NAIT prepares for largest convocation to date
More than 1,500 students expected to cross the stage May 6 and 7; three community leaders to receive honorary degrees
Three community leaders will receive honorary degrees at NAIT’s 53rd convocation this week and more than 1,500 students are expected to cross the stage, making this the polytechnic’s largest convocation to date.
Convocation takes place Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (11455 87 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB). More than 8,000 students are expected to graduate, but not all attend convocation.
Jim Rakievich, president and CEO of McCoy Global, will receive an honorary Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management degree; Ken Lueers, president of ConocoPhillips Canada, will receive an honorary Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management and Stewart Roth, president and CEO of Guardian Chemicals, will receive an honorary Bachelor of Business Administration.
Honorary degrees will be presented as follows:
- Jim Rakievich – Friday evening ceremony (start time 6:30 p.m.)
- Ken Lueers – Saturday morning ceremony (start time 8:30 p.m.)
- Stewart Roth – Saturday afternoon ceremony (start time 1:30 p.m.)
Media interested in attending are asked to make arrangements in advance by calling NAIT media relations at 780.916.8307.
- 92% of NAIT grads find employment within months of graduating from full-time programs
- 95% of employers are satisfied with the performance of NAIT grads
- 97% of grads would recommend NAIT
Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO
“This year we are honouring three exceptional leaders and NAIT alumni with honourary degrees. Their impact in our province and country has been remarkable – and I couldn’t be more proud to honour their accomplishments and commitment to community in this way. With over 200,000 alumni, NAIT touches so many people in our city, our province and country. We are truly essential.”
Dr. Neil Fassina, NAIT vice-president academic and provost
“Convocation is a celebration of our learners and for our learners. This is an opportunity to recognize their exceptional accomplishments with friends, family and the NAIT community. We wish our 2016 graduates well in their future personal, professional and learning experiences.”
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.
Honorary degree - Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management
As the president and CEO of McCoy Global, Jim Rakievich led the company through significant transformation from a small, western Canadian diversified business to a global, pure play business that provides drilling and completions technologies worldwide.
When he was appointed to his current role as president and chief executive officer and a member of McCoy’s board of directors in 2002, the company generated $28 million in revenue. His leadership transformed McCoy into an innovative and growth-focused operation that generated $168 million in revenue in 2008 and acquired five other companies.
Rakievich, who graduated from NAIT’s Heavy Duty Mechanic program in 1982, has more than 20 years of senior management experience driving growth. He attended the executive development program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2001 and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors program at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, receiving his ICD.D designation.
Before becoming president and CEO, he was the company’s chief operating officer. In addition to being a director of McCoy Global, Jim is also a director for Edmonton-based Cougar Drilling Solutions and for Snubbertech Inc., another Edmonton-based energy technology company. As a former director and co-chair of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association’s Alberta division, Rakievich has consistently supported Canadian companies who desire to develop and export their technologies around the world.
Rakievich is a strong supporter of McCoy’s activities in the broader community, supporting Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, the Terra Centre and Youth Empowerment and Support Services. To date, McCoy Global has donated more than $650,000 to NAIT’s applied research, Machinist program and scholarships and bursaries.
Honorary degree - Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management
Born and raised on a farm in rural Alberta, Ken Lueers is a family man who grew up understanding the value of hard work. When he isn’t working, he likes to dirt bike with his son, ski with friends and travel with his wife.
The first to attend university in his family, he earned a diploma in Resource Engineering Technology from NAIT in 1982, then received a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geology from the University of Alberta in 1985, in addition to receiving the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) Gold Medal in Geology.
In more than 30 years in the oil and gas business, Lueers has worked for companies like Texaco, Imperial Oil, Exxon and ConocoPhillips’ predecessor company, Burlington Resources. In June 2012, he became president of ConocoPhillips Canada, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Canada. Under his leadership, the company has set the bar for industry safety performance, and in 2015, the Canadian business unit was recognized as having the best safety performance of all of ConocoPhillips’ world-wide operations.
Lueers sits on the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ Board of Governors, the Oil Sands CEO Council, the Enform Board of Directors and is a member of the Business Council of Canada. He is one of the five oil and gas industry executives behind the Problem Solving Forum – a group of industry leaders working with environmental non-government organizations and government to collaborate on our most challenging environmental issues.
He is passionate about making a meaningful difference in relationships with Aboriginal communities and works on this issue through the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and a number of other initiatives.
ConocoPhillips Canada is a leadership donor to NAIT, contributing more than $1.5 million in support of scholarships and the Power Engineering Technology program.
Honorary degree - Bachelor of Business Administration
Stewart Roth is the president and CEO of Guardian Chemicals, a national supplier of specialty chemicals used in the mining, pulp and paper, transportation, oil and gas, water treatment, printing and a variety of other industrial applications. A graduate of NAIT’s Chemical Technology program in 1969, Roth partnered with fellow alumnus Wilf Nikolaj (Accounting, ’80), to become shareholders and eventually, owners of Guardian.
The company has flourished under their leadership by focusing on continuous improvement through research and development, becoming an innovator and moving into international markets. Roth now heads a growing group of chemical companies spanning the United States, Egypt, Ecuador, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and China. A few, such as the U.S. oil and gas supplier Sierra Chemicals, have been sold to local managers.
Roth believes in building community through education, and that success in business, as in community, depends on quality people. To that end, Guardian funds scholarships at NAIT and at the University of Alberta, to support and grow the talent needed to continue diversifying Alberta's economy.
Roth received the NAIT Alumni Award of Distinction in 2001 and he is currently Chair of the Alberta Glycomics Centre Management Advisory Board, executive board member of Glyconet, the National Centre of Excellence research group and director of Future CITE 150, with a focus on celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.