This year’s Columbus Day parade chairperson is accomplished, committed to her heritage and tireless in her efforts to promote relations between America and Italy.
The daughter of Giovanni and Maria, Mariann Gullo was born and raised in Elk Grove Village and graduated from St. Viator High School. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University with a major in Marketing and Communications and a minor in Italian, and pursued an MBA at Loyola with a concentration in Finance.
At the young age of 22, she began working at Gullo International Development Corporation. A commercial and industrial real estate and management firm specialized in the O’Hare industrial market, the company was founded and has been lead by her father since 1968. Today, she is the COO of Gullo, overseeing all areas of the multifaceted organization.
Over the years, she has taken on important leadership roles and serves on many area committees such the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project of the Illinois Tollway.
Gullo is a Board Member of the Elk Grove Village Italian Sister Cities Inc., which fosters relations between Elk Grove Village and Termini Imerese, Sicily, and Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Since 2000, She and her family have spearheaded many educational, medical and business exchanges that unite the peoples of different countries and cultures. She also serves as an officer of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, and is a catalyst for many partnerships between the U.S. and Italy.
This year’s Columbus Day festivities will begin with a 9 a.m. Mass on Oct. 10 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony in Arrigo Park sponsored by the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin. The parade kicks off on State Street between Wacker Drive and Van Buren Street at 12:30 p.m., with a reception afterward from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Casa Italia in Stone Park.
A flag-raising ceremony will be held at noon on Oct. 5 in the Daley Center Plaza in Chicago.