Centennial College President Ann Buller earns Margot Franssen Leadership

TORONTO, May 20 /CNW/ - Centennial College President Ann Buller is receiving the Margot Franssen Leadership Award for her commitment to the advancement of women and girls in society, and for her outstanding leadership in the education sector and in the communities of Scarborough and Toronto.

Under her leadership, Centennial established a Women In Skilled Trades program, which has evolved into a Women's Skilled Trades Opportunities program that is second to none in the postsecondary education sector. Last year, 25 women enrolled in the pre-apprenticeship program that focuses on helping women take the first steps towards an apprenticeship in the male-dominated automotive professions.

Buller was a founding faculty member of the National Executive Leadership Institution, established to help individuals prepare for leadership positions in Canadian community colleges. Buller has mentored and promoted women in leadership, teaching and supporting the next generation of college presidents and infusing in them the confidence to achieve anything they set out to do.

In 2007, Buller shaved her head to show solidarity with women battling breast cancer - including her own sister - and went on to establish a special scholarship to assist Centennial College students living with serious illnesses. The endowment now totals $111,000 - far beyond the original goal.

In 2005, Toronto Mayor David Miller asked Buller to chair the Governing Toronto Panel, responsible for making recommendations on how to structure governmental powers under the province's new City of Toronto Act. Her work on the taskforce led to her becoming a member of the Board of Trade, where she connects with key business and political leaders. More recently, she became vice-chair of Invest Toronto, which engages private- and public-sector partners to promote Toronto as a destination for businesses in which to invest and prosper.

The Margot Franssen Leadership Award, established in 2005, recognizes a woman of accomplishment who combines outstanding leadership in the private or public sector with a passionate commitment of advancement of women and girls. The award is named in honour of Canadian entrepreneur and activist Margot Franssen.

Ann Buller will receive the award as part of the 13th annual Gala to honour heroes of MicroSkills, a non-profit agency that provides settlement, employment and self-employment services to immigrants, youth, visible minority people and low-income women. The gala dinner will take place on May 27 in Brampton.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, (416) 289-5000, ext. 7142, mtoljagic@centennialcollege.ca; Annette Heatherington, Director of Resource Development, MicroSkills, (416) 247-7181, ext. 2342, (416) 729-9592, aheatherington@microskills.ca

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