by Richard Caifano
Michael Veselka was raised in the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago, where he learned the importance of community and the meaning of integrity. He now owns and operates a successful flooring installation business with his wife of 35 years, Marlene. They reside in Glenview with their sons, Steven and Michael.
The rewards of hard work and enterprise he learned from his father early in a pizza restaurant in Chicago helped mold Veselka into the successful businessman he is today. And the sense of community identity he acquired on the streets of Galewood helped to propel him through the ranks from local chapter president to a position of national leadership with UNICO.
Michael Veselka currently serves as first vice president of UNICO National, the nation’s largest Italian-American service organization. He will assume the office of national president in August of 2013.
Upon attaining that office, he will become the second president of UNICO to hail from Chicago. Fra Noi publisher Anthony Fornelli was installed as president of UNICO National in 1973. With guidance from PNP Fornelli, Veselka has been a moving force behind the resurgence of Chicago as a key area of operation for this important Italian-American service organization.
As he has risen through the ranks, Veselka has earned the respect and overwhelming support of Unicans throughout the nation in matters of ethnic identity, charitable giving and future planning.
We ask all Italian Americans in the state of Illinois to rise in support of one of our own: an Italian American from Chicago who has attained the highest level of leadership in a national organization. We invite you to celebrate Michael’s success and demonstrate the strength and pride of our community.
In the days leading to Michael’s installation as president of UNICO National, the local chapters of UNICO will be holding events designed to give meaning to his office — events that are intended to allow our community to come together in support of one of its own.