Alumni Association | Spring 2021

Meet the Newest Members of the Alumni Association Board

Annette Butikofer, Director of the Alumni AssociationAnnette Butikofer
Bachelor of Administration, 1985

Annette began her information technology career in 1985 as a programmer/analyst for Telecom Australia. Upon returning to Canada, Annette worked as a programmer/analyst for Woods Gordon Consulting and the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1991, she joined the Information Technology Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a Senior Programmer Analyst and has gone on to hold progressively challenging positions. In 2015, Annette became CIO and Assistant Commissioner, Information Technology Branch. In addition to her BAdmin (with a specialization in Management Information Systems) from Lakehead, Annette is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). In 2013, she graduated from the University of Ottawa Certificate Program in Public Sector Leadership and Governance and in 2017, she graduated from the Canada School of Public Service’s Executive Leadership Development Program.

Carmen Pekkarinen, Director of the Alumni Association BoardCarmen Pekkarinen
Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, 1995

Carmen was born and raised in Northern Ontario and has lived and worked in Finland since 1998. She is currently a Documentation Specialist at Trimble Solution in Espoo, Finland. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (Laurentian University, 1997) and an MA in Integrated Studies (Athabasca University, 2013). Carmen is married with a daughter and spends a lot of her free time at local rinks coaching ringette and girls’ hockey. She’s the author of the Life in Finland weblog and seeks out not-so-well-known connections between Canada and Finland. Carmen is also a past Chair of the Finnish-Canadian Society. Carmen is the acting president of the Finland Alumni Chapter, which includes many former exchange students from Finland and Sweden.

Headshot of Jamie Dennison, Alumni Association DirectorJamie Dennison
Civil Engineering Technology, 1995
Honours Bachelor of Commerce, 1999

Born and raised in Thunder Bay and now residing in Oakville, Ontario, James joined Great-West Life, a Canadian insurance company, in 2016 and is the Vice President & Global Head of Operational Risk. James has worked in the financial services industry since graduating from the Bachelor of Commerce program at Lakehead University in 1999, and he has since held various roles in risk management and regulatory organizations including the Bank of Montreal and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). James takes pride in always being an active volunteer, including through his current roles with a local food bank and numerous other community and industry associations. James also served on Lakehead University’s Board of Governors from 2007 to 2009.

Jouni Kraft, Director of the Alumni AssociationJouni Kraft
Honours Bachelor of Science, 1970

Jouni received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Lakehead in 1970. After graduating, he obtained a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1977 and completed an internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital on the Queensway in Toronto. For the next 40 years, he enjoyed a career in family practice at the Port Arthur Health Centre. He was on active staff at the Port Arthur General and St. Joseph hospitals. Jouni is now retired from the medical scene, however, his interests are numerous. He is married to Archdeacon Deborah Kraft who is the priest of St. Paul’s Anglican Church. He is very involved in a host of church activities from choir work to general maintenance of the church property. Jouni has four wonderful children and 11 grandchildren. 

Nathan Lawrence, DirectorNathan Lawrence
Honours Bachelor of Commerce, 2007

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Nathan earned his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Lakehead University in 2007 and he continues to call Thunder Bay home. He is a dedicated member of the community and a proud local business owner. Nathan is a Managing Partner with Royal LePage Lannon Realty and a Mortgage Broker with DLC Mortgage Excellence. Nathan has served on the board of several local organizations, including SHIFT – Thunder Bay’s Young Professionals Network, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Nathan is passionate about Thunder Bay and he is a firm believer that a strong business community helps to create a strong community. 

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