The event was emceed by Tony Cignoli. Mayor Sarno brought greetings welcoming Consul General Arnaldo Minuti to Springfield and thanking Paul Picknelly and Giuseppe Polimeni. Mayor Sarno also presented a proclamation recognizing this historic event by declaring the month of April 2023 as “Western Massachusetts Consulate of Italy Month”. Father Robert White, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel provided the opening prayer. Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi shared remarks, and State Senators Adam Gomez and Jacob Oliveira brought greetings on behalf of the state Senate and read a Senate citation. State Representative Angelo J. Puppolo also provided a citation from the state House of Representatives. Former state Representative Dennis Murphy read a citation on behalf of Governor Maura Healey.
Also in attendance was Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, Agawam Mayor William Sapelli, West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt, Hampden County Register of Probate Rosemary Saccomani, former state Senator and first woman Majority Leader Linda Melconian, City Councilor Zaida Govan, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, South End Citizens Council President Leo Florian, former Honorary Consul Giuseppe Polimeni, Italian Cultural Center President Charles Becker, members of the Picknelly family, and many local Italian-Americans.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank everyone involved for their efforts in working to bring back the Italian Consulate office here in Springfield. Special thanks to Giuseppe Polimeni and Paul Picknelly for their continued efforts working with the Italian government. Special shoutout to Paul Picknelly for providing the office space here in Monarch Place for the Consulate Office to conduct their business for our residents of Springfield and all of Western Massachusetts. In addition, I want to thank everyone for keeping and maintaining our relationship with our sister city, the ancient city of Viterbo Having strong ties and relationships with our sister cities is so important to maintaining strong cultural, economic, educational, and tourism opportunities. With this Consulate Office now here in Springfield, constituents won’t have to travel to Boston for services to help with passports, birth and death certificates, travel and tourism, trade, and so much more.”