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Foundation announces 2020 Distinguished Alumni

The Holland College Foundation has named Vince McKenna, Dawn Rix-Moore, and Harvey Stewart as the recipients of its 13th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Foundation Board Chair Kent Scales said that the 2020 recipients are being honoured for their accomplishments and commitment to their chosen professions.

“Vince, Dawn, and Harvey are all wonderful examples to current students that their Holland College education, combined with hard work and perseverance, can bring them tremendous success.” 

Vince McKenna – Programmer/Analyst 1984

Vince McKenna developed a strong work ethic through the McKenna family business. After receiving a business degree and following a short period with an accounting firm, Vince enrolled in and completed the Programmer/Analyst program at Holland College. Vince is an IT entrepreneur and has taken a number of businesses from start-up to maturity.

McKenna joined DeltaWare Systems as a partner in 1994. In 2002 and 2006, McKenna and his two partners received the Premier’s IT Entrepreneurship Award. In 2006, he was a finalist for the regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2014, under McKenna’s direction, DeltaWare once again received the Premier’s IT Entrepreneurship Award,as well as a Workplace Excellence Award through the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

DeltaWare has been nominated for several awards, including Atlantic Canada’s Business of the Year and Canada’s Top 100 Businesses of the Year award. In 2010, DeltaWare was acquired by Maximus Inc., a US-based company. McKenna was appointed president of DeltaWare Maximus in 2013, a position he held until his retirement in 2017. Maximus continues to operate in Charlottetown with over 100 highly skilled employees and continues to serve clients nationally and internationally. 

Prior to joining DeltaWare, McKenna was a founding partner and consultant with Online Support Inc. and served as director and general manager of PEINet.

McKenna is an active and committed community volunteer. He has served as a director and president of ITAP (Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island) and, most recently, on the QEH Friends for Life Campaign Cabinet as the Queens County Business Lead. Additionally, he has been involved in raising money for the Pownal rink, amateur sports and the Heart and Stroke Association. Vince is a born leader and mentor. Staff, managers, and partners often solicit his opinions and knowledge on how to operate, grow, and enhance business.

Dawn Rix-Moore – Nursing Assistant – 1996

Over 20 years ago, Dawn Rix-Moore graduated as a member of the first cohort of the Holland College Nursing Assistant program. Since then, she has served in many roles throughout the Prince Edward Island health care system. In 2008, she began work as a practice consultant for the PEI regulatory body, and in 2016 became the executive director of what is now known as the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Prince Edward Island.

In her role as executive director, Rix-Moore provides support and leadership to all provincial LPNs, serves on many provincial and national committees, and demonstrates a passion for the enhancement of healthy public policy. She has been instrumental in the province’s implementation of the Regulated Health Professions Act and has worked tirelessly to educate all stakeholders on the act.

In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, Rix-Moore demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to her professional community and to the safety and well-being of the general public. She was involved in the Health PEI Nursing Strategy Steering Committee, which created the Health PEI Nursing Strategy 2017-2020.  This strategy ensures that nurses are delivering the right care, in the right place, by the right provider, while taking into consideration current nursing positions and the future direction of the profession. She has been a guest speaker at Holland College graduation and is a strong advocate for Holland College programs.  Rix-Moore also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Nursing Assessment Service and on the Council of the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators.

Harvey Stewart – Welding, 1978

Harvey Stewart took charge of A.D. Stewart following the sudden death of his older brother, Allan. In 1989, he bought the company and changed the name H.F. Stewart. He grew the business to be very successful in the potato and fishing industry and became a true asset to many small businesses in O’Leary. Today it is a successful business run by his two sons, and employs many local residents.

In 1999, Stewart and his team were approached to provide a solution for a customer who was having issues with trailers tipping over. Steward realized that the solution was to design live bottom trailer. He recognized there was a market for live bottom trailers, and as a result, Trout River Industries was born. The company opened in April of 2002.

Trout River Industries has grown immensely over the past 17 years. It started with six employees and now employs more than 100 people, many of whom are Holland College graduates. Trout River, a privately held company, now manufactures live bottom trailers, truck boxes, and Hycube trailers in Coleman, P.E.I. The company is now Canada's largest live bottom trailer manufacturer.

Trout River is a global brand known for its innovation and ability to generate wealth. The company’s sales network of dedicated dealerships have professional staff who have all been factory trained and carry Trout River parts to serve their clients’ needs and keep them on the job and making money. Trout River trailers and now operating in four continents, and there are 65 dealer locations across North America. 

Stewart is known in his community to help others in need and has been active for more than 40 years in the West Point Fire Department. contributing a great deal to its growth. He is heavily involved in several major fundraisers for the fire department. He works tirelessly to improve the fire hall, trucks, and equipment, helping to ensure the safety of the firefighters and the community in which he lives. He has also been involve in the West Point Development Company and minor hockey. 

McKenna, Rix-Moore, and Stewart join past recipients, Brian Burke, Chris Murray, Cheryl Roche, Jan Cowper, Irwin MacKinnon, David Poirier, Melody Dover, John Sylvester, Melanie Wildman, Scott Annear, Patti Larsen, David Trainor, Wayne Stewart, Cory LeDrew, Kevin Proude, Sue LeFort, Delaney Chisholm, Norma Lee MacLeod, John Ledwell, Paul Livingston, Robert Webster, Barry Sheen, Kathy Ward Doucette, Steven Barber, Tim Banks, Louise Vessey, David Garcelon, Basil Stewart, Jeff Poirier, Eva O'Hanley, Jamie Hill, Sonya Corrigan, Alan MacLeod, Steven Collicutt, John Avery, Brent Blackmore, Alanna Jankov, and Kevin O'Brien as Holland College Distinguished Alumni.  A display celebrating all alumni who have been honoured with the award is located on the college’s Prince of Wales Campus in Charlottetown.

Jo-Ann Campbell-Boutilier, Holland College’s Executive Director, Foundation and Alumni, said that celebrating the achievements of graduates is a priority for Holland College.

“We are so proud of our 45,000 alumni and the impact they are making worldwide,” she said.  “Vince McKenna, Dawn Rix-Moore, and Harvey Stewart join a distinguished group of graduates whose collective leadership in their industries and their communities has been remarkable. We are excited to celebrate their accomplishments, and we know they will inspire current and future students.”

Find out how to nominate an alumnus of Holland College for a Distinguished Alumni Award here. Nominations are accepted year-round.

For more information about this release, please contact:
Jo-Ann Campbell-Boutilier, Executive Director - College Advancement and the Holland College Foundation
Tel: 902-629-4273
Date: Friday, October 23, 2020