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Mario Batali & Federica Marchionni Named Honorees of New York City's 2016 Columbus Day Parade


Chef, Author and Philanthropist Mario Batali and Federica Marchionni will join Grand Marshal Robert LaPenta in the Columbus Citizens Foundation’s 2016 Columbus Day Celebrations

New York, NY, July 11, 2016 - The Columbus Citizens Foundation announced today that it has named culinary trailblazer Mario Batali and visionary business leader Federica Marchionni as honorees of the 2016 Columbus Day Parade. They will join top executive Robert LaPenta, who was previously announced as 2016 Grand Marshal.

Angelo Vivolo, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, said of the announcement: “Mario and Federica are not only leaders in their respective industries, but they are also true visionaries admired throughout the city. Their selection as honorees is a testament to their many accomplishments. To have our Grand Marshal Robert LaPenta lead the parade with Mario and Federica by his side speaks to the vitality and importance of Italians and Italian Americans in the fields of food, fashion and business.”

Batali is a celebrated and much beloved New Yorker, and has received multiple awards and recognition for his cookbooks, restaurants and Eataly marketplaces. He can be seen every weekday hosting ABC’s daytime talk show, “The Chew”.

“Italians and Italian Americans over the years have made a huge culinary impact in the United States and particularly New York City,” Batali remarked, “And I’m proud to be a part of that history.”

Marchionni most recently headed renowned US clothing brand Lands’ End and has the distinction of being the only female Italian CEO of a major US company. She has also held positions as brand chief at Ferrari and President of Dolce&Gabana USA Inc.

“I am very proud of my Italian heritage and equally proud to be in my adoptive country of the United States,” Marchionni said, “Whether through movies, fashion, food or lifestyle trends, Italians have the ability to cast a spell on America and the world, and I love being a part of that long tradition.”

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. This educational support resonates strongly with the 2016 honorees. “With hard work, resilience and the right opportunities, extraordinary things can happen,” Marchionni commented, “And the Columbus Citizens Foundation helps provide those opportunities.”

“Education is a vital building block that so many children do not receive,” said Batali, “I am happy to be helping support a Foundation that provides scholarship to so many deserving students.”

The annual Columbus Day Parade, organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation and presented by the Conair Corporation, 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 Columbus Day Parade begins at 11:30am EST on Monday, October 10 and will air live locally on WABC-7 from 12 noon to 3 pm EST.