Mayor’s Summit highlights partnership between cultures and countries

By Randall Jackson U.S. Army Garrison Italy Public AffairsJune 16, 2023

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VICENZA, Italy – U.S. Army Garrison Italy hosted its semiannual Mayor’s Summit at the Villaggio housing area June 15. 13 mayors, two deputy mayors and eight council members attended the community relations event hosted by the garrison command team, Col. Matthew Gomlak and Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Dyon. New to the summit was the incoming garrison commander Col. Scott Horrigan. Additionally, seven military leaders representing the Community Alliance Program joined to link up with their partner towns to build relationships.

The community relations team organized a visit to see the status of the Army’s largest family housing construction project and the nearly finished Vicenza High School. During the tour of the school, mayors noticed how it is very different from traditional school designs.

“I’ve taught for more than 20 years, and I’ve never seen such an amazing school complex. I was especially impressed with the multi-dimensional approach and grateful that the U.S. Army is bringing the 21st century learning experience to Vicenza, Italy,” said former Italian high school teacher and current Camisano Vicentino Mayor, Renzo Marangon.

Between the tour and meeting with the post leaders, the Italian representatives were enthusiastic about the projects underway.

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“This is an amazing experience, I’m happy to be here. We have many American families residing in our community. This event provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the American community and hopefully sharpen our engagement strategies to come closer with our American friends,” said Bolzano Vicentino Deputy Mayor Massimo Berdin.

This particular engagement allowed the community leaders a chance to see what future military family housing will look like, and what the brand-new high school will offer when it opens its doors to students in August.

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“As a mayor of a town with nearly 200 American residents, we are absolutely thrilled to explore opportunities of partnership and also to see firsthand the ongoing construction which shows that the Vicenza Military Community is enduring,” said Marangon. “This is a tangible effort that shows the commitment of the US Army in Vicenza, and we appreciate that.”

The Community Alliance Program allows representatives from the units in U.S. Army Garrison Italy to forge lasting benefits for their units and personally.

“I’m really thankful that they started this program, because it’s opening doors that wouldn’t have been opened before, and I’m meeting friends I never would have met,” said Col. Kevin Parker, Dental Health Activity Italy Commander. “It’s great.”