One of Canada’s leaders in manufacturing has been presented with the Trent University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award. Rhonda Barnet ’87 (BSc Mathematics) was recognized for her demonstrated leadership and accomplishment within the local and national business sector, and for her volunteerism within the Peterborough community. A passionate and relentless promoter of small to medium sized Canadian manufacturers, Ms. Barnet was National Chair of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association from 2016-2018 and the first woman in history to lead the 150-year-old organization.
The award was presented at a special Life After Trent “Women in Leadership” event, featuring a virtual panel discussion with highly accomplished Trent community members, including Dr. Katie Taylor, board chair of the Royal Bank of Canada, Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard, the director of the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent, and Julie Davis, vice-president of External Relations and Advancement at Trent.
“Ms. Barnet achieved the Distinguished Alumni Award in part because of her dedication to elevating the participation and roles of women in Canadian manufacturing,” said Lee Hays, director of Trent University Alumni Engagement and Services. “She is a role-model, mentor, and advocate for women in STEM, as well as an international representative for Canadian manufacturing. We are pleased to recognize her as an outstanding Trent University graduate.”
Ms. Barnet is president and chief operating officer of AVIT Manufacturing, a director with the Kawartha Manufacturers’ Association, and immediate past chair of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters - the first female to hold the hold the position in the association's history. She was recently named chair of the Federal Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Economic Strategy Table.
The Trent University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award is presented based on a person's achievement and leadership in their field. Recipients will have shown leadership in business, industry, a profession or in public life.