Boca Rotary Honors Five Local Leaders with OPAL Awards

By Dale King and Julia Hebert

The Boca Raton Rotary Club honored five community leaders with OPAL (Outstanding People and Leaders) Awards recently for their work in the local area.

The 15th annual gala, held Jan. 19 at Boca Pointe Country Club, celebrated the accomplishments of five remarkable individuals who dedicated their life to making Boca Raton a unique place to live, work and raise a family. Honorees also exemplify the Club’s Mission of “Changing Lives and Building Futures.”

“The honorees are outstanding leaders in our community and have been instrumental in helping to make Boca Raton a wonderful city for education, business and overall quality of life” said co-chair Peter Baronoff, chairman and CEO of Promise Healthcare.

The OPAL Awards gala is the Rotary Club’s flagship fund raising event. All the proceeds support scholarships.

Honorees were:

  • Bobby Campbell, founder and CEO of BBC International, for Philanthropic Leadership. Campbell is an avid philanthropist with his passion for Two Ten Footwear Foundation, American Heart Association and other local Boca Raton charities.
  • Boca Raton City Manager Leif Ahnell, honored in the category of Civic duty. The certified public accountant, certified public finance officer and certified government finance officer has been Boca Raton CEO since 1999.
  • Lynn University President Kevin Ross, recognized in the field of education. Ross has made significant strides at Lynn University and most recently led the effort to have the university selected as the host site of the final debate of the 2012 presidential campaign.
  • Local engineer Rick Zimmer, earned the Rotarian Lifetime Achievement Award. The founder of  Zimmer Construction Consultants, Zimmer is a registered professional engineer in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands and is a certified general contractor.
  • The Community Service award went to Jay DiPietro, president/COO and general manager at Boca West Country Club for 27 years. DiPietro is a member of the boards for S.O.S. Children’s Village of Florida, Lynn University and Tri County Humane Society.  He has been a guest speaker at Harvard School of Business, a past honoree of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and a past recipient of National Jewish Humanitarian Award.

The event was sponsored by Promise Healthcare, Mummaw Associates, Saffer and Company, Boca Raton Observer Magazine, Boca Raton Resort & Club, Yaacov Heller-Gallery 22, Juicy Results, The Buzz Agency, Casa D’Angelo and D’Angelo Trattoria.

Caption: 2013 Opal Winners Bobby Campbell,Leif Ahnell, Kevin Ross, Rick Zimmer, and Jay DiPietro

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