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Armando Petruzziello: An Italian immigrant Story of Success

petruzziello1Italian-American Armando Petruzziello founded three successful ventures since immigrating to the US in 1971. He shares his story below.

“I came in the USA on Saturday March 13, 1971 at the young age of 24,” explains Armando.

“The first thing that made an impression on me was the big 18-wheeler trucks. I loved them so much that I told my wife I wanted to be a truck driver. While working in construction job supporting my family of 5, I went to school to get my truck driving license. Upon obtaining my Class 1 Driving permit, I applied for a job as a truck driver. Immediately, I was given a job in Boston driving trucks across the country. For over 4 years, I drove across the country, away from my wife Clementina and three children: Carmela, Lorenzo and Sonya. Due to my high performance and customer care, my boss saw the potential in me and offered me a sales job with Exhibit Express; where I was selling transportation services for the trade show industry. At the time, sales at Exhibit Express was a one man show: me. Overtime, I developed the company by bringing sales up to 1M in 2 years.

“In 1982, I was in Chicago for a transportation conference where I was approached by a competitor; whom offered me a job with a substantial salary increase, unlimited expense account and a brand new car (with a brick cell phone inside). It was appealing to me, so I made the move and brought sales in trade show exhibits transportation up to $1.5M.

“One year later, in a conference in Montreal, I come across my old boss at Exhibit Express. He invited me to meet him for breakfast, where he asked me to return to Exhibit Express. At the time, I had the courage to tell him that the only way I come back was if he sold me the company. Needless to say, he was shocked and speechless. Two weeks later, I received a phone call from him. He decided to take me up on my offer and that is how I bought Exhibit Express, Inc.

Over the years, I’ve grown Exhibit Express’s business, maintaining the core tradeshow shipping business while expanding to providing logistics for sensitive machinery and laboratory moves. I maintained our relationship as a booker with Allied Van Lines; and eventually created our freight forwarding division. With these two shipping options, Exhibit Express was allowed to service both large and small shipments nationwide.”
Today, Exhibit Express, Inc. employs a staff of 14 with a sales record of over $ 4M. The company’s core business is still logistics for exhibits and tradeshows. Over the years, Exhibit Express expanded its services to include shipping for copiers, motorcycles, museum exhibits, analytical devices and special academic moves. Exhibit Express, Inc. remains a family owned and operated business, run by Armando’s three children Carmela, Sonya and Lorenzo; allowing him to step away to pursue his dream venture in the wine business.

“In 2004, I formed Vini Nobilis in Avellino [Italy] and Lyon Wine Imports, here in Boston,” says Armando. “These wine ventures allow me to fulfill my dream to create and share, with fellow American wine lovers, the taste and quality of world class wines from my native land.”

Exhibit Express, Inc. – Located in Woburn, Massachusetts – is a family owned and operated logistics provider specializing in tradeshows and special products. For more information on Exhibit Express’s shipping services, visit www.exhibitexpressinc.com.

Vini Nobilis – located in San Michele di Pratola Serra, Avellino, Italy – creates niche wines from grapes indigenous to the Campania region of Italy. For more information on Vini Nobilis, visit www.vininobilis.com.
Lyon Wine Imports – located in Dedham, Massachusetts – is a wine importer and distributor in the USA, focusing on wines from the Campania region of Italy. For more on Lyon Wine Imports, visit www.lyonwineimports.com.

About Michele McPhee

Michele McPhee is a best-selling author, emmy-nominated investigative journalist and award-winning columnist. To share stories about local Italian-American family businesses, e-mail McPhee@bostoniano.info. To find out more about Michele, visit www.michelemcphee.com.