Retired local businessman and charitable dynamo Richard Montalbano Sr. will receive the prestigious Joseph P. Cianci Humanitarian Award at UNICO National’s annual convention, which will run from July 24 to 28 in Nashville.
A knight grand cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Montalbano is also a past grand knight and district deputy of the Knights of Columbus and a past regional director and grand commander of the Order of Alhambra.
He has served for nearly 40 years as the curator of the Crypt of the Saints, a shrine at Visitation Parish in Elmhurst that contains roughly 700 religious statues, icons and relics of saints and a library of more than 600 books. His lifelong devotion to the saints as protectors and intercessors also led him to author a book on the topic that lists hundreds of saints and their patronages.
A past president of the Chicago West Suburban Chapter of UNICO National, Montalbano is a founding member and trustee of the Westlake Health Foundation and an advisory board member of Touch My Heart.
He is a longtime member of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce, Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County and Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization, and a lifetime member of the Italian Cultural Center, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, Hundred Club of DuPage County and Hi Hopes of Hope University.
In 2005, he raised the more than $15,000 necessary to dig water wells for the Catholic Mission of Turkana in Kenya.
Montalbano has received the Silver Palm of Jerusalem Medal from the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Lifetime Community Service Award from the Boys and Girls Club of West Cook County, Silver Acorn Award from the Boy Scouts of America, Taking the Initiative Award from ASPIRE of Illinois, Community Leadership Award from Ray Graham Association, Man of the Year award from the Boys and Girls Club of Bellwood and Hillside, Board Director of the Year award from the Boys and Girls Club of America, Outstanding Business Man award from the Bellwood Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Year, and International Man of the Year award from the International Biographical Center. He was inducted into the “Society of Procopians” at Illinois Benedictine College as well as the Catholic Youth Organization Club of Champions.
He and his family ran Montalbano Majestic, a furniture making company in Bellwood, for decades.