Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Leonard Pecore

Leonard Pecore

Naval Architecture

Leonard Pecore Hometown: Conception Bay South, NL
Employer: Genoa Design International Ltd.
Position: Founder & Chair of the Board
Program: Naval Architecture
Graduation Year: 1995

Leonard Pecore is the first recipient of the Marine Institute Alumni Award, which was presented during the Institute’s June 14, 2019, graduation ceremony. The new award recognizes the professional accomplishments of alumni, their service to society and their commitment to the MI and Memorial communities.


In June 2019 Leonard Pecore, recipient of the inaugural MI Alumni Award, was featured in Memorial University’s Gazette in the article Designing Futures.

Natasha Warren alumni profile

Natasha Warren

Water Quality

Natasha Warren alumni profile Hometown: Chapel Arm
Employer: Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
Position: Environmental Officer
Program: Water Quality
Graduation Year: 2018

Meet Natasha Warren - she is a recent graduate of our Advanced Diploma in Water Quality.


Natasha grew up in Chapel Arm, a small rural Newfoundland community. She graduated from the Water Quality program in spring of 2018 and she is currently employed with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) as an Environmental Officer.


“I would label my experience at the Marine Institute (MI) as life changing. The work term I obtained through the program was with my current employer. Had I not pursued the Water Quality program at the Marine Institute, I may have never obtained the job I have today.” Natasha says the MI faculty and staff are among some of the friendliest you can find in Newfoundland’s post-secondary institutions. They truly love what they do and want nothing more than to see their students succeed.


Natasha choose the water quality program because she wanted to redefine her resume in a way that would be desirable to employers. The Water Quality program offered a work term and technical project component that her undergraduate studies did not. This allowed her to obtain skills that could be transferable to the workforce.


We know that Natasha has a bright future ahead of her! Her future plan is to continue working with PWGSC during the course of her career and to move up through the organizational structure of the Environmental Services division, to eventually become part of the Management Team.


To find out more about our Advanced Diploma in Water Quality, please visit

Sid Hynes

Captain. Sid Hynes

Nautical Science

Sid Hynes Hometown: Harbour Breton, NL
Current: Mount Pearl, NL
Employer: Oceanex Inc.
Position: Executive Chairman
Program: Nautical Science
Graduation Year: 1981

Career Achievements:

  • At age 19, was one of the youngest in Canada to receive the 2nd Mate Certificate (1975)
  • Bronze Medal winner of Master Intermediate Trade ON1 (1978-1979)
  • Appointed Honorary Consul to Newfoundland and Labrador and Territory of Nunavut for Finland (2018)
  • Received Honorary Degree from Memorial University (2013)
  • Awarded Queen’s Jubilee Medal (2013)
  • Inducted to the Order of Newfoundland (2012)
  • Awarded NOIA’s (Newfoundland’s Oil & Gas Industry Association) Outstanding Contribution Award (2012)
  • Inducted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame (2011)
  • Named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business Magazine (2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Awarded “Medal of Merit” by the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (2010)
  • Appointed Honorary Captain(Navy) by the Department of National Defence (2010)
  • Tourism Association of Newfoundland & Labrador “Ambassador of Newfoundland and Labrador Hospitality Award (2004)
  • National Transportation Week’s Award of Merit (2003)
  • Named “Transportation Person of the Year” by St. John’s Board of Trade (1993)

“I have always had a passion for the marine industry. I received my marine education from the Marine Institute, which was the start of a long and very successful career in this industry. My businesses have all been related to this area, and I have put all of my energy into building successful businesses. I thrive on challenges and my greatest satisfaction is when I achieve the goals I have set out for myself.


While it’s been almost 40 years since I graduated from the Marine Institute, in MI and the programs it delivers. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented individuals who have also received their introduction to the industry from MI. I thoroughly enjoy being involved with MI’s Industry Advisory Board and having the opportunity, from time to time, to attend graduations and scholarship presentations where we can all acknowledge the success of its students.”

Ross Butler

Ross Butler

Diploma in Food Technology (Marine Products)

Ross Butler Hometown: Red Harbour, NL
Current: Cooke Seafood USA and Wanchese Fish Company, with responsibilities for Cooke’s fishing operations in Argentina and Uruguay
Employer: Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
Position: CEO
Program: Diploma in Food Technology (Marine Products)
Graduation Year: 1982

While he lives in the United States, Ross Butler remains very connected to Newfoundland, his home, and to the Marine Institute, his alma mater. He is connected as a member of the Board of Directors of Newfound Resources (Offshore Northern Shrimp Company) based in Newfoundland, through his active involvement with the MI Industry Advisory Committee, and also by participating through an advisory role on Cooke’s Newfoundland based aquaculture operations. When asked he provided these insights for his alumni spotlight:


In many ways, my heritage chose my profession. I literally grew up in a fishing boat and knew from an early age that I would like to develop a career in some part of the marine industries. The College of Fisheries as it was known when I attended, offered the Food technology program which started my formal education toward my current career.


