Okanagan College Honorees

Honorary Fellows and
Distinguished Service

Since 2006, Okanagan College has been presenting Honorary Fellow Awards to deserving individuals as part of its annual Convocation Ceremonies. The awards recognize distinguished achievement or service and the recipients represent a broad spectrum of regional, provincial, national and international contributions. The awards acknowledge a diverse array of people, from those who have advanced literacy among youth to individuals whose work has helped create awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. A list of recipients can be found below.

Nominations for 2017 Honorary Fellow being accepted until November 10, 2016. Download nomination form here

Honorary Fellow Medal

Description of the Honorary Fellow Award & Criteria

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service.

The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment.

The College welcomes nominations (link to PDF of nomination form) that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society. Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the Province, the Nation or on an international level.

The award will not normally be given to a serving politician or current employee of the College.

Nominations are reviewed by a standing committee of Okanagan College’s Education Council and confidential recommendations for recognition are made to the Education Council and the Board of Governors.

2016 Recipients:

See press release here
Anthony von Mandl Anthony von Mandl, O.B.C.

Proprietor of VMF Estates, founder of Mission Hill Family Estate and one of the region’s best-known self-made entrepreneurs, von Mandl was recognized by the College for his vision and pioneering efforts in making the Okanagan a world-class winery destination. Mission Hill Family Estate, which von Mandl conceived and built to endure for centuries, has become internationally known, and been called “the gold standard of wineries” by Condé Nast Traveler.
Bill Redmond William Redmond

Bill Redmond spent 40 years building his career in the wholesale food industry. He is the founder and formerly the president and CEO of HRI Supply Ltd. Redmond launched the company in 1978 and guided its growth until it merged with Sysco Corp. in 2001. HRI Supply is the only food distribution company in the B.C. Interior to merge with a Fortune 500 company in the past 30 years. After the merger Redmond continued his career as president and CEO of Sysco Kelowna until he retired from the company in 2004.
Rita Winkler Dr. Rita Winkler

Dr. Rita Winkler is a forest hydrologist with a career spanning more than 35 years. During this time she has worked in government, academia and private consulting in operational settings, education and research. Winkler is credited with sustaining B.C.’s longest running paired watershed experiment, which is located at Upper Penticton Creek in the South Okanagan. Research at this site focuses on improving our understanding of water supplies from forested watersheds and how natural disturbance, land management and climate change can affect this vital resource.



Previous Year's Recipients:


Annette Sharkey
Annette Sharkey
Norm Embree
Norm Embree
Rick Pushor
Rod Butters
Rod Butters


Margriet Ruurs
Jim Henderson
Raghwa Gopal
Garry Benson


Ernie Philip
Alan Gatzke
Barry Lapointe


Janet Shaw
Lane Merrifield
Yasmin John-Thorpe


Bev Busson
Tom Landecker
Mel Kotler


Dorothy Tinning
George and Trudy Heiss
Peter Haubrich


Barbara Marchand
Charles Armstrong
Robert Fine


Syd Cannings
Dick Cannings
Robert Cannings
Jeanette Armstrong
Ken Harding


Ken Smedley
Lorraine McGrath
Ross Gorman


Lois Serwa
Albert Baldeo
Mike Roberts





Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

This award is to honour and recognize former Okanagan Colle ge employees, who have given outstanding service to Okanagan College, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Okanagan College, and who are active within and outside the Okanagan College community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.

Nominations for 2017 Distinguished Service Award are being accepted until November 10, 2016. Download nomination form here

Rick Gee


Rick Gee
Former Chair of Okanagan College’s Education Council and longtime professor of Computer Science
A retired employee who assembled an impressive career that spanned 30 years and five days is recognized by Okanagan College with the Distinguished Service Award. Gee has left an indelible mark on the institution’s curriculum and program development after dedicating more than three decades to supporting students and enhancing academic standards. Gee is the fifth person in College history to receive the award, which is the highest honour bestowed upon a former employee.


John Lent
John Lent


Catherine Williams
Catherine Williams


Gary Dickinson
Gary Dickerson


Lynda Wilson
Lynda Wilson


Okanagan University College
Honorary Doctorates


Katy Bindon
William Bowering
Roy Brown
Rowland Grant
Mike Harcourt
Ronald Jeffels
Tom Kerr
Graham Smith
Miho Steinberg
Guy Tousignant
Steven Tuck
Norman Walker
Peter Williams


Arthur Carty
Andrea Deakin
Lambert Schmalz
Alison Smith
Gerry Zimmermann


James English
D. Ross Fitzpatrick
Thomas Foord
Jack Whyte


Daphne Odjig
Patricia Proudfoot


Mary Louie
Harry McWatters


Tony Onley
John Woodowrth


Roger Ames
Stephen Cannings
Vicki Gabereau
John Thomson


Charles Fipke


Okanagan University College
Distinguished Service Award Recipients


Graham Bruce


Gary Mellor


Alex Recsky