What's up with WTI: Editorial # 146

Dec 18, 2021 623

Ciao from Rome!  

Dear Friends, another difficult year comes to an end. Twelve months ago we hoped that by this December we would be out of the pandemic, but that is not yet the case. It's been a tough year, something has improved but we're not out of the woods yet. We can only protect ourselves and hope that in twelve months this nightmare will be over.

To thank all the wonderful 65 friends who are part of our team with me, I thought of creating a mosaic with our faces that make up the logo of We the Italians. It's my way of hugging all of them, scattered in 39 States of America and in 14 Italian regions: in 2022 we count to reach the goal of having Ambassadors in all the 50 United States and all the 20 Italian Regions, and if we are good and lucky other people with specific tasks will be added to help us build a better and stronger We the Italians. In fact, 2022 should be a year of innovation and growth for us: we are working on it, and we absolutely must be sure to make it happen.

If you haven’t done it yet, please check our website for the exclusive interview, our last of this tenth year of interviews, that the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs gave me. It was a big honor for me to be able to interview such a high ranking Minister of the Italian Government. For the first time, the Minister announces that 2024 will be the official year of root tourism, il turismo delle radici, to welcome all the Italians all over the world to comeback to Italy to the places their family is originally from.

This interview, like the other 23 of 2021, will be in our next book, the 2021 Yearbook of We the Italians: we are already working on it, it will be ready very very soon and I hope that you all will want to buy it. It will be our eighth book. Stay tuned!

Christmas is coming soon, and we want you to remember that our virtual store is the perfect place where to buy gifts for your family, your friends and – why not – for yourself! You can find more than 20 products in different colors: t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, onesies, mugs, notebooks, pillows, totes, tapestries, pins, laptop and smartphone cases, magnets, stickers, masks. Buy We the Italians! We chose Teepublic for our store not by chance. They aim to provide an experience you can feel good about, by sourcing garments from ethical suppliers and using recyclable shipping bags. Printers use DTG inks that are 100% biodegradable, water-based, contain no animal by-products, and are vegan-friendly. Misprinted items and returns are repurposed, recycled, or donated – nothing goes in the landfill. It’s important for us: we could choose different partners who would give us a higher percentage of what is sold, but we are happy with gaining a few bucks less but making our part in trying to save our planet.

Our We the Italians’ family keeps growing, and we have three new Ambassadors in three States.

Sandra Gengler is our Ambassador in Minnesota, the North Star State. Born and raised in Ancona, Sandra came to the US to attend Indiana University where she received a BS and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business. While in college she met her husband, Bill. They live in Minneapolis and have two adult children. Professionally, she held positions in brand management, new products development and global marketing communications with Fortune 500 companies. 10 yrs. ago, she joined the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul where she has been deeply involved in its mission and programs. Elected President in 2018, she continues to expand its reach and build a stronger presence in the region.

Paolo Bartesaghi is our Ambassador in Iowa, the Hawkeye State. Paolo was born in Lecco, in Lombardy. He grew up in Milan and began designing his own jewelry line. In 1997 he and moved to Des Moines, IA. He served on the board of the Des Moines Metro Opera. In 2010he became President of Iowa Sister States in 2012. Paolo has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa for more than 15 years and has served as President since 2016. He is currently a travel consultant and organizes boutique trips to Italy.

Michele Fabbro is our Ambassador in West Virginia, the Mountain State. Michele is a second generation Italian American whose four grandparents immigrated to the Ohio Valley from Abruzzo and Puglia. She holds M.A. degrees in school administration and Library/Media Technology. Her interest in Italian immigration led to a 2019 Fellowship awarded by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at CUNY in New York City. Michele is an active member of the Italian American Cultural Club of Steubenville and serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival.

Well my friends, once again it’s all for now. Please stay safe, please stay healthy. Have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a fantastic, safe and very happy New Year. I won’t gonna stop saying this: the future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! Ciao from Rome

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