Published June 29, 2022
Rodney Grabowski, vice president for university advancement, will receive the 2022 Outstanding Executive award from the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America during its annual Excalibur Awards ceremony tonight.
The Outstanding Executive Award honors a Western New York business executive who recognizes and supports the role of public relations in their organization and throughout the community. Recipients show a dedicated commitment to the value of public relations and have a proven track record of advancing strategic communications as part of a business’s overall operating philosophy.
A respected leader in higher education, Grabowski came to UB in 2017 just prior to the public launch of the Boldly Buffalo campaign, the largest campaign in UB — and SUNY — history. At the helm of the effort, he has supported numerous communication and public relations initiatives that helped the campaign surpass its original $650 million goal and close in on a $1 billion goal.
“Rod has prioritized communications by endorsing the creative and innovative work our team does and by giving us the latitude to try new concepts,” says Jennifer Boscia-Smith, assistant vice president for advancement communications. “He values the role communications, public relations and marketing play in building relationships and enhancing engagement with alumni and donors, which is important not only to our day-to-day operations, but critical when supporting a campaign.”
Grabowski’s other achievements include leading the team that has produced the two best fundraising years in university history — fiscal year 2020 and FY21 — and taking measures to enhance the culture of philanthropy across the university.
“We are fortunate to have a leader who places the communications function in such high esteem,” says Barbara Byers, director of content development in Advancement Communications and an accredited member of PRSA, who nominated Grabowski for the award. “Not only does that make our job easier — which is delightful — but also helps drive the University at Buffalo closer to its bold goals.”
In addition to the Outstanding Executive award, University Advancement will also receive three Excalibur Awards from the Buffalo Niagara Chapter, one for campaign and two tactics:
The Public Relations Society of America is the world’s largest trade association for public relations and communication professionals. It is represented by 110 chapters around the country, 14 professional interest sections, and nearly 375 international college and university chapters. PRSA Buffalo Niagara, founded in 1963, serves more than 100 communications professionals in Western New York.