Inaugural Italian and American Excellence Awards to be given out in New York this week

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On November 1 and 2, the Italian Business & Investment Initiative and Italy’s weekly business magazine, Panorama, will launch the inaugural Italian and American Excellence awards, recognizing the cultural, business and societal contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans.

This Is Italy

This Is Italy

On November 1 and 2, the Italian Business & Investment Initiative and Italy’s weekly business magazine, Panorama, will launch the inaugural Italian and American Excellence awards, recognizing the cultural, business and societal contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans. The recipients include: Bill De Blasio, Mayor of New York; tenor Vittorio Grigolo; chef Vito Mollica, who earned the first Michelin star in 2008; and soccer star Andrea Pirlo.

The awards will be given out at gala dinners as part of three-day cultural and economic exchange event, This is Italy: Parts Unknown, dedicated to showcasing and celebrating of Italian excellence to boost awareness among the New York business community. The dinners will have the theme “Taste… of Italy” and will feature the best of Italian cuisine prepared by top New York chefs.

At the November 1 dinner at the Harvard Club, a video will be shown with a message from the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who will stress the importance of creating new opportunities for exchange between cultures, nations and economies. Confirmed guests include Armando Varricchio, Italian Ambassador to the United States, who will offer a first-hand report on what Italy is creating, both at home and abroad, and Consul General of the Republic of Italy in New York, Francesco Genuardi.

Other special guests for the evening are representatives of Italian and American excellence in business and institutions:

  • Andrew Cuomo, governor of the state of New York
  • Bill De Blasio, Mayor of New York, who will receive the Good Institutions Award
  • Vittorio Grigolo is a world-renowned opera tenor
  • Andrea Pirlo has played soccer (aka football) for Brescia, Inter, Milan, Juventus and World Champions with the Italian team
  • Costantino Baldissara of Grimaldi Lines, one of Europe’s premier ferry companies, who will receive the Manufacturing Excellence Award
  • Claudio Del Vecchio, President of Brooks Brothers, who will receive the Leadership Excellence Award
  • Diego Della Valle, President of Hogan and Tod’s
  • Vittorio Giordano, Vice President of Urbani Tartufi USA, who will receive a Food Excellence Award
  • Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Roberto Maroni, President of the Lombardy Region, who will receive the Good Institutions Award
  • Chef Vito Mollica of Four Seasons Firenze, who earned the first Michelin star in 2008 who will receive a Food Excellence Award
  • Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the non-profit Partnership for New York City

On the 2nd of November, the gala evening at the Guggenheim Museum will kick off with a tribute to the sesquicentennial of Italian composer Arturo Toscanini, with a performance from Concerto Cameristi and an intimate gathering with renowned tenor Vittorio Grigolo.

The dinner that evening will be a charity event dedicated to the Umbria region and the promotion of its artistic and cultural heritage. Ian Wardropper, president of the Frick Collection, will be the evening’s keynote speaker and will receive the Italian Excellence Award for Leadership in the Arts. The Frick Collection contains numerous works by Umbrian artists.

The dinner will be an opportunity to celebrate the Umbria region and among the honored guests will be its president, Catiuscia Marini, and vice president, Fabio Paparelli. During the evening, a tasting of typical Umbrian dishes will be served, and informational videos about the region will be shown. Vittorio Sgarbi, one of the most authoritative and famous critics of Italian art, will take part in the dinner via a video message in which he will talk about the architectural and cultural treasures of the region by tracing its history through the works of its artists.

The focus of the charity dinner will be one of the Umbrian monuments damaged during the recent earthquake which will be restored and then handed back to the region. The project will be selected by LoveItaly, a non-profit association whose goal is to safeguard and promote Italy’s cultural heritage. During the dinner, the association will launch a restoration crowdfunding campaign.

During the days, four workshops and panels will be held, each dedicated to a macro-theme of global relevance with the goal of celebrating Italian excellence and creating opportunities for contact between Italian business leaders and institutions and the New York business community. The workshops have been organized with support from the Council on Foreign Relations.

November 1, workshops dedicated to manufacturing services, research and development, and food will feature executives from such diverse companies as Lamborghini and Walmart, as well as government representatives from regions of Italy and the European Union. The panel on manufacturing and research and development will be moderated by Michelle Caruso Cabrera of CNBC International. It will feature executives from Grimaldi Group, Ducati, Lamborghini, Università Bocconi, as well as Valentina Aprea, Minister for Education and Work of the Lombardia region.

The panel on food will be moderated by Pimm Fox of Bloomberg Media. New York. It will feature executives from Urbani Tartufi, Walmart and Kreative, Gustoso, Eataly and Arnaldo Caprai . Joining them will be Michela Giuffrida, a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, and Catiuscia Marini, the Governor of the Umbria Region.

November 2, workshops dedicated to luxury and fashion, and sustainability and corporate responsibility will feature executives and government officials from Italy, bringing fresh ideas and investment opportunities to New York companies and investors. The panel Good Institutions on Social Responsibility will be presented with the participation of Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the non-profit Partnership for New York City.

These workshops will also introduce three Presidents of the Italian Regions Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Umbria, highlighting the stable and enduring nature of regional institutions in Italy, which command billions of dollars worth of economic development, leveraging both domestic and European funds.

From the private sectors, speakers will include leaders from the Italian entrepreneurship and management: Grimaldi Group, Ducati, Lamborghini, Urbani Tartufi, Gustoso USA, Arnaldo Caprai, Eataly North America, Vhernier USA, Isaia Napoli, Forte Village, Sicily by Car, IACE, and Ferrari Trento.

About the Italian Business & Investment Initiative
The Italian Business & Investment Initiative (“IB&II”) is a New York-based corporation advocating Italy as a high-tech country and an attractive destination for direct investments. Every February in New York, the IB&II holds the “Italy Meets the United States of America” summit, with leaders from government and industry discussing what makes Italy an appealing investment opportunity.

About Panorama
Panorama from Mondadori group is the most important news magazine in Italy. Founded in 1962, every week it deals with political, cultural and economic news as well as current affairs and free time. It offers its readers in-depth articles, investigations, photographic reports, comments and opinions with collaboration from prestigious and authoritative journalists. Four years ago Panorama added a successful new format – the Panorama d’Italia summit, which it brings for 4 days at a time to the 10 most prominent Italian cities and provinces. From April through October, the summit invites distinguished guests to highlight and discuss unique local arts and businesses.

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