It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to this special luncheon in honor of Hon. Adolfo Urso, Deputy Minister of Industry in charge of Foreign Trade.
I will not be able to mention all the distinguished guests in attendance but their names are listed in the seating list you all received.
I will only acknowledge the presence of some very special guests like the Italian Consul General, Minister Antonio Bandini, Amb. Umberto Vattani, former secretary general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and newly appointed President of the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade. Welcome! Amb. Vattani is here with two members of the board of the Institute: Dr. Giovanni Cobolli Gigli and Dr. Roberto Snadiero. A special welcome to Mr. Fred Wilson and to Mr. Andrew R. Jennings Respectively Chairman and President of Saks Fifth Avenue where from today the great promotion “Wild About Cashmere” has started in the 54 stores of Saks all over the US ; to Dr. Piero Celli of the Italian Ministry and Foreign Trade that for almost a year has been working on this great promotion.
And Dr. Kenneth Ciongoli, Chairman of Niaf, the NY Supreme Court Justices Eugene Nardelli and Dominick Massaro and last but not least Marvin Traub, former chairman of Bloomingdale and recipient of the Gei Award.
Our guest of honor, Adolfo Urso does not really need an introduction as he has already been guest of honor of GEI almost every two years. He was here in 2001, 2003 and now in 2005.
Born in Padua, where he took his degree in sociology, with summa cum laude, at La Sapienza University, he has been a journalist since 1981.
Hon. Urso, was one of the main sponsors of Alleanza Nazionale and served as national coordinator of the Organizing Committee for Alleanza Nazionale, starting in November 1992.
Since 1994 he has been member of the Italian Chambers of Deputies where he served in different committees. In 2001 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Industry in charge of Foreign Trade.
As responsible for the Italian Foreign Trade, Minister Urso has been extremely active in promoting Italy and the Italian products all over the world improving the trade relations with the most important italian partners. He has been traveling extensively and has met and has established friendly relations with the trade representatives of almost all the Italian partners.
Minister Urso has been also a strong supporter of all the promotional events, like the Wild About Cashmere, that in addition to the selling of Italian products give a great contribution to the improvement of the image of the made in Italy and, on behalf of Gei, that is devoted to the improvement of the image of Italy, and of myself, I wish to thank him for this.
It is therefore my great pleasure, on behalf of all the members of GEI, to present Minister Adolfo Urso with the “GEI FRIENDSHIP AWARD”.