Florida Southern alumni receive recognition at Founders Day convocation
LAKELAND, Fla. (March 13, 2008) — Florida Southern College honored two alumni at its Founders Day convocation held March 13. Frederic “Rick” Gale Ruffner received the Alumni Achievement Award, presented to FSC alumni for excellence in a profession or endeavor. Nancy McHan Cattarius received the Service to Florida Southern Award, presented to FSC alumni who have made important contributions to the advancement of Florida Southern through their advocacy and investment of their talents and resources to support the mission of the College.
Ruffner, president and publisher of Avanti Press, Inc., is the creator of a popular line of unique greeting cards and calendars that has gained a wide following through the use of humorous and quirky photography and copy. Ruffner graduated from Florida Southern College in 1979 with a marketing degree and founded the card company a year later. Since then, Avanti has expanded to a staff of more than 100 and distributes to 20,000 outlets in 25 countries. The company has earned an international reputation for excellence, collecting dozens of prestigious international awards for creative innovation and production quality. Avanti Press is headquartered in Detroit, has creative offices in New York, and recently established a distribution operation in the United Kingdom. The Avanti collection has been translated into several languages, including French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German and Swedish.
Cattarius is station manager for WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ radio stations, a family-owned group of radio stations in Florida and the Northeast. A member of the Florida Southern College Class of 1969, Cattarius has been president of the College’s National Alumni Board of Directors since 2006, serves on the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees, and chairs the College’s premier annual giving society, The Spivey Society. She is a past president of Leadership Lakeland Alumni and the Radio Broadcasters Alliance of Tampa Bay and has served as chairman of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra Advisory Board. Cattarius was twice named the Polk Advertising Federation’s Ad Woman of the Year and received the Silver Medal Award from the American Advertising Federation. Recently, Cattarius was named a 2006 Woman of Distinction by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Metro Chapter, an award recognizing women who exhibit achievement, integrity, professionalism and community spirit.