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By CHRISTINE DEMERS
Not knowing how to relax, Dan Patterson continues to accomplish many things in his career.
Patterson has tried various careers, all involving human development. He believes strongly in changing and impacting the lives of others in a positive way.
Since becoming president in 1995, he is leading Niagara College through significant transformations and transitions.
Under Patterson’s leadership, Niagara College has expanded by adding the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus and renovating the Welland campus, a combined $100-million project.
Patterson says the highlight of his career was having the opportunity to lead the college and build an “extraordinary team that provides high quality education to over 10,000 students.”
Patterson says he has two accomplishments he considers to be his greatest. First, the development of the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, focusing mainly on The Winery Education Centre and Teaching Brewery. The Canadian Food and Wine Institute has created a national presence for Niagara. Second, was the renewal of the Welland campus with over $1 million in expansions.
“It created a truly unique learning environment that positions us well for the future.”
Niagara College has received national recognition multiple times over the years. Patterson says his most proud moments for the college were when performer and political commentator Rick Mercer visited to see the brewery centre in action, when Prince Charles opened The Wine Visitor and Education Centre in 2009 and when the Countess of Wessex, Sophie, launched The Food and Beverage Research Institute.
Patterson has been president for 18 years and says, “I have no plans to retire. I have the best job in the world!” He does, however, have a list of things to accomplish before entertaining the thought.
He has just embarked on a strategic plan that will keep him and his team busy for the next three years.
This includes the expansion of programs to make Niagara College the “premier college in Canada” for culinary, food and beer education, mainly fermentation sciences.
“Relaxing is something I need to work at. I’m not the type of person to go golfing,” says Patterson.
After retirement, he says he plans to do volunteer work, alongside his wife, to support his community and enhance the quality of life in Niagara.
He also plans on spending more time with his daughter and his 15-year-old grandson.