by Dona De Sanctis
The Order Sons of Italy in America, Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin, will honor Senatore Renato Turano as Humanitarian of the Year at its 89th annual Columbus Banquet. Sons of Italy Foundation scholarships also will be bestowed at the event. The event will take place on Oct. 12 at Villa Brunetti in Franklin Park. (708-403-7822)
One of the true luminaries of the Chicago-area Italian-American community, business and community leader Renato Turano does triple duty as the senatore representing North and Central America in the Italian Parliament. Best known locally as the President of the Turano Baking Co., one of the largest manufacturers of artisan breads in North America, Turano was elected to the Italian Senate this spring, having previously occupied the post from 2006 to 2008.
Turano has been actively involved in the Chicago-area Italian-American community for decades. He has presided over the Columbian Club of Chicago, Calabresi in America Organization, Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest and Casa Italia, and he has been honored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the Italian Cultural Center and the Italian American Civic Organization of Berwyn, among others.
A co-founder of Casa Italia, he helped the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest win official recognition from the Italian government, and leveraged funds from the Italian government to support economic exchanges between Italy and the Midwest.
In recent years, Turano has become involved on the national and international levels as well. He represented the Midwest chamber on the Assocamerestero, an association of 76 Italian chambers of commerce around the world, and he has served for the last 16 years as consultore/adviser to the Region of Calabria, representing the interests of Calabresi in North America at annual conferences in Italy.