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St. John Fisher College Honors Local Communications Professionals at the Jack Palvino Excellence in Communications Awards Gala


St. John Fisher College Honors Local Communications Professionals at the Jack Palvino Excellence in Communications Awards Gala

St. John Fisher College School hosted the Jack Palvino Excellence in Communications Awards Gala earlier tonight, honoring six local professionals in the communications industry. Dr. Donald Bain, St. John Fisher College President, and Jack Palvino were there to recognize the winners and present each with their award. Rich Funke, who retired from News10NBC at the end of 2012, received the Jack Palvino Lifetime Achievement Award, the night’s highest honor.

Funke attended Adelphi University, where he played quarterback and received his bachelor’s degree in Business. While at Adelphi, he joined the University’s radio station, fell in love with the broadcasting business, and landed a summer job as a disc jockey at his hometown radio station, WBTA in Batavia. By the time he was a senior in college, he was working fulltime at the Long Island Radio News Network.

After college, Funke joined WHAM Radio and wound up being the first reporter on the scene at the Attica Prison Riots in 1971. In 1972, he was named News Director at WAXC Radio, and, in 1974, he became Sports Director at News10NBC.

In 1980, he left Rochester to join WTVJ in Miami, but missed the quality of life Rochester has to offer and returned a year later. He stayed at News10NBC from that point on. In 2005, he left the sports desk to become primary anchor of the evening news at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 11:00 p.m.

Funke has covered numerous national events, including Final Fours, Superbowls, and the five-year anniversary of 9/11. He has won a variety of awards, including a Florida Emmy Award, numerous sportscaster of the year awards in New York State, and an Edward R. Murrow Award for Best TV Newscast. Additionally, he has done play-by-play for the Rochester Knighthawks and Amerks, along with local college and high school football and basketball during his career.

In the community, Funke has devoted his time to Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, where he has co-hosted the annual telethon since its inception. He has also served on the boards of Cancer Action and Ronald McDonald House, and hosts a monthly radio show for Camp Good Days and Special Times.

Funke is a member of the Frontier Field Walk of Fame, the Section 5 Football and Basketball Halls of Fame, and the Chase Scholarship Basketball Tournament Hall of Fame.

After 35 years in the broadcasting industry, Funke retired in 2012. He is enjoying retirement, spending time with his wife of 40 years, Patricia, and his seven grandchildren.

Other award winners were: Ray Martino’71, Media Gold Award in Public Relations and Advertising; James Redmond ’79, Media Gold Award in Corporate Public Relations; Evan Dawson, Media Gold Award in Journalism; Todd Clausen, Media Gold Award in New & Social Media; and Shannon Lappin ’08, Rising Star Award.

Jack Palvino '55 with Ray Martino '71

Jack Palvino '55 with award winner Ray Martino '71.

Martino ’71 graduated from Fisher with a B.A. degree in economics, but he knew he wanted to pursue a career in communications. And over the past four decades, he has done just that. Martino earned a master’s degree in public communications at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, worked as an administrator and instructor at Fisher and the University of Rochester, and started several businesses. Today, he is a partner at Martino Flynn, LLC, a full-service regional marketing agency based in Rochester.

Martino is active in professional and community organizations, including: American Association of Advertising Agencies (Regional Board Member), Public Relations Society of America-Rochester Chapter, Literacy Volunteers of Rochester (Vice President of the Board), and Rochester Press-Radio Club.

In 2007, he was the recipient of the PRSA Rochester Chapter’s Sharleen M. Bruse Award, which is given to a PRSA member who epitomizes the integrity and professionalism of a public relations practitioner. Recipients are also very involved in community service, and routinely help advance the career development of other chapter members.

Martino and his wife, Jeannie, have two adult children, Andrew and Olivia, and a grandson, Henry.

Jack Palvino '55 with Jim Redmond '79

Jack Palvino '55 with award winner Jim Redmond '79.

Redmond began his career in communications as a reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle. In 1983, he moved to television, serving WOKR-TV/NewsSource 13 for 15 years as a general assignment and investigative reporter.

In 1998, he joined BlueCross BlueShield as a public relations manager. His work would earn him expanding responsibilities, and he would serve as director of communications and regional vice president of communications. Since 2009, he has served as regional vice president of communications and community investments at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. He is responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies to protect and enhance the reputation of the largest health insurer in Rochester, as well as overseeing the allocation of donations and sponsorships to community organizations.

Redmond serves as board chair of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transit Authority and is a member of the North Greece Fire Department Exempts Association. He has been a member of the boards of the Rochester Catholic Press Association, the Greater Rochester Northwest YMCA, and has volunteered as a soccer coach and an announcer for Greece Cardinals Youth Football.

Dawson has been a reporter and anchor with 13WHAM News for ten years. He anchors 13WHAM News This Morning on 13WHAM and CW-WHAM (cable channel 16 and digital 13.2). He also reports for 13WHAM News throughout the day and at Additionally, he acts as the Managing Editor and Finger Lakes Editor of the New York Cork Report, the two-time winner of the award for Best Single-Subject Wine Blog.

After growing up in the Cleveland area, Dawson attended Ohio University. He moved to Rochester in 2003 with his wife, who grew up on Keuka Lake.

He is passionate about several charities, and helps coordinate alumni contributions for YMCA Camp Onyahsa on Lake Chautauqua, where he helped run children's programs in his younger days. He is also passionate about travel, wine, and politics, which he blogs about for

His first book, “Summer in a Glass,” was published in 2012. It developed out of his passion for the local food and wine scene. It has achieved sales in every part of the country, a dozen overseas countries, and also won the 2012 Louis Roederer International Wine Book of the Year Award.

Dawson and his wife, Morgan, live in Perinton with their one-year old son, Rhys.

Jack Palvino '55 with award winner Todd Clausen.

Jack Palvino '55 with award winner Todd Clausen.

Clausen is an editor with the Democrat and Chronicle, and has been recognized throughout his career with awards in reporting and design from The Associated Press, the New York State Press Association, and the New York Newspaper Publishers Association. Gannett also made Clausen one of its 50 scholarship recipients to attend the Online News Association conference in San Francisco last fall, and the Democrat and Chronicle has recognized him with its first ever Making Rochester Great Award for contributions to the community.

He also remains active in the community, and has volunteered in city and suburban schools, spoken at several local colleges, and helped raise funds for the West Webster Fire Department, the March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and other community groups. He is also a high school and collegiate basketball official and a former high school football referee. Clausen also served on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Chapter of Certified Football Officials, and the Rochester District Board of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO Board 60).

A graduate of Marquette University and Eastridge Senior High School, Clausen resides with his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Bella, in Webster.

Jack Palvino '55 with award winner Shannon Lappin.

Jack Palvino '55 with award winner Shannon Lappin.

Lappin ’08, is a public relations specialist at Manning and Napier, and provides strategic counsel, support, and guidance for the firm’s external communications on the national, regional, and local levels.

She specializes in business-to-business, executive message development, and internal/corporate communications, using creative news solutions across multiple business units.

Prior to joining Manning and Napier, Lappin used her skills at Eric Mower and Associates (EMA), where she spearheaded a national media tour for the newly appointed CEO of Paychex, Inc.

When she was a Fisher student, Lappin honed her skills as an intern with Dixon Schwabl, Toshiba Business Solutions, and Text 100 Public Relations Consultancy. She was a contributing writer for Fisher’s C-Magazine and served as vice president of the College’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Lappin is the president-elect of the Rochester Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and a member of the community awareness advisory committee of Action for a Better Community. She also volunteers at Our Lady of Mercy School, offering guidance on the institution’s marketing communications.

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