Alumni honored at 2012 Homecoming Gala

Alumni honored at 2012 Homecoming Gala

by Katy Kelly

The Nevada Alumni Association honored Journalism alumni Sig Rogich, Ed Allison, Mike McDowell ‘03, Wendy Damonte ‘94 and longtime Reynolds School supporter Rich Stout at the 2012 Homecoming Gala Thursday.

“We’re so proud to celebrate the success of these outstanding alumni,” Reynolds School Dean Al Stavitsky said. “They’re an inspiration to our current and future students as an example of where a Reynolds School education can lead you.”

Rogich is this year’s Reynolds School Distinguished Alumnus.  He is a life-long Nevadan and 1967 graduate. Prior to accepting various presidential appointments, Rogich founded R&R Advertising and built it into the largest advertising agency in Nevada. He is a former Ambassador to Iceland, served as Special Assistant to President George H.W. Bush and worked on the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and presidential hopeful John McCain. He is currently President of The Rogich Communications Group, an international advisory firm.

Allison, a 1961 graduate, will receive a Professional Achievement Award.  He began his career in news as the editor of the Nevada Appeal and a capital correspondent for Reno newspapers. Allison was press secretary for Gov. Paul Laxalt and later served as Chief of Staff in Laxalt’s U.S. Senate office. He was senior advisor in three U.S. residential campaigns: President Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 and President George H.W. Bush in 1988.  In 1985, President Reagan appointed him the to the President’s Advisory Committee for International Trade Negotiations. Allison is currently president of his own lobbying and public relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Stout is being honored for University Service. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1967 with a degree in Zoology but entered the U.S. Navy to become a fighter pilot. After eight years, he returned to Reno at the suggestion of former colleague Rollan Melton and landed at Spiedel Newspapers corporate office as an executive. Stout was asked to fill-in for one semester at the Reynolds School as an instructor in media graphics, a position that lasted three years. Now in retirement, he manages the Charles H. Stout Foundation, serves as Director of the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation, CFO of the Tahoe Maritime Museum, and is a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Nevada Reno Foundation.

McDowell, a 2003 graduate and Nevada native, is being recognized as an Outstanding Young Alumnus. He is the Director of Web and Digital Marketing KPS3 Marketing, a full-service marketing agency in Reno. He teaches Inbound Marketing for the University in the Extended Studies program. McDowell serves on the board of Truckee Meadows Tomorrow and is a member of the Washoe County Chronic Disease Coalition.

Wendy Damonte is receiving an award for Alumni Association Service. She graduated from the University in 1994, joined the news team at KTVN Channel 2, and has been with them for 18 years. She worked her way from newsroom secretary to assignment editor, photographer, and reporter.  In 2000, she landed the coveted position of evening anchor.  Wendy was alumni association president in 2003 and has served as a board member and in 2003.