Criteria: Named in honor of Alex Osborn of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn fame, this award recognizes individuals who, through outstanding creative achievements, have left an indelible mark on the Western New York creative community. A recipient doesn’t have to be an Advertising Club of Buffalo member or work primarily in the advertising arts. The key requirement is that the individual’s achievements have helped strengthen the local advertising, graphic arts and communication disciplines – as well as gained recognition outside our market.
Great marketing sends echoes through the minds of its audience. As we applaud this year’s Alex Osborn Award recipient, Dion Pender will get to hear the echoes for a change.
Throughout his 15-plus years as a designer, art director and creative director, Dion has shown more than a knack for getting a message across. He has developed a singular, inherently human style and a profound body of work that makes us think, feel and react.
After he graduated from Buffalo State College in 1992, Dion’s work has resonated through the halls of several agencies. He learned to be a craftsman at Crowley Webb and Associates, sprouted his wings at The Wolf Group, blossomed into a leadership role at The SKM Group, and cemented his legacy at The Martin Group – always with a smile on his face and a killer fart joke in his back pocket.
Dion has many prominent awards to his credit, including being published in Print Magazine’s Design Annual, American Corporate Identity, Graphis, Print’s Best Logos and Symbols, and Logo Lounge. He’s won countless local ADDY awards, including Best of Show, District II and a national ADDY, and he’s a Merit Award-winner for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
But that’s not what he’s most proud of. “My greatest accomplishment is my incredible marriage to my amazing and beautiful wife Julie,” he shares, “and the blessing of two spectacular kids, Hannah and Elijah – the most glorious works of art I’ve ever had a part in creating.”
Like his greatest work, Dion’s approach to his craft is full of thought, gentility and devotion. As a mentor to Buffalo’s young talent, he’s a crucial asset. When he takes a creative team under his wing, it learns how to take a simple concept, make it beautiful and make it matter.
And just as importantly, Dion is a friend. His desk is not to be feared; it’s the place to go for a sensitive ear and a healthy ego boost.
Congratulations, Dion. It’s tough to describe the inspirational effect you’ve had on your co-workers over the years, so as usual, we’ll leave it to the ‘80s metal band Stryper – “We’re here to rock for you, and rock is what we’ll do.”