Five influential individuals will be honored for their selfless work within the community May 2 during St. Bonaventure University’s Gaudete Medal Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Rochester.
The Gaudete (pronounced gow-DAY-tay) Medal is one of the university’s highest honors. Awarded every year since 1996, the recipients are chosen through their demonstration of joy and service that exemplify the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
This year the honor is bestowed on Lauren Dixon, Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Schwabl, President, Dixon Schwabl: Integrated Marketing & Advertising Agency; Adam, ’88, and Andrea, ’90 (MSED), Jablonski, Founders/Directors, Building Futures, Inc.; and Carm Urzetta, ’65, Special Assistant to the President, Bishop Kearney High School.
Dixon and Schwabl serve as the power couple behind Dixon Schwabl, a full-service marketing communications firm with 125 employees.
The agency culture and leadership have been recognized with national awards, including being named one of the “Best Small Companies to Work for in America” for 15 consecutive years, ranking No. 1 twice. In 2013, Dixon and Schwabl were inducted into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame.
Inc. Magazine and Winning Workplaces honored Dixon Schwabl with the 2010 Top Small Company Workplace Award, and that same year PR News named it one of the Top Places to Work in PR — a national award the agency won again in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The agency also has been ranked on Advertising Age’s Best Places to Work in Advertising & Media list in both 2014 and 2015.
Dixon serves on numerous boards. She and Schwabl have four children, three of whom are actively involved in the agency.
Adam,’88, and Andrea,’90 (MSED), Jablonski are founders and directors of Building Futures, Inc.
Building Futures (BF) was established shortly after Adam’s first service trip to Africa in 2005. Its mission is to aid in the education and general welfare of impoverished Kenyans. BF has built schools and classrooms, furnished them with solar powered electricity and potable water and established medical facilities to serve the local communities.
After earning a master’s degree from St. Bonaventure, Andrea began raising the couple’s three children and set about a life of volunteerism.
Both Adam and Andrea have been members of numerous ministries at Church of the Assumption, where Andrea taught religious education for many years. Today, Andrea is devoted to the local Ronald McDonald House. Adam was President of Rochester Beer and Beverage until the company was sold. He serves as maintenance director for the Church of the Assumption and Church of Resurrection parishes in Fairport, N.Y., while guiding BF’s endeavors here and in Africa.
Carm Urzetta,’65, has dedicated his life to helping mentor younger generations. A proud father of four and grandfather of six, he has worked as an integral part of Bishop Kearney High School for more than 54 years.
His list of recognitions and awards span as long as his career. Naming only a few: University of Rochester Teacher Excellence Awards, 1987 and 1989; Bishop Kearney Wall of Fame, 2002; Baseball Field Name Dedication, 2015; Rochester Softball Hall of Fame, 2015; Rochester Basketball Officials, 50-Year Service Recognition, 2016; Frontier Field Walk of Fame for referee at all levels, 2018; and 63rd St. Nicholas Society Man of the Year in 2018.
In 2013, he created the “Carm Urzetta Scholarship Fund” to help students with financial need attend Bishop Kearney. He has raised more than $198,000 since its inception. New York State Senator Rich Funke declared August 26 as “Carmen Urzetta Day.”
The Gaudete celebration will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. and continue with dinner at 7 p.m., followed by the medal presentations.
For information concerning tickets, sponsorships and event advertising, please contact Karen Heitzinger, director of Annual Giving, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sbu.edu/gaudete.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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