First Posted: 9/19/2013
James Deice, president of the Italian American Association of Luzerne County, announced Louis Ciampi has been selected as 2013 Person of the Year and Sam Falcone Sr. has been named to received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Both honors will be bestowed at the association’s 36th annual Columbus Day Banquet on Sunday, Oct. 13.
The banquet is scheduled for the Genetti Hotel and Conference Center, Wilkes-Barre, with cocktails from 5 to 6 p.m. (cash bar) and dinner to follow. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased from Louise Castellani (570-654-6454) or Judy Deice (570-654-7600). The event is open to the public but no tickets will be sold at the door.
Guest speaker will be Atty. Sam Sanguedolce, first assistant district attorney of Luzerne County.
Music for dancing will be by Danny Argo and Friends.
Those wishing to purchase a congratulatory ad in the program booklet may call James Deice at 570-654-7600. Deadline for ads is Sept. 27.
The banquet concludes the 2013 Columbus Day festivities which begin on Sunday, Oct. 7, with an Italian Mass celebrated at 11:15 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church of St. Joseph Marello Parish, William St., Pittston. Immediately following the mass, participants will proceed by car to the Christopher Columbus statue on S. Main Street, Pittston, for the annual laying of the wreath. Chairperson of the cermony at the statue is Judge Joseph Augello.
The annual ceremony, including flag raising, at Luzerne County Court House will be Friday, Oct. 11. Judge Augello is again chairperson.
Person of Year
Lou Ciampi Sr. has been a successful businessman, philanthropist and community leader for more than 50 years.
He started his career in the printing business working as a teenage apprentice in the Pagnotti Coal Company’s in-house print shop. After serving in the military, he worked at various printing jobs before opening his own business, Lou’s Bike Shop, in the mid-1970s.
In 1980, Lou and his partner Ted Heoffner founded Independent Graphics Inc. In 1984, Lou purchased the company. Shortly thereafter, he founded the Craftsman’s Club.
Lou later moved the business from Wilkes-Barre to Port Blanchard where it blossomed into a full service print shop. In 2002, the company was named Small Business of the Year by the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. When the New York Yankees Triple A franchise was moved to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, Independent Graphics became their exclusive printer. The company is also the sponsor of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s Momentum Magazine.
The company currently employs 27 people and runs three shifts.
In 2013, Lou was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
Over the years, Lou has supported various causes and organizations including Little League and mini football teams, high school teams, cheering squads, the Heart Association, Garden Village Youth Racing.
In the 1970s, Lou was president of the West Pittston Rams junior football organization and the general manager of Greater Pittston American Legion baseball.
He is a graduate of West Pittston High School. He and his wife Marianne have been married for 51 years. They have four children: Louis Jr., Michelle Reilly, Joseph and Jimmy, and six grandchildren.
As with Lou Ciampi Sr., Sam Falcone Sr. has been a highly successful businessman and philanthropist. At 92 years old, he is still active in the Greater Pittston community.
A son of Italian immigrants, Carmelo and Carrie Zanta Falcone, Sam is one of eight children. He has been a lifelong resident of Greater Pittston and had been married to the former Yolanda Gatti Falcone for 50 years at the time of her passing.
Sam is the father of four children: Carmen, married to Carmella; Tina, married to Richard Rava; Giovanna, married to Atty. Joseph Saporito Jr.; and Atty. Samuel Jr., married to Suzanne. He has eleven grandchildren.
Sam dedicated his professional life to his family business, Falcone Beverage Company, which was started by his father, Carmello Falcone, and along with Sam, brothers Raymond, Charles, Carmen, Leonard and Angelo. Sam worked at the family business for nearly 60 years.
Among his professional, civic and charitable involvements are: American Cancer Society, Nay Aug Park Zoo, Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, YMCA, sponsorship of the Carmello Falcone MVP Award for the annual Pittston Area-Wyoming Area football game, past vice-president of the Malt Beverage Distributing Assoc., board member of the Pa. Importing Distributors Assoc., past board member American Lung Assoc., Better Business Bureau, St. Rocco’s Church Holy Name Society, past president Montedoro Society, past board member Junior Achievement, G.P. Chamber of Commerce, W-B Chamber of Commerce, Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Grand Marshal Pittston Tomato Festival Parade, American Red Cross, Rails to Trails, American Heart Assoc., Susquehanna River Watch, Fourth Degree member Knights of Columbus, founding member and first president Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame, Advisory Council Pittston Child Development Center.