Leadership Awards

ORION presents 2019 Leadership Award winners

TORONTO, May 15, 2019 – ORION has recognized three parties for their contributions to Ontario’s research, education and innovation communities by awarding them with a 2019 Leadership award at the Advance Ontario conference.

This award is presented to those who have made an exceptional impact in their respective communities by making use of ORION’s digital tools and solutions. By partnering with ORION to provide high-speed fibre optic connectivity or cybersecurity services, these winners have demonstrated the ability to put themselves at the forefront of innovation and showcase their leadership in the digital landscape. These awards were presented at Advance Ontario, a three-day conference looking at the future of innovation and technology in research, education, and industry.

Category: Innovation

Bob Campbell has served as the CEO of Connecting Windsor-Essex (CW-E) since 2015. CW-E is a consortium of public sector stakeholders representing municipalities, school boards, higher education, libraries and healthcare. In 2019, CW-E celebrates its 25th anniversary, serving the community. Over these years, CW-E and ORION have collaborated to empower innovation in the community. This past year, CW-E, has worked with its school board stakeholders to roll out the Broadband Modernization Program to improve broadband connectivity and access for over 55,000 students in the region. CW-E is proud to be working with ORION to continue to bring innovative solutions that will improve the security of our connected stakeholders and strengthen the resiliency of one of the most powerful networks in Ontario.

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Category: Kindergarten to Grade 12

Peter Singh brings more than 25 years of experience to his role as Executive officer of IT Services for the Toronto District Schoolboard (TDSB). Using ORION’s high-speed digital infrastructure, TDSB connects more than 39,000 educators and administrators and 246,000 students in 582 schools throughout Toronto and more than 140,000 life-long learners in Adult and Continuing Education programs. Peter has a strong awareness of the technology needs of students and educators and is deeply committed to supporting them. He is spearheading the TDSB Information Technology Services team’s transition from a digital era to the Quantum Age of Information Technology to ensure that a dynamic environment of innovation is in place to improve technologies and service delivery well into the future.

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Category: Higher Education

This group is comprised of technology leaders from eight of Ontario’s post-secondary education institutions. This group includes David Cullum (Brock University), Scott Briggs (Humber College), Luc Roy (Laurentian University), John Levay (Niagara College), Alastair MacLeod (OCAD University), Jennifer Doyle and Denise Ernst (Queen’s University), Lisa Grothier (St. Lawrence College), and Nela Petkovic (Wilfrid Laurier University). Together, they make up the founding cohort who, together with ORION, proved out the concept of a shared Chief Information Security Officer. They have changed the digital security landscape and created a way to help Ontario colleges and universities increase their cybersecurity preparedness. The program is being rolled out to colleges and universities across Ontario through the new Ontario Cybersecurity Higher Education Consortium (ON-CHEC).

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Quick Facts:  

  • ORION’s annual Leadership Awards recognize outstanding achievement and innovation by those using ORION’s network and cloud services.
  • Award winners are determined based on nominations from ORION’s user community across Ontario and evaluated by ORION’s Leadership Award committee.
  • ORION is Ontario’s only provincial research and education network. Covering 6,000 kilometres, it connects more than 100 institutions and regions, including universities, colleges, hospitals, research institutions and school boards. More than two million researchers, educators and innovators rely on ORION to share and communicate with each other, and to connect to a global grid of similar networks across Canada and worldwide.
  • ORION is one of 12 provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, that form Canada’s National Research and Education Network. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today’s digital economy.
  • Research-related activities on the ORION network directly contribute $4.4 billion annually to Ontario’s GDP.


Alfonso Licata, president and CEO, ORION: “We at ORION are proud to have these extraordinary leaders in our digital community. Their ideas and efforts are perfect examples of what can be achieved by partnering on digital infrastructure and services. We are happy to play our part in helping create a more robust digital economy.”

Bob Campbell, award winner: “It’s an honour to receive the ORION Leadership Award in Innovation on behalf of CW-E. Broadband is a critical piece of infrastructure, supporting the core of learning facilities. Having said that, we believe that it’s not about the technology; rather, it’s about what we can do with the technology. We are proud to be a part of the ORION network, providing quality Broadband, a necessary utility empowering our leaders of the future.”

Peter Singh, award winner: “Thank you to ORION for recognizing my 25 years of work in the K-12 technology sector. Technology plays a critical role in enabling education. I’m so proud to help TDSB support more than more than 425,000 students and educators access the tools they need to teach and learn.”

Shared CISO founding cohort award winner: “As a recipient of the ORION Leadership Award for Higher Education, I am proud to pioneer shared security in higher education and be part of this tremendous team. I am inspired by the leadership and commitment to securing our precious teaching, learning, and research environment and creating a collective line of defense. I look forward to the future of our digital environment and I’m glad that ORION is championing and coordinating these ideals.”

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About ORION:  

ORION is a not-for-profit organization committed to actively supporting Ontario’s researchers, educators and innovators. Since 2001, we’ve facilitated new discoveries and learning by connecting institutions and regions, enabling collaboration, forging partnerships and providing our community with the digital tools they need to make the world a better place.

Read more about ORION at https://www.orion.on.ca|@ORIONNetwork

For further information:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications, ORION
416-507-9860 ext. 250