The 2022 Skills Excellence Awards

On the evening of December 15th, Skills Canada–Nova Scotia (SCNS) held our annual end-of year celebration – the Skills Excellence Awards. Each year we welcome our volunteers, alumni, partners and friends of the organization to join us as we reflect on the success of our year, recognize individuals that go above and beyond in support of our organization, and to thank all the many people and organizations that continue to support us in our mission to ignite curiosity and passion by promoting skilled trades, technologies, and career exploration through skill development and competition.

This year we welcomed four guest speakers: Dr. Chris Boulter on behalf of the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; Jason Sharpe on behalf of NSCC; Dale Crawford on behalf of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency; and our Keynote Speaker Sean Kettley, WorldSkills Expert in Cooking and volunteer with Skills Canada – Nova Scotia. Thank you all for taking the time to be with us and for sharing your words of inspiration and support.

Keynote Speaker: Sean Kettley WorldSkills Expert Cooking.

Congratulations to our annual award winners. This year we celebrated three major awards:

Exemplary Service Award – Scott Furlotte

Scott Furlotte has been an active supporter, champion, and advocate for SCNS for nearly 20 years. He has served on the board of directors as the treasurer, board chair, and a director for multiple terms, in addition to actively participating on countless committees and leading strategic planning. Scott has served on the National Board of Directors, volunteered as a chaperone for Team Nova Scotia, and served on the National Conflict Resolution Committee.

As the organization has grown, Scott has frequently offered staff training, mentorship, and provided network connections. Most recently, he began chairing the provincial public speaking competition and joined the National Technical Committee. He is a leader in building positive relationships, offers thoughtful solutions when difficulties arise, and goes above and beyond to ensure that competitors have a rewarding experience with our organization. Scott has raised the bar with his level of service to SCNS and we felt the need to recognize his efforts. Congratulations to Scott Furlotte on winning the Exemplary Service Award.

Scott Furlotte accepts Exemplary Service Award from NSCC’s Jason Sharpe and SCNS’s Executive Director Courtney Gouthro.

Volunteer of the Year – Caitlin Kettley

A proud Skills advocate and volunteer, Caitlin has spent much of her own vacation time and money traveling with her husband, Sean, to Skills competitions across Canada and around the world. Caitlin doesn’t just vacation while on these trips, either. Most recently, in Switzerland, she could be found washing dishes behind the scenes of cooking competitions.

Thanks to her background in culinary, Caitlin has also played a vital role in secondary cooking competitions. Caitlin not only actively promotes the recruitment of the event, but last year she jumped in and trained the competitor from École Secondaire du Sommet. Currently, Caitlin is training competitors for the International Abilympics, which will take place in Metz, France, this March. We’re so thankful that Sean’s love of Skills has been passed on to Caitlin. Congratulations to our 2022 Volunteer of the Year.

Caitlin Kettley accepts Volunteer of the Year Award from SCNS’s Accessibility Services Manager Robin Lorway

Alumni of the Year – Jacob Rand

Jacob Rand always jumps in with both feet, offering help without a second thought. After finishing his time as a Skills Canada Nova Scotia competitor, Jacob went on to volunteer not only as a member of the PTC in his trade specialty but accepted the responsibilities of coach and Nova Scotia representative on the National Technical Committee in his trade.

Jacob’s dedication to his trade and to the competitors he coaches is second to none. This past year, while in Vancouver for the Skills Canada National Competition, he coached, and mentored not one, but two competitors while liaising with their other coaches back in Nova Scotia. He was their shoulder to lean on, their advocate and their teacher when unexpected twists were thrown into their competitions. Jacob has proven he is not only a rock star in the spotlight of the competition but also as the supporting cast. Congratulations to Jacob Rand our 2022 Alumni of the Year.

Jacob Rand accepts the Alumni of the Year Award from SCNS’s Competition Manager Laura King

We wrapped the evening with a massive thank you to outgoing SCNS board chair Luke Young. Thank you, Luke, for your kind and inspirational words and for your years of commitment and support in helping to guide and shape our organization. You have been a beacon of light for SCNS throughout your time with the organization and you will be greatly missed.

Outgoing SCNS Board Chair – Luke Young

Our silent auction was a great success and was able to raise $3,320 for the Robert Sampson Memorial Bursary, which will help to help to support Team Nova Scotia’s participation and experience in the Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg this spring. Thank you to all the local organizations and businesses for your contributions to the auction.

The 2022 Skills Excellence Awards was one for the ages and from all of us here at SCNS, we appreciate everyone who came together to make this event a special one!

*For more images from the Skills Excellence Awards please visit our Flickr site: