Ms.Mariani-May was joined for the ceremony by Marilisa Allegrini, proprietor of Veneto wine producer, Allegrini; Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, organizers of Vinitaly and the Vinitaly World Tour, as well as representatives from the American Cancer Society.
The closing bell ceremony formed the highlight of a series of events marking the presentation of a $45,000 donation to the American Cancer Society by VinItaly, an Italian trade organization dedicated to the international promotion of Italian wines, and organizer of the largest wine fair in the world.
In a short address to traders on the floor of the largest electronic screen-based equity securities trading market in the U.S., Ms. Mariani-May observed: “In Italy, wine is rarely enjoyed without a meal and a meal is not complete without a glass of wine. This integral part of our Italian culture is also a serious business and key to the Italian economy and international trade.” Ms Mariani-May concluded with a toast to fellow Italian winemakers, including Ms. Allegrini, who are “breaking through traditional boundaries in vineyards and communications, charming the globe with value and quality.” She went on to thank VinItaly for its efforts to support and communicate the quality of Italian wine around the world.
Ranked as the number one imported wine in America last year, Italian wine has thrived even during the recent economic crisis, accounting for 32.5% of the imported wine market in the first half of 2010. Having such a stronghold in the largest wine market in the world distinguishes Italy fromits peers.
The closing bell ceremony was followed by the formal presentation of a check outside The NASDAQ Exchange in Times Square, after which Ms.Mariani-May and Ms. Allegrini participated as guests of honor at a VIPreception for the benefit of the American Cancer Society.