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Visitors from the Vicenza and Darby communities toured the Barilla factory in Parma on Tuesday, September 12. The visit was a team and leadership building exercise put on by the Logistics Readiness Center-Italy. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

PARMA, Italy -- Barilla Deputy Chairman Paolo Barilla knows a thing or two about leadership, after 33 years in the family business, and the joy of food. His passion for both was on display during a recent trip to the famed pasta factory in Parma by employees of the Logistics Readiness Center Italy (LRC) and U.S. Army Garrison Italy. The group toured the Italian food giant to learn from their global success and observe some of their logistical methods.

“These visits help prepare us for evolving challenges while providing team building opportunities that strengthen our organizational culture,” said Keli’i Bright, director of LRC Italy, who routinely plans visits like this one to educate and inspire his team and the USAG Italy workforce.
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Director of Logistics Readiness Center—Italy Keli’i Bright (left) presents a gift of appreciation from the United States Army to Barilla Deputy Chairman and Co-owner Paolo Barilla. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The visit consisted of a warm welcome and presentation given by Paolo Barilla, a tour of the high-tech factory and a sumptuous pasta lunch at the factory’s cafe.

Barilla, now a multibillion-dollar company, was founded in 1877 by Paolo’s great-grandfather, Pietro Barilla. For over a century, Barilla has gone from a small pasta shop in Emilia-Romagna, Italy to revolutionizing the production of pasta worldwide. Through innovation, determination and a belief that food unites people all over the world, Barilla has turned Pietro’s dreams into an empire built upon the joy of a shared meal. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Barilla was determined to keep production and safety measures high and managed to not miss one day of production.

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The Barilla factory visit included an in depth look at how the international corporation has revolutionized the industrialization of pasta. Here the group saw the impressive factory line firsthand. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Behind Barilla’s success was its ability to focus on core competencies, problem solving skills, vision, risk acceptance and perseverance. They are visionary leaders and a great team of professionals,” said Bright of Barilla’s COVID-era accomplishments.

These success stories are what LRC Italy seeks to emulate in the garrison community.

“In the line of work that we do at the Logistics Readiness Center, it gives us a great understanding of how logistics all comes together,” said the LRC Italy chief of plans and operations, Orlando McMurry, of the visit.

Bright agrees: “Our organization feels blessed to work in Italy, giving us the opportunity to experience firsthand the love and passion with which Italians live, work and create.”

For more stories from the Vicenza and Darby Military Communities visit The Garrison Outlook here