Amanda Hamilton 

Nominee, 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards
Bachelor of Applied Interior Design, 2005


As a successful Interior Designer, Amanda Hamilton has left her mark throughout the city of Calgary.

If you do not recognize Amanda Hamilton by name, you surely will recognize her by her work. She and her company Amanda Hamilton Interior Design (AHID) have produced some of the most striking interior design projects for several of Calgary’s most celebrated restaurants: Native Tongues, The Beltliner, Rodney’s Oyster House, Añejo, Bread & Circus and Flores & Pine.

Hamilton’s occupation is one that she is truly passionate about. “I wake up excited to come to work. That's because early on I worked to identify a career that brought together what I loved.” 

The AHID studio, led by Hamilton, works on more than 25 projects at any given time, which range in scale, budget and timeline. On top of that, they have hosted a “Speaker Series” since 2017, hosting discussions around topics such as the Calgary Olympics, cannabis and feminism, as well as the arts, culture, design and development. 

Hamilton recently launched a sister company called Palette. Archives, offering accessible and affordable interior design services online. “Her business centers around truly knowing a person down to what might not have anything to do with design,” says Rachelle Babcock, AHID’s director of Accounts, who nominated Hamilton for the Alumni Achievement Awards. “She strives to create community, longevity of relationships and a legacy that she is well on her way to doing.”

As if her professional life did not keep her busy enough, Hamilton is also an active volunteer, participating and speaking at industry and community events. She is in her sixth year as the active chair for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta’s World of Choices event. The World of Choices program allows over 300 female high-school students to spend a day connecting with successful female leaders in the Calgary community. Hamilton and her team also volunteer monthly for various organizations like Calgary Reads, The Alex, The Mustard Seed, Operation Christmas Box and Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids. 

Hamilton is also fiercely focused on helping and supporting students who aspire towards entrepreneurship. She credits her decision to enroll at MRU with the successful direction her life has taken ever since, and has remained in close contact with the institution. Beginning in 2017, she funded the Amanda M. Hamilton Interior Design Travel Scholarship, which awards $2500 annually to a full-time student who will be enrolled in their second or third year of the Bachelor of Interior Design in the upcoming fall semester. She is also a mentor with the Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship Program, providing support, advice and contacts to senior students.

Over the 11 years of her business, Hamilton says that she’s changed her thought process about her professional role: at this point in her career, she believes that she is at work to mentor others. She strives to be honest, supportive and authentic, and to prepare more junior designers and students for what it’s going to be like out in the “real world.” When designers leave her studio, Hamilton is confident she’s put fantastic designers out in the world, designers who are leaders and have integrity. 

Michael Wenzlawe

Nominee, 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards
Bachelor of Applied Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership, 2013


Working as an entrepreneur in Calgary, Michael Wenzlawe particularly enjoys donating his time and working with Mount Royal students.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership (ETOL) in 2013 as class valedictorian, Michael Wenzlawe has been a strong role model for Mount Royal students as well as an active community member. 

After graduation Wenzlawe worked for multiple tourism and adventure companies before using his entrepreneurial spirit to open a local coffee business: the Calgary Heritage Roasting Company (CHRC) with fellow MRU alumnus, Jamie Parker. The pair created CHRC based on four founding value pillars: fun, collaboration, transparency and community. 

In their four years of operation they have continued to uphold and refer to these values throughout any challenges they have faced. When speaking about their principles, Wenzlawe says, “It is because of this: we work within, for and towards building a stronger community daily. It is our duty and responsibility to affect as much positive and lasting change in our sphere as possible.” They run CHRC on the philosophies of environmental sustainability and bringing people together through outdoor experience and a good cup of coffee.

Ian Sherringon, Wenzlawe’s former professor who nominated Wenzlawe for the Alumni Achievement Awards, says, “Over the years, Mike has been extremely generous with his time, wisdom, and in other ways.” He regularly comes back to campus to speak to students, providing them with “the realities of life after university, served with a potent dose of inspiration and wisdom for them to create their own paths in life.”

As an entrepreneur, Wenzlawe is committed to the idea of paying it forward. He says, “I actively choose to donate my time and resources to mentoring the business and community programs that have gotten me to this point.” 

His community involvement beyond MRU includes Water Polo Canada, ATB’s Entrepreneur Centre for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners, District Ventures, and at SAIT and the University of Calgary as a mentor to students. Wenzlawe believes that being in MRU’s ETOL program propelled him to where and who he is today. His advice to students is: “Find your passion and be unapologetically yourself. The world opens for you when you follow your passions, because you’re hungrier and more ambitious.”