Celebrato a New York il quarantesimo anniversario del GEI
Premiati quali eccellenze italiane: Claudio Del Vecchio, Amalia Ercoli Finzi,
Gualtiero Marchesi, Bruno Vespa, Roberto Vittori. Premio speciale per Mario Cuomo
Ospite d’onore il Ministro Pier Carlo Padoan
New York, 16 aprile 2015 – Nell’elegante Grand Ballroom del Plaza Hotel di New York si e’ tenuto, ieri notte, il Gran Gala per celebrare il quarantesimo anniversario della fondazione del GEI – Gruppo Esponenti Italiani, l’organizzazione che raccoglie i rappresentati delle principali entità italiane che operano negli Stati Uniti.
E’ stato un evento di grandissimo rilievo e prestigio che ha riunito autorità e personalità italiane ed americane, VIP, moltissimi ospiti che, con la loro presenza, hanno dato grande risalto alla celebrazione dei quaranta anni di vita di questa importantissima ed unica organizzazione che nella sua lunga vita ha sempre messo in risalto il meglio dell’Italia.
Ospite d’onore e “Keynote Speaker” dell’evento è stato il Ministro dell’Economia e delle Finanze, Pier Carlo Padoan che ha illustrato lo stato dell’economia italiana invitando tutti ad essere fiduciosi ed ottimisti sulla situazione italiana che da’ segni di indiscutibile ripresa.
Il Ministro ha anche ricevuto uno “SPECIAL GEI AWARD” per la sua lunga carriera di successo in campo economico in Italia ed all’estero in prestigiose organizzazioni internazionali. Il Premio è stato congiuntamente consegnato al Ministro da Lucio Caputo e dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi con i componenti il Board del GEI: Luca Balestra (UniCredit) – Massimiliano Cattozzi (Intesa Sanpaolo), George Pavia (Pavia & Harcourt), Mario Platero (Il Sole 24 Ore) e Maria Sacconi (Alitalia).
Nel corso della serata, il presidente Caputo ha proceduto alla premiazione delle cinque personalità che hanno raggiunto l’eccellenza nei settori della loro attività dando un grande contributo all’immagine ed al prestigio dell’Italia nel mondo.
Nell’ordine Caputo ha consegnato, fra gli applausi dei presenti che gremivano la Grand Ballroom del Plaza, il “GEI AWARD 2015” a Claudio Del Vecchio, CEO di Brooks Brothers ed Executive Director di Luxottica, per il grande successo conseguito in Italia ed all’estero nel campo dell’imprenditoria; alla professoressa Amalia Ercoli Finzi, una delle massime esperte internazionali in ingegneria aerospaziale che ha dato un importante e decisivo contributo al successo del progetto Rosetta; al Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi, padre della moderna cucina italiana e fondatore di ALMA, per il grandissimo contributo dato all’affermazione della gastronomia italiana nel mondo; a Bruno Vespa, fondatore e conduttore della trasmissione televisiva Porta a porta, per aver portato il giornalismo italiano a livelli di eccellenza internazionale in una lunghissima carriera costellata da grandissimi successi ed al colonnello Roberto Vittori, il primo astronauta italiano che ha aperto la strada ad altri astronauti, dando grande risalto ad una eccellenza italiana in un settore di altissima tecnologia quale quello spaziale che continua con una astronauta italiana, Samantha Cristoforetti, attualmente in orbita.
Uno “SPECIAL GEI AWARD” alla memoria e’ stato assegnato a Mario Cuomo, primo governatore di origini italiane dello Stato di New York, recentemente scomparso, che con le sue grandissime doti, la sua preparazione, la sua umanità e la sua visione politica ha grandemente contribuito al successo dell’immagine degli Italo-Americani e degli Italiani in America aprendo la strada alla attuale presenza ed affermazione. Caputo ha in particolare ricordato il famoso discorso tenuto alla convenzione democratica di San Francisco che aveva elettrizzato gli americani e che aveva istantaneamente reso popolarissimo il Governatore Cuomo. A ritirare il premio, congiuntamente consegnato con il Console Generale Ministro Natalia Quintavalle, una emozionantissima Matilda Cuomo.
In precedenza il presidente del GEI, Lucio Caputo, aveva brevemente illustrato la storia del GEI nei suoi quaranta anni di vita. Caputo aveva ricordato come nel 1974 si era riunito con un piccolo gruppo di esponenti italiani che avevano deciso di dar vita ad un’organizzazione non avente fini di lucro e non politica avente lo scopo di promuovere tutti gli aspetti positivi dell’Italia. Solo i più qualificati rappresenti italiani erano stati invitati a partecipare.
L’iniziativa aveva avuto subito grande successo ed aveva anche permesso ai rappresentati italiani di creare, fra di loro, solidi rapporti di collaborazione.
Caputo ha anche ricordato come il GEI incontri periodicamente personalità italiane ed americane che hanno la possibilità di illustrare, tramite il GEI, la loro attività.
Caputo ha poi ricordato il GEI AWARD appositamente creato per premiare le personalità che hanno maggiormente contribuito al miglioramento dell’immagine dell’Italia nel mondo. Fra i 31 premiati Gianni Agnelli, Luciano Benetton, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Edward Kennedy, Emma Marcegaglia, Mario Monti, Giorgio Napolitano, Luciano Pavarotti, Sandro Pertini, Sergio Pininfarina, e David Rockefeller.
A questi si sono ora aggiunti i premiati in occasione del quarantesimo anniversario del GEI.
La cerimonia di consegna dei premi è stata preceduta da un ricevimento e seguita da una cena con menu’ italiano appositamente predisposto per l’occasione.
Per maggiori informazioni sul GEI e sulla sua attività visitare il sito: www.geinewyork.com da dove sono anche scaricabili le foto della serata (http://geinewyork.com/gei-awards/gei-awards-2015-40th-anniversary/).
Foto a più elevata risoluzione saranno fornite su specifica richiesta.
CON PREGHIERA DI CORTESE PUBBLICAZIONE
Di seguito il testo della presentazione di Lucio Caputo
GEI AWARDS 2015 – REMARKS BY LUCIO CAPUTO – PRESIDENT OF GEI
7:10 pm – Opening Remarks – Lucio Caputo
Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am Lucio Caputo, president of GEI, the Italian Representatives Group, and it is my great pleasure to welcome all of you here to night on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of GEI’s founding.
In April 1974, a few of us gathered together to give life to GEI. We shared this goal of promoting, through a non-profit, non-political organization, all of the positive aspects of Italian culture and industry in the United States at a time when the general public’s unflattering views and stereotypes towards Italians were commonplace. GEI’s mission was to try to contain these views and present some positive aspects of Italian life.
The idea and the organization achieved instant success, and all the most qualified and prestigious Italian representatives asked to become part of GEI.
Together we created a forum for both Italian and American experts in the fields of politics, art, business, commerce and finance to gather on a regular basis and exchange ideas on Italy, its image, and its relations with the U.S.
Gradually, the shared goals of the group’s members helped strengthen the ties between them. For Italian industry representatives newly arrived in New York, the organization also represented a way to introduce themselves to prominent Italians from a variety of different sectors, easing the process of arriving alone in a new country. A community was thus formed.
Today, forty years later, GEI has come a long way and changed in some ways. There has been a constant rotation of members; typical of New York, where executives of foreign corporations regrettably do not stay for an extended period of time and eventually have to leave.
To give you an idea of the continuous changes, only three of the members at the end of 1989 are still part of GEI: myself, Enzo Viscusi and George Pavia, who is here with us tonight. (Applaud).
And this rotation continues. Shortly, Marco Martella of Bank of Italy and Pier Paolo Celeste of the Italian Trade Agency will leave New York. We are very sorry to see them go and welcome their successors.
But although our members have constantly been changing, the spirit and purpose of GEI are stronger than ever.
As it continues to represent the Italian business community and enhance the image of Italy, GEI has become one of the most important organizations of Italian representatives outside of Italy itself.
Among its activities, the group has honored over 600 people with the GEI Friendship Award at business lunches and dinners for the past 4 decades, including top members of the Italian government, presidents of the Senate and the Chamber, as well as artists (like Arbore, Manfredi, Zingaretti), astronauts, leaders in the industry, commerce, finance, banking, wine, fashion and media sectors; scholars and architects (such as Umberto Eco, Joseph La Palombara, Sandy Pei and Massimo Vignelli), American representatives of leading cultural institutions and museums, almost all Italian ambassadors to the U.S. and American ambassadors to Italy, and major New York City officials such as commissioner Gargano and Daniel Nigro, here tonight……
Through GEI, these notable personalities were given the opportunity to discuss their activities and accomplishments with the most important Italian business community in the U.S.
The GEI’s most high-profile event, however, is and remains the presentation of the “GEI Award” to Italians and Americans for their outstanding contributions to furthering relations between the two countries.
The award has been bestowed upon only 31 highly-accomplished, influential leaders who have done so much for the image of Italy, and whose names are known all over the world, such us: Gianni Agnelli, Luciano Benetton, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Edward Kennedy, Emma Marcegaglia, Mario Monti, Giorgio Napolitano, Luciano Pavarotti, Sandro Pertini, Sergio Pininfarina, and David Rockefeller.
Of course, I can continue for hours illustrating GEI’s 40 year-long story, but we have a web-site and I encourage you all to please visit it (http://geinewyork.com/).
I will only add that the tradition continues and tonight for GEI’s 40th anniversary, we will honor seven pioneers of Italian excellence: Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers Group; Amalia Ercoli Finzi, a leading aerospace engineer; Gualtiero Marchesi, Italian chef and founder of Fondazione Gualtiero Marchesi; Bruno Vespa, leading journalist and founding host of Porta a porta; European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori; the Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy, Pier Carlo Padoan, who is also our keynote speaker for the evening.
We are also honoring the memory of former governor Mario Cuomo, who paved the way for Italians and Italo-Americans in the U.S. with a special award, and we are so grateful to have Matilda Cuomo to accept the award here tonight.
