10/01/17 - Washington, D.C., entrepreneur and philanthropist, Joseph Bruno, and racing legend Mario Andretti were honored by the Lido Civic Club of Washington D.C. at the group’s annual Past Presidents’ Night Gala to be held at Piazza Italia in the Italian Embassy on January 16, 2010. Mario Andretti received the Lido Civic Club Lifetime Achievement Awad, and Joe Bruno received the Lido civic Club Man of the Year Award.
Born in Sicily in 1948, Bruno came to America with his family in 1956. He attended St. John’s College High School in Washington and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in accounting. He became a CPA and worked at Peat Marwick, where he was made a partner in 1981. He spent a few years working for the firm in Italy, trading in a Sicilian dialect for an Italian immersion course so that he could communicate with Italian clients, which included Selenia, MotelAgip, and Assitalia (the largest insurance company in Italy).
In 1989, he joined Coopers and Lybrand as a partner and in 1995 started a health care firm that was later sold to Bell Canada. In 2004, Joe became head of Building Hope, a charter school organization created by Sallie Mae. Under his leadership, the group has developed new school properties totaling more than $300 million. His civic and philanthropic activities include positions on numerous boards, including Georgetown University Hospital. Joe is married to Cynthia Marini; their two daughters, Francesca and Cinzia, attend St John’s College High School.
Mario Andretti, a racing icon considered by many to be the greatest race-car driver in the history of the sport, received the LIdo Club Lifetime Achievement Award. He was introduced by long-time friend Rev. Philip De Rea, the Director of Development for the Missionaries of the Sacrted Heart. Over the course of five decades, Andretti has won at virtually every level of racing since his arrival in America from his native Italy in 1953.
Mario was born in Montona, Italy (now Croatia), near Trieste. After World War II, the Andrettis decided to leave the area and for seven years lived in a refugee camp in Lucca, awaiting visas for the U.S. They settled in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, when Mario and his twin brother, Aldo, were 15. Both boys were enamored of car racing and just four years after arriving in America, Mario’s career started to take off.
Today Andretti is a successful businessman off the track, with enterprises that include a winery in Napa Valley, a petroleum business, several car dealerships, and a racing school. Two books have been written about his life and a documentary about him plays at Imax theaters worldwide. He has been a guest on nearly all the network television talk shows and his life has been the subject of episodes for A&E Biography and Fox Sports, among others. He remains the most popular interview in racing and the most respected voice in motorsports.
Christina Carlucci, who sang the National Anthem, was selected as the Washington DC representative to the Miss Italia Usa Contest.
Lou Scalfari the outgoing president of the Lido Civic Club, swore-in the new President, D.C. attorney, Thomas Mauro. Loreto Clavelli, the Lido Club
Co-chairman introduced some of the students who had been the beneficiaries of Lido scholarship awards.
The Master of Ceremonies for the Lido Gala were Ambassador and former Congresswoman Connie Morella, along with John Salamone, former Executive Director of NIAF. •
Article by Francesco Isgro, Reprinted from Voce Italiana, January 2010 and updated on Jan. 17, 2010..
-Pictures by Francesco Isgro and William Guptill