September Recap from the Honorary Consul of Italy to North Carolina

Oct 11, 2018 100

BY: Claudio Carpano

CCI-NC had a very busy September and we are thankful for all the support shown during the visit of the Honorable Pier Forlano, Consul General of Italy in Philadelphia. On September 18th, we were in Raleigh for the 3rd Round Table on Italian Technology & Italian FDI in North Carolina. The evening started off with a lovely reception, where business leaders, students, and economic development staff mingled.

The Round Table itself showcased three Italian companies here in North Carolina - Kayser-Roth, Aleandri Group, and Delcon USA. Before their managers presented, however, NC State University's Poole College of Management, CCI-NC's partner for the event, welcomed us to their campus and explained their dual degree program - an excellent choice for students thinking about international business. If you are a business owner and are in need of any qualified interns, please look through their 2018-2019 IBDD Resume Book today!

Hon. Pier Forlano spoke about the importance of the Italian Trade Agency for Italian businesses in the US, as well as some of the unknown, yet remarkable statistics of important Italian advancements in 2018 alone. For example, did you know that Italy overtook Germany in terms of chemical production? Or that Alessio Figalli, an Italian, was one of four recipients of the Fields Award for Mathematics?

Dr. Carpano, Honorary Consul of Italy to North Carolina, brought this back to a North Carolina specific context, by sharing statistics on the more than 100 Italian companies that call North Carolina their home. The industries are wide-ranging, including many in the manufacturing sector, and overall they employ over 12,000 people in the state. Bottom line - Italy means business!

Mr. Gianni Orsini, VP of Operations at Kayser-Roth, gave a sense of the magnitude of some of the Italian companies in our area. With four world-class production centers (3 in NC), three distribution centers, their US headquarters (in NC), and a sales and marketing office in NY, they employee over 1200 people. Kayser-Roth uses technological innovation to deliver the fashion that you love in brands such as Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Hue, No nonsense, and Burlington. With state-of-the-art Italian equipment, they are making socks without the annoying toe seam, as just one example of their innovation in the apparel industry.

Mr. Roberto Rossi, CEO of Aleandri SpA, the parent company of NC-based Aleandri Group, discussed Italian innovation in the construction industry. North Carolina and the southeast as a whole are currently faced with workforce challenges - there is too much infrastructure work to do and not enough skilled workers to do it. Aleandri faced and overcame similar difficulties in Italy through, for example, their innovative design and execution of bridge abutments to reduce safety hazards and time of construction. They are now looking to bring this technology to NC.

Ms. Barbara Sala, General Manager of Delcon s.r.l., the parent company of NC-based Delcon USA, is looking to be a disruptor in the blood industry. By having an open innovation and agile framework, they are going directly to their customers to assess their needs and create new technology together. One such project is helping with the ergonomic concerns of the operators, while also being a more advanced machine. Using augmented reality, as in the image here, they can prototype new machines faster and get a feel of how they will fit in their environments. Delcon USA is currently looking for partners in the US for their innovation lab.

Following the lively discussion, moderated by Dr. Valentina Cecchi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering at UNC Charlotte, there was a private dinner with the panelists and several distinguished guests, including the Honorable Elaine Marshall, Secretary of State for North Carolina; the Honorable Nancy McFarlane, Mayor of Raleigh; and Mr. Christopher Chung, CEO of the NCEDP.

Following the events in Raleigh, Hon. Forlano traveled to Charlotte on Wednesday, September 19th. First, he stopped at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was welcomed by over 50 faculty and students. The many programs with connections and cooperations with Italy were highlighted at the reception organized by Dr. Daniela Cunico Dal Pra and the Italian club.

Then, Salice America, an award-winning leader for the production of concealed hinges, drawer slides, and sliding door systems (like those found in your kitchen cabinet doors), hosted Hon. Forlano for a lunch and reception with Italian business leaders and Italian citizens in Charlotte, catered by the renowned Italian restaurant, Aqua e Vino. Citizens heard how Hon. Forlano can be a resource for them here in North Carolina and learned of the expanded services coming to the Honorary Consulate of Italy in Charlotte. Starting in November, the Charlotte office will be able to help Italian citizens with their passport renewals, a service that has long been needed in the state.

Finally, the day wrapped up with a reception at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Here, Hon. Forlano met with the Honorable Julie Eislet, Mayor Pro Tem of Charlotte; Charlotte City Council Members Larken Egleston and LaWana Mayfield; as well as members of the international community in Charlotte.

SOURCE: Honorary Consul of Italy to North Carolina

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