The Father’s Day Council and the American Diabetes Association of America have released their list of honorees for 2011 Father of the Year Awards, and Suns Sr. Vice President and General Counsel Jason Rowley was amongst those being recognized.

Through this event, the Phoenix Father’s Day Council pays tribute to outstanding fathers in the community, and raises funds to support the mission of the American Diabetes Association. Since the event first began in 2001, the dinner has raised nearly $2 million dollars.

Those funds have gone on to support the education, research and advocacy initiatives of the American Diabetes Association and its mission to prevent and cure diabetes. The dinner and reception will take place at the Camelback Inn on June 16, just a few days before Father’s Day.

Typically, the dinner will honor three-to-five honorees with an elegant dinner, a trophy that resembles an Oscar and a high-class video tribute that the honorees can take with them. This year’s class of honorees includes Rowley, CEO of AAA Arizona Michael Tully, Senior VP of US Bank Brad Parker, President of Rich Financial Group Christopher Rich and Gallagher and Kennedy partner Steve Lawrence.

Rowley was nominated by Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey. All of the honorees from this point on will receive the same awards, with no lone person walking home as the only “Father of the Year.”

“I look around, and I could pick 50 men that I know who are great dads, do wonderful things in the community and are consummate professionals,” Rowley said. “So you’re a little bit humbled to be picked out of all of those to do it.”

The event is expected to draw between 500 and 700 people. Those selected were chosen with the hope that they would generate enough interest for people to attend the event and donate to the cause.

“I think it’s a novel concept of tying it to people in the community that they would like to honor and help the cause,” Rowley said.

When asked what it takes to be a great dad, Rowley passed along the credit to his wife. He said that without her support, he wouldn’t have the balance necessary to fulfill that role that currently plays so well.

“All of the individuals being honored have busy schedules, but the unique aspect of our business is that we have games and events to attend after we’re done working a normal day,” Rowley said. “So you have to be flexible, make time and being cognizant of your patience level.”

Currently Rowley and his wife, Kristi, are raising two daughters. Abigail is 5 years old and Lucy is 18 months old.

“It’s easy to get caught up in your job and put your family aside if you don’t concentrate on it,” Rowley said. “But at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing, so you really have to make sure that you make a conscious effort to do it and having a wife that’s supportive is a big piece of it.”

To donate to the ADA in honor of Rowley or attend this event, click here.

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