Pietro Milani, the director of Walker Zanger’s Italian operations since 1971, was recently honored with the title of “Maestro del Lavoro” or “Master of Work” for the “Stella al Merito del Lavoro” or “Medal for Excellence in a Profession,” at a ceremony that took place in Florence, Italy.

Awarded by the President of the Italian Republic in the presence of authorities of the Italian Government, the honor is a crowning achievement for both the individual and the company, as the recognition for the caliber of their artistry and technical skill will now be recorded for posterity. The ceremony is where the country’s most-respected workers are not only recognized for their achievements, but are also able to add the prestigious title to their family names.

Milani’s tenure with Walker Zanger extends back nearly 40 years, yet his experience with stone, beginning in the quarries of Carrara, can be traced to 1956. He credits his father, who started working in stone in 1921, for providing his formative education in the field. Throughout his career, Milani has witnessed a wide range of evolving technologies, from traditional hand tools to high-tech automated equipment. He has also worked on countless prestigious Walker Zanger projects, including the Getty Museum in Malibu, CA; the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth, TX; and numerous office buildings and memorials, meticulously expressed in the living materials of marble and granite, for which Walker Zanger is renowned.

While Milani is quick to thank Walker Zanger for the opportunity to do his award-winning work, he notes that the family line does not end with him. His daughter Annalia and son Daniele are also members of the Walker Zanger team, helping to ensure that the skills Milani learned through a lifetime of experience will be carried on for generations to come.