Little potatoes, sharing meals, distilling hope: 2021 Alumni Achievement Awards
With an exceptional base of alumni making a difference to choose from, settling on just three Alumni Achievement Award recipients each year is a challenge. It's a challenge King’s loves to undertake, however, as the university strives to share the stories of driven men and women making a difference in their communities and beyond.
Angela Santiago, CEO and co-founder of The Little Potato Company, is this year’s Distinguished Alumni award recipient. This award is given to alumni with a proven track record of academic excellence who also accomplished outstanding lifetime achievements.
Angela co-founded The Little Potato Company in 1996 with her father Jacob Vander Schaaf, a Dutch immigrant who longed for the tasty little potatoes of his youth. What began as a tiny operation on the outskirts of Edmonton selling at farmers’ markets, is now an international, multi-million dollar company employing more than 400 people; many of whom are newcomers to Canada.
Angela leads with a positive example, gives back to her community, and is a sought-after public speaker. Read more about Angela and The Little Potato Company.
Trixie Ling, founder and executive director of Flavours of Hope, is this year’s Servant Leader award recipient. The award honours alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service to others, advocacy for the disadvantaged, and a commitment to volunteering.
Flavours of Hope is a social enterprise empowering refugee newcomer women to earn livable incomes and build social connections within their communities through cooking and sharing culinary traditions and stories. She was inspired to establish Flavours of Hope after her Vancouver church’s weekly neighbourhood dinners began to see an influx of newcomers to Canada attending their meals.
Trixie is driven by compassion and a desire to see justice and equity delivered within her community.
Nathan Flim, owner of The Fort Distillery, is this year’s Accomplished Young Alumni award recipient which is given to alumni 35 years old or under who have outstanding professional achievements and make significant community contributions.
Nathan’s passion for agriculture and chemistry led him to open a distillery alongside his wife Kayla in 2018. Their business produces delicious, small batch spirits, made using quality local ingredients. Each year, The Fort Distillery supports local farmers, hires community members, and showcases the talents of local artists. The Fort Distillery has quickly become an important community space where people come to connect and today, its products are being sold and distributed across Canada and the US.