International business partner Arthur J. Furia recently hosted a private luncheon on behalf of the law firm to welcome Italy’s ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Armando Varricchio, on his first official visit to Miami.
More than 35 business, cultural and community leaders attended the luncheon at Shutts’ downtown Miami office, including Italian Consul General Gloria Bellelli, Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Russell Benford and Enterprise Florida’s Senior Vice President of International Trade Development Manny Mencia.
Ambassador Varricchio explained that the purpose of his visit to Miami was to better understand the Italian influence in the region and to strengthen the nation’s presence in South Florida. Although consumer goods and the Italian marine industry are fundamental to Italy’s links with South Florida, there are economic opportunities being examined in the health sector as well as infrastructure, public works and creative industries.
“We are honored to have hosted Ambassador Varricchio during his visit to Miami,” said Furia. “South Florida is a natural gateway to different countries given its geographical location. With the increase in Italian foreign nationals residing in our community and ongoing Italian developments, we anticipate a marked increase in investment opportunities for Italy and a welcoming, sophisticated marketplace.”
Furia, who is active in the Italian and Italian-American communities both locally and nationally, serves as General Counsel of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and is a member of its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is also the State of Florida representative for the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy (AMCHAM). For nearly 30 years, Furia has actively organized numerous business and trade development missions to Italy.
Earlier that day Furia organized a breakfast meeting with Dr. Eduardo Padron, Miami-Dade College’s president, at Dr. Padron’s office where the ambassador and Padron discussed the educational and cultural bridges between MDC and Italy, particularly as to the Fashion Institute, IDEA Center, Culinary Institute and music and arts sectors. The ambassador also entertained questions from a cross-section of Honors College students.
“We’re delighted to welcome Ambassador Varricchio to South Florida,” said Bowman Brown, chairman of Shutts’ executive committee and a prominent international banking lawyer. “Building partnerships across international lines is key for South Florida’s community and for us as a firm.”