You’re invited to become part of Italy’s new renaissance on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the Culture and Business: An Italian Perspective conference presented by Chapman University Italian Studies Council.

This symposium will bring together innovative business leaders who are working at the crossroad of Italy and America to share stories and engage with new challenges and ideas. Join us for a series of presentations with distinguished speakers representing film, architecture, design, agriculture and other industries from California and Italy.

Special Guests:

Man smiling.Joseph Baird, Principal, Investor & Entrepreneur at Northwood Advisors
Joe Baird is Principal and Chief Innovation Offi cer at Northwood Advisors. He combines a background in finance, management consulting and analytics to help companies drive improvements in their decision making. He has worked with Global 100 and Middle Market companies around the world for the past twenty years. He also mentors entrepreneurs and
is an angel investor in Europe and in the US. Joe has roots in Piemonte and is very active in the redevelopment of his family’s village, which is increasingly a center of education as well as a regional sustainability model. He sits on several boards involved with technology, food &
sustainability and Italian-American business incubation. He calls home both Southern California and Northern Italy.

Man smiling.Victor Laruccia, Executive Director of San Diego Italian Film Festival
Victor Laruccia is the Executive Director of San Diego Italian Film Festival and former fi lm professor at Brown University & UCSD. Deeply passionate about cultural diversity and communications, Victor also worked in the fi elds of Telecommunications, Video and TV production, and as producer of documentaries and educational fi lms. Born in Chile to Italian parents, he was raised in Western Pennsylvania, and attended Yale and University of Maryland prior to UCSD. Key interest (after family) is promoting cultural diversity.

Woman smiling.Ilaria Mazzoleni, Principal at IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles
Ilaria Mazzoleni is an architect and the founder of IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles and faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Her conceptual work has been published globally, and her built work can be found in Italy, California, and Ghana. Ilaria has gained attention in the fi elds of sustainable architecture and biomimicry. Her professional and academic investigation relates to sustainable architecture on all scales of design with a research focus on biomimicry, where innovation in architecture and design is inspired by the processes and functions of nature. Ilaria leads NATURE, ART and HABITAT, a summer residency program in the Taleggio Valley near Bergamo that aims to unfold and display a sensitive type of culture that relates to nature as a source of inspiration and a measure of available resources.

Man smiling.Timothy O’Connell, CEO, Investor & Entrepreneur at H-FARM Ventures
Timonthy O’Connell is an Entrepreneur & Investor with more than 20 years of experience working with leading International companies and innovative start-ups. Currently, he manages the accelerator program at H-Farm ventures, Italy’s leading early stage venture group. He also represents Europe on the Advisory Board of the Global Accelerator Network. Timothy is also the Co-Founder and President of Vinitaly Wine Club, Europe’s leading online Italian wine shop; General Partner at Expand Partners, strategic consulting fi rm; and Board member of Seattle based, market leader in creative crowd sourcing.

Woman smiling.Emanuela Panebianco, Executive Director at Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West
Emanuela Panebianco is the Executive Director at Italy- America Chamber of Commerce West, a governmentlicensed organization that fosters bilateral trade between Italy and the Western United States. IACCW supports Italian companies gain market access and create brand value. It also promotes their integration of young professionals through its internship program. Prior to joining the Chamber, Emanuela worked with domestic and international executive teams in key marketing and development leadership roles in addition to coaching entrepreneurs on how to execute on their missions.

Man smiling.Jari Ognibeni, Co-founder & CEO Industrio
Jari Ognibeni is an entrepreneur and investor who strongly believes in the Italian ecosystem as the better place to develop a technological product in key sectors such as industrial automation, agri-food, medical, fashion, or automotive. He is co-founder of Industrio, the fi rst Italian hardware accelerator and incubator, which promotes and supports the most promising hardware startups in Italy.

Man smiling.Florindo Blandolino, Director of Italian Trade Agency
Florindo Blandolino is the director of the Los Angeles office of the Italian Trade Agency. The Agency is entrusted with promoting the internationalization of Italian companies, fostering bilateral trade relations, and attracting foreign investments. Its offi ces abroad operate as Trade promotion section of Italian embassies and consulates, and assist and advise directly Italian companies on their eff orts to enter onto the U.S. market or invest in it. Before joining ITA, he worked as the Secretary of the Council of Ministers of E.U., as the Secretary General of the Italy Japan Business Group, and cooperated with international law firms in the fi eld of competition law.

This event is free and open to the public (but an RSVP is preferred) and will take place at Chapman University in Beckman Hall, Room 404 from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., followed by a networking reception.

For more information, please contact – Federico Pacchioni at

Italian Culture Business Flyer