2016 Honourees

Robert HardtRobert Hardt​
President & CEO, Siemens Canada
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Robert Hardt serves as the President and CEO of Siemens Canada, responsible for the overall strategic management, direction and leadership for all Siemens activities in Canada.  Mr. Hardt is a dedicated supporter of the company’s Educational Program with a focus on fostering the development of Canadian students and encouraging STEM learning and technology-related careers. Under his leadership, Siemens has launched an education program with the Halton Learning Foundation under its Corporate Social Responsibility banner, providing mentoring for Halton District School Board high school students, field trips to Siemens facilities and donations of funds and refurbished company laptops.
Mr. Hardt was a driving force behind the establishment of the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA) in 2015. A pillar of SCETA is the Dual Education work-integrated learning pilot program providing financial support for students in their final two years of post-secondary education, and students join SCETA during their co-op terms with Siemens. SCETA has also implemented Mechatronics programs into the curriculums of Seneca College and Sheridan College, enabling students at these institutions to pursue an internationally recognized certification in this cutting-edge field. In the past two years alone, Siemens Canada made grants of its sophisticated product life cycle management (PLM) software valued at more than $1 billion CAD to schools in Canada, including Western University, McMaster University, and Sheridan College.
In December 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed Mr. Hardt to the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy Expert Panel. This five-person panel will develop a strategy to help the province’s workforce adapt to the demands of a technology-driven knowledge economy.
Mr. Hardt is passionate about fostering the engineering profession and skills education in Canada by building strong collaboration networks between industry and educational institutions. He is an active member of The Learning Partnership’s corporate advisory board. In addition, he is also an active member of the Business Council of Canada (formerly Canadian Council of Chief Executives), Canada Business Higher Education Roundtable, International Chief Executives in Canada (Conference Board of Canada) and is on the Advisory Council, Manufacturing, for the Canadian Manufactures & Exporters.

Sam SebastianSam Sebastian
Managing Director, Google Canada
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As Managing Director of Google Canada, Sam Sebastian’s mission is to lead Google Canada to earn the love of Canadian users, advertisers and partners by helping them get the most out of the web. Working with Canadian institutions of all sizes, Mr. Sebastian and the team at Google Canada provide digital solutions to help educational organizations engage students, encourage collaboration and inspire young thinkers.

School boards within the Canadian education system have been early and passionate adopters of Google Apps for Education. Google Canada is also in the midst of rolling out the Google Pioneer Expeditions Program pilot project, a virtual reality platform that allows Canadian teachers to be among the first in the world to take their classes on immersive virtual journeys.

Google has awarded grants to nonprofits and schools in Toronto through their local Community Grant and Google Research Awards Programs. In 2015, Google donated $1.5 million to ACTUA to deliver STEM and computer science camps and workshops to school-aged children across Canada.

Mr. Sebastian was recognized in Crain's Chicago "40 Under 40" professionals in 2009, B2B Magazine's "Who's Who in B2B" in 2011, and among the real estate industry's "Top 100 Most Influential Leaders" by Inman News. He has served on the Boards of the Business Marketing Association, the American Business Media Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and is currently a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.