Leonard Riggio Named Grand Marshal of 2017 New York City Columbus Day Parade

Barnes & Noble Chairman and Founder Creates Theme Entitled “A Celebration of Italian-American Authors” and Invites them to March Up Fifth Avenue

NEW YORK--()--The Columbus Citizens Foundation announced today that Leonard Riggio, the Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller, has been named Grand Marshal of the 73rd Columbus Day Parade. Mr. Riggio created the theme of this year’s parade, “A Celebration of Italian-American Authors,” and is inviting Italian-American authors from across the country to march up Fifth Avenue with him in the parade.

“Len Riggio’s visionary role in the bookselling industry has made him one of the most respected business minds in America and a pillar of success in the Italian-American community”

The annual parade, the largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and culture in the United States, will take place on Monday, October 9, 2017, beginning at 11:30 a.m. As Grand Marshal, Mr. Riggio will lead dozens of marching bands and floats and over 100 marching groups up the Fifth Avenue parade route, from 44th Street to 72nd Street.

In naming Mr. Riggio Grand Marshal, Columbus Citizens Foundation president Angelo Vivolo praised his success as a prominent Italian-American business leader and his contributions to philanthropy and community service.

“Len Riggio’s visionary role in the bookselling industry has made him one of the most respected business minds in America and a pillar of success in the Italian-American community,” Mr. Vivolo said.“But his phenomenal achievements in business are surpassed by his passion for giving back to those in need and his tireless commitment to making our communities and the world better places. It is those qualities that make Len an obvious choice as Grand Marshal of this very special event.”

“I am honored and pleased to carry on this important tradition and join the ranks of distinguished Italian-Americans who have served in this role before me.” Mr. Riggio said.“At the same time, I am thrilled to use this opportunity to recognize the achievements of Italian-American writers and their enormous contributions to the literary fabric of America. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. My family and I look forward to marching on Fifth Avenue with these great writers.”

Beginning with a single college bookstore in 1965, Mr. Riggio built Barnes & Noble into one of the largest enterprises in the history of American retail. Mr. Riggio also founded Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, a Barnes & Noble Education company and a leading operator of university bookstores in the U.S., and GameStop, the world’s largest videogame retailer. In all, the companies founded by Mr. Riggio employ more than 100,000 people.

The Columbus Day Parade, organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, began in 1929 when New York City businessman and Italian immigrant Generoso Pope led a parade from East Harlem to Columbus Circle.

Event: Columbus Day Parade
 
Location: Fifth Ave. from 44th – 72nd Streets
 
Date: Monday, October 9, 2017
 
Hours: 11:30 AM – 3:00 p.m.
 
Broadcast: WABC-TV, 12 Noon – 3:00 p.m.
 

ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION

The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929. For more information, contact jwilson@columbuscitizens.org

Contacts

Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Mary Ellen Keating, 212-633-3323
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications
mkeating@bn.com
or
Columbus Citizens Foundation
Jefferson Wilson, 212-249-9923 x242
Director of Marketing & Communications
Fax: (212) 737-4413
jwilson@columbuscitizens.org

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