Wider Horizons

Four Lethbridge College alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their careers and communities have been recognized as this year’s Honouring Excellence award winners. Honouring Excellence awards are given each year to notable graduates whose perseverance, determination and grit set them apart.

“Honouring Excellence is our opportunity to really look at the people who make Lethbridge College great,” says David Cocks (Engineering Design and Drafting Technology 2001), chair of the Alumni Advisory Council. “Our graduates are the ones who carry our flag out to the world. We are proud of the work they do every day, and these individuals deserve recognition for the great careers they have built and the ways they have given back to their communities since leaving Lethbridge College.”

This year’s recipients are Distinguished Alumna Jacquie Daumont, Career Virtuoso Obed Maurice, Community Leader Marci Neher-Schwengler, and Rising Star Joshua Day Chief. Read about Daumont here, and learn about the other winners below.

Obed Maurice (Business Administration – Management 2000)

2020 Career Virtuoso Award Recipient

Obed Maurice is this year’s Lethbridge College Career Virtuoso award recipient. A lifelong entrepreneur, Obed has always sought opportunities to improve the traditional ways of doing things. Asking “why not?” is his typical response when considering an out-of-the-box idea. Following his graduation from the Business Administration – Management program at Lethbridge College in 2000, Obed received his Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge, and then went on to earn his Chartered Accountant designation. Entering industry, Obed looked for opportunities to automate, enhance and refine processes, while improving the customer experience for his clients. In 2011, he founded Maxim Management, one of Canada’s first virtual accounting firms. In 2018, Obed merged his practice to join forces with Avail CPA. As a partner at Avail LLP, Obed has set a goal of leading the accounting industry into the future and changing the way the profession is viewed. Much of his work today is centred on using technology and innovation to improve people’s financial wellbeing. In 2018, he co-founded CliQue Advisor – a financial advisory technology. This technology has received recognition and funding from Alberta Innovates and the National Research Council.


Marci Neher-Schwengler (Nursing 1988)

2020 Community Leader Award Recipient

Marci Neher-Schwengler is the recipient of this year’s Community Leader award. Marci, a 1988 grad of the college’s Nursing program, has committed to a personal nursing philosophy that nursing is more than just a career – it is a privilege taken upon by people who are passionate about using their knowledge and skills to help and advocate for those who are unable to help themselves. Kindness, empathy and a passion for life-long learning are the cornerstones. Following her time at Lethbridge College, Marci earned both her Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Nursing from the University of Lethbridge. She has worked as a Registered Nurse for 30 years in a variety of roles, including bedside acute care nurse, advanced practice nurse and clinical educator. For the last three years, she has been manager of the Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Unit at Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital. Known for going above and beyond for her patients, Marci has built a sense of community in the hospital. She continues to make her community a better place, as she has begun a new career educating the next generation of nurses as a clinical educator and lecturer at the University of Lethbridge.


Joshua Day Chief (Environmental Assessment and Restoration 2013)

2020 Rising Star Award Recipient

Joshua Day Chief is this year’s Rising Star award recipient. Just seven years after graduating from the Environmental Assessment and Restoration program at Lethbridge College, Joshua is CEO of AdvancedAg Inc., a family-owned company focused on producing beneficial blends of bacteria for crop and soil health. Joshua’s first steps into the industry in 2013 were working a research projects for Advanced Water Technologies (AWT), a company owned by his mother, Phyllis Day Chief, while also juggling a job in the environmental consulting world. AWT’s projects focused on using bacteria to naturally clean up lakes and stormwater ponds. Joshua helped to double AWT’s client list in the first year, while also researching and marketing a bacteria-based product for agriculture, which helped to diversify and grow the company. Joshua enjoys the challenge of new opportunities and engages a team approach to drive projects. He’s a natural leader and his ability to share his vision with others allows them to buy-in to his projects. In 2020, AdvancedAg Inc. has 25 brew facilities across Canada and will treat close to 400,000 acres of crops, while maintaining a strong, growing client base for water restoration.

Wider Horizons
Stories by Jeremy Franchuk
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