2012 Alumni of Distinction


Norm (Butch) Lambert Nursing, 1978     The only male to graduate from Durham College’s nursing program in 1978, Norm Lambert began his career with the Oshawa General Hospital (now Lakeridge Health) providing direct patient care before moving on to the Durham Region Public Health Unit. Soon after, he was hired as a paramedic with the City of Toronto. Over the past 30 years, Lambert’s most ambitious work has been seen at the Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) where he has held various titles including superintendent, commander and deputy chief. His responsibilities have included hiring and training new paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers; managing Toronto’s EMS Communications Centre where approximately 700 emergency 9-1-1 calls come in daily; and ensuring excellence in patient care delivery, paramedic education, emergency planning, public education and staff support programs through the Program Development and Service Quality Division. In the late 1980s Lambert returned to Durham College to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation and First Aid for the Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning. As deputy chief of Toronto EMS, Lambert also visited with faculty from the college’s 9-1-1 Emergency and Call Centre Communications program to review their program and supported the curriculum by allowing students to complete their observer and co-op hours with City of Toronto EMS workers. Lambert worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) in the development of EMS patient care policies and transport procedures during the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak; was assigned deputy chief of operations in the City of Toronto’s Emergency Operations Centre during the G20; and worked with the MOHLTC and Toronto Hospitals to implement a hospital bypass system for stroke patients. Lambert also led a team in the successful development and implementation of a plan to decrease ambulance off-load and emergency patient wait times for the City of Toronto. In 2008, Lambert was recognized for his accomplishments by the Governor General of Canada with an Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal. Married with children, Lambert is a devoted husband, father of four – two of whom are paramedics – and grandfather of four who enjoys spending time with his family. He is an active volunteer with the Knights of Columbus and enjoys golf and gardening.

Marc MacRae Sports Administration, 1984     Since graduating from Durham College’s Sports Administration program in 1984, Marc MacRae has spent the last 28 years in the sporting goods sector. He has trained new teams, opened countless stores and generated well over a billion in sales with his winning attitude. He is currently the vice-president of Consumer Sales and Marketing at RMP Athletic Locker Limited, an athletic clothing store. He is responsible for brand building, business analytics, retail marketing, profit building and more. In both MacRae’s professional and personal life he knows how to motivate and inspire those around him. He has taken many Durham College graduates under his wing, hiring and training them and leading them to successful futures with companies like Fila, Adidas and Nike. This sports fanatic has won numerous rookie manager and district manager of the year awards for his accomplishments from 1984 consistently through to 1999. MacRae’s passion for sports extends off the field where he has spent close to 20 years coaching both of his children in addition to coaching rep football and hockey teams. Over the years he has led teams to four provincial championships with two championship wins. He is presently busy coaching the AA Flamborough Sabres rep hockey team along with three football teams. MacRae currently lives in Waterdown, Ont. with his wife of 24 years, Elaine, and sons 17-year old Connor and 15-year old Carson. During his free time, the Montreal Canadiens fan enjoys attending sports games, travelling and volunteering on sports league committees where he has been both a public relations director and fundraising director.

Lesley Wagner Legal Administration, 1985     Since completing the Legal Administration program in 1985, Lesley Wagner has spent more than 27 years in the legal sector working at various corporate law offices and has spent her 12 most recent years at Durham College. When she began teaching with the School of Justice & Emergency Services in 2000 she committed herself to the success of Durham College, its programs, and students. Through her professionalism, experience and strong networking connections, Wagner ensures her students graduate prepared to meet employer demands. In addition to her full-time role as a professor, Wagner has also worked as the field placement co-ordinator for the Legal Administration/Law Clerk program for the past ten years, working one-on-one with more than 100 students each year. She goes above and beyond to match students with the right field placement host, which often results in graduate employment. Throughout her career Wagner has made significant contributions to the college. She helped shape the foundation for the Court Support Services program (CTSS) and secured the Ministry of the Attorney General’s endorsement of the program to other Ontario colleges. The CTSS program has become a program of choice for many second career and mature students and has set the standards for skill requirements entering this field. In 2010 Wagner was invited by the Ontario Ministry of Training, College and Universities to review and revise the program standards for the Legal Administration and Law Clerk programs. This exercise further strengthened her skills as a professor in ensuring her students were well-prepared when entering the workforce. Wagner continually promotes Durham College students and alumni as well as its unique programming through her association with the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and the Eastern Region Academic Coordinators’ Conference. She genuinely cares about her students’ success and continually liaises with community contacts to assess employment opportunities both for current students and alumni. In her free time, Wagner enjoys spending time with her family and travelling.