2021 Alumni Award Recipients

Tara McNeill
Class of 1997 (Communication Arts)
Class of 2011 (Automotive Service Technician - Apprenticeship)

Friend of New Brunswick Award

Tara McNeill

Tara McNeill has a passion for inclusivity in the skilled trades, and she’s sharing it with New Brunswick’s next generation of tradespeople. The NBCC double alumna (Class of 1997, Communication Arts, and Class of 2011, Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship) is a compelling role model for youth.

As a skilled trades instructor at two Fredericton high schools, Tara has opened up the world of skilled trades as a career option for hundreds of young people, including those currently under-represented in the trades - young women and the developmentally delayed.

Her advocacy for inclusivity, combined with her efforts to tailor skilled trades education to the ability of individual learners, earned her a National Inclusion Award from the New Brunswick Association for Community Living this year.

Students who take Tara’s class learn at their own pace as she adapts her teaching to the ability level of the individual. Those who learn easily and quickly are given stretch assignments; those who struggle, or even need the whole curriculum adjusted to match their learning level, get personal learning plans with plenty of one-on-one support. This had led Tara to forge some truly meaningful relationships with her developmentally delayed students.

Tara is a powerful promoter of women in the skilled trades. She takes her position as a positive role model for young women very seriously and actively seeks opportunities to spread the word about the opportunities that exist for female tradespeople, including serving as guest speaker at Women In Trades events.

Outside of the classroom, Tara engages her students in extra-curricular activities including the schools’ drag racing teams. She also volunteers as a proctor in Skills Canada competitions, which showcase the skilled trades to youth in the community.

Mathieu Savoie
Class of 2011 (Electronics Engineering Technology)

Mathieu Savoie

Mathieu Savoie is a rising star on the Atlantic Canada telecommunications scene, but his educational path didn’t exactly follow a traditional route. His high school education was prematurely interrupted, but he never gave up on learning. He got his GED, shortly before welcoming a second child to his young family. After a few years in the workforce, he decided to follow his lifelong passion for technology at NBCC.

After graduation, he worked for a national telecommunications contractor while obtaining his professional technologist and project manager certifications. In 2017, his experience in building fibre optic systems led him to manage a first-of-its-kind rural Atlantic Canadian broadband project, from design to construction. This project is helping bridge the telecommunications gap in rural Nova Scotia and help keep families and businesses connected and competitive with the rest of Canada, while effecting a significant improvement in emergency service coverage to help save lives and improve health outcomes. That project model is now being used to build other similar nationwide.

Mathieu has also worked on trans-Canadian and trans-Atlantic fibre links connecting major North American networks to European networks and beyond. He continues to consult on rural broadband internet networks across Canada and rural areas of the United States.

Mathieu’s leadership in the community includes helping newcomers to Canada find employment and settle in New Brunswick, contributing to the province’s diversity and population growth. He has also volunteered on professional boards to advance the project management profession and bridge the gap between skilled job seekers and potential employers.

Mathieu has demonstrated a strong commitment to developing skills in the telecommunications industry in New Brunswick. He has a bright future ahead of him as he continues to change the way New Brunswick connects to the world.

Johanne McInnis
Class of 1995 (Chemical Technology)

Johanne McInnis

Johanne McInnis was an early pioneer of NBCC’s vision of transforming lives and communities. When she graduated from the Chemical Technology Co-op program in 1995, she marked her transformation from a single mom looking for a better life to a peer mentor who achieved success while helping others find the same.

As the recipient of the Student Life Contribution Award during her time at NBCC, Johanne showed early indications of the leadership that would chart her path to career success. She mentored and tutored other students in math and science and improved student participation in campus activities and programs.

Her genuine caring nature, combined with a strong work ethic and a desire to continue learning, have facilitated her advancement as a public servant with Canada Border Services Agency, where after a 25-year career, she now serves as a Security Analyst and Advisor at the national level. In this leadership role, Johanne sits on a number of working groups that help employees reach their potential through education and mentoring.

Johanne’s leadership also shines in the community. Her personal experience as a single mother led her to take an integral role in the early development of First Steps Housing Inc., which provides a healthy, safe, and supportive environment for homeless pregnant and parenting young women. She continues to contribute to the organization by serving on the Board of Directors. Johanne has volunteered for many years in the community. From 1999-2006 she was the New Brunswick racquetball coach and took five teams to national competitions. Johanne has been a key player at her local sailing club for over 15 years and was awarded the female sailor of the year award in 2019.  She was also one of the founding members and first president of the Saint John Whisky Tasting Society.

Donna Green
Class of 1987 (Business Technology)

Donna Green

The building blocks of Donna Green’s strong leadership foundation were forged in the classrooms and hallways of NBCC. A 1987 graduate of the Business Technology program, Donna was surrounded by supportive classmates, caring mentors, and knowledgeable instructors as she set her goals for the future.

That future has included serving as the Marketing Director for Champlain Place, several management positions at a large communications company, owning and operating a small auto/trailer dealership, building a successful commercial real estate career as the sole female representative in the industry for half a decade, surviving breast cancer, and being a finalist for the 2020 Phenomenal Woman award from Business & Professional Women of Greater Moncton.

Known in the Greater Moncton region as an economic development specialist, Donna is a three-time member of the Cushman Wakefield Atlantic President’s Round Table.  Over the years, Donna has advised hundreds of corporate and small businesses in the real estate world and played a key role in building the commercial downtown core and beyond.   She also won several regional and national awards for her creative marketing while at Champlain Place.

When Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, she turned a personal health crisis into a leadership opportunity. She created a Facebook group, Donna’s Tribe to share her story as a healing and sharing place for herself. The group soon transformed into a safe platform for all tribe members to tell their stories, learn about important prevention and healthy habits, and, most importantly, experience  a space of positivity, empowerment, and celebration of wins.

Donna is an active volunteer in the community and beyond, as first Vice-President and representative of Business & Professional Women of Greater Moncton at a national roundtable on global women’s rights. She also lead the drive in the real estate community to secure more than $40,000 in office equipment, including a new photocopier for Crossroads for Women. Donna recently became a member of the ABreastARiver Dragon Boat team, now in training to compete in the 2022 races.  A staunch advocate for women in business, she has helped many over the years with career tips, guidance, references, training, and industry expertise, including several of her fellow alumni.