Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Recent Seattle Times column looks at the sister city concept

A recent Seattle Times column by Nicole Brodeur explores the impact that the current administration could have on sister city friendships and exchanges.

The article explores the rationale for establishing Sister Cities International, begun by President Eisenhower as a way to encourage more people to become citizen-diplomats. As people connect on a one-on-one basis, reasoned Eisenhower, they will help foster understanding and world peace.

Seattle has 21 sister cities, beginning with Kobe, Japan, a relationship that goes back to 1957.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Members and board enjoy tour of Umbra Cuscinetti

On a rainy Friday afternoon, a group of 10 SPSCA members took a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Umbra Cuscinetti, an Italian manufacturer of aircraft components that has a plant in Everett, Wash.

Umbra Cuscinetti is the U.S. affiliate of the Italian aerospace firm, Umbra Group, headquartered in Foligno, outside Perugia. The company is a long-time supporter of SPSCA.

Umbra first moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1999, and in 2013, the company purchased and remodeled its current 68,000-square foot manufacturing plant. The company's 115 employees work on aircraft components primarily for Boeing's 777 and 787 aircraft.

While our members enjoyed a delicious aperitivo of meats, cheeses, fruit and assorted breads, Umbra Cuscinetti's president Leonardo Baldaccini (above) spoke about the company's history and his family's role in it. "When we bought the company, Umbra was doing about $3 million to $4 million a year," said Baldaccini. "This year, we expect to do about $170 million worth of business."

Baldaccini, whose family is from Cannara, Italy, says aircraft manufacturing is in his blood. "I was working in the shop in Foligno when I was six," he said. Umbra is currently expanding its product development capability and hopes to bring new products to market in the future.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March newsletter is out!

If you missed the March issue of our e-newsletter, you can download a copy of Il Grifone March 2017 here.

One way to make sure you don't miss any of the news is to keep your membership dues up-to-date. Our membership year goes through June 30.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Save the date! Tour of Caffe Umbria roastery April 29

You won't want to miss this one! Learn more about the true essence of Italian espresso in this fascinating tour of Caffe Umbria's state-of-the-art roastery in south Seattle. We'll meet on Saturday, April 29 from 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Master roaster Emanuele Bizzarri is the third generation of coffee roasters in his family, starting with his grandfather Ornello, who owned Torrefazione Perugina in Umbria, followed by his father Umberto who founded Torrefazione Italia in Seattle.

The company is well known for sourcing the best arabica beans and then blending them and roasting them to perfection. Caffe Umbria has cafes now in Seattle, Portland and Chicago, and has just opened a training lab in Portland to educate new employees and wholesale customers. This is a special year for Caffe Umbria which is celebrating its 15th anniversary in the Northwest.

On the tour, you'll enjoy an informative video about coffee and then meet Emanuele who will give us the tour. We'll tour his completely automated and innovative roastery, watch a master roaster at work, and then taste the results! Caffe Umbria is a sponsor of the new Caffe Umbria Scholarship and a long-time friend of our sister city relationship.

This is going to be a fun and very popular event. Don't miss it.

Location: Caffe Umbria, 8620 16th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108

Date/time: April 29, 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

RSVP: Events chairperson

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Seattle Music Exchange offers concert in Perugia in April

If you're traveling to Italy this spring, you might want to plan a stop-over in Perugia on April 23. That's when Seattle pianist Angelo Rondello will present works by Seattle-based composers in an innovative musical exchange program. The concert will begin at 5:30 p.m. on April 23 at the Conservatorio Francesco Morlacchi. The program is part of Seattle Music Exchange which encourages the exchange of music and musicians from other cultures through concerts, residencies and educational programs.

Rondello has selected four sister cities in which to kick off his new project. In addition to Perugia, the other concert locations are in Pècs, Hungary; Bergen, Norway; and Kobe, Japan. The exchange series closes with a recital of music by the sister city composers in Seattle's Nordstrom Hall on May 11.

Our friends in Perugia have pulled out the red carpet for Rondello and his project. They have assisted in arranging the performance space and hosting Rondello in the city's Guest House. They will be involved in advertising, invitee list, website and Facebook posts. Grazie mille for welcoming this innovative music exchange to your city!