The Ontario Colleges’ Marketing Competition continues because individuals at virtually every college around this province care about it. They all show they care by selecting, supporting and coaching students who lay their pride on the line in what everyone acknowledges to be a tough competition. Each year, one individual, college or sponsor is recognized with the Award of Excellence to recognition exceptional work by individuals in furtherance of this remarkable event.

In 2007, the OCMC people agreed to create the Life Members Club which would reward those who had served the competition for many years and had since retired.

On a more visceral level, bragging rights matter and colleges battle fiercely to emerge triumphant from the fray. So, on this page we try to acknowledge exceptional performance by colleges. Call it what you will, but this page is all about the pursuit of excellence! Note that exceptional students are also now recognized by the Lydiatt Award.

OCMC Award of Excellence

In 2003, Dwight Dyson of Centennial college proposed an award be created that would “recognize the previously unheralded efforts of the sponsors, colleges and faculty (similar to the Irving Thalberg award at the Academy Awards).”

Dyson envisaged this: “The award is to be presented annually to a deserving person, college or sponsor who has demonstrated commitment and outstanding care for the OCMC event. The winner will show an enthusiastic regard for the student’s needs and success. The winner would need to demonstrate professionalism through a positive attitude and interpersonal relations throughout the OCMC community and finally the recipient will have demonstrated a commitment to the long-term success of the event.”

McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Pearson Education Canada and Thomson Nelson stepped up in a sponsor role and donated the impressive trophy shown here.

Here are the winners of the award to date, “in recognition of a history of selfless contribution to the continuance and success of the Ontario Colleges’ Marketing Competition,” along with statements from those who nominated them:

2010: Stephen Janisse, St. Clair College: “His dedication to the students’ needs and success has been demonstrated each year and his enthusiasm for OCMC is contagious. Steve has supported OCMC both at a local college level and at a provincial level for over 20 years and has been instrumental on the Quiz Bowl judge panel since its inception. His motto to students each year is “Work hard. Play harder and if you’re not careful you just might learn something. Without Steve, St.Clair College may not still be participating in this competition.”

2009: Pat Kolodziejski, Mohawk College: “Pat is dedicated to a philosophy that it is the experience of competing that is important, not winning, and as such, whether we win or not our students always return to Mohawk after OCMC feeling different – feeling better. She is known and respected for her dedication to her students and her seemingly endless energy for teaching and College activities. Pat has been a member of the OCMC Directors since its inception. After 30 years of participation as a Coach and “Den Mother” she is still wildly enthusiastic about the event and will, until she retires, be a Director and OCMC Committee member of any type needed.”

2008: Marianne Mirando, Seneca College: “Marianne has successfully played host to the competition at two colleges. She has contributed to the development and subsequent revisions of both the Integrated Marketing Communications and Advertising events. In addition, she has also taken it upon herself to rewrite the official rules and procedures manuals. Marianne is always helpful, pleasant, approachable and willing to offer assistance to the host college to ensure the competition’s success.”

2007: Dwight Dyson, Centennial retiree:
“Dwight has been involved with the OCMC since the 1980’s; Dwight has always been passionate about the Quiz Bowl event, hauling the old equipment from venue to venue, set it up, and made sure it worked. He’s been to all the meetings, served on the awards committee, policy committees, and has been a judge on many occasions. Dwight has hosted the January business meetings of the OCMC directors. ”

2006: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Pearson Education Canada and Thomson Nelson
“Not only have our three Publishers contributed funds as sponsors of the OCMC, they have donated time and energy participating in the judging of the events. The publishers are eager to receive information from students and professors in an attempt to make their textbooks more relevant and exciting. Without the contributions made by the publishers the organizers of this event would be hard pressed to host it.”

2005: David Nowell, Sheridan College:
“David’s dedication to seeing his students succeed and his devotion to ensuring successful continuation of the competition is exemplary. David opens his heart and his home every year to all students and coaches who form that year’s Sheridan OCMC Team. David has been active in documenting the history of OCMC by employing his considerable technical skills to build a website that documents the origins and evolution of this great event.”

