Bakers sponsor summer program in Italy

Happiness is a slice of life for York graduate John Rossetti (BBA ‘83) and his brother Dennis, reported the Toronto Sun April 12. These two waft in the heavenly aroma of baking bread every day they come to work at their Italian Home Bakery Ltd., home to Superior Bread and thousands of beautiful, satisfying, artisan breads. Both know how to make bread – Dennis, the president, hails from a substantial food science background, honed through more than 25 years in the industry that took him to all corners of the globe, including the San Francisco Baking Institute. John, a graduate of York’s Schulich School of Business and the firm’s vice-president and CFO, uses his keen skills as a chartered accountant to keep this company growing, not unlike the proverbial loaf of bread. (A third brother, Joseph, is the company’s night shift supervisor.)

The company puts its bread where its mouth is. It’s involved in a myriad of public-spirited initiatives – no loaf, bun or crumb goes to waste, with foods donated to various charitable causes, kitchens and food banks. Breads that don’t make the cut are recycled into animal feed. The company also produces a line of breadcrumbs. The company even sponsors an award at York University to support the Summer Studies in Italy Program offered by York’s Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, in the Faculty of Arts.

Loss of Elliot Lake arts academy will be felt across Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario’s artistic life will suffer a major setback without the White Mountain Academy of the Arts, reported the Sudbury Star April 12. York alumnus Sam Shahsahabi (MFA ‘02), curator of the gallery and a drawing, painting and two-dimensional design instructor at the school, was understandably pensive Sunday. He was proud of the level of achievement the students were able to pull off, despite the dismal circumstances surrounding the school. “I call this the best show of all the student shows we’ve had so far,” he said. “It was a good collaboration between all the instructors and all the student projects were completed.” Both Shahsahabi and his colleague, Kasia Piech, a ceramics and three-dimensional-design instructor, said White Mountain Academy offered the best art-making facilities in Northern Ontario. Nothing else came close to its vast, well-equipped studios for all the visual arts. “It is sad to see it going, or to turn into something other than a fine arts school,” said Shahsahabi, a visual artist trained in his native Iran, and at York University in Toronto. “It feels like it was built to be a fine arts school.”

Rama rewards three aboriginal students

Three York students are among 23 winners of Casino Rama Awards of Excellence, given to aboriginal students for their academic achievement and community involvement, reported The Packet & Times (Orillia) April 12. Brent Debassige, a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation and graduate student in York’s Faculty of Education, received a graduate award of $2,500. Third-year Faculty of Education student Tammy Sault, a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and fourth-year biology student Kayla Wilkins, a Metis, each received $1,500.

Designer finds passion in paper

York/Sheridan design graduate Sasha Brijmohan (BDes ‘03), 25, started her own customized invitations and card company, Pretty Paper, reported Metro (Toronto) April 12. If job satisfaction dictated income, Brijmohan would be a millionaire at 25. “It’s amazing to wake up and feel excited to go to work,” she says referring to Pretty Paper, the customized invitations and card company she started last year. “That’s a good feeling.” Of course for Brijmohan going to work doesn’t mean leaving the house – she has been able to parlay her skills into an out-of-home business. “I do all the design work and then I out source all the production. That’s how I maintain the quality of my work. I take care of the stuff that I’m best at and then I hire people to do the stuff that they’re best at.”

Osgoode alumnus Ernie Eves joins CB Richard Ellis board

A major real estate company is hoping former Conservative Ontario premier Ernie Eves (LLB ‘70), a graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, can help drum up new corporate business, reported Canadian Press April 11. Eves has been named to the eight-member board of CB Richard Ellis Ltd., the Canadian arm of global real estate powerhouse CB Richard Ellis Inc. He will also be a special adviser to the company. “It’s the first senior special adviser we’ve had to our board,” Blake Hutcheson, chairman and president of CB Richard Ellis Ltd., said in an interview Tuesday. “He’s got tremendous senior relationships on Bay Street, he’s got tremendous senior relationships across Canada. And we are in the commercial real estate business – a people business,” Hutcheson said. “He will provide good counsel as to how we run our business, but he will also, I think, open a lot of doors for us across the country – given his relationships.”

Peter Simon has turned around the Royal Conservatory of Music

Fifteen years ago, both Peter Simon and National Ballet administrative director Robert Sirman took on jobs that probably only enemies would have wished on them, so daunting were the prospects for success, reported The Globe and Mail April 12. On paper, the jobs sounded prestigious, top-of-the-line – in Simon’s case, the presidency of the Royal Conservatory of Music. But beneath the fancy-pants titles were organizations in deep trouble. In his previous career Simon served as artistic director of Toronto’s Preview Concerts. In fact, it was this job that prompted him to take his one and only course in arts administration, at York University in 1984. “I’d started this concert series and was trying to fill a 300-seat hall with no marketing budget. I knew nothing. I thought I could take a short-cut.”