Dr. Giorgio Squinzi, CEO of MAPEI Group, presents a check to Maestro Carlo Ponti at a dinner before a San Bernardino Symphony evening concert.

MAPEI donated $5,000 to the San Bernardino Symphony as it celebrated the bicentennial of San Bernardino, Calif., on May 1. MAPEI opened a manufacturing plant in San Bernardino in late 2004.

“We take great pride in being a corporate citizen of San Bernardino, and we feel a civic responsibility to contribute to the community in other ways, too,” said Luigi Di Geso, president and ceo of MAPEI Americas. “By supporting the Symphony, we feel that we can help provide cultural entertainment for the citizens of the city and for students in the surrounding area.”

To enhance its support of the Symphony, MAPEI hosted 40 guests during a pre-concert dinner at the California Theatre before the evening’s entertainment began. Guests included architects, contractors and distributors from the Southern California area. The owner of the MAPEI Group, Dr. Giorgio Squinzi, and his wife, Adriana, were present from the company’s world headquarters in Milan, Italy.

“We were especially pleased to attend the Symphony under the direction of Maestro Ponti, a fellow Italian,” Dr. Squinzi said. Appointed Conductor and Music Director of the San Bernardino Symphony in 2001, Carlo Ponti has rapidly established himself among his generation of conductors.

Di Geso also attended, with his wife, Lynne; they were joined by Nick Di Tempora, the Chairman of the Board of MAPEI Corporation, along with his wife, Yolanda. “I was struck by Maestro Ponti’s involvement with youth,” Di Tempora said. “I am a firm believer in investing in the future generations in all fields of endeavor; this is the essence of life.”

Maestro Ponti is committed to encouraging and educating young talent. In addition to regularly holding master classes in orchestral conducting for students of all ages, he has been invited to work and perform with leading youth orchestras such as the American Youth Symphony, the UCLA Philharmonia and the Young Musicians' Foundation Orchestra in the United States.

The Squinzis have had a long association with the arts in their country and are strong supporters of Teatro Alla Scala in Milan. To celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary in 2007, MAPEI sponsored an 80-city world tour of the Symphonica Toscanini, under the baton of Maestro Loren Maazel.