2004: Barb Watts, Georgian College:
“Over the years Barb has been a steadying influence on the students who have represented Georgian College. She is a tireless worker who ensures her students are ready for the challenges they will encounter. Barb’s warm, friendly and supportive attitude with fellow faculty clearly demonstrates her commitment to the professionalism of the OCMC competition. On her own initiative, Barb has paid to replace the Quiz Bowl machine with a ‘state of the art’ machine similar to the one used in ‘Jeopardy’.”

2003: Noni Stukel, Algonquin College:
“Noni has demonstrated a dedicated commitment to OCMC over the past few years. This commitment has led to the development and implementation of solid student recruiting practices and a very strong team spirit at Algonquin College. Noni promotes ongoing change and improvement to the betterment of the OCMC organization. All of us appreciate her high level of professionalism and positive attitude.”

2002: Kip Tuckwell, St. Lawrence College:
“Kip has always been the backbone of the OCMC. He was involved at its inception, and has been the driving force behind it ever since. Year after year, Kip initiates, coordinates and chairs the post-competition evaluation meeting, which serves to ensure that the OCMC is fair and challenging to all, and that we are continually improving the event. Kip’s professional attitude extends to students and faculty from all colleges. He initiated the concept of soliciting sponsorships, which is now a cornerstone of managing this event. Kip is very deserving of recognition for his efforts over the years, and we feel strongly that Kip should be the inaugural recipient of this prestigious award.“

Tuckwell actually received his Award of Excellence at the 2003 OCMC. In 2002, when St. Lawrence in Kingston hosted the event for a third time, a group of students presented him with a certificate in appreciation for hosting. They were moved to learn that, had Tuckwell not stepped up to the plate, the event might have been cancelled that year.

Life Members Club

Whether organizing and hosting an event or doing all it takes to present a competitive team, individual faculty members are the constant force which keeps OCMC going strong. As the competition enters its second quarter-century, it is hardly a surprise that some would retire, so the OCMC Life Members Club was created to give due recognition to some special individuals.

2007 Inductees:

  • Dwight Dyson, Centennial: Since coming on board for the first province-wide competition in 1988, Dwight has been very active, hosting the event in 1990, leading his team at the events and working on OCMC committees.
  • Keith Gruben, Centennial: Also on hand in 1988 and heavily involved with OCMC ever since, including hosting the event in 2001.
  • Dennis Sullivan, Fanshawe: A true original, as he was among those who had the vision to start the competition in 1979. Says he: “Win or lose, this competition is the best experience a marketing student will have at college.”

Accolades: Close Counts Too!

As one might expect, some colleges have risen to the top more than others over the quarter-century-plus that OCMC has existed. Here, we try to give them their due, acknowledging those who were more than a flash in the pan, those who are in ascendancy and those who have compiled a remarkable track record in this competition.

Note we only dealing with performance since 1988, when the event first went province-wide, and for which we have accurate data. From then up to 2008, there have been 20 OCMCs held.

What They Did:Who Did It
Most First-Place FinishesSt. Lawrence College in Kingston has won ten of the 19 events held! Add on five second- and third-place rankings and you can see that these dudes rule.
Second-most in top finishes is Conestoga with four. Sheridan ranks third, with three top spots.
Centennial is the only other college with more than one win, with a pair.
In 2006, Seneca joined the club, with a top finish. Cambrian won once.
Consistency Counts!When it comes to consistent appearances in the top three, nobody beats Conestoga, with 12 consecutive top-three finishes and counting! (1997-2008)
Centennial had six consecutive years in the top three from 1990 to 1996.
Back-to-Back WinsSomewhere in that string of triumphs, it had to happen: St. Lawrence took top spot three years in a row, from 1992 to 1994. Conestoga is the only other college with back-to-back wins, with a pair in 1997 and 1998.
Second is Sweet Too!Two colleges have finished in second place five times! Centennial and Conestoga each managed that, although Conestoga put theirs together more recently, with three years in second (1999-2001).
Bridesmaid AwardWho has come close but never made it to top spot? You would have to go with Algonquin, with four second- and third-place spots.
Dark Horse AwardSo, who’s hot? Better watch Seneca, who pulled off the win in 2006, and Niagara, which placed second in 2007 and 2004. Niagara did not take part for most of the 1990s.

Want to discover more details about the history of OCMC?

OCMC History Page

OCMC Champions Page

OCMC Lydiatt Award Page

OCMC Award of Excellence Page