NEW YORK, May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Columbus Citizens Foundation announced today that it has named Robert V. LaPenta as the Grand Marshal of the 72nd Columbus Day Parade, which will take place on Fifth Avenue on Monday, October 10, 2016. Mr. LaPenta is a driven and successful executive and philanthropist, renowned for his leadership experience in the aerospace, defense and electronics industries.
The annual Columbus Day Parade, organized by the Columbus Citizens, is the world's largest celebration of Italian-American heritage in the United States.
As Grand Marshal, Mr. LaPenta will lead dozens of marching bands and floats and hundreds of marching groups in a parade of family entertainment and Italian-American celebration.
Raised in a three-family home in Yonkers, New York, Mr. LaPenta was one of three children raised by first generation Italian-American immigrants and currently resides in Westport, Connecticut. Mr. LaPenta is Founding General Partner of Aston Capital Partners, a newly formed private investment company specializing in military intelligence, homeland security companies and companies involved in green technology. He often speaks of the importance that education has played in the development of his career and has said that, instead of comic books, he grew up reading the business pages.
Mr LaPenta was the first member of his family to attend college, and credits much of his success to hard work and focus. At his alma mater, Iona College, he is responsible for donating the largest single gift in that institution's history. He has been an active and proud member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation since 1994, and was previously an Honoree at the Foundation's 2011 Columbus Day Celebrations.
"Mr. LaPenta is a game changer in the world of business, and we are incredibly honored to have him as Grand Marshal," said Angelo Vivolo, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation. "His selection exemplifies the core purpose of the Columbus Day Parade – to celebrate the achievements and heritage of the Italian American."
"It is a true honor to be named Grand Marshal of a parade that celebrates Italian-American achievement," said Mr. LaPenta. "I cannot wait to lead the march down Fifth Avenue with my family in October."
MORE ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929.
MORE ABOUT ROBERT V. LAPENTA
Robert V. LaPenta has more than 40 years of executive management experience and has generated billions of dollars of shareholder wealth throughout his professional career. He is Founding General Partner of Aston Capital Partners, a newly formed private investment company specializing in military intelligence, homeland security companies and companies involved in green technology. Until August 2011, Mr. LaPenta was Chairman, CEO and President of L-1 Identity Solutions, which he co-founded in June 2005 with a $100 million investment in the biometric, authentication and credentialing company Viisage. In five years, Mr. LaPenta built the firm into the largest biometric identity solution company in the world. It was acquired in August 2011 by Safran Morpho for $1.6 billion.
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SOURCE Columbus Citizens Foundation