John and Susan Hokanson
John and Susan Hokanson are long-time NAIT supporters who have made important contributions to the ongoing success of NAIT's Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies.
- In 2003, their generous leadership gift kicked off a campaign that raised $3.25 million to create the Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts.
- A second leadership gift in 2007 created an endowment fund that established the Hokanson Chef in Residence Program.
A passion to support education led to John and Susan Hokanson's relationship with NAIT, but it went further than that.
"A good part of my career was in the food industry," says John Hokanson, who followed in his father's footsteps to run his own industrial catering business – PTI Group Inc. He has since sold the business but maintains that "food has always been near and dear to our family's heart. So this was something to do to honour the history of the family."
The Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts opened in 2005, with the dining room renamed Ernest's, in honour of John Hokanson's father. Learn more about Ernest Hokanson.
John Hokanson served on NAIT's Board of Governors from 1991 to 1997, and Susan Hokanson was the chair for the NAIT Cruise in 1997. The couple were named Distinguished Friends of the Institute in 2004.