Local resident receives Italian service award
By Kyle Orlowicz / Reporter
RUTHERFORD (Sept. 16, 2010) — Vincent Lampariello, who has all the indications and credentials of a young retiree, works every day. He is a broker for American distributors of Italian goods and their Italian exporters.
“I get up in the morning, go to meetings with clients,” Lampariello told The Leader, describing his daily routine. “Sometimes I do cold calls.”
Further explaining cold calls, Lampariello said they are “like canvassing.” Essentially, Lampariello goes into stores at random to establish new clients for Italian food companies. Perhaps it is this dedication, at age 66, that earned him the Platinum Award for Service from the Italian Trade Commission. The distinction, bestowed upon the local resident in June, is just one, of many achievements, for Lampariello.
A home office, engulfed by books and paperwork, tells a story of accomplishment and hard work. Lampariello’s two degrees from New York University hang on the wall above his desk; his bachelor’s degree for accounting and marketing hangs on one side, while his master’s in international marketing on the other.
One could easily assume that these are his proudest achievements; however, rolled up in the corner of the room is what he considers to be his finest accomplishment and a prized possession. In the corner is a laminated poster made years ago, when Lampariello worked for what was then his father’s company.
The importer’s primary product was pasta, so Lampariello thought it would be a great idea to make a promotional poster focusing on the food. He produced a chart containing all the different types of pasta he could think of, their measurements, their recipes — all written in the brackets of the poster in both English and Italian — and, in the middle of all this pasta mosaic, the name of his father’s company, D. Lampariello and Son.
After college, Lampariello went straight to work with his father. There were other job offers, but the family business attracted him the most. Lampariello admitted to The Leader that at the time, it was not the importance of family or a passion for Italian food that led him to join the business.
“I went with my father because it was more money (than other job offers),” he said laughing. “Simple. I went the easiest way. I didn’t care much for the business back then.”
Through such anecdotes, Lampariello honesty and humility shines through. He has no interest in manufacturing a legend for himself. His comfort lies with foods and has grown to love the products he imports, citing pasta and olive oil as his personal favorites.
Lampariello never misses an opportunity to visit Italy, whether for business or pleasure.
Lampariello does not care for hot button-issues affecting Italian-Americans. Though he is proud of his heritage, he shows no interest in indulging in criticisms of “Jersey Shore,” beyond telling The Leader, “I just watched a little bit; they’re jerks.”
He is more concerned with the growing rift between a young generation of Italian-Americans and their heritage. He considers himself a “modern crusader” for cultural enlightenment. At a recent trip to an Italian bakery, he pointed out a common inaccuracy to a young employee.
“I mentioned to her that when somebody orders a cannoli, they should ask for a connolo because that’s the singular,” he recalled.
In a more serious nature, he discussed the mischaracterization of Benito Mussolini in American culture, as well as how Alexander Graham Bell garnered ideas for the telephone from Antonio Meucci, an Italian-American contemporary of Bell.
Since his father, Dominick died in 1980, Lampariello has run D. Lampariello and Son with success, while fulfilling many roles in other areas of the company and the Italian Food Industry.
With a significantly reduced role than his father had at the start of the company, Lampariello’s career has come full circle. And after receiving the second-highest distinction offered by the Italian Trade Commission — the highest, Hall of Fame, was given to his father — one would think this a perfect time for Lampariello to hang it up.
But, with his cultural crusade in full swing and a desire to provide a healthier Italian product to the American public, Lampariello is planning his next business move around organic Italian imports.
Lampariello is also designing a Web site, to promote his new venture, that would serve as an encyclopedia for Italian food products. The Web site is a far cry from his pasta poster-chart, but one that will hopefully return D. Lampariello and Son to its glory days.
Call The Leader’s Editorial Department at 201-438-8700 ext. 214