Distinguished alumni share advice with Class of 2015 on day three of Spring Convocation

Chris Sinclair, vice president and co-founder of Brand Blvd. Inc., speaks at the morning ceremony.


Andrew Miele, director of development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, addresses new graduates at the afternoon ceremony.

More than 800 students became alumni on June 18 as the college marked day three of its Spring Convocation Ceremonies.

The College welcomed back two members its alumni community as convocation speakers who were also honoured with Distinguished Alumni Awards during the ceremonies – Chris Sinclair, vice president and co-founder of Brand Blvd. Inc., and Andrew Miele, director of development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Sinclair, who graduated from the College’s Business Administration Marketing (Co-op) program in 2004, addressed more than 480 new graduates from the School of Business and Management Studies at the morning ceremony, sharing tips for success with the new graduates from his own life lessons. The first: that having a positive attitude is the biggest competitive advantage they could possess going into the workforce.

“Attitude is a choice,” he said. “I encourage you to choose wisely. In our organization, we hire for attitude and train for aptitude.”

Sinclair stressed the importance of hard work and having a strong work ethic. “I can tell you firsthand the importance of working your way up the ladder, the benefits of rolling up your sleeves and the impact of never once saying, ‘that’s not my job,” he said. “Whether you choose to work for a company or are bold enough to start a business on your own, I can promise that your hard work and early efforts will pay off in dividends.”

Sinclair encouraged the new grads to follow their instincts and take risks, as he once did to launch his new venture. “The next time you find yourself at a fork in the road, the next time you’re given two choices and one seems more difficult and out of your comfort zone, choose that one; take a chance and go with your gut,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’ where the fruit is.”

At the afternoon ceremony, Miele spoke to more than 330 new graduates from the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport. A member of the first graduating class of the College’s Bachelor of Applied Business – Hospitality Operations Management program in 2007, Miele emphasized the power of positive thought – to which he credits his own rapid rise in the world of hospitality.

“The difference, for me, was the thoughts I chose to commit to,” he said.  “You are where you are today because of the thoughts you had so far.”

More than 3,700 students will graduate this week during the college’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies. Held at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, the ceremonies kicked off on June 16 with Janet St. Amand, chief executive officer of YMCA Niagara (10 a.m.), and Debi Pratt, wine industry leader and public relations specialist (3 p.m.); and continued June 17 with Bob McNeil, president and general manager of Inc. (10 a.m.), and Dave Maciulis, principal of Natural Landscape Group and publisher/editor-in-chief of Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine (3 p.m.).

Friday, June 19 will mark the final day of Spring Convocation with Supt. Rose DiMarco, director of operations, Ontario Provincial Police, Central Region (10 a.m.); and Dr. Valerie Jaeger, medical officer of health, Niagara Region Public Health (3 p.m.).


The College’s convocation ceremonies are streamed live at:





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