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B2B Trade Show Pioneer Ralph Ianuzzi Sr. - October 31, 1931 - September 13, 2013
Ralph Ianuzzi Sr., (Senior) of Fort Lee, NJ passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, FL on September 13, 2013. He was born October 31, 1931 to Joseph and Felicetta Ianuzzi in Manhattan.
A loving family man, husband, and friend to many, Senior had a remarkable entrepreneurial career in journalism and public relations that culminated in him founding one of the largest B2B trade show companies in the United States.
At the dawn of the TV age, Senior began his professional career as a scriptwriter. He then pursued his passion for journalism as an apprentice for one of the top NY newspapers, the Journal-American. After honing his writing craft he became the Associate Editor of Rudder the oldest boating magazine in America and quickly rose to the position of Editor.
With his strong background as a reporter, the public relations field was a natural fit and he quickly landed an account director position for H.A. Bruno & Associates, Inc. (est. 1923) one of the oldest and most successful PR firms in the country with hundreds of blue chip clients. At the age of 32, Senior was elected full partner