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Keyano College Celebrates Top 50 Under 50 Connections

Keyano College
BY Keyano College
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The Wood Buffalo region thrives on the dedication and hard work of people who live here, and what these local superheroes all have in common is their love for our city and region.

The YMM Top 50 Under 50 List provides an opportunity to celebrate and highlight those influential and inspirational people in our midst. The issue is an annual highlight for many, as we eagerly wait to see who made the list and to offer our congratulations.

Keyano College is proud to celebrate its many connections on this year’s list as well as those from past editions. People who work, volunteer, and study here, as well as those who support the College, have been featured on many occasions, and they all make a difference in our community.

One of those who is helping to make Fort McMurray and the Region, the very best it can be, is Jonathan Lambert, Keyano College’s Director of Athletics, Sport and Student Wellness. 

Jonathan arrived at Keyano five years ago from Fort McMurray Composite High School and has been an important leader at the College, an avid promoter of college athletics, as well as an important advocate for students.

“I enjoy being involved—and an important part of my job is to be connected to our students,” he says. “Any good leader should not be afraid to work hard. I am a firm believer that positive change begins with you…and I want to make positive changes.”

A community supporter, former Fort McMurray Coach of the Year, and avid promoter of soccer and basketball for youth and adults, Jonathan was still humbled at being included on this year’s Top 50 Under 50 list.

“I do the things I do because I want to; because I think they are important. I give back to my community because it has given so much to me and my family,” he said. “To be acknowledged actually feels strange, but I am extremely honoured.”

Jonathan says this year’s Top 50 Under 50 list includes many amazing individuals. Some of those also include friends and supporters of Keyano.

Chris Wilson began his Keyano journey as a student, while completing a Heavy Duty Mechanic apprenticeship. He went on to create an important and successful oil sands company, specializing in fluid handling, waste management and steaming. Based in Fort McKay, Birch Mountain Enterprises is now a proven and dependable company, serving all major oil sands contractors and producers in the Wood Buffalo region.

Not one to sit on his laurels, or to keep his success to himself, Wilson is a huge community supporter. Through BME, he continues to create numerous sustainable career and training opportunities for members of the Fort McKay First Nation, so they can live and work there. The company champions childcare, sports, education, and traditional activities in the hamlet. In addition, Birch Mountain has provided financial support for well over a hundred programs and causes in the region over the years.

Keyano tops his list of causes to support. He is sponsoring the College’s annual Gala again this year, and has been lending a hand for various projects related to Huskies Athletics, youth, and academics.

“I’m very fortunate to be able to give back. To support Keyano – where it all started for me is very important. And, at the end of the day it’s being a good neighbour, coming full circle,” he says. 

Joining Chris at this year’s Gala will be fellow Top 50 Under 50 recipient Kwame Osei, who will be a Master of Ceremonies, along with his Amazing Race Canada partner Dylan Elias.

Many locally have had the opportunity to get to know Kwame through the Northern Elite Football organization and youth mentorship program. His participation on Amazing Race Canada—in which he and Dylan accomplished a remarkable third place finish—introduced him to a national audience.

The decision to take part in the Gala was an easy one, said Kwame.

“Athletics is huge part of my life, I would not be where I am today had it not been for football. I know how powerful sports and extracurricular activities are to the development of young people. You learn so many life skills through sports such as discipline, responsibility, time management, and teamwork just to name a few. On the other hand I know how difficult it can be for students to pay for school, I was once in their shoes. So when I was asked to host this event, it was a no brainer for me to say yes. I take pride in supporting the next generation of leaders,” he said.

It is easy to be proud of those connected to our college, as we celebrate this year’s Top 50 Under 50 recipients - all of whom are extraordinary people. We celebrate their accomplishments, dreams and passion for making this part of the world, Fort McMurray and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the very best it can be.


Above, left to right: Chris Wilson, Kwame Osei and Jonathan Lambert. Photos supplied