Meet the IACC’s Newly-Elected and Re-Elected Board Members

On April 15 at the IACC’s Annual Membership Meeting, we announced the results of our Board of Directors elections. The IACC is pleased to congratulate first time Directors Luca Balestra (UniCredit) and Marco Petrini (Monini North America, Inc.) as well as the following incumbent Directors elected to a second term: Venanzio Ciampa (The Promotion Factory), Marco Lastrico (Barabino & Partners) and Cristiano Villani (Bravo International).

Luca Balestra, UniCredit

Mr. Balestra is the Head of the European Corporate Division – Managing Director for UniCredit’s New York branch. He is responsible for inbound corporate and investment banking business from European and international markets. Before joining UniCredit, Mr. Balestra worked for Capitalia Banca di Roma for 18 years, overseeing operations in New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

Mr. Balestra earned his bachelor’s degree in Business and Commerce from L.U.I.S.S. in Rome and holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He and his wife reside in New York and have three adult children.

Venanzio Ciampa, The Promotion Factory

Venanzio Ciampa founded The Promotion Factory in 2004 after successful stints in marketing and communications at the Swatch Group, the world’s largest watch company, and LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group as well as many collaborations with Kering. His work has attracted attention in marketing and media circles in the U.S. and Europe. He has been quoted in both the U.S. and British editions of Vanity Fair, the International New York Times, CBS Money Watch, and more. He has been profiled on numerous magazines and websites: Elite Traveler, A&H Magazine,,,,,,, and, to name a few.

Marco Lastrico, Barabino & Partners

Marco Lastrico is the youngest Partner of the Barabino & Partners Group – the leading PR and communications firm in Italy – and the CEO of the US branch (Barabino & Partners USA). With more than 15 years of experience as brand marketer and communications advisor, Marco has extensive experience leading the strategy, planning and delivery of integrated communication initiatives.

Marco has developed great expertise in strategic analysis, financial communication and Investor Relations, paired up with the international competences achieved prior to his role as CEO of the American division of Barabino & Partners where he works in communicating and positioning Italian companies and Made in Italy brands, particularly in the food and hospitality sectors, through PR, social media/influencer marketing and creative storytelling.

Marco has a degree in communication, a masters in financial communication and an executive education program from Harvard Business School in strategic marketing.

Marco Carlo Petrini, Monini North America, Inc.

Mr. Petrini has been running Monini North America, Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Monini S.p.A. in Spoleto – Italy, since 2000 after planning and starting it to help expand the presence of Monini Extra Virgin Olive Oils in America. Today Monini is the 7th largest extra virgin olive oil brand in North America. In addition to the Monini brand, Monini NA is also the importer of additional food quality brands from Italy like La Molisana (pasta) and De Rica (tomatoes) that were launched successfully in the US market in the last three years.

In addition to successfully managing the business, Mr. Petrini has been recognized by the American Culinary Foundation with an Honorary Degree in Culinary Arts, and holds a Diploma from the Olive Oil Tasting Panel Association MICO (Tuscany) obtained in 1995. He also teaches lessons and seminars regularly at Johnson & Wales University to undergraduate and graduate students in the Culinary Arts School.

Previously Mr. Petrini had overviewed the construction and opening of the first AIPC (American Italian Pasta Co.) mill and pasta factory in Excelsior Spring, MO between 1986 and 1988. He was also in charge of pasta exports from Italy to more than 50 countries for Spigadoro-Petrini S.p.A. The Spigadoro-Petrini Group managed five industrial plants in Italy for the production of pasta and animal food products.

Marco lives now in Connecticut with his wife Simona and his two sons Filippo and Michele. He graduated “cum laude” with a B.S. from the Boston College, Carrol School of Management in 1985 – double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. Prior, he obtained his high school diploma from Istituto San Gabriele in Rome, Italy.

Cristiano Villani, Pomì USA, Inc.

Cristiano Villani is an International Executive Director with extensive professional experience in the Food & Beverages (CPG). He is one of the founders of BRAVO International, Inc. and was recently named CEO of Pomì USA, Inc.

He has more than 30 years consolidated business experience, having held several executive positions over the last 20 years, delivering consistent business results for world-class consumer food companies.

Mr. Villani’s expertise spans Finance, Accounting, Sales & Marketing, near- and long-term strategy business development, start-ups, reorganization plans, JV and M&A, both in Italy and overseas.

Based in Hungary for more than 8 years, Mr. Villani has acquired a strong knowledge of both European and international markets, especially Central Eastern Europe and the US.

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