni Excellence

Each year SAIT recognizes graduates who are accomplishing great things in our community, on the national stage and around the world. Congratulations to the 2021 recipients of SAIT's Distinguished and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards. 

2021 Alumni Awards recipients

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award

Shelley Kuipers 2021 Distinguished Alumna

Shelley Kuipers

Petroleum Engineering Technology '87
Entrepreneur and Investor

A serial entrepreneur, Shelley Kuipers knows the power of starting something new. She also understands how challenging launching a business can be — especially for women. Using a feminist-forward financial platform, Kuipers and her The51 co-founders match successful investors with talented entrepreneurs. Since 2019, the organization has engaged more than 100 investors in over 30 ventures, investing $16 million in Canada and the United States. 



Mike Lamacchia Distinguished Alumni 2021

Mike Lamacchia

Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic '90
Chief Operating Officer — Provincial Operations, STARS Air Ambulance

After joining STARS full-time in 1999, Mike Lamacchia launched North America's first mobile human patient simulation program. Using a custom motorhome equipped with groundbreaking technology, Lamacchia led a team bringing critical hands-on skills training to all corners of the province, preparing rural medical professionals to face complex and challenging emergency situations. Today, Lamacchia oversees STARS' operations across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 



2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Doug Braden 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni

Doug Braden

Mechanical Engineering Technology '11
Chief Technology Officer, InkSmith

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to grip the world, Doug Braden got a call from a local physician asking how quickly InkSmith could manufacture 10,000 face shields. In mere days, Braden shifted InkSmith's focus away from selling 3D printers and laser cutters to school and began retooling its infrastructure to create and manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for Canada's frontline workers. 


Alumni Awards nominations

Nominations are currently closed. Be sure to check back for your opportunity to submit your nomination(s) of a deserving SAIT graduate for future Alumni Awards. 

Distinguished Alumni Award nomination criteria

Established in 1988, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a SAIT graduate who demonstrates:

      • proven leadership skills
      • exceptional achievements in business or industry
      • outstanding contributions to the community
      • a history of support for SAIT

All Distinguished Alumni Honourees

Outstanding Young Alumni Award nomination criteria

Established in 2009, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes a SAIT graduate who:

      • has graduated from SAIT in the last 10 years and is 35 years or younger
      • has proven leadership skills
      • exhibits exceptional achievements in their field of endeavour
      • demonstrates outstanding contributions to the community

All Outstanding Young Alumni Honourees

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