An evening of talent

There is still a lot of sentiment around, at least in our world of doing things. Emotional participation, involvement, lucidity, the pleasure of going beyond while also overcoming personal interests… Rare material, and perhaps for that reason all the more precious.
This sentiment was borne witness to by Ima of Bologna that, at the end of September, celebrated 50 years of activity organizing a grand event at Palazzo Albergati, attended by some 2,000 invited guests, mostly employees and co-workers. And it was not merely a celebratory event, rather an important moment of assuming responsibility by the company owners.
It really was a great party, for “all the women and the men”, for those that, inside or outside the concern, have contributed to making Ima great, contributing with both their heart and their intelligence.

This was stated without rhetoric by Alberto Vacchi, President and Executive Managing Director, who reiterated in his brief but emotionally charged talk:«We have done well and been lucky. We have done well in rising to the opportunities presented to us, and I thank all of you for this, for what you have made possible over these 50 years. We have also been lucky, in that we live in a virtuous territory that has a great capacity and knowhow for doing things, and this is a strongpoint we should concentrate on, but not something we should entrench ourselves behind. This is feature should continue to be our landmark for the future: we don’t intend relocating, moving to other countries, if not for specific market opportunities». Important words, enthusiastically greeted by those present, because they place Ima’s relations with its local territory of Bologna and Emilia at the very centre of the company’s competitive strategies.
But things do not stop here. Vacchi added: «We want to keep our sense of responsibility towards the great problems of our times high: we should remember that the problems that surround us are not “other people’s” problems, but they are our own. Hence strength and courage will enable us to rise to the challenge».

Commitments sustained by facts for once in a while. Ima has in fact organized a competition for short films reserved for their employees, that had as their theme “The problems of our society and everyday living in this period in time” (sensitivity and irony featured in the winning films: particularly enjoyable the film clip “Canova and recycling”, where a young enthusiast makes a martyr out of his old grandmother to force her to change her ways and respect the environment). Alongside this the company has allocated 330,000 euro for three social solidarity projects, chosen from among the 39 projects these too presented by Ima employees and selected by a work group made up of Romano Prodi, his wife Flavia and the organization Impronta Etica.
Ima’s funds go towards: an interim smallscale project to be repeated in support of schooling in Florence; a second larger, innovatory project dealing with immigration and integration in the Bologna area, with particular attention to the speedy diagnosis of recurring female pathologies; and lastly, a third project tackling disability, for the creation of a mobile unit to aid the rehabilitation of the visually handicapped in the region.
Romano Prodi, who introduced the meritable undertaking, commented thus: «Ten years ago we celebrated Ima’s fortieth anniversary and there were half the people that are here tonight. In these difficult time, helping people feel secure, tin their capacity to stand up to the changes, is a rare and wonderful thing. Let us hence enjoy the serenity that is born out of having a common objective».

An objective like that declared by Annamaria Vacchi (wife of Marco and mother of Alberto), who took her turn to speak and share her emotional world where private and public merge, where alongside the fifty years since the company’s founding they are also celebrating fifty years of marriage (same month, same year). She spoke from her heart of her “extended family”, inviting all those present to toast to the happiness of everyone.
Perhaps it is in the sharing of human scale prospects and perspectives where the secret of a great company lies.

P.S. Surprise amidst the surprise, the show of the renowned TV satirist and comedian Maurizio Crozza, much applauded, whose scathing humour spared nothing and no-one, starting from Romano Prodi, seated on-stage. Among his many quips: «…The Vacchi’s and Ima have been coming up with ingenious ideas and have been solving problems for fifty years….. Excuse me Prodi…. Couldn’t the Italian Democratic Party have turned to Ima? The PD have been devoid of ideas and living amidst problems for fifty years…». And then off with his quips on Scilipoti, Berlusconi, Brunetta, Marchionne, Montezemolo and other leading figures on the Italian political horizon.

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