RITís College of Business Announces 2003 VandenBrul Award Winner

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Joseph Lobozzo recognized for entrepreneurial achievements

EDITORíS NOTE: Digital image available at www.rit.edu/new/pics/joe_labozzo.jpg

Rochester Institute of Technologyís College of Business announces the winner of its 2003 Herbert W. VandenBrul Entrepreneurial Award: Joseph M. Lobozzo II, founder and CEO of JML Optical Industries Inc.

This yearís award takes on added significance with the passing of Herbert VandenBrul on Jan. 24. Co-founder of RF Communication Inc., now a division of Harris Corp., VandenBrul created the award through an endowment fund established in 1984.

"Herb VandenBrulís life accomplishments are an inspiring example of the entrepreneurial spirit," states Dean Thomas Hopkins, RITís College of Business. "He, along with the many past VandenBrul Award winners, blazed a path of success for todayís students. Joe Lobozzo is a worthy recipient who will help carry on this important tradition."

Since starting JML Optical in his home, Lobozzo has guided the firm through more than 30 years of growth and profitability. The Rochester-based company, which designs, manufactures and distributes precision optical components and systems, now employs about 80 professionals.

"Itís the story of a boy from South Bronx who makes good," says Lobozzo. "Iíve always felt that in my heart, but itís something quite different when peers acknowledge oneís success and community involvement. To receive this yearís VandenBrul Award is very humbling."

Lobozzoís other professional activities include director of the regional advisory board at M&T Bank and board member at Rochester Institute Incubator Corp.

At the community level, he serves as a board member for the United Way of Greater Rochester. In 2000, he chaired the United Wayís annual campaign, raising $41 million. He is also a board member for the University of Rochester Medical Center and a participant in Bishop Matthew Clarkís Stewardship Council of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

In 1995, Lobozzo earned his MBA from RIT, where he was later elected to its board of trustees. He is also on the advisory council for RITís College of Business. Lobozzo has a bachelorís degree in physics from City University of New York.

RITís Herbert W. VandenBrul Entrepreneurial Award goes annually to an individual who successfully developed a business that improved the Rochester economy or whose innovative management skills have changed the course of an existing business. Other recent winners include Dennis and Larry Kessler, Kessler Group Inc.; Richard Sands, Constellation Brands Inc.; Christine Whitman, CVC Inc.; Norman and Nelson Leenhouts, Home Properties of New York, Inc.; and Dilip Vellodi, the Sutherland Group, Ltd.

MEDIA NOTE: RIT will honor Joseph Lobozzo at noon on Wednesday, March 26, during an invitation-only luncheon at Marioís Via Abruzzi on Monroe Ave. To cover the presentation, contact Paul Stella, RIT University News Services, at 475-4950 or pbscom@rit.edu.