We at BAIA wish to express our deepest appreciation to Italian Community Services (ICS) for honoring our business association at their 96th anniversary dinner on Sunday Nov. 4th at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. A special thanks to Executive Director Anna Maria Pierini and Elena Angeli for acknowledging how both BAIA and ICS maintain a strong commitment and passion for strengthening the Italian community, “from new immigrants to those who are Italian at heart.”
For the past 7 years, BAIA has strived to establish an active business community of Italian professionals and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area thanks to the gracious goodwill and dedication of co-founders Matteo Daste, Giorgio Ghersi, Michele Ursino, our Board of Directors and Governance, our interns, and all our volunteers. We share this same dedication with ICS. For nearly a century they have improved the lives and welfare of Italians and Italian-Americans through “communication, cooperation, and commitment” as Donald (Don) Parachini, ICS Executive Committee member, said during his anniversary dinner speech. Our association also embraces Don’s 3 Cs.
Communication: Social Media, Networking, and Insights
Today, BAIA has multiple touchpoints, both online and offline, for our community to network and share ideas and opportunities. Through our online community, BAIA Link, the geographical barrier is lifted and anyone in Italy, in the US, and worldwide, can openly contribute. The same is true with BAIAbase, a business directory of Italian companies in the US and American companies in Italy. With close to 1,500 fans on Facebook, 1,000 group members on LinkedIn, and 1,100 followers on Twitter, social media truly allows us to communicate with our community in a matter of seconds and build relationships across borders.
In addition to year-round content-rich events, BAIA Aperitivo, held every first Wednesday of the month at different San Francisco locations, is the place for Italians to network, from Italian-Americans, Italians working in the Bay Area, to Italians visiting for business or pleasure.
Cooperation: The Italian Way
The way in which BAIA operates, both within the Governance and Board of Directors, is such that we strive toward cooperation and decisions are taken collectively, weighed on each member’s area of expertise. BAIA, along with its Italian counterpart BAIA Italy in Rome, cooperates with numerous other business associations, Italian and European, in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Italy to organize events and better serve our community.
Commitment: It’s Not Enough To Rely On Our Culture
As Consul General of Italy in San Francisco, Dr. Battocchi pointed out, it’s “not enough to rely on our culture, we must continue and strive forward.” Both ICS and BAIA know this well.
Since 1916, when it was founded by A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America, Marco Fontana of Delmonte Corp., Andrea Sbarbaro of Italian Swiss Colony, and Domingo Ghirardelli of Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, Italian Community Services has renewed itself throughout generations thanks to the commitment and hard work of its members.
BAIA shares this same commitment. Every two years, our governance elects a new Executive Director. With a new executive director come new projects and a new chapter is written. Giorgio Ghersi, our first Executive Director, took on the challenge to build the foundations of present day BAIA. Following Giorgio, Matteo Fabiano achieved to grow BAIA’s visibility to new heights. In September of 2010, through Elisabetta Ghisini’s leadership, BAIA’s core mission to create an open, professional business network for Italian expats was achieved.
Introducing BAIA’s New Executive Director: Veronica Rosso
For 2012 and beyond, our association has broadened its vision to expand our network beyond the Italian and the Italian American community and include more proactively the local community of American professionals in the Bay Area.
With our renewed mission, we at BAIA are very pleased to introduce Veronica Rosso as BAIA’s Executive Director. Please join us in congratulating Veronica! Since 2008, Veronica has shown her commitment to BAIA and, under her leadership, we see a bright future ahead.
Through communication, cooperation, and commitment, both BAIA and Italian Community Services maintain a passion for helping and furthering the Italian and American community. In closing, please consider supporting BAIA, a non-profit organization, as we rely completely on the goodwill and support of our volunteers, members, and sponsors, as well as on the generosity of our donors. Your donation goes a long way in helping your Italian community strive.
Sergio Mandrone & The BAIA Team