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For the fifth year, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships team members gathered for the OREP Thank BBQ & Awards event. To the New Orleans sounds of Loco Zydeco, over 600 staff members enjoyed delicious food – supplied by our very own Food Services culinary team, and cooked up by leads from all OREP units.

This is our opportunity to celebrate our entire team, and to honour our often unsung heroes for the great work they do in creatively, efficiently and dedicatedly furthering our mission through our three levels of OREP Awards.

Our thanks once again to University College for inviting us back for another year!


Congratulations to all…read more about your colleagues (and yourselves!) below and on our website!


Operations & Real Estate Partnerships Annual Staff Achievement Awards Program

The Vice-President Operations & Real Estate Partnerships has established the annual Staff Achievement Awards Program in order to recognize exceptional staff contributions to the success of their particular unit, the University Operations portfolio and the University.

The program provides Operations & Real Estate Partnerships with an opportunity to thank staff for the valuable work performed throughout the year.


Outstanding Individual Employee Award

Presented to an individual staff member (regardless of length of service) involved in any area of staff work who has made outstanding contributions that go beyond the ordinary fulfillment of the position’s duties.

This year’s winners:

  • Marco Di Vittorio, Information Technology Services
  • Jeff Lennon, Planning & Budget
  • K-J Pinder, Academic + Campus Events
  • Michael Kaev, Ancillary Services
  • Jennifer Puskar, Facilities & Services
  • Maureen Lynch, Ancillary Services
  • Arielle Berube, Academic & Campus Events
  • Katie Babcock, Information Technology Services
  • Dariusz Jaczynski, Ancillary Services
  • Cei Fuin Wu, Ancillary Services
  • Ivana Tosic, Ancillary Services


Distinguished Service Award

Presented to an employee with more than 15 years of service at the University who has made outstanding contributions that go beyond the ordinary fulfillment of the position’s duties.

This year’s winners:

  • Graciano Da Ponte, University Planning, Design & Construction
  • Mark Prance, Facilities & Services
  • Dawn Cheung, Ancillary Services
  • Victor Juradinho, Facilities & Services
  • Edward Low, Ancillary Services
  • Ian Thomas, Information Technology Services
  • Olivia Boutilier, Ancillary Services


Outstanding Staff Team Award

Presented to two or more staff members who function as a team and who have taken on a time-limited project.



One of the F&S Teams, IT Team is responsible for the development and the maintenance of the Energy Management and Reporting System that serves as a backbone for all the Building Automation Systems and the Energy Reporting Systems for our Campus.

The members of the F&S IT Team are essential in the development and execution of this unique and powerful system.  Their commitment, technical knowledge, and expertise along with the collaborative approach were paramount for the success of the implementation of this system across numerous projects including, GGRP, Myhal and many more.

Leveraging this system, they also developed our first in-house UofT Energy Portal that is using the most modern software technology for the “Big Data” Energy Analytics. The Energy Portal will also serve as UofT’s Web Based Real Time Energy Awareness Dashboard.

  • Nebojsa Marusic
  • Gabriel Moga
  • Joe Nowogorski
  • Zoran Djurevski



Eight GGRP projects worth $28M were executed within 13 months by the nominated team in the central steam plant, generator facilities and chiller plant working with over 30 prime consultants, general contractors, sub-consultants, and sub-contractors.  The existing facilities were complicated with challenging access issues.

The nominees kept everyone on track, facilitated timely problem-solving and creative solutions on a regular basis.  These unique and distinct projects had equally unique challenges requiring focused and committed attention to meet the highly aggressive delivery schedule.

The individuals we are recognizing today individually and collectively went above and beyond and are responsible for the University’s success in honouring our funding commitment.

  • Joanne Peng
  • Michael Sommers
  • John Zelem
  • Laragh Halldorson
  • Marek Horvath
  • Michelt Cavalho
  • Gurmel Multani
  • Doug Graham
  • Jelena Vulovic Basic
  • Keith Foster
  • Paul Savel
  • Aigerim Botpayeva



In 2018, a suite master key was stolen at Student Family Housing causing a major safety and security breach for 1000 residents. This initiated an urgent re-key of 413 apartments and all common areas.  The team worked under extreme pressure to secure the building, ensure resident safety and execute this huge project within a few short weeks when normally there would be months of planning. This project tested our leadership, communication protocols, and our resolve to maintain a safe and secure living environment. The team demonstrated exceptional service orientation, resiliency, resolve and strength under difficult circumstances.  Congratulations to a top-level team!

  • Michael Kaev
  • Omar Syed
  • Victoria Orr
  • Cassie Miller
  • Alysha Turvey
  • Lucy Sullivan



The Ontario Association of Physical Plant Administrators conference was hosted by UofT at the end of May of this year.  This conference hosts more than 200 people from all university’s in Ontario, and typically requires 2 years of planning.  Another peer institution dropped out of hosting this event, which left UofT with under 12 months to plan and host this event.  Hilda Andrade and Nancy Dempsey accepted this challenge, and the outcome was a spectacular event featuring world-class keynote addresses, events across campus highlight F&S success and leadership in the area of Facilities Management.  Hilda and Nancy were excellent ambassadors of UofT and due to their great work were able to highly to the province the great work that happens on our campus.

  • Hilda Andrade
  • Nancy Dempsey



  • Jaco Lokker
  • James Piggott

The Red Seal program was created, and is overseen by, Chefs Jaco Lokker and James Piggott. The program provides participants with a full overview of the classical fundamentals of cooking in order to prepare them to write their Red Seal Exam. It has now been through its first full year and several employees have completed it successfully. The amount of extra time and energy that was required to develop appropriate curriculum and teach the weekly courses was enormous – it is a perfect example of our commitment to the personal and professional growth of our people. Thank you, chefs!


Congratulations to all!


And did we mention great prizes? These were supplied by our own units, and competition was fierce!

Some of the prizes available were:

2 prizes of 1 month free parking  (Transportation) – 1 was already awarded to Miriam Calle of F&S as our Early Bird prize

From Facilities & Services:

Steam Plant Tour

Campus Police Ride Along

Travel mugs from the Sustainability Office

Ceramic Mugs


Gardening Trowels from Grounds Services

Swiffer WetJets from Caretaking Services

Solar Security Lighting Set

“Special Constable” polo shirts from Campus Police

Classic fire extinguishers from Fire Prevention Services 

And fabulous prizes from Ancillary Services (Trademark Services) featuring:

Branded knapsacks and bags

Baseball hats

Water bottles



and 10 x $50 Food Services gift cards!


What a great way to end the summer and to start the school year!

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