Ryerson Alumni - Summer 2019 - 40

Class Notes
UPDATES FROM ALUMNI ON PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL MILESTONES

1960s
Ness Besso
Electronics '69

Ness writes: "Now that I
celebrated my 70th birthday in
July 2018, together with Ryerson,
I feel that I was fortunate to be
a part of you. I am still working
full-time on new technologies
and playing in the theatre in
various productions. I have four
grandchildren, a daughter and
two sons."

1970s

Luc Behar-Bannelier
Landscape Architecture '74

Luc is the past director of
nature and environment for
Disneyland Paris. He writes:
"I was approached to become
head of everything green at
the Disney Park 30 kilometres
outside Paris. I moved with my
family from Toronto in 1990
and was tasked with building
the best and biggest botanical
garden in France, if not
Europe. The park opened in
April 1992 with 35,000 trees
planted, 45,000 shrubs, 6,000
kilometres of irrigation and
one million flowers. Disneyland
Paris is now a leader in Europe
for landscape maintenance best
40

practices and biodiversity. My
job gave me the opportunity
not only to train gardeners and
manage horticulture but also
to build a worldwide network
through my extensive travelling.
This lifetime of joy is mostly due
to my years in Ryerson."

the HK Business Association
in Vietnam. I was also elected
last year as the Honorary
Secretary of the Federation
of HK Business Association
Worldwide. Now Vietnam is my
home and in two years, I plan
to send my kids to Canada for
their undergraduate studies."   
William Leung
Electrical Engineering '86

Sid Shapira
Journalism '79

Sid writes: "I recently
collaborated on the powerful
and inspiring memoir of a
Holocaust survivor, Fanny
Krasner Lebovits. The book
is called Memories, Miracles
& Meaning-Insights of a
Holocaust Survivor. The book
launched in January and was
the top seller-even ahead of
Michelle Obama's Becoming-
at the foremost independent
bookstore in San Diego. Visit
memoriesmiraclesmeaning.com.

1980s
Michael Chiu
Mechanical Engineering '87

After graduation, Michael
moved back to his native
Hong Kong. He worked at an
American company, assigned
to launch its Vietnam office
in 1994, before starting his
own business in 2006. He
writes: "I am very active in
promoting business between
Hong Kong and Vietnam. I
am presently the chairman of

Ryerson University Magazine / Summer 2019

He writes: "I had worked
in the computer field for 14
years after graduation. My
last position in engineering
was in the design and
manufacturing of parallel
computers in Alberta. Then I
changed careers and started
an NGO in Hong Kong that
helps build schools in the
landmine areas in Cambodia,
and became involved in
other community projects in
other developing countries,
such as the Congo, Malaysia,
Senegal and Sudan. I was glad
that some of these projects
involved the engineering skills
that I acquired at Ryerson!
For instance, a solar-powered
lighting system for villages
without clean water and
electricity in Senegal, and
connecting a file server and
Wi-Fi network to a satellite
for a hospital deep inside the
Congo jungles (to allow the
doctors to connect to the outside
world). I enjoyed using my skills
to help the children and the
poor in these areas. My wife,
Sharon (Lee) Leung, Business
Management '81, and I moved

back to Toronto two years ago."
Amy Singer and Mark Sadler
RTA '83

Amy is the founder, editor
and publisher of Knitty
Magazine, an online knitting
magazine established in 2002.
Knitty is the largest, longestrunning online knitting

publication, with a worldwide
readership. She has authored
or co-authored four knitting
books, and has taught in the
U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Italy
and Norway. Mark is a frontline mental health care worker,
and an accomplished artist who
has exhibited across Ontario.
Amy and Mark rekindled their
acquaintance in 2016, and
recently moved to their first
home together in Hamilton,
Ont. Visit knitty.com.
 

1990s
Debbie Butt
Journalism '91

Following a career in the
NHL, NBA and CFL, Debbie
worked in the non-profit sector
with the Rick Hansen 25th
Anniversary Relay, and the
CTV Difference Maker Series
for the 2012 London Olympics.
She lives with her husband and
two sons in Vancouver, B.C.,
where Debbie is the director of
communications, marketing,
and event fundraising for
Canuck Place Children's
Hospice.
Eric Mathews
Environmental Health '90

Eric is retiring after a 30-year
career with the city of
Hamilton where he worked
in public health inspection
programs, such as food
inspection, environmental
health, health hazards,
disease prevention/control,
and emergency response.
Over the last 15 years, Eric
served as the safe water team
manager focusing on water
quality issues, such as beaches,
drinking water systems,
pools and spas. He is looking
forward to travelling the world


http://www.knitty.com http://www.memoriesmiraclesmeaning.com

Ryerson Alumni - Summer 2019

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