We will start the awards ceremony a little later on, but in the meantime, please enjoy your dinner. Thank you for your attention.
7:30 pm – Awards Ceremony
Tonight, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, GEI is presenting the GEI AWARD – the highest award of the group – to those personalities who by the judgement of the Board, have performed outstanding activities that have contributed substantially to furthering Italian excellence throughout the world. The honorees are all very well known and therefore they do not need a specific introduction; their exceptional curricula are, anyway, published in the program.
The first honoree to receive the award is considered to be one of the best international business entrepreneurs and industry leaders in the world. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brooks Brothers Group, whose portfolio includes Brooks Brothers, Southwick and Carolee Designs. He is also the Executive Director of Luxottica Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of eyewear, and is well known for his philanthropic work. His numerous activities and achievements qualifies him as a top representative of Italian excellence in the field of business. Mr. Claudio Del Vecchio, please join us on stage to receive the GEI Award.
Thank you, Mr. Del Vecchio. The next award recipient is a renowned aerospace engineer and Honorary Professor at Politecnico di Milano involved in several national and international space programs. Her current project, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Mission, which involves drilling a comet and collecting its samples, could possibly teach us more about what brought water (or even the building blocks of life) to Earth. Furthermore, she is also an advocate for the participation of women in scientific and technical activities. Professor Amalia Ercoli Finzi, please come up to the stage and accept the GEI Award for all you have done and continue to do in the field of aerospace engineering.
Thank you. Our next award recipient is an extremely well-known chef and the founder of modern Italian cuisine. Indeed, he was the first Italian chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. Further enhancing the image of Italy, he has bought Italian cuisine to an unthinkable level of excellence. He founded award-winning restaurants in France and Italy, started and is currently the dean of ALMA – the International School for Italian Cuisine, and more recently, founded the Fondazione Gualtiero Marchesi. Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi, please join us on stage to accept the GEI Award for all that you have done for the image of Italy and the culinary arts.
Thank you very much, Maestro. The next outstanding awardee is one of the most important journalists in Italy who began his career when he was only 16 years old. He has been a special correspondent and anchorman for the most important Italian events for the last thirty years, including the death and elections of the last three Popes, the Moro kidnapping and the election of Italian Republic Presidents and prime ministers. He is very well-known for Porta a porta, the most important Italian program on politics and topical news that he conducts with great ability. All Italian Prime Ministers and opposition leaders have appeared in his studio together with foreign personalities. Mr. Bruno Vespa, please join us on stage to accept the GEI Award in recognition of your excellence in the field of journalism.
Many thanks to you Mr. Vespa. Next we wish to honor an European Space Agency Astronaut. He went to the International Space Stations on three important missions: the first in 2001 to deliver a new “lifeboat” to the Station for use by the crew in case of emergency; for the second, he played an active role in piloting and docking the spacecraft; and the third in 2011 to instal a cosmic-ray detector to examine dark matter and the origin of the universe. He demonstrates Italian excellence in the field of astronautics showing how Italy excels even in this field. Excellence that has been continuing over the years and even now, as we are speaking, an Italian colleague of Roberto – Samantha Cristoforetti – is orbiting space. Colonel, Roberto Vittori, would you please join us on stage to accept the GEI Award?
Before I announce the next award, I wish to call onto the stage, Consul General of Italy, Minister Natalia Quintavalle. Natalia, please come join me.
The next award is dedicated in memory to a great Governor of the State of New York: the honorable Mario Cuomo. He passed away this January, but his memory lives on and continues to be celebrated.
Mario was a great friend and was guest of GEI even before he was elected Governor. I remember how he electrified the audience with his powerful, historic and poignant speech at the democratic convention in San Francisco and become an inspiration for millions of Americans. His remarks about Italians coming to the U.S. thinking that “the roads were paved in gold to realize that they have to pave the road” was a turning point for Italians and Italo-Americans. The son of Italian immigrants, Mario Cuomo worked his way up in society to become one of the most popular, inspirational and beloved governors in the United States. The role and the presence of Italians and Italo-Americans has been greatly elevated thanks in large part to Governor Cuomo, whose many accomplishments and exceptional personality will not be forgotten.
On behalf of GEI, I therefore wish to present the Special GEI Award to Mario Cuomo in recognition and great appreciation of his exceptional career, outstanding leadership, and commitment to enhancing the image of Italians and Italo-Americans in the United States and across the world.
The Consul General and myself are very honored to present this Special GEI Award to Mrs. Matilda Cuomo. Matilda, please join us on stage to accept this award on Mario’s behalf.
8:30 pm – Special award to Minister Padoan
As tradition, I will call on stage the members of the Board of GEI: Luca Balestra of UniCredit Group – Massimiliano Cattozzi of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo – George Pavia of Pavia & Harcourt – Mario Platero of Il Sole 24 Ore – Maria Sacconi of Alitalia –
We are particularly glad to have here tonight with us a very distinguished guest, and a well known economist: the Minister of Economy and Finance of the Italian Government. He has graciously accepted to be our guest speaker and will talk about the present Italian economic situation on the eve of the International Monetary Fund in Washington.