2017: And the winner is...


As you know, the first thing I did after losing Dad was take action on my need for his name to live somewhere forever, thus creating The Peter L. Cardiello Award for Entrepreneurship at Wagner College. [ We explain more about it in this blog post, and if you want to read about some of the stellar winners (including two valedictorians), that's here. ] It's hard to believe that we gave out the SEVENTH award this year and the nominees were SO remarkable that we had to call it a tie and give out TWO! 

This year, we awarded two awards instead of one and I can honestly say that it was one of the most special ceremonies yet. Over the past year, I had the honor of playing a role in one of the recipient's journeys and that evening, I had the honor of meeting his family. When I greeted his Mom, she met me with a hug and the words "thank you for taking care of my son." You can only imagine how hard it was to hold back tears from that moment on... Anyway, without further adieu - the winners of Dad's Award for 2017 are:

AIDAN ALVAREZ

In addition to holding down a full-time course load as a Business major (ranking in the top 5% of his class) and studying for the Series 7 exam, Aidan Alvarez is hard at work on his plans for a company called ARC Security. Moved by both the growing number of school shootings and the number of vets who are having a difficult time readjusting to civilian life back home, Aidan created ARC Security to support our returning vets and prepare them for reentering the civilian workforce. In particular, Arc Security will prepare vets for roles as security guards at public schools to provide a better force against assailants and other threats. In the Spring semester of his senior year, Aidan created an independent study (that he received no credit for) and met with a professor each week to turn this dream into a reality... "What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve" is alive and well with this one, and we couldn't be more proud.

SEAN WALRATH

According to one of his Business professors, Sean Walrath is referred to by his classmates as "that guy who knows everything." Having been a guest professor in his class twice this year, I can attest to that. He's one of those students who knocks your socks off the moment he opens his mouth. This year, he gave a presentation on his company "Wenotio" at the New York Business Plan competition. In Sean’s own words, Wenotio is “the protector of and hub for ideas, innovation, and creation.” With Wenotio, thinkers will have the protection to share their ideas, makers can find other like-minded people to work on those ideas, and investors can search for the next big thing. [ mic drop ]

Congrats guys, you inspire me more than you know and I am sure that Dad is smiling down on you both.