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Dr. Laura L. Forese And Thomas Iovino Named Honorees Of New York City’s 2017 Columbus Day Parade


Top Healthcare Executive Dr. Laura L. Forese and Construction Industry Leader Thomas Iovino Will Join Grand Marshal Leonard Riggio in the Columbus Citizens Foundation’s 2017 Columbus Day Celebration

NEW YORK – July 20, 2017 – The Columbus Citizens Foundation today announced Thomas Iovino, the Founder of Judlau Contracting, Inc., and CEO, Judlau Enterprises, LLC, and Dr. Laura L. Forese, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian, as honorees of the 2017 Columbus Celebration. They will join Barnes & Noble Founder and Chairman Leonard Riggio, who was previously announced as 2017 Grand Marshal.Angelo Vivolo, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, said of the announcement: “Thomas and Laura demonstrate what it means to be Italian-American. Through their hard work and dedication, they are leaders in their respective fields and in the community. It is an honor to have such successful and inspiring Italian-Americans join Grand Marshal Leonard Riggio in leading the parade.”

Dr. Forese serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian. She is responsible for achieving NewYork-Presbyterian’s operating targets, and implementing a patient-centered strategic vision and culture across the enterprise. Dr. Forese, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, has been a Columbia University faculty member since 1993. In addition, she is the Chairperson of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Research Hospital Board and is a founding Board Member of the Matthew Larson Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Dr. Forese commented; “It is such a thrill to take part in one of New York City’s largest parades, and it is an honor to be recognized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation. I can’t wait to join Len and Tom as we march up Fifth Avenue.”

Native New Yorker Iovino is a member of several organizations such as the World Presidents’ Organization and the Chief Executives Organization, in addition to serving as CEO of Judlau Enterprises. He is also an active philanthropist and is dedicated to the New York community. He founded the Iovino Foundation in 2006, served as a weekly volunteer for 20 years at the Huntington Hospital in Huntington, NY, and served as President of the Suffolk County Family Service League.

On being named a 2017 Honoree, Mr. Iovino had this to say, “As a longtime member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, I’m so proud to support its scholarship program and promote the culture and advancement of Italian-Americans.”

The annual Columbus Day Parade, organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, is the world's largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and culture in the United States.

The Columbus Day Parade was first started in 1929 when New York City businessman and Italian immigrant Generoso Pope led a parade from East Harlem to Columbus Circle and has since become an ongoing celebration of the contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans to the United States. The theme of this year’s parade is “A Celebration of Italian-American Authors,” and was created by Grand Marshal Leonard Riggio. Mr. Riggio is inviting all Italian-American authors from across the country to march up Fifth Avenue with him in the parade.

In addition to planning the Columbus Day Parade, the Columbus Citizens Foundation currently provides over 700 scholarships at elementary, high school and college level to Italian-American students who have academic ability but lack financial means.

The Columbus Day Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday, October 9 and will air live locally on WABC-7 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. For more information on the parade, please visit

The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929. For more information, contact

Laura L. Forese, MD, MPH, is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian, an academic medical center and healthcare delivery network in the Greater New York area, providing high quality, patient-centered care in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. NewYork-Presbyterian includes 10 campuses/hospitals with more than 4,300 beds, 39,000 employees and $7.8 billion in revenue.

Dr. Forese graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, and Alpha Omega Alpha from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. She also holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the former Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (now NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center). She is married to Dr. Robert Downey, a thoracic surgeon and they have 3 children, Meagan, Caitlin, and James.

Thomas Iovino is a successful entrepreneur with four decades of experience in founding and managing companies in the sector. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer of OHL North America, one of the region’s leading construction firms and a major unit of the OHL Group headquartered in Madrid, Spain. In this capacity he oversaw the construction activities of OHL North America and its divisions, including Judlau Contracting, Inc. (which he founded in 1981), OHL USA, OHL Canada, Community Asphalt, OHL Building and OHL Arellano.

Mr. Iovino is also the founder and CEO of several successful specialty contractors, including J-Track, LLC & J-Track Central; TC Electric, LLC; Welkin Mechanical, LLC; and Environmental and Infrastructure Group. These companies perform track, signal, mechanical, and demolition & environmental remediation work respectively.
Concurrently, Mr. Iovino is a leader in the construction industry, a member of the World Presidents’ Organization, the Chief Executives Organization, and Construction Industry Roundtable. He is also a member of The Moles, a fraternal organization of the heavy construction industry that honored him with the prestigious 2012 Moles Member Award for outstanding achievements in construction. Also, Mr. Iovino is a Trustee on the Board of Directors of the Norton Museum in Palm Beach.

Mr. Iovino received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from RPI. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New York State. Mr. Iovino and his wife, Judy, live in New York City and have two children, Lauren and Michael, and four grandchildren.

Jefferson Wilson
Director of Marketing & Communications
Columbus Citizens Foundation
Phone: (212) 249-9923 x242
Fax: (212) 737-4413