Outstanding NAIT alumni honoured with recognition awards
Entrepreneur Lance Torgerson and restaurateur Daniel Costa are the recipients of NAIT’s 2012 alumni awards, which recognize the accomplishments of alumni who have contributed to the institute or the community.
“We are very proud of our award recipients,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO. “Their success is an inspiration to NAIT students and reflects the value of a NAIT education in preparing for meaningful careers. Their achievements remind us of how essential NAIT alumni are to our province.”
Torgerson (Business Administration, Management ’95) is the recipient of the 2012 Alumni Award of Distinction, which recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of NAIT alumni who have earned prominence within a profession and contributed significant service to NAIT or the community. Torgerson founded an industrial lodging business in 1997, which today is called Noralta Lodge Ltd. With some of the biggest companies in the oil and gas sector as clients, the Nisku-based Noralta Lodge has become the largest independent lodging company in the country.
“I’m honoured to have been chosen for this award,” said Torgerson. “NAIT has provided me with tools that have been part of my success. I also believe that you make your own luck and success through hard work. Education is one piece of the puzzle. You cannot wait for success, you have to go find it.”
In addition to his business dealings, Torgerson is a community-minded individual. In the mid-1990s, at the age of 24, he became the youngest councillor ever to hold office in the town of Slave Lake. In May 2011, when wild fires ravaged the community, Torgerson immediately offered his support, accommodating displaced residents at his lodges. NAIT students have also benefited from Torgerson’s support. He has established scholarships to help NAIT’s Hospitality Management and Baking Certificate students successfully reach their goals.
Costa (Culinary Arts ’05) is the recipient of the 2012 Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements of alumni early in their careers (within 12 years of graduating from NAIT). Costa is the owner of Corso 32, recently named one of Canada’s best restaurants by Maclean’s magazine.
“I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive this award,” said Costa. “NAIT opened many doors for me and gave me the fundamentals to start my career as a chef.”
After graduating from NAIT, Costa gained experience in the industry by working in local restaurants before moving to Italy. Costa attributes his time overseas as the turning point of his career, and where he developed his approach to cooking authentic Italian cuisine. When Costa returned to Edmonton he co-founded Da Capo Café, going on to establish a private catering business before opening Corso 32 in 2011.
The awards were presented at a private alumni recognition event last night.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students in 1962.
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