Above: David J. Shea (left), chairman and CEO, Bowne & Co., accepts the 2010 Prism Award from Carl J. Crosetto, former president of Bowne and present member of its board of directors. Below: John Tenwinkel (center), recipient of the 2010 Prism Alumni Award, with Bonnie Blake, director of NYU’s M.A. program in Graphic Communications Management and Technology; and Joseph Lindfeldt, executive vice president – corporate development, DG3 (where Tenwinkel is director of digital operations).

The Prism Awards, New York University’s annual salute to leadership in graphic communications, were presented today to David J. Shea, chairman and CEO, Bowne & Co., and John Tenwinkel, a 2008 graduate of the M.A. program in Graphic Communications Management and Technology at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). The award luncheon, a fundraising event on behalf of the M.A. program, took place at Gotham Hall in Manhattan with about 400 people attending.

Now in their 24th year, the Prism Awards are given in recognition of exceptional business leadership and, in the case of the Prism Alumni Awards, in honor of an outstanding graduate of the M.A. program.

Before becoming chairman and CEO of Bowne, Shea served as president and COO of the 235-year-old company as well as executive in charge of its enterprise solutions and business solutions units. His career also includes stints with R.R. Donnelley and IBM. Presenting the award, Carl J. Crosetto, a former president of Bowne and a current member if its board of directors, credited Shea with being the leader who “rebranded Bowne from a financial printer to a financial communications company.” (In February, Donnelley and Bowne announced an agreement whereby Donnelley will acquire Bowne in a cash transaction expected to close in the second half of the year.)

“Our business revolves around serving our clients,” Shea said, citing interrupted Thanksgiving dinners and other examples of the willingness of Bowne employees to put customer needs first. He thanked the Bowne team for their sacrifices and said that fostering a “seven by 24-hour culture” of unqualified customer service was the single most important factor in the company’s success.

In 2008, John Tenwinkel attained the SCPS Master of Arts in Graphic Communications Management and Technology with a 3.95 GPA. Today he is director of digital operations at DG3, where he supervises 40 people as the youngest member of the print communications provider’s management team. He came to NYU after graduating from University of Wisconsin (Stout) in 2003 with a B.S. degree in graphic communications management.

He said he chose the NYU M.A. program because “I wanted to be a leader in the field.” He praised the quality of the teaching he received and said that the instruction was largely responsible for the success he has achieved since earning his graduate degree.

Many current students attended the luncheon as guests of SCPS. For them, Tenwinkel had this advice: “Challenge yourselves and your professors. Make the most of this amazing program.”

Watch WhatTheyThink for video interviews with Shea and Tenwinkel. Information about the NYU/SCPS M.A. program in graphic communications management and technology is available here.