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Mario Rossi (Ceramica Catalano) receives the 15th International “Aldo Villa” Award

Official prize-giving held on 28th October at Sassuolo, at the head offices of Confindustria Ceramica. Recognition, then, for a leading protagonist of Made in Italy ceramic sanitaryware who turned the Viterbo-based company into one of the world’s most productive, modern, competitive and highly automated manufacturing hubs

Mario Rossi, president of the Catalano Ceramica Group, is winner of the fifteenth edition of the Aldo Villa award. Founded in 1967, Catalano is now a leading producer of ceramic sanitaryware and has played a pivotal role in the resurgence of the Civita Castellana (Viterbo) district, today home to one of the world’s most modern, highly automated facilities for the production of such products – a true symbol of Made in Italy quality that is and exported to five continents.

Established in 1988 in memory of Aldo Villa – Sacmi’s guiding light for nearly 20 years and first president of the Italian Ceramic Society – this prize is awarded every two years to individuals who, on account of their professionalism, enterprise, focus on innovation and far-sightedness, have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the ceramic industry in Italy and worldwide. Like Mario Rossi, who has led the Viterbo-based company through years of profound change in the industry and, via a steady policy of innovation and forward-looking technological investment, has made it one of the most competitive businesses in the country.

The official award ceremony was held on Friday, 28th October in Sassuolo at the headquarters of Confindustria Ceramica (11 am, Auditorium). Making up an illustrious jury were Vittorio Borelli, Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica, Claudia Casali, director of the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Paolo Mongardi, president of Sacmi, Alessandro Ruggieri, rector of Tuscia University and Paolo Zannini, head of the Italian Ceramic Society, the Association founded in 1972 by Aldo Villa (who was also its first president) that promotes - together with industry executives and technologists, university lecturers, researchers, craftsmen and potters - Italian ceramic culture worldwide.

After the opening speeches by Paolo Zannini, Paolo Mongardi and Vittorio Borelli, who illustrated the purpose and history of the Aldo Villa Award, two reports with a specific focus on the bathroom furniture sector were presented. The first, "Bathroom design in business culture", by architect Carlo Martino, explained Catalano’s product evolution in terms of quality, design and automation under the guidance of Mario Rossi; the second. by Catia Grossi from iGuzzini (a leading designer of indoor and outdoor lighting systems) dealt with the theme of "Light to enhance and create atmosphere". Her report explained the different lighting and atmosphere-enhancing solutions provided by new LED technology. At the end of the speeches, the 15th Aldo Villa Award – which consists of a medal engraved by sculptor Carlo Zauli - was officially handed over by President Zannini to Mario Rossi, who took the opportunity to express his satisfaction and extend his thanks to the committee, with particular regard to the rewarding, long-standing cooperation with Sacmi.

The Italian Ceramic Society has a clear policy: a look through the list of past winners shows the award has recognised figures who distinguished themselves on two levels: not only in ceramic production and the promotion of Made in Italy, but also, and above all, the diffusion of an industrial culture based on innovation, skills enhancement, human capital development and the farsightedness of actions and choices. Such as those made by Ceramica Catalano’s managers: with the facility in Fabrica di Roma (VT) - which stands on an area of 170,000 square meters, of which 75,000 are indoors, has a team of 250 employees and offers cutting-edge production technology – they can now produce 2000 pieces a day and boast a technological and cultural leadership acknowledged both in Italy and around the world.

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