J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication Award Recipients
Young Alumnus of the Year Award
ANGELO R. TROZZOLO, COMM '97
Kansas City, Mo.
Angelo has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He started selling subscriptions to a newspaper he created when he was just 10. By the time he was in high school, he launched and sold a company, Reprint Resources, which was such a smashing success that it paid for half his Marquette tuition.
Soon after graduating, he returned to his family’s business, the Trozzolo Communications Group, which he helped transform from a small company with a handful of staff to a bustling marketing firm with 50 employees. Today he’s president and CEO and was recently named a “Next Gen Leader” by the Kansas City Business Journal.
It’s an exciting time to be in the field, Angelo notes.
“The world of communications is so different today than it was during my time at Marquette and at the beginning of my career,” Angelo says. “I believe history will look back at this period as a watershed moment for how society interacts with each other, and it is not yet determined whether this will be favorable or unfavorable. Being able to participate in this moment is invigorating and challenging.”
Angelo also believes in being active in his community. He is immediate past chair of the Parish Council at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kansas City and vice chair of marketing on the board of Starlight Theatre. Previously, he served several other local organizations ranging from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to the Girl Scouts of America.
A commitment to service is just one of the ways he tries to live out the Marquette mission.
“Besides the quality of education, Marquette taught me several key attributes I rely on every day: independence, high ethics, a servant-leadership mindset, how to love thy neighbor,” he says. “Marquette also showed me what a strong, tight-knit community looks like and how critical that is to one’s personal and professional well-being.”
Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
Favorite quote: “It’s actually an old proverb that varies across languages. I prefer the old Italian saying that, when translated, means: ‘Tell me who you go with, and I’ll tell you who you are.’”
Dream dinner guests: “One of the best parts of my Marquette experience was getting to know all four of my grandparents better. They lived in Chicago, and, having grown up in Kansas City, I would only see them a few times each year. From Marquette, I could get to their homes in an hour and was able to spend time with just them and me, without my sisters and parents present. Now that they are all gone and I am older and wiser and able to better appreciate the sacrifices they made for their families, I would love to have dinner with them as their young selves. I would want to talk about family history, their professional lives, wartime experiences and more. We have so much to learn from previous generations.”
Marquette faculty member who had an impact: “There are many faculty and staff members I remember fondly, from Dr. James Pokrywczynski to Dr. Joyce Wolburg to Jack Crowley. The one who perhaps had the biggest impact on me was Carl Schrank. He served as my adviser and was the person who made me realize I actually wanted to go into the advertising business. He took a keen interest in me and all of the students under his advisement and even helped me land an important internship that led to my first job after Marquette. Even to this day, he continues to show a keen interest. Not a week goes by without receiving one of his ‘Schrank Update’ emails, and he always signs off the same way: ‘Keep in touch.’ ”
Career he aspired to in grade school: “I wanted to be a truck driver like B.J. McKay or a California highway patrol officer like Jon and Ponch. I think I watched a little too much ’80s television.”
Most influential person: “My father. I have had the opportunity to work with him the past 15 years and grow a company with him. He is the smartest businessperson I have ever met, and his work ethic goes beyond the expected. As we have transitioned the business over past several years, he has been a great mentor to me and has also allowed me to make my own mistakes. Working in a family business can be challenging, and he has made sure I always understand that challenge and the great responsibility that comes with running a business.”