Building Bridges with Italy: A Good Day for Students and Community at Chapman

On Sunday, March 5th, over 200 students and community leaders gathered for the Italian Studies Council’s conference Culture and Business: An Italian Perspective. The conference brought together innovative business leaders representing film, architecture, design, agriculture and other industries from California and Italy.

Dr. Daniele Struppa, Chapman University Chancellor, opened the conference and stressed the important role Italy has played through history in shaping philosophy, religion, arts, business and culture. Dr. Federico  Pacchioni, Musco Chair of the Italian Studies, introduced the keynote speaker Florindo Blandolino, Director of the Italian Trade Commission, who provided an insightful overview of Italy’s economy and emphasized its focus on quality that has provided Italy with a competitive edge in many industries from technology to food and fashion. Conference co-chair and Italian Studies Council executive board member, Joseph Baird, served as moderator for the panel of speakers which included: Timothy O’Connell, CEO, Investor and Entrepreneur, H-FARM Ventures; Jari Ognibeni, Co-Founder and CEO, Industrio; Ilaria Mazzoleni, Principal, IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles; and Victor Laruccia, Executive Director, San Diego Italian Film Festival.

The program concluded with Emanuela Panebianco, Executive Director of Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West, inviting guests to a networking reception with Italian companies represented. Special thanks to our partners: Consolato Generale d’Italia Los Angeles; Instituto Italiano d’Cultura; Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West Los Angeles (IACCW); Italia Enit – Agenzia Nationale di Turismo; L’Italo-Americano; Fondazione Italia; and Patrons of Italian Culture.

The Italian Studies Council is a philanthropic group whose goal is to bridge higher learning in Italian Studies with the possibilities and needs of the community locally and abroad. The Council aims to support Italian Studies at Chapman and raise students’ awareness regarding the potential applications of their studies in various areas of cultural, artistic, and business entrepreneurship. For more information regarding the Italian Studies Council, click here.

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