Brewing a relationship: DC alumni continues to give back

Jeff Dornan has always prided himself on his work ethic.

While completing the Durham College (DC) Business – General program, in tandem with Ontario Tech University’s Bachelor of Commerce, he also worked full-time, leaving little time for extracurriculars.

Now, as co-owner of Oshawa-based All or Nothing Brewhouse, the DC alum has continued to nurture a relationship with the college, finding new ways to connect and give back.

“As an alumnus and local business owner, I’ve always looked to Durham College as a guiding light in the area, and I wanted to do more than be a supplier and partner, I wanted to help guide the direction of the college and contribute to its continued growth.” said Dornan, who joined the DC Board of Governors in 2023.

As a student, Dornan said he valued the hands-on experience and microlearning gained at DC, which helped as he and his brother, Eric, kicked off their craft beer business in 2013.

Starting as contract brewers, the brothers produced their recipe at other facilities and running distribution out of their small office in south Oshawa. After a few years of growth, they purchased Trafalgar Brewery in Oakville and rebranded it All or Nothing Brewhouse, but with their sights always set on returning to Oshawa, they purchased the old Beer Store location on Ritson Road and opened in the spring of 2019.

Always with their roots in Durham Region, when Bistro ’67 opened its doors in 2013, All or Nothing Brewhouse began partnering with the restaurant to create unique beers using ingredients from the fields at DC’s Centre for Food. Collaborations have included lemongrass, raspberries and sweet potatoes.

Dornan also helped launch Durham Lords Ale, which was sparked when the Campus Ice Centre wanted to serve a classic ale instead of the unique, experimental flavours All or Nothing was creating in partnership with Bistro ’67. As a result, the crisp and refreshing Durham Lords Ale was launched.

And, as another way to give back to DC, a portion of sales of Durham Lords Ale is contributed to DC’s Student Experience Fund which helps support student’s most pressing needs, from equipping teaching spaces to supporting financial aid.

“Our customers have been very supportive,” said Dornan. “People really want to support local businesses and we’re committed to keeping the money we earn in the community. We’re buying everything from our ingredients to our stickers locally. We’re really trying to be an engine for the community to grow – to see our neighbours do well as well as our own business.

“Staying connected to Durham College after graduation has been so helpful. It really is a hub for Durham Region and has been a great way to make connections.”

Experienced construction worker adds project management to his resume

Student spotlight – Ahmad Younes

With a passion for construction and experience in the industry, international student Ahmad Younes arrived at Durham College (DC) last fall with the goal of developing a new skillset.

Working as a coordinator and supervisor on a number of construction jobs showed the native of Lebanon just how critical project management is, and he knew that deepening his knowledge of the field would only make him more valuable to employers.

Embarking on the journey of an international student, he found that choosing his destination was easy.

“Durham College has a reputation for providing excellent education in project management,” he said. “I was impressed with the welcoming environment, modern amenities, and opportunity to work on practical assignments that allowed me to use my theoretical knowledge in real-world situations.”

From the first day of class in the Project Management (graduate certificate) program, he immersed himself in his new surroundings and embraced every opportunity to learn.

His commitment did not go unnoticed by his professors.

“You know right away when students will do well in your class. Ahmad was one of those students,” said Sylvie Edwards, Professor and Program Coordinator. “He started laying the foundation for his career almost as soon as he started our program. He is not waiting for the next opportunity; he is making his next opportunity.”

In addition to excelling in his studies, he went the extra mile and secured both the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certifications. Offered by Project Management Institute, they signal to employers that he has the knowledge and expertise they’re looking for.

His hard work has paid off, as he has already secured a new job as a construction project coordinator that he’ll be starting soon. In addition to his previous experience in the role, he’ll bring his newfound skills in project management. He credits the program with improving his abilities in communication and collaboration, as well as encouraging him to be more flexible and adaptable to the changing requirements that inevitably crop up in any project.

“The program has really shifted my focus towards the importance of teamwork and collaboration in achieving project success,” he said. “It’s shown me how vital it is to work closely with others, pooling our skills and ideas to get the job done right.”

Skilled project managers are needed in every industry, from construction to hospitality to entertainment and beyond. The applications are limitless, making this program a great choice for new students.

Our program is full of individuals like Ahmad who have decided to add project management to an already wide array of experiences and education,” said Edwards. “Experience gained in our program helps solidify a candidate’s profile when they show up at an employer’s doorstep.”

Are you looking for a career that is always in demand? Check out these programs offered by the Faculty of Business.

Balance school and life with an online Business program

Returning to school to earn additional credits or even change careers can have rewarding outcomes, according to experts. But taking that leap may feel overwhelming, especially when juggling multiple priorities between work and family life.

Durham College’s (DC) new online programs offer a smart way to make the most of your time while investing in your future.

Beginning this fall, the college’s Faculty of Business is leading the way with three programs that will be delivered online on weekends:

  • Entrepreneurship and Small business – Business (diploma – weekend – online)

    Interested in starting your own business? Geared toward mature learners, this diploma program will provide you with the skills required to start, grow and manage a small business including developing the personal skills needed to be successful as an entrepreneur.

    Online weekend delivery format:
    Classes will be offered fully online on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday through a combination of live, instructor-led learning and self-directed hours of learning.

    Learn more

  • Human Resources Management (graduate certificate – weekend – online)

    Looking to specialize in Human Resources? This graduate certificate will prepare you to expand your knowledge in Human Resources Management or earn your Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) or Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designations while continuing to work in the field.

    Online weekend delivery format:
    Classes will be offered fully online on Saturday and Sunday through a combination of live, instructor-led learning and self-directed hours of learning.

    Learn more

  • Project Management (graduate certificate – weekend – online)

    Drawn to the project management field? This graduate certificate program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge to earn your Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional certifications. You’ll also have several opportunities to gain real-world experience through case study analysis and a capstone project.

    Online weekend delivery format:
    Classes will be offered fully online on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday through a combination of live, instructor-led learning and self-directed hours of learning.

    Learn more

For more information on these programs, visit