John F. N. Salik

Alpha Gala 2013: Congratulations to all winners.

In News on May 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm
The Alpha Gala hosted by the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie on May 9, 2013 in Saint-Laurent, Quebec.

The Alpha Gala hosted by the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie on May 9, 2013 in Saint-Laurent, Quebec.

The Chamber of Commerce of Saint-Laurent has a history that spans over thirty years and on May 9, they organized the 2013 Alpha Contest. They did this as part of their annual Alpha Gala, the most important economic event in the territory.  At this annual event they celebrated excellence in the business community and recognized the many companies that contributed to economic growth of the region.  I attended the Alpha Gala as part of an industrial outreach delegation from Vanier College.  As a member of this delegation and as an Internship Supervisor for the Computerized Systems Technology Program, I was charged with liaising with top business executives of the region to determine their specific manpower requirements for the foreseeable future.

 Being in an influential position to change the training curriculum of the program starting in the the Fall of 2015, I am in a unique position to determine how government specified competencies will be expressed for CST technicians for at least the next decade.  I recognize this to be a unique opportunity as college program revisions are far and few between.

At the Gala were many business leaders with some receiving excellence awards as part of the Alpha Contest.  Among many was Nancy Venneman, president of Altitude Aerospace whom I met briefly as the evening concluded.  The company is relatively new to the aerospace scene in Saint-Laurent, but has marked itself as a strong competitor in the field that specializes in conceptual design, structural analysis and certification for old and new aircraft fleets.  I will be sure to contact this company to determine what their growing human resources needs are and how I can offer them assistance through new graduates that are tailored for the industrial needs of the local aerospace community.

Someone I found quite interesting at the event was Daniel Dicaire who is the General Manager of Développement Économique Saint-Laurent.  We had an excellent discussion on how young entrepreneurs can be funded to kick-start businesses in the region.  I am a great fan of entrepreneurship and have business ventures of my own that are just starting to bloom so I fully understand the hardships of securing initial funding, especially where new product development is concerned. Given that graduates of the Computerized Systems Technology program are young professionals that were trained all along as hardware developers for the consumer and industrial markets, I believe that this organization can be of great assistance for those graduates that are interested in advancing their business aspirations while contributing to the growth of the Saint-Laurent business mosaic.

The Gala contingency also comprised several dignitaries, of most notable were Stéphane Dion who has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Laurent & Cartierville since 1996, and and Jean-Marc Fournier who was was the interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 2012 to 2013.  While I met the latter in person, I must say that my meeting with city counsillor, and borough mayor Alan DeSousa was far less formal, as his guard was down and his engagement in jovial banter was an appreciated manner in which to conclude the evening.  The man is genuine in his comments, and his knowledge and interest for the region he represents is most notable.  Without expressing my own political position, I can see why this man keeps getting re-elected: he is fully engaged in the interests of the region he represents.

This article would not be complete if I did not mention some of my trusted colleagues and new friends: Andrew Sarlos of the computerized Systems Technology Program, Michael Sendbuehler who is the Dean of the Faculty of Careers & Technical Programs, and Bill Pontikakis who was a guest for the delegation, representing entrepreneurial interests at Concordia University. All provided the necessary backdrop of humor and stimulating conversation that made the night a success for the Vanier College delegation as well as to the students that will benefit from the business connections that were made.  As a final note, I wish to congratulate all winners of the Alpha Contest as it is businesses like yours that keep the professional community vibrant and interesting while advancing the local economy.  Well done.

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