The first edition of the Italian Brand Ambassador Award was held on Sunday, June 1st. The award ceremony recognized two leaders in the retail food sector whose vision, dedication, drive and passion have contributed to growing the Made in Italy Brand in the US consumer marketplace over the course of their careers. This year’s award will pay tribute to “Italy’s Liquid Gold” and celebrate the success of premium Italian Olive Oil in the US market in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The Italian Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin and the Consul General of Italy, Natalia Quintavalle partook in the ceremony.

Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, commented “It is only fitting that the first edition of the Italian Brand Ambassador Award take place in the United States as it wholeheartedly embraces products of Italy and Italian lifestyle. Today more than ever, Made in Italy is leaving a delible imprint on local cultures around the globe and therefore the role of local Brand Ambassadors are evermore important in growing brand awareness, interest and responding to market demand for Products of Italy.”

Riccardo Monti, President of Agenzia ICE comments “The growth trend of Italian imports in the United States is significant in terms of quantity and value. The Italian Brand Ambassador Award represents the culmination of these market synergies.”

“The Italian Brand Ambassador award exemplifies the qualitative relationship between Italy, its import partners and the evolution of products positioned in these markets” noted Pier Paolo Celeste, Trade Commissioner and Executive Director for the USA. ” The recipients of the award this year”, he continued, “are respected industry trailblazers whose retail philosophies have contributed to the paramount success of their retail chain operations. It is precisely the important relationships cultivated with consumers across retail aisles that allows Italy to consolidate and grow its position in the US market. The confidence placed in the quality of our products coupled with the leadership of our import, distributor and retail partners is the true impetus of our market expansion.”

The first edition of the much anticipated Italian Brand Ambassador Award took place at the Highline Ballroom in New York. A jazz concert followed the awards ceremony featuring acclaimed Italian jazz talent Gianluca Pellerito and his quintet. This young talent is not new to the stage. He was the youngest musician in the world to play at the Blue Note at just age fourteen. Performances include eight seasons at Umbria Jazz, the 2012 London Olympics, an exhibition show for Mayor Bloomberg, and a performance upon invitation from the Kennedy family at the Kennedy to name a few.

This evening celebrating Made in Italy was presented in collaboration with Emirates Airline, Colavita USA and Monini North America.