More than a dozen Brock University alumni and staff have made the list of Niagara’s top young business professionals.
Business Link Media Group announced the recipients of the 16th Annual 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards, which celebrate and honour 40 individuals under the age of 40 who greatly contribute to Niagara’s growth and development.
Of the 15 Brock community members named, three are Brock University staff members: Emily Allan (BPhEd ’05, MEd ’13), Associate Director, Brock Sports; Joshua Tonnos, Associate Vice-President, Financial Services; and Dr. Stephanie Yurkewich, Medical Doctor with Brock Student Health Services.
“I’m honoured to receive the award,” said Allan. “I feel as though I’m receiving this at the beginning stages of my development as a leader, especially being in a new role, so it was definitely unexpected.”
As the Associate Director, Brock Sports, Allan oversees 33 varsity teams and their coaches, as well as Brock Sports staff members who work together to deliver an exceptional competitive athletic opportunity and university experience for approximately 900 student-athletes.
In addition to a steady advancement in her career, Allan was chosen as one of this year’s 40 Under Forty recipients for her community engagement and fundraising efforts for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
For Tonnos, winning the award is as much a personal accomplishment as a team success.
“Nothing I have done in my career was done alone,” he said. “Everything required collaboration from a team of intelligent and dedicated colleagues.”
As a Chartered Professional Accountant, Tonnos provides leadership and oversight for Brock University’s budgetary, audit, tax and regulatory financial compliance, investment, procurement and student financial account functions. His past experience includes roles with top local employers Canadian Tire Financial Services and the Niagara Region.
Tonnos is thankful for the mentorship he has received at Brock and feels it plays a significant role in achieving professional success.
“Helping those around you succeed is the best way to have a successful and rewarding career,” he said. “I have been blessed with mentorship from truly outstanding leaders at Brock. Leadership filters through the entire ranks and you can feel the energy every day at Brock.”
The University’s third staff recipient is a physician with Student Health Services.
“Doctors are expected to help people, so being granted this award demonstrates how much our community really values the impact we are able to make,” said Yurkewich.
“I find it rewarding to help University students stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and to support them through difficult times.”
Yurkewich values giving back to the community. She continues to help educate future medical students and residents. She and a friend also recently created Charity Gals, a not-for-profit organization that supports local charities through annual fundraising events. The organization’s inaugural event, Stay the Night, raised $10,000 last year for the Canadian Mental Health Association Niagara’s Safe Beds program.
Allan, Tonnos and Yurkewich will celebrate their accomplishments alongside 12 Brock alumni at an awards ceremony Thursday, May 23 at the Holiday Inn and Suites, Parkway Convention Centre in St. Catharines. Tickets are $95 each or $900 for a table of 10.
Brock’s three staff members agree the 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards are important to the Niagara region.
“They create a network for young professionals and build the reputation of Niagara as a place to learn, work, live and grow,” said Tonnos. “They also demonstrate the valuable employment opportunities available to the workforce, which play a role in attracting students, families and businesses to our community.”
“The awards show gratitude to individuals who help the region grow and flourish,” said Yurkewich. “I hope they inspire young people to keep chasing their dreams and to get involved in the community.”
“These awards affirm that we’re all moving in the right direction and making a positive impact,” Allan added.
Brock University community recipients of the 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards 2019:
- Emily Allan (BPhEd ’05, MEd ’13), Associate Director, Brock Sports, Brock University
- Madison Fuller (BA ’17), Manager, ncTakeOff, Niagara College
- Jennifer Gauthier (BA ’07), Executive Director, Women’s Place of South Niagara
- Josh Knoester (BSM ’15), Vice-President, League Operations, Canadian Elite Basketball League
- Neil Lane (BBA ’08), Co-Founder and CEO, Stathletes Inc.
- Chris Lorence (BBA ’14), Brand Specialist, Brand Blvd.
- Amanda MacDonald (BRLS ’17), Executive Director, Downtown Welland BIA
- Scott Plugers (BAcc ’11), Senior Manager Audit, KPMG Canada
- Chrissy Sadowski (BA ’02), Fund Development Officer, Community Care of St. Catharines
- Jeff Scull (MA ’15), Coach, Edge Triathlon
- Joshua Tonnos, Associate Vice-President, Financial Services, Brock University
- Nicholas Visser (BAcc ’13), Manager, Durward Jones Barkwell and Company LLP
- Annie Wilson (BA ’03), Programming Supervisor, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
- Tanner Wilson (BPhEd ’14), Brand Specialist, Brand Blvd.
- Stephanie Yurkewich, Medical Doctor, Patient Networks and Brock University Student Health Services