Almost as in a movie, two vintage Maserati cars parked at the main entrance of the Essex House on Central Park South, together with vintage motorcycles inside, is the surprise that awaited the many guests who attended the annual event hosted by the Italy America Chamber of Commerce: the “2014 IACC Spring Luncheon.” Among the participants, present was the Consul General of Italy Natalia Quintavalle and other representatives of prominent New York Institutions.
What were these fantastic vintage vehicles doing there? Where did they come from? The mystery was unveiled, as Lawrence Auriana was presented the special “2014 Business and Culture Award,” by the President of IACC, Claudio Bozzo.
“Everyone knows about his collection of cars and motorcycles but unfortunately only a few know about the amount of work and the fights he made in order to help Italians when they came here and the new ones that are coming here,” affirmed Bozzo. “Lawrence Auriana is a great example for all of us. I think we should learn from him how to conduct our businesses because if we can be half as successful as he was, we would be unbelievably happy.” The president of IACC refers here above all to Lawrence E. Auriana, whom for decades is very active in the Italian American community and who is a true column in the Columbus Citizen Foundation where he is a treasurer.
Mr. Lawrence E. Auriana is also a businessman and a successful entrepreneur as well as the Co-Chair of Kaufmann Growth Equity Team at Federated Investors, Inc. Beside his successful career, Auriana is the proud owner of an incredible collection of vintage cars and motorcycles, which has been his passion since he was only a boy.
“I bought my first car when I was 12 years old," said Auriana. “Now I have approximately 100 cars, all Italians cars” he specified.
The pieces that were shown at the Essex House were part of his exclusive collection. One of them, explained Auriana, was owned by Domenico Modugno from 1957 to 1960.
The choice of exhibiting two Maseratis was not made by chance. This year, in fact, the Italian automotive house celebrates 100 years of its great success.
“Italy America Chamber of Commerce is a great organization,” said, visibly proud, Andrea Soriani, Director of Brand Marketing at Maserati North America. “It helped our business a lot. They’ve been very active to promote the Made in Italy, to promote Maserati and what it represents: style, design, fashion and most of all engineering.”
2014 is also a special year for the IACC, which celebrates its 127th anniversary since its foundation. President of one of the oldest Chamber of Commerce of the United States, in his second mandate is Claudio Bozzo, also President of Mediterranean Shipping Company Usa.
Everyone agrees, that ever since he was elected, he has given a new thrust to the Chamber of Commerce, initially changing the entire board, which brings in major Italian and Italian-American corporations.
The Italy America Chamber of Commerce does a very good job in establishing contacts and creating networks with all the Italian and Italian Americans in New York, who all contribute in a very important way to enhancing the position of Italy in this city” said Consul General of Italy Natalia Quintavalle.
"Being part of the board of the IACC is a great and exciting experience," said Massimiliano Cattozzi, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Intesa San Paolo. "First of all you get in touch with the most important people of the Italian communities here. You get in touch with them in a work environment. You first establish a professional respect which represent the best start than you can have. Second of all, because you are working so much with them, you become friends. And the third important thing of being part of it is that you will see and live at the very beginning all the new projects that the Italian community is bringing to New York."
“Among the great merits of the IACC there is also the fact that they give a lot of voice to the young members of the chamber of commerce. They are a strong group, very active and dynamic who organize a lot of activities in New York,” affirmed Lucia Pasqualini, Deputy Consul General of Italy, “a great resource for Italy and for New York.”
Indeed, the General Consulate of Italy in New York recently started a cooperation with the Young Executives Committe of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce (YEX) through the organization of initiatives aimed at strengthening the relationship between the young Italians in New York and the Institutions that represent them.
“I am very happy to have such a successful Spring Luncheon today. For us, this is a great opportunity to say thank you to many people who are close to the YEX community and help us in our journey towards bigger and better events to come,” affirmed Salvatore Ambrosino, IACC Liaison at YEX Committee.
“I am very proud to receive this award today,” said Mr. Auriana. “This is a very important organization. It has been serving the interests of the Italian community for 127 years, and they are doing an excellent job.”
“It’s important for Italy, because Italian businesses should focus more of their attention on the American market,” continued Auriana, highlighting the importance and the responsibility of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce in regards to the boosting of Italian businesses in the US.
And among the members of the board of the Chamber of Commerce, there is a representation from Piaggio: “As Piaggio, we are proud to be part of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce. We are here to support all the Italians that are coming from Italy that want to create companies in America. We are here to support all of you. And this is our job every day,” said Miguel Martinez, President & CEO Piaggio Group Americas. It is from them that we have learned that the first prize in the treasure hunt, which will be organized by the consulate will be a Piaggio vespa!
The Italy America Chamber of Commerce celebration couldn’t have a better finale. A wonderful event welcoming the 2014 Spring in New York and remembering all the amazing success achieved this year. However, “the best is yet to come” and we are all looking forward to it.