The Order Sons of Italy in America’s Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin honored State Rep. John D’Amico as Humanitarian of the Year and Retired U.S. Army Colonel Renato (Ron) Bacci as Columbus Patriot at their 92nd annual Columbus Banquet on Oct. 8 at the Villa Brunetti in Franklin Park. (708-403-7822)
John D’Amico was born June 12, 1962. As a lifelong resident of Chicago’s northwest side, he graduated from St. Edward Catholic Elementary School, Weber High School, and he attended Northeastern Illinois University. John currently resides in Chicago’s Edgebrook neighborhood with his wife, Christine, and three children, whom are now in college. John has been a member of Plumbers Local 130 U.A. since 1988. As a proud union member, he currently is the assistant superintendent for the Chicago Water Department. In addition to his career, John remains an active member of many neighborhood and parish groups.
Representative D’Amico was first elected in 2004 to the 15h House District as a democrat. As a state representative, his top priority is strengthening safety for Illinois’ drivers and residents. He has led efforts to prohibit texting while driving, and has worked with Secretary of State Jesse White to institute a graduated driver’s license program to make sure new drivers have the proper training and supervision before obtaining their licenses. Representative D’Amico successfully passed legislation prohibiting drivers from using hand-held electronic devices in a hands-free or voice operated mode. Because of his efforts to create safer roads, Illinois is now ranked one of the top states in the nation for drivers’ safety laws. In 2015, John was named Legislator of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for his efforts in transportation safety.
Ron Bacci was appointed Chair of the Illinois Committee, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Richard Wightman, Jr. effective 1 October 2013 through 30 September 2019. In this capacity, Ron directs the activities of 105 ESGR volunteers and manages three full time staff. ESGR, a Department of Defense office, facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service.
Ron received his commission in 1969 through the ROTC program at Loyola University, Chicago. He served as an Infantry, Armor, and Civil Affairs Officer. His active duty tours included Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. While mobilized for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia (1996), Ron worked directly with the World Bank developing a functioning financial support structure for rebuilding activities in Bosnia. His work was highlighted in a June 10, 1996 Wall Street Journal article “An Army Reserve Unit Guides Reconstruction of Postwar Bosnia”.
As an Adjunct Professor at Dominican University – Brennan School of Business in River Forest, Illinois, he instructs undergraduate courses in Business and Human Resource Management. Ron also developed a Community Leadership Program targeting professional development of aspiring community leaders. He also worked for the Chief of the Army Reserve on the Employer Partnership – a collaborative program linking job seeking Reservists with civilian employers.
Ron’s extensive career in financial operations culminated as Senior Vice President of ABN AMRO Services Company (LaSalle Bank Corp). His last major assignment was working on site in Padua, Italy as executive liaison/manager of information technology integration during the acquisition of Banca Antonveneta. Over his twelve years with ABN AMRO, Ron managed numerous complex projects and directed worldwide teams responsible for implementing automation solutions across the bank. Prior to this, Ron had extensive managerial and staff experience in all aspects of financial services including manager of a night shift lockbox processing operation with 150 staff and chief operating officer of a community bank. His foreign assignments involved automating banking units in 13 countries of Europe & South America.
Upon retiring from the Army Reserves in 1999, Ron became an ESGR volunteer and served as the Ombudsman Director, coordinating activities of 19 volunteer mediators. In addition to his role as State Chair, he currently serves as Chair of the Information Technology Subcommittee, assisting ESGR Headquarters on selection and design of information systems. Ron volunteers in various capacities with Knights Templar doing charitable activities and community service. A Chicago native, Ron received his MBA from DePaul University and BBA from Loyola University.