Innovative and entrepreneurial, John P. Gale made his mark
in the mineral drilling industry before turning his attention to real estate
A native of The Pas, Gale began his career setting up remote telephone systems
in Northern Manitoba after obtaining a Certificate in Radio and TV Servicing
from Keewatin College.
Seeking greater challenges, he moved to Winnipeg to pursue a diploma in
Mechanical Engineering Technology from Red River College. Gale graduated in 1980
and began working in research and development for Midwest Diamond Drilling.
With Gale leading the way, the company revolutionized the industry through the
development of a new bit that was capable of drilling rock at three times the
speed of the technology it replaced.
Gale and three business partners subsequently bought Midwest
in the mid-eighties, forming a new operation called Dimatec Inc. The company
continued to develop innovative drilling products and manufacturing methods by
assembling a strong and capable engineering team coupled with the most current
Numerous awards were given to Dimatec as a testament to the strength,
dedication and professionalism of its employees. ISO-9000 Quality Assurance
certification, a "Best in Business" award from Manitoba Business
Magazine and membership in "Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies" were
highlights of a long list of accolades.
Gale decided to semi-retire in 2008 to spend more time on his beloved Lake of
the Woods. But after a few months the entrepreneurial bug bit again with the
opportunity to acquire a significant amount of property from the town's former
largest employer, AbitibiBowater.
Gale has since developed an ambitious plan to transform Kenora into a
world-class tourist and business destination, including the development of
several major new resort and residential properties over the next decade. He
recently sold his ownership interest in Dimatec to help finance the project.
Gale will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni award
at the RRC convocation ceremony at 7:30 pm on June 3rd.
Red River College hosted its annual Alumni Dinner on November 20th, where the two recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award were honoured.
Dawna Friesen is a 1984 graduate of the Creative Communications program. After getting her start in broadcasting with local stations like CKX (Brandon) and CKND (Winnipeg), Dawna has gone on to work for the past ten years as a foreign correspondent for NBC News, based in London, UK.
Mervyn Gunter completed the Business Administration program in 1970. After a successful career with Royal Bank of Canada, Merv now owns Frontiers North Adventures, which operates the famous Tundra Buggy tours in Churchill, Manitoba.
Jessica Cable, a student at RRC's Exchange District Campus, penned the "letter of the day" in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct. 21st. Cable wrote about her enthusiasm for the College's plan to transform the union Bank Tower into the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, saying:
"It's great to see Red River is continuing to occupy these historic and vacant buildings, maintaining the heritage while converting them into incredible college campuses. Hopefully this conversion will be a catalyst to bring more people, more life, to the neighbourhood."
Red River College President Jeff Zabudsky used his most recent column in the Winnipeg Sun to talk about the other job that's keeping him busy these days: serving as Chair of the 2009 United Way of Winnipeg Campaign.
Zabudsky discusses the widespread impact of United Way in our community, and urges readers to participate in this year's campaign:
"There's never been a more important time to support United Way of Winnipeg. Without you, there would be no way."
The Winnipeg Free Press recently profiled Staci Dovbniak, a graduate of the Youth Recreation Activity Worker program that's delivered by Red River College and funded by the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg and the United Way.
A regular at the Knox United Boys and Girls Club when she was a child, Dovbniak has returned to the organization to work as a program facilitator at the Victor Mager Club in St. Vital.
Several hundred former Red River College students visited the Exchange District Campus -- some for the first time -- to celebrate at a special Alumni Wine & Cheese on September 29th.
The event was a good opportunity for former classmates to reconnect, and for our alumni community to learn more about some of the exciting work being done at the College, and our plans for expansion at both the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses.
John Gale, a 1980 graduate of Red River College's Mechanical Engineering Technology program, is being called the "Donald Trump of Kenora" for his ambitious plans to turn the Northwestern Ontario city into a vacation mecca.
As mentioned in a recent Winnipeg Free Press profile, Gale has plans to oversee up to $1 billion in development in Kenora, including a five-star resort and conference centre, a theme park, new lakefront cottage lots and an RV park.
Gale is making his bold move into real estate development following a successful career in the diamond drilling industry. In the 1980s Gale helped develop a new technology for diamond drilling, and eventually became a 50% owner in Winnipeg-based drill manufacturer Dimatec Inc. He sold his stake in the company last year.
James Allardice, a 1988 graduate of Red River College's Hotel & Restaurant Management program, was recently elected to a two-year term as President of the Manitoba Restaurant and Food Services Association.
Allardice is currently the managing partner of the Boston Pizza franchise in Selkirk, MB, and is a partner in the chain's downtown Winnipeg location.
Red River College grad Cameron Dueck (Creative Communications) has taken the notion of a summer sailing trip to a whole new level.
He's currently at the halfway point of a 7,000 nautical-mile expedition from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS via the Northwest Passage. As of August 23rd, Dueck and the four-member crew of the Silent Sound were near Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.
The purpose of the voyage is to highlight the impact climate change is having on Canada's Arctic. From openpassageexpedition.com:
Climate change is causing temperatures in the Arctic to rise twice
as fast as elsewhere on the globe. The sea ice has melted so rapidly
that the Northwest Passage has been open water during the past two
summers. The warming climate is forcing Arctic communities and wildlife
to adjust their lifestyles to survive.
To explore these
dramatic changes taking place the 40-foot sailing yacht Silent Sound
will embark on a voyage that five years ago was nearly impossible for
amateur sailors....The goal of this expedition is to
use written word, video and photos to tell the story of how climate
change is affecting Arctic communities.