Like the millions of Italians who journeyed from Italy to America during the 20th century, the Tutino family set their sights on the land of opportunity and brought their hopes and dreams to Brooklyn, New York. Mario and Josephine had three sons in America – Vincenzo, Francesco and Antonio. Mario made his living in the building trades while Josephine ran the household.
The couple were united in many things, but in none so much as the love of their sons. They taught them well and as men, Vinny, Frank and Antonio grew to be loving fathers and husbands. In addition, Josephine and Mario also taught their sons the value of a day’s work and each shared an unyielding determination to succeed.
Like their father and uncles before them, the three brothers sought out the building trade. Vinny became an engineer; Frank chose to become an architect and Antonio is the Chief Executive Officer of their construction company, O+D Builders. The brothers work together, growing the business through hard work and perseverance, based on the valuable lessons instilled by their parents. Yet despite their rigorous workdays, Vinny, Frank and Antonio never lose sight of what matters most, their family.
The brothers can be counted on to jump into the kitchen for Sunday dinners, cooking for family and friends, using olive oil from the family’s own cold-press. The family continues its traditions by making wine in the fall and bond through activities such as hunting and fishing. They continue to teach the younger generation by example, passing on to their children the family’s rich Italian American heritage.
The family’s devotion to others and resolve in their faith have led them to support many organizations, both as individuals and through their company and each are steadfast supporters of those who hold the traditions of their ancestral homeland dear, including the Italian Tribune.
As was the case of their award’s namesake, Christopher Columbus, the family’s journey to the shores of America has been a voyage of discovery. While Mario and Josephine did not know what lay beyond their homeland of Italy, they knew that coming to America would make a better life for themselves and their children. Even though they did not know how their lives would unfold, their faith in God and themselves assured them that it would be a life filled with opportunities. When God blessed them with three sons, Mario and Josephine made sure their boys would enjoy the fruits of their American passage. The bestowing of the Christopher Columbus Award to the Tutino Family is a much-deserved tribute to the promise of a better life that Mario and Josephine made to their family those many years ago.