Last updated: October 06. 2013 10:26PM - 2631 Views
By - jandes@timesleader.com

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The Italian-American Association of Luzerne County is honoring two local entrepreneurs at the 36th annual Columbus Day banquet Sunday: Louis Ciampi Sr. and Sam Falcone Sr.

Ciampi, the founder of Independent Graphics Inc. in West Wyoming, will receive the organization’s “Person of the Year” award.

The “Lifetime Achievement Award” will go to Falcone, retired president of Falcone Beverage Co. in Pittston.

“They’re both outstanding citizens of the community and great leaders who carry out the culture and traditions of our Italian heritage,” association President James Deice said Sunday.

According to biographical sketches released by the association:

Ciampi’s career in printing began as a teenager more than 50 years ago, when he worked as an apprentice in Pagnotti Coal’s in-house print shop. After military service and work in several shops, he joined the PA Hutchison Co. in Scranton as a folder operator in the late 1960s and advanced to plant superintendent.

He founded Independent Graphics with Ted Heoffner in 1980 and bought the company from Heoffner in 1984. When the company started, Ciampi was a one-man shop. The business currently employs 27 full-timers on three shifts and is “poised for a bright future” after bouncing back from physical and financial losses from record Susquehanna River flooding in September 2011.

A West Pittston High School graduate, Ciampi has contributed to many local charities. He and his wife, Marianne, have been married 51 years and have four children and six grandchildren.

The son of Italian immigrants, Falcone dedicated his professional life to Falcone Beverage, which was started by Falcone, several brothers and his father, Carmelo. He worked at the business for nearly 60 years until his retirement.

Falcone was involved in numerous community and professional organizations and charities throughout his life.

He was married to the former Yolanda Gatti for 50 years at the time of her death and has four children, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

More than 100 are expected to attend Sunday’s banquet at Genetti Hotel & Convention Center in Wilkes-Barre.

Luzerne County First District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce will be the guest speaker.

Tickets cost $35 and include a 6 p.m. dinner and dancing to music by Danny Argo and Friends until 10:15 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance by Wednesday, and the public is invited to attend. For reservations contact Louise Castellani at 570-654-6454 or Judy Deice at 570-654-7600.

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