The American Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015: interview with CEO Charles Faas

American Pavilion, Expo Milano 2015, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Charles Faas (center), USA Pavilion's CEO presents the program at the San Francisco Yacht Club


On occasion of Italian Republic Day, last June 2nd, 2014, the Friends of the USA Pavilion Milano 2015 joined Italian representatives at the San Francisco Yacht Club, the oldest one West of the Mississippi in North America, to celebrate the 68th anniversary of Italy’s Republic.


This special day also marked the official launch of the USA Pavilion “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet”, which will partake in the next Universal Exposition on the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, to take place from May 1st to October 31st, 2015, in Milan.

 Floodlit pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition 1915: The Tower of Jewels on the left, and the Italian Tower on the right 

 Floodlit pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition 1915: The Tower of Jewels on the left, and the Italian Tower on the right 


The story of the World's Fair in San Francisco dates back more than one hundred years. In fact, the Panama–Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was held here between February 20 and December 4 in 1915, proving the complete recovery from the 1906 earthquake of the City by the Bay.


The fair was constructed on an extensive site along the northern shore of the city, now known as the Marina District, where still stands out the Palace of Fine Arts, one of the few serving structures and the only one situated on the original site of that world fair.


Moreover, the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939 and 1940) was held to celebrate the city's two newly built bridges at Treasure Island, the island's World’s Fair site, now become a California Historical Landmark.

   Edoardo Alzetta, ENIT, Charles Fass, CEO of USA Expo 2015 and Consul General of Italy Mauro Battocchi 

   Edoardo Alzetta, ENIT, Charles Fass, CEO of USA Expo 2015 and Consul General of Italy Mauro Battocchi 


L'Italo-Americano interviewed the USA Pavilion CEO’s Charles Fass, a resident of the Bay Area and executive with 30 years of experience in a variety of industries in both the public and private sectors.


The theme of Expo 2015 is “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life.” What is the message that the U.S. will deliver to the world on this topic?

“The global food source is something we all share and it’s in our common interest to respect, protect and nurture its potential. We are committed to meeting the challenges of the global food crisis to ensure that everyone has access to safe and healthy food. Recognizing we need to feed nutritiously a planet of more than 9 billion people by 2050, we believe it’s only through collaborating with other countries around the world that we can succeed”.


What is the main idea behind the creation of “American Food 2.0”?

“American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet pays homage to the ongoing evolution of our nation’s culinary tradition and recognizes the American entrepreneurial spirit that fuels our will to tackle challenges and solve problems. American Food 2.0 demonstrates America’s food systems and innovations from farm to table and back to farm. It will showcase American leadership in the global food arena, including food security and policy, science and technology, nutrition and health, and culinary culture”.

  Consul General Mauro Battocchi and Edoardo Alzetta present the first Expo 2015 tickets 

  Consul General Mauro Battocchi and Edoardo Alzetta present the first Expo 2015 tickets 


How is the official partnership with Italy connecting the Bay Area, Milan, and other cities?

“This is a tremendous opportunity for people and businesses in the U.S., Italy and throughout Europe to join together and create a global call to action around the challenges of feeding the planet.  I am a Bay Area resident and recognize the proud Italian/American community not only here in San Francisco, but in many other cities.  It seems all Americans have a tie to Italy (food, travel, history).  The technology and academic communities here in the Bay Area have the potential to showcase their talents to the world through the USA Pavilion at the Expo”.


What is the requirement for an Italian language student in the U.S. to be part of the “Student Ambassador” project?

“We will be announcing very shortly a major West Coast University as the lead organizer of this program, through which American college students who are fluent in Italian and other languages will welcome visitors and support the Pavilion’s programs. We are looking for students from across the U.S. that can be docents at the USA Pavilion. These students play a key role in our programming and guiding visitors and VIP's through the Pavilion from May 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015.  They will be in two three month shifts of about 60 Student Ambassadors each.  Program details are still being finalized”.


How many other promotional events will take place to present the USA Pavilion Expo Milano 2015?

“The USA Pavilion program will include multiple features and events before Expo Milano 2015 – ranging from talks and tastings to salons, workshops, innovation accelerators, and other gatherings to address global food issues and challenges, to food truck events celebrating the modern street food movement”.


The Friends of the USA Pavilion Milano 2015, the coalition responsible for organizing the U.S. presence at the Expo in Milan, is a multi-region project formed by two leading organizations of American gastronomy, the James Beard Foundation and the International Culinary Center (based in New York but with a school in San Jose, California), in association with the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy and a diverse team of experts and advisors from across the United States of America, with support of the National Italian American Foundation.

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