Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Celebrates

L. A. (November 30, 2010)
A “friendship” gala for the 123rd anniversary of the oldest chamber of commerce in the U.S. Since 1887 it has been a fundamental presence in the Italy-America business world. This year’s Business and Cultural Award was given to RAI Corporation with Director Massimo Magliaro accepting it on RAI’s behalf.

The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce celebrated 123 years in great style and class on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, complete with spectacular views of Columbus Circle.

The president of the oldest chamber of commerce in the U.S. defined 2010 as the year of friendship. And in his first year as President of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, Claudio Bozzo has, with great skill on more than one occasion, demonstrated what the word friendship can mean. He has involved the Chamber in new and exciting initiatives, most recently collaborating with ENIT to organize a remarkable event held on “Poetry,” one of 11 ships in the modern MSC Cruises fleet.

As occurs every year during the gala, long time members of the chamber were recognized and honored. Awards were presented to Fred Berardo of Central Holiday Tours, as well as lawyers Annalisa Liuzzo of Marco Polo International Study and George Pavia of the firm Pavia & Harcourt.

This year, the prestigious Business and Cultural Award was given to RAI Corporation, which celebrated 50 years of doing business within the U.S. as well as 50 years as a proud member of the Chamber.

President Massimo Magliaro recalled the glorious past of the RAI both in New York and Italy, and illustrated the next steps that his company will take in order to expand and grow. He explained the critical role that state television has played in Italy’s cultural and linguistic unification. Specifically, Magliaro recalled the first television programs such as those featuring Maestro Manzo.

A few days before Italy celebrates the 150th anniversary of its unification, we must also acknowledge RAI. RAI Corporation was founded on January 20, 1960 in New York City on Madison Avenue. Today it seeks to reinvent itself to meet the changing needs of its growing viewership and continue its successful and influential 50-year history.

“We are faced with changing times that call for new, innovative television programs, some even in English.” The initial 50 years of RAI Corporation focused on one objective: to ensure that Italians retained a connection (perhaps their only link) to their homeland. For the next 50 years, RAI Corporation must be something else: it should appeal to the next generation of Italian viewers who are fully integrated into today’s society.”

And so the president of RAI Corporation outlined how his company intends to address the next 50 years of public service while continuing to be the voice of “Sistema Italia.” “We want to offer television programming in both Italian and English that reflects your interests as well as the larger American society that maintains the intelligence, creativity, tenacity, and genius of the Italian people in its own DNA. We want to create a showcase of Italian excellence.”

There were nearly 400 guests present to celebrate the chamber of commerce’s anniversary and enjoy impeccable food, wine, and music. The festive atmosphere even inspired several guests to dance.

Consul General Francesco Talò, Director of ICE Aniello Musella, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute Riccardo Viale, and Deputy Director of ENIT Walter Salvitti were all in attendance. Other guests included Vice President of Italy’s Chamber of Commerce Giulio Viola, founder of Ilica Vincenzo Marra, leaders of other European chambers of commerce, managers and directors of diverse Italian companies doing business in the U.S., as well as journalists from major Italian publications.

The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce’s annual gala is an opportunity for members to come together, many of whom represent the small and medium business sector in the U.S. Their fascinating histories could fill the pages of a very large and compelling book.

The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce is the oldest in the U.S. Founded in 1887, it is a private, non-profit organization that represents the interests of companies that have established commercial trade relations between the U.S. and Italy. It is part of the International Association of Bi-National American Chambers, is affiliated with the United States Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the European-American Business Council. The Chamber’s primarily mission is to establish and support relationships between government agencies and trade associations in the U.S. and Italy.

About the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce

Founded in New York in 1887, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit, membership organization that represents the interests of companies that have, or that are interested in establishing business and commercial relations between the United States and Italy. The IACC brings together businesses – ranging from individual entrepreneurs to large corporations – advancing the interests of its members through contacts and interaction with government agencies, trade associations and leading international organizations. The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce is a member of Assocamerestero, the world association of Italian bi-national chambers, and is affiliated with the United States Chamber of Commerce. For more information. Visit