2020 Palladium Honoree: Aldo and Dawn Madrigrano

Photo of Aldo (left) and Dawn Madrigrano (center) with Erick Harper (right)
Interior of the Madrigrano Family Training and Sports Medicine Center at the Fertitta Football Complex

Interior of the Madrigrano Family Training and Sports Medicine Center at the Fertitta Football Complex

Sep. 30, 2020

Each year, the UNLV Foundation honors donors whose lifetime giving to UNLV has reached $1 million or more with the Palladium Award. Honorees are recognized at the UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner, a tradition that began more than 25 years ago. Because of COVID-19, the 2020 Annual Dinner has been postponed but we look forward to celebrating this year's Palladium Awardees when we can gather together once again.

The Madrigrano family legacy is steeped in a heady brew of relationships and values. For generations, they owned a prominent beer distributorship in Wisconsin. Since making Las Vegas their home in 2012, Aldo and Dawn Madrigrano have been making a mark as local philanthropists and avid advocates for UNLV and Rebel Athletics.

Family values have been their guiding influence in business and in service.

“My parents always said that you need to give back to the city where you do business and where you live,” says Aldo. “When Dawn and I moved to Las Vegas, I saw the university as the center of a great city. UNLV needs to continue to grow and graduate great students.”

The Madrigranos are certainly doing their part to ensure that students have opportunities to graduate and thrive. They have been devoted fans of Rebel Athletics since 2012. Their first Loyalty Circle gift was directed to Women’s Golf — a reflection of Dawn’s passion for the sport. 

Since then, their support of UNLV’s Rebel Athletics has been consistent and significant. Among their many contributions have been gifts to establish the Madrigrano Family Endowment for Academic Excellence and an endowed fund for the Runnin’ Rebels Basketball. They were cornerstone donors to the Fertitta Football Complex, now home to the Madrigrano Family Sports Medicine Center.

Aldo Madrigrano is the former co-owner and former CEO of Beer Capitol Distributing in Sussex, Wisconsin. The business was started on the heels of Prohibition by his grandfather, Eugene Madrigrano, who came to the U.S. from Mendicino, Italy in 1905. Through strong relationships and hard work, his budding endeavor grew into a multi-generational family business. In this tradition, Aldo started Beer Capitol Distributing Company in 1981. Before its sale in 2016, the company had become the largest beer distributor in Wisconsin and the 20th largest wholesaler in the country.

Dawn Madrigrano was born in Milwaukee, WI. After graduating from Cardinal Stritch University cum laude with a degree in Business Administration, she worked for Miller Coors Milwaukee and retired from their sales division after 37 years of service.

Aldo has been nominated for membership on the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees. He serves as vice chairman of the Howard Young Foundation and on the executive committee of Las Vegas Bowl, and is former chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. He is a six-time winner of the Miller High Life Achievement Award; a recipient of the Marquette University Family Business Award; and was a finalist for the Ernst-Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

*Aldo Madrigrano (left) and Dawn Madrigrano with UNLV Sr. Asst. Athletic Dir. Erick Harper (right).

Marian Alper