2020 Reflections by Forty Under 40’s Connor Dixon-Schwabl

We sat down with Managing Partner Connor Dixon-Schwabl to reflect on 2020, what he’s learned this year personally and professionally, and what it means to him to be part of the Forty Under 40 Class of 2020.

How has 2020 been for you, professionally and personally?

This year has been a rollercoaster. What I care about is getting my team everything they need, and I’ve been trying to support them as we navigate this new time together: working from home, social distancing and still producing beautiful videos for our clients. There have been important opportunities where I needed to jump in to support my team, and there have been important opportunities where I’ve learned something new. Everyone is in a different season of life, and each presents different challenges when working from home. Navigating my own challenges and learning how to support my team with theirs is a brand new area that I’ve needed to focus on. 

Other than working from home, what has changed for you in 2020?

It’s been a hard year, but it’s also been incredibly exciting. We’ve been forced to be innovative. We were forced to be creative. A huge part of our business relies on galas and events, and of course those were out of the cards for us, so we’ve had to innovate and pivot as a team and as a community. Thankfully, my team’s chemistry is so incredible and we were up for the challenge, so we created and launched a new service at Dixon Schwabl: virtual events. 

What have you learned in 2020?

If I had to choose one thing, something I’ll never forget about 2020 is realizing—although it’s something I already felt and knew, but this year affirmed it for me—the importance of the close relationships in my life, especially appreciating the relationships I have with my family. Quality over quantity, family over everything. The relationships I have with my wife, my parents and my siblings are the single most treasured part of my life.

What does it mean for you to be honored as a 2020 member of Rochester’s Forty Under 40?

This is so exciting because it means I’m headed in the right direction. I’m walking in the footsteps of my parents. It’s also exciting because, to me, this is a team award. I don’t see it as just an individual award. I’m working with a wonderfully successful team, and this recognition, for me, my team and the agency, is such an honor and a privilege. 

Connor accepted the 2020 RBJ Forty Under 40 award November 12 during a virtual event hosted by Rochester Business Journal.

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