As a Marine Institute graduate, I am very proud of my role in lobbying for the Bachelor of Technology program many years ago when technology graduates like myself needed a “bridge” to a degree program. We fought long and hard to establish the current program and it has been a huge success for developing the careers of hundreds of people.


This is an amazing industry that offers new entrants tremendous career choices. Since the Fisheries Moratorium there has been a widely held view in Atlantic Canada that career choices within the seafood industry are limited and not very promising. My experience has been the complete opposite.


As the population ages and people retire, new entrants are required to fill their roles and as new technologies are introduced and adapted, the need for highly skilled individuals has expanded. With the continued evolution of food safety standards, fisheries science, third party certification and government regulations, the industry must have the skilled personnel to adapt to these ever-changing requirements.


Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we are in the food business and that as the world’s population continues to grow, it is driving demand for skilled and talented people to develop and build more efficient and sustainable high quality food production systems to meet the growing needs of the world. This will provide exciting career challenges to those willing to embrace it.


My daughter is about to graduate from the College of William and Mary with a BSc, a great school  here in Virginia and I’m proud to say that she is now actively considering a Master’s program at MI, a decision which I have actively encouraged as I firmly believe it is one of the best career choices a person can make.

Captain Chris Elliott MI 50th Anniversary Alumni profile

Captain Chris Elliott

Nautical Science

Captain Chris Elliott MI 50th Anniversary Alumni profile Hometown: Paradise, NL
Current: Westmount, Cape Breton, NS
Employer: Canship Ugland Ltd
Position: Master, M/T Vinland
Program: Nautical Science
Graduation Year: 2003

"The Marine Institute’s nautical science program provided the basis to develop my skills and the industry exposure necessary to start my career after graduation.


I completed my work term with Canship Ugland Ltd as a cadet in the program. Being on a dynamically positioned shuttle tanker, learning about bow loading, maneuvering large vessels, tanker operations and the offshore sector in general provided me excellent practical knowledge as I moved through the nautical science program."

Travis Gosse MI 50th Anniversary

Travis Gosse


Travis Gosse MI 50th Anniversary Hometown: St. John’s, NL
Current: St. John’s, NL
Employer: Subsea 7
Position: Supervisor, Seven Falcon
Program: ROV
Graduation Year: 2010

“During high school I was involved in the Marine Advanced Technology Education ROV Competitions with the Marine Institute. So when the Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) program was created at MI, I was the very first student to sign up for it."

Heather Barry Marine Institute 50th Anniversary

Heather Barry


Heather Barry Marine Institute 50th Anniversary Hometown: Placentia, NL
Current: Esquimalt, BC
Employer: Royal Canadian Navy
Position: Leading Seaman
Program: NCSTTP
Graduation Year: 2014

“There were thirty-three of us in my graduating Naval Combat Systems Technician Training Plan (NCSTTP) class and we were a tight knit group. The knowledge we were provided at the Marine Institute was phenomenal.


When I began at MI, I knew nothing about technology. Now I know everything. The courses were in-depth and we learnt the material, but also the history behind it and how to apply it to real life situations.


There’s a distinct difference between knowing what you’re doing and understanding its functionality and relevance.”

Kaylen Janes MI 50th Anniversary Alumni

Kaylen Janes


Kaylen Janes MI 50th Anniversary Alumni Hometown: Marystown, NL
Current: St. John’s, NL
Employer: Altius Minerals
Position: Manager of Environmental Affairs and Community Relations
Program: ICOM
Graduation Year: 2006

“My time at MI allowed opportunities for industry networking that had not been provided at previous educational institutions. Following completion of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management (ICOM) program, I very much hoped to find a job that allowed me to stay in NL. Those networking opportunities proved to be a significant advantage when I began job-hunting; ultimately leading to employment in my home province.


The small class sizes at MI were an important feature of the teaching approach. This environment allowed the formation of friendships with instructors and fellow students that still prevail. These friendships have played a significant role in assisting with the formation of the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium -- a not-for-profit I'm very proud to be a part of.”

Yvonne Nochasak 50th Anniversary MI Alumni

Yvonne Nochasak

Bridge Watch

Yvonne Nochasak 50th Anniversary MI Alumni Hometown: Naine, Labrador
Current: Summerford, NL
Employer: Canadian Coast Guard
Position: Deck Hand
Program: Bridge Watch
Graduation Year: 2003

“The Marine Institute gave me the knowledge and certification I needed to get my career. Since graduating I’ve been provided opportunities which have allowed me to travel all around Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut and close to the North Pole.”

Karla Brown Alumni Profile 50th Anniversary

Karla Brown

ROV Operator

Karla Brown Alumni Profile 50th Anniversary Hometown: St. Anthony, NL
Current: Reidville, NL
Employer: Oceaneering Canada Ltd.
Position: Junior ROV Technician
Program: ROV Operator
Graduation Year: 2012

“MI was the stepping stone into my career in the ROV industry. I had a lot of amazing instructors and met a lot of great people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Whenever I’m in the area I always come back to MI for a visit; MI = Opportunity!


I love that my career provides plenty of opportunity to travel and a constantly changing environment. There’s never a dull moment and always something new to learn. From working in Indonesia and Kenya to closer to home in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s all been great and I look forward to what’s next!”

Adam Tucker

Adam Tucker

Nautical Science

Adam Tucker Hometown: Corner Brook, NL
Current: Pembroke Pines, Florida, USA (Ft. Lauderdale area)
Employer: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Position: Superintendent, Maritime Safety and Compliance
Program: Nautical Science
Graduation Year: 1996

“I work on the operational safety and regulatory front of the industry. Getting to meet and interact with Marine and transportation professionals allows me the opportunity to continuously learn and develop.


I am still a Mariner at heart. Even though I am shore based, I still have the opportunity to sail on company vessels to interact with our Maritime crew and relay their comments and safety concerns to the organization. On occasion, I am still able to actively sail on my license to keep current.


The cruise industry is continuously changing. The ships are getting bigger, and technology and safety systems continue to evolve. Being a part of a progressive, forward thinking company with a strong safety culture allows for me to continuously develop professionally.


My experience at Marine Institute was very positive. It provided me with the skills and training that I needed to enter the shipping industry. Even after graduation, I continued to attend MI for my upgrades. The instructors were competent, capable and professional and shared their experiences at sea which I think is valuable.


The Marine Institute is an icon for the Maritime industry training in Canada. It is adaptable to industry needs of the future and I am proud to say that I am a MI grad.”

Mickey Freeman

Mickey Freeman

Marine Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, Masters of Technology Management

Mickey Freeman Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Current: Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia
Employer: DRYWORLD Industries
Position: President
Program: Marine Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, Masters of Technology Management
Graduation Year: 2012

“Both MI and Memorial provided an ideal place to succeed academically. I was privileged to work alongside Dr. Mervin Marshall for four years. We successfully published the first peer reviewed technical paper from a student/faculty at MI. Dr. Marshall remains a good friend of mine. As the first graduates of the MTM program, the exceptional professors provided all the support necessary to apply the material to my current business endeavors.


I began working for DRYWORLD Industries in 2012 and helped establish the company, which began in Victoria, BC by Matt Weingart and Brian McKenzie, former Canadian national level rugby players. I played rugby with McKenzie while I was attending MI.


I became president of DRYWORLD Industries in June, 2013. We are a small, young, innovative Canadian company and are competing directly with Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. Every day is a challenge and I thrive off these challenges in order to grow our company successfully. We get out what we put in.”

Donald Foo

Donald Foo

Diploma of Technology-Electronics Technology

Donald Foo Hometown: Singapore
Current: Singapore
Employer: Horiba Instruments Singapore Pte.Ltd
Position: President: 1997-2005, Board Member until 2008; currently Business Advisor to the Chairman, Horbia Group Japan for the Asia-Pacific countries
Program: Diploma of Technology-Electronics Technology
Graduation Year: 1972

“My electronics training at the College of Fisheries, Navigation, Marine Engineering and Electronics at the former Parade Street campus of Memorial University College prepared me well for a career in instrumentation. I began working for Horbia Instruments Singapore Ptd Ltd. in November 1985 and I became president of the Asia–Pacific sector for this company in 1997. During my career I have travelled worldwide, especially in the Asia-Pacific countries and have had the privilege to work across many cultures.


I look fondly back at the College of Fisheries as a place where I had a great education and made many friends worldwide. I also enjoyed great Canadian hospitality, especially with Newfoundlanders. I have very fond memories and made many good friends. It was a tremendous life changing experience.”