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|Shown with the award: Gianni Mattioli, President and CEO, Marazzi USA (Left) and Mauro Vandini, CEO Marazzi Group (Right)|
Upon accepting the award, Marazzi Group CEO Mauro Vandini celebrated the figure of a great entrepeneur and friend, stating, "Filippo Marazzi, driven by a great passion, was able to convey Italian know-how to the world and establish Italian ceramics as a benchmark of excellence. His entrepreneurial vision was always at the forefront in all areas: product development, international growth and continual development of in-house knowledge. Filippo Marazzi believed that it was the people, their skills and their talent, who often made the real difference."
Filippo Marazzi's vision was big, and his actions were bold. After assuming leadership of the company at a young age following his father's death, he confidently pursued opportunities for expansion outside Italy when that strategy was not commonplace. Initially, manufacturing plants were opened in Spain and the U.S. (a first for an Italian tile manufacturer). Those successes and added growth were compounded through joint ventures, cooperative agreements and acquisitions of important competitors in Spain, France, the U.S. and Italy during the 1990s. In 2003, a new Marazzi manufacturing plant was built in Moscow, and another acquisition there made Marazzi the market leader in Russia.
Always a leader in the industry, Marazzi was the first tile manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 Certification for its quality systems, and it followed up shortly with ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management systems. Marazzi Group was "green" before it became trendy to be so, reports the tile manufacturer.
Filippo Marazzi was a strong, visionary leader, but he was also a man of great humanity and warmth. He showed keen interest in whomever he was speaking with, always interested in learning new things, whether tile related or not. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends, his colleagues and the many people he touched throughout the world.
The award, a custom ceramic work depicting a Renaissance knight, was entirely hand crafted by Mark Holm of AD Studios of Elgin, TX, using an ancient mural technique.