International Vocational Education 
and Training Association


Process to Submit Nominations:

Marja Suomaa was awarded the Joel Magisos Exceptional Service Award at the 2014 IVETA Conference Awards Luncheon in Nashville.  The award is given to an IVETA member for long-term support to the continuing development of IVETA.  Marja Suomaa is Manager for International Affairs at AMKE International Oy. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Philology. AMKE, the Finnish Association for the Development of Vocational Education and Training, joins more than 90% of all VET providers in Finland. In her position Marja is responsible for international activities, networking and communication. She supports the Finnish VET providers in carrying out and developing of international cooperation and activities and thereby the development of VET in international context.  AMKE hosted the IVETA 2014 International Conference and Marja was the General Secretary of the Conference in Finland.  Marja Suomaa is experienced Project Manager and has together with VET institutions implemented several projects focusing on international mobility in adult VET, development of immigrant language and vocational training as well as development of VET in Russia. She speaks fluent Russian.  Before joining AMKE, Marja Suomaa worked in international logistics, warehousing and transportation business. 

Robert D. Cain Business/Organization Award is given to a company, government agency or educational institution for continuing new or specific support to IVETA such as sponsorship conference activities, work release, publicity or publication assistance.  For 2014, this award was made to The Center for Vocational Education and Training Studies in Moscow for their sponsorship of the Moscow portion of the August 2014 International Conference and their long term support of IVETA.

Silvius-Wolansky Award to an Outstanding Leader in TVET, (not necessarily a member of IVETA) for their contributions to the advancement of technical vocational education and training locally, nationally, and internationally. This coveted award is sponsored by IOWA State University and includes a monetary award.  The 2014 award winner is Mari Kontturi who is not only a long term member of IVETA as Vice President but has worked tirelessly to support IVETA and Vocational Education Internationally.  

Mari Kontturi serves as manager of international affairs in Luovi College, the largest special needs education provider in Finland. She is involved in the work of European Platform of Rehabilitation as a centre coordinator and active in several networks in Finland.   Mari Kontturi has qualification for teaching, too (vocational teacher).

Before working in the field of vocational education and training Mari Kontturi worked as a lawyer in the labour administration and in the banking sector and she has also trained on the bench. She has also experience in working in the field of organizational activities in the Pulmonary Association Heli. She has been involved in international cooperation since 1997 and taken part in numerous projects. 

Past Award Winners

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