Skip to main content

VCC Outstanding Alumni Awards 2021 winners

Posted on January 31, 2022

Congratulations to Vancouver Community College's (VCC) 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award winners! These are the latest in a long line of VCC alumni and others who have made significant contributions to their industries and our community. Each recipient stands out with unique stories of success, inspiration, and dedication.


Brandt Louie – Honorary Alumni Award

VCC Foundation Donor

Brandt Louie was an integral building block to a foundation that now distributes over $1 million per year in scholarships, bursaries, and training materials to recognize and support VCC students. Mr. Louie was a passionate volunteer – chairing committees and serving on the Foundation Board – including the enabling of a charitable golf tournament that ran for 25 years and supporting VCC’s Notable Event music series which seeded over 60 annual scholarships for up-and-coming musicians. VCC is proud to recognize Mr. Louie as a committed volunteer, donor, and supporter. We wish to recognize and honour his legacy in helping thousands of VCC students over three decades.


Julia Pavlova – Community Contribution

General Duty Nurse, St. Paul’s Hospital

Julia is an extraordinary person who has been at the forefront of the pandemic as a new graduate nurse. Leading beyond expectations, she has been a media face for “Red Zone” front-line workers – those who work directly with COVID-19 patients. Julia has been nothing but positive in the face of exhausting, never-ending work, sharing stories of the efforts of her peers on Global TV, CTV News, and Providence in-house articles.


Demitri Kulik – Community Contribution

Utility Maintenance Worker, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

Demitri is an alumnus of VCC's Building Service Worker program, a program designed to support those facing multiple barriers to employment. During his coursework, Demitri demonstrated heightened empathy for those needing additional help with language or technical skills. He continues to help VCC students secure work experience placements with the Vancouver Parks Board and returns to speak with students at guest career sessions while encouraging others to pursue learning opportunities at VCC. During COVID-19 and necessary closures, Demitri offered to be redeployed to work in single-room occupancy housing in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, exhibiting leadership and respect.


Bernie Johnson – Career Success

Director of Human Resources, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Bernie completed VCC's Hospitality Management Diploma program in 1999, and has proudly represented VCC in his rise through the industry over the years. Currently the president of the Vancouver Hotel HR Directors Association, Bernie has also volunteered many times as a speaker at various college events. He has been an active mentor for many VCC students, serves on VCC’s Hospitality Program Advisory Committee, and regularly hires VCC’s graduates.


Esther Winder – Changemaker

Emergency Planning Technician, Secwepemc Health Caucus

Esther is a self-proclaimed “wild card”. She goes above and beyond in every aspect of her life to ensure that no individual or community is left behind. Her out-of-the box thinking and unique approach to helping Nations and communities within her influence have established a Secwepemc Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement that has stood up to legal reviews and approval by the Secwepemc Kukulpi7 (Chiefs). Esther has helped bring federal and provincial governments together to address unique social determinants of health issues and concerns.


Do you know a VCC alum or community member who deserves recognition? Learn about our awards nomination process through the VCC Foundation.