BY: Jefferson Wilson
Columbus Citizens Foundation announced today that Tom Golisano, founder of Paychex and noted philanthropist, will serve as the 2022 Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Golisano’s visionary business acumen led to the creation and success of Paychex, which streamlined payroll and human resources services to businesses nation-wide.
Golisano is also an investor in 18 businesses across the country. Golisano’s charitable work is undertaken by the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, with a primary focus on awarding grants to organizations that provide opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
The annual Columbus Day Parade, the largest celebration of Italian American heritage and culture in the United States, will take place on Monday, October 10, 2022, beginning at 11:30 am. As Grand Marshal, Golisano will lead marching bands, floats and over 100 marching groups up the Fifth Avenue parade route, from 44th Street to 72nd Street. The parade will air live on WABC-TV from 12 noon to 3 pm.
In speaking of Mr. Golisano as Grand Marshal, Columbus Citizens Foundation President Christopher Loiacono praised his success as a prominent Italian American both in business and philanthropic endeavors.
“We are honored to have Tom as this year’s Grand Marshal. As a visionary in the business world and a truly charitable individual, he is the perfect candidate to lead our 2022 Parade,” Mr. Loiacono said. “Tom’s personal philanthropy and the work of the Golisano Foundation have greatly benefited the state of New York, and we are thrilled to have him lead New York City’s Columbus Day Parade this fall.”
“It’s an incredible feeling to join the great Italians and Italian-Americans who have served as Grand Marshal in the past,” Mr. Golisano said, “My Italian heritage is so important to me, and it’s one of the many reasons why I am excited to be a part of this major celebration of all things Italian.”
The tradition of a Columbus Day Parade began when Generoso Pope led a group of Italian Americans from East Harlem to Columbus Circle in 1929. The parade was formalized as an official celebration of Columbus and Italian heritage in 1944, and this year’s event marks its 78th Anniversary. Groups, institutions, and partners from across the United States and Italy will take part in this year’s celebration.
The 2021 Grand Marshal was Michael Pascucci. Prior Grand Marshals of New York’s Columbus Day Parade have included: Sophia Loren; Frank Sinatra; Massimo Ferragamo; Joseph Plumeri; Luciano Pavarotti; Guy Chiarello; Frank Bisignano; Lidia Bastianich; Leonard Riggio; Kenneth Langone; Robert LaPenta; Joe DiMaggio; Alberto Cribiore; Mario Andretti; Joseph Perella; Roberto Cavalli and Maria Bartiromo.
Event: Columbus Day Parade
Location: Fifth Avenue from 44th – 72nd Streets, New York City
Date: Monday, October 10, 2022
Hours: 11:30 AM – 3:00 p.m.
Broadcast: WABC-TV, 12 Noon – 3:00 p.m.
ABOUT COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION
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 [email protected]
ABOUT TOM GOLISANO
B. Thomas Golisano is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader who has demonstrated an ongoing dedication and commitment to building innovative businesses, supporting numerous non-profit organizations, and advocating for inclusive health and several civic issues.
Mr. Golisano is the founder of Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources, and insurance services. Tom Golisano served as Paychex’s president and chief executive officer from 1971, when he founded the company, until October 2004, when he retired from his position as president and CEO. Golisano served as Board Chairman for the last 17 years. With more than 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex has 16,000 employees, serves almost 700,000 clients in the U.S. and Northern Europe, pays one in 12 U.S. private-sector employees, and is the largest HR company for small to medium-sized businesses. It is headquartered in Rochester, New York.
Mr. Golisano and Paychex have consistently been recognized by business, financial and national media. Mr. Golisano was listed among the FORBES top 10 bosses in the U.S. for three consecutive years; the annual ranking is based on chief executives who provide the best balance between their compensation and shareholder return.
In 1985 Mr. Golisano launched his first philanthropic endeavor by establishing the Golisano Foundation, which is now one of the world’s largest foundations that award grants to organizations providing opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities. His philanthropic contributions, both personal and through the Golisano Foundation, have exceeded $330 million helping hospitals, educational institutions, and many other organizations. Three children’s hospitals bear his name.
His commitment to educational excellence includes the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT. Niagara University’s B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences, the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth College, the Golisano Community Engagement Center at Roberts Wesleyan College and many more.
His global commitment to advance inclusive health for people with intellectual disabilities has exceeded $95 million supporting the Golisano Autism Center, the Golisano Center for Special Needs at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing at St. John Fisher College, the Golisano Center for Community Health at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Center at URMC, the Golisano Medical Oncology Center at Niagara Memorial and more. The launch of Special Olympics Healthy Communities in 2012 has improved health care for people in more than 120 countries on six continents.
His advocacy for civic and political causes encompasses founding the Independence Party in New York State, which acquired ballot status in 1995; a three-time run for NYS governor; establishing Responsible New York, a political movement to return Albany to its rightful owners – the taxpayers. In 2018 Mr. Golisano launched Tax My Property Fairly, an online resource for property owners in Upstate NY to get information and tools to fight for fair property taxes. He has also advocated for initiatives to reduce illegal drug trafficking, alcohol abuse and teen pregnancy. From 2005 to 2013, he was a major underwriter of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
Mr. Golisano is married to Monica Seles, professional tennis player and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He has two children, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
SOURCE: Columbus Citizens Foundation
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