Find out what other alumni from our year are up to. If you would like your snippet included in the next issue email us.

Find out what other alumni from our year are up to.

Chris Johnson, BA’11

Graduation Year: 2011

Chris Johnson BA’11 is an author, a proficient public speaker and coach. He is now a successful CEO of multiple companies. He studied Religion in university and has travelled the world to experience different nations’ ideas of health, medicine, and spirituality. Chris’ adventures have led him to places like India, Peru, and China. He also studied nutrition for over 20 years at home in Canada. 

Chris Johnson had his first experience with anxiety at the age of 8 and massive bouts of depression throughout his adult life. By focusing on nutrition and some key practices, he was able to not only overcome these psychological hurdles, but also thrive. His interest in bettering himself has led to a life-long spiritual journey culminating in this book “Happyology”. Happyology - 8 Secret Strategies for Success is scheduled for release in the summer of 2020.

Blair Beed, BComm’77

Graduation Year: 1977

Blair is the recipient of the 2019 Community Service Award from the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax for preservation and presentation of local and Irish history. 

Robert LeBlanc, BSc’71 BEd’73 BA’73 MA’76

Graduation Year: 1971

Following sixteen years teaching science at Halifax West High School and adjunct professor at SMU, Dalhousie and MSVU, Bob was appointed Director of P-12 Curriculum and Programs by the Dr. Savage government with responsibilities for restructuring Nova Scotia’s education system in 1993. Following this assignment, Bob formed Robert LeBlanc and Associates in 2001. As CEO, Bob served as Senior Adviser to Ministries of Education on four continents (Africa, Europe, Asia, North America) with emphasis on Institutional Strengthening, System Restructuring and Entrepreneurship and acted as a Consultant to Universities in the Middle East, North America and Australia providing assistance in evaluation of education programs and efficacy of management systems. As an Education Policy Writer, Bob’s writings have been published internationally in English, French, Arabic, Sinhala, Tamil and Slavic. Returning to Halifax after working in more than thirty countries, Bob retired and is living in the South End. He published his first novel,  Cage the Park,  followed by a memoir,  In the Wilderness of Mirrors, and a second novel,  Jury of One Thousand, that will be published summer 2020.

Jason Young, BComm’01

Graduation Year: 2001

At 44-years-old,  Jason Young BComm'01  hasn't lost his sense of play. Despite working as a chartered professional accountant for a large grocery chain, his creative endeavours as a freelance graphic designer have presented him with the opportunity to revisit a piece of his childhood. 

“It’s my escape from the business world,” says Young, a Halifax, N.S. resident who began drawing while in junior high school. 

“Something that's fun, light, colourful—something that's not, you know, business.”  

However, business is precisely what Young got himself involved with recently. The artist earned bragging rights for working alongside international toy brand Mego Corporation, designing product packaging for action figures, including Stan Lee, Michael Myers, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde. With his designs debuting alongside the company's new wave of figures at the New York Toy Fair in February, it’s a feat he never imagined. 

Notoriety shouldn’t be a problem, given the figures will be shipped worldwide. The toys are currently available for pre-order and will even be on shelves in stores such as EB Games. In the Halifax Regional Municipality, they will also be available at Sunrise Records, Giant Robot Comics, and Strange Adventures. Target will carry the toys in the United States.

Drew Franklin, BComm’83

Graduation Year: 1983

Drew Franklin B.Comm’83 is back from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to assume the role of Vice President New Ventures at SC Johnson & Son Inc. in Racine, Wisconsin.

Ossama Nasrallah, Omar Hassan, BComm’18, BComm’16

Graduation Year: 2018, 2016

Ossama and Omar are co-owners of Harbour Watercraft Tours & Adventures. The company provides a niche, fun and entertaining activity to the Halifax Harbour, offering Sea-Doo rentals and guided adventure tours. 

The Harbour Watercraft Tours & Adventures partnered with Square Roots, a vegetable bundle program, to deliver free food bundles to people in need. This month we have delivered more than 10,000 lbs of food to people who were most at risk all around the Halifax municipality. We do the deliveries in two steps. First, we deliver the vegetables from the farm to the Square Roots franchise locations for sorting and then we deliver the sorted bundles to people’s doorsteps.

Pam Dempster, BA’90

Graduation Year: 1990

Dempster Wellness, owned and operated by Pamela Dempster BA’90, has created a free Home Office Ergonomic Reference Guide to help those working from home during COVID-19. The organization focuses on Corporate Heath & Wellness and has been in operation throughout Atlantic Canada since 2013. They offer Employee Wellness services such as Ergonomic Workstation Assessments, Employee Education Wellness sessions, and Certification Courses, all available virtually. Visit to learn more.

Peggy Mitchell, BComm’99

Graduation Year: 1999

Peggy Mitchell BComm’99 has fond memories of Easter weekend when she was a student at SMU. Back then, she would spend her time sewing costumes for her ballet students and local dance schools as they prepared for competitions and recitals. Now, Peggy lives in Toronto and is a Contract Analyst for the Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace. After five weeks of working from home, she needed a project to keep her busy while her partner, Luke MacKay BA’05, worked night shifts. 
It was photo of a church sign, shared online by a friend, which sparked the idea to help. This year, Peggy spent her Easter weekend sewing face masks to donate to a local church. She’s now working on her second batch of masks to donate. The quiet activity helped her to pass the time, but more importantly, helped others in her community to stop the spread of COVID-19.

John Read, BComm’05

Graduation Year: 2005

John Read BComm'05 runs a small publishing company producing space exploration books targeted at youth aged 10 and up. His most recent release, written by his wife Jennifer Read (who works at the Saint Mary's University Writing Centre), is called "50 Animals That Have Been To Space" in partnership with Formac Publishing. 

The book is available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and ebook form. However, without reviews generated primarily by launch events, the book is struggling to gain traction online. 

We promise, your kids will LOVE this book. If you purchase this book on Amazon, please write a short review (even, "Great book"). That would really help us out. 
 If you'd like a free ebook edition, please "like" the  50 Animals That Have Been to Space Facebook page, and they'll provide instructions on how to download a free copy.  

The book can be found here:   


Jennifer Crawford, MA’07

Graduation Year: 2007

“Since winning MasterChef last year, I’ve been asked hundreds of times how my love for cooking originated. The truth is, I really love eating. That’s my short and savoury-sweet origin story. Food is comfort, it’s distraction, it’s expression, and it's empowering to make it yourself. It’s carried me through some of the scariest and most painful times of my life, present days included.  
When I was at Saint Mary’s, my main comfort food was tea & toast at the caf. Since then, I’ve accrued a few more culinary tricks up my sleeve. Some days I’m up for more complicated recipes than others. Enduring this collective trauma will impact us all differently and can make even the simplest of movements exhausting: if you don’t feel up to cooking, I get that and have been there. If you do, there’s lots of recipes & video cook-throughs on my Instagram and in the My Queer Kitchen series. I really hope my little corner of the internet can help provide some comfort, inspiration, distraction, and culinary community. Let me know if you give any of the recipes a shot; we can eat together, apart.”