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Eight Community IT Heroes honoured in New Brunswick

June 1st, 2004

Fredericton, June 1, 2004 - The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) has announced the New Brunswick recipients of the 2004 IT Community Hero Award. Eight individuals and organizations from across the province have been honoured.

The IT Community Hero Award recognizes individuals or organizations across Canada who have made a significant contribution in their communities through the use or application of innovative IT projects.

"One of the great parts about presenting the winners with the IT Community Hero Awards is that it gives all New Brunswickers a chance to see the true range of IT accomplishments in the province," said Linda Oliver, Executive Director of Government Relations, ITAC. "It's always so rewarding to highlight the expertise, enthusiasm and innovation that drive the knowledge-based economy in this region of the country."

ITAC is grateful to the National Research Council Institute for Information Technology - e-Business for its assistance this year in coordinating the IT Hero Awards Committee for New Brunswick. The 2004 recipients are: - Johanne Austin, teacher, Quispamsis Elementary School - Collectivité ingénieuse de la Péninsule acadienne (CIPA) inc., Paquetville - Peter Dielissen, Director of Academic Computing at St Thomas University and recently retired Chairman of Enterprise Fredericton's Knowledge Industry Task Force (KITF) Cybersocial Committee - Robert Griffin and Andrew Jones, teachers at Grand Manan Community School - Stéphane Leclair, former Executive Director of Connect NB Branché and currently Executive Director of the Centre Communautaire Sainte-Anne, Fredericton - Remsoft Inc., Fredericton - xwave, Saint John ITAC is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technology industry.

Together with its affiliated organizations across the country, the association represents 1300 companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in all sectors including telecommunications and Internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's network of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 550,000 jobs, $130 billion in revenue, $5.2 billion in R&D investment, $18.7 billion in exports and $10.8 billion in capital expenditure that the sector contributes annually to the Canadian economy.

Media Contact: Lorna Brown Chair, IT Hero Awards Committee (NB), 2004

Background on the 2004 NB recipients: Johanne Austin
Since the late 1980s, Johanne Austin has integrated ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) into her teaching on a regular basis. She loves to innovate this area because she believes that the educational use of ICT enriches her students' learning experiences and makes her teaching more interesting and motivational. She spends her life teaching French language and culture through the integration of ICT.

Collectivité ingénieuse de la Péninsule acadienne (CIPA) inc.
The Collectivité ingénieuse de la Péninsule acadienne [Acadian Peninsula Smart Community] is a non-profit organization composed of 15 local community partners that are working to develop and implement a social vision. CIPA's primary goal is to promote the integration of information technologies and communications into community life in rural areas. CIPA, located in the Acadian Peninsula's knowledge centre facility in Paquetville, has hired over 35 new employees. CIPA and the participants have implemented a 'model for sustainable rural development, harmonized with the social and economic realities of our rural Francophone area.' The Acadian Peninsula smart community model includes a wide range of services related to the primary aspects of rural life.

Andrew Jones and Robert Griffin
Teacher Robert Griffin's favourite saying is "But why can't we do that?" He is a master of creating exciting technology projects and collaborations; this is important to students that live on an isolated little island such as Grand Manan. Robert embodies the idea that it is only when we try to conquer areas where we have never been before, that we learn. He is always available to help others with technology; then he stays to midnight to complete his own work. Andrew Jones, the Department Head in technology, has been a leader in his community, educating people in the power of modern technology. He has also played a key role in the organization of the Community Access Center. Mr. Jones improves the community's quality of life by teaching future business people and entrepreneurs that technology can overcome the isolation of their community. Andrew Jones has brought Grand Manan into the 21st century, prepared to embrace technology to its fullest. Robert and Andrew nominated each other without the other's knowledge.

Peter Dielissen
An outstanding contribution to the IT community in Fredericton has been Peter Dielissen's willingness in 2002 to take over the coordination of the CyberSocial events. The CyberSocials, under the KITF umbrella, are held monthly, allowing people in the IT industry to network. The popularity of the CyberSocials had waned; Peter rose to the occasion and turned the event around completely. He reached out to students, some of whom found employment opportunities through the connections they made there. He worked diligently with his committee to ensure that the environment was conducive to networking and accessibility. Under his direction, the Fredericton CyberSocials have become one of the most successful gathering points for IT workers in the region.

Stéphane Leclair
Stéphane Leclair is someone who cares deeply about the development and strengthening of Francophone communities, not only in New Brunswick but throughout the Francophonie. Over the past eight years, he has made a remarkable contribution to the implementation of the NB community access network. By helping to provide world-class technological solutions designed to foster New Brunswick's community, economic, social and cultural development, Stéphane is certainly one of the catalysts in New Brunswick's transition to an e-society.

Remsoft Inc.
Remsoft promotes and encourages a strong spirit of organization-wide volunteerism amongst its staff members. In the past year alone, Remsoft staffers have lent their talents to a host of organizational boards and committees in the Fredericton knowledge industry's volunteer community, including the Fredericton CyberSocial Committee, the Fredericton Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS), the Knowledge Industry Task Force (KITF), KIRA Awards 2003, and KITFgolf.com 2003, to name but a few. Promoting volunteerism starts at the top at Remsoft. Andrea Feunekes, Remsoft President, is an active member of the Fredericton knowledge industry volunteer community. She has served as a board member for such organizations as Team Fredericton, Science East, Enterprise UNB, and KITF. Most recently Andrea served as an organizer of the Fredericton CIPS Women in IT event, which helped raise awareness of the Information Technology field to over 100 female high school students. The event promoted the use of technology amongst the students so they can be better positioned to leverage opportunities in the future.

xwave assisted Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation to construct an information-capturing strategy around women's breast health. During this philanthropic process the team educated the AHSC resources in the power of technology and how it could help improve the breast health program's quality of service and offer many other benefits to the diagnosed breast cancer patients. xwave donated the time and expertise of two staff members, Shawn Rouse and Dawn MacInnis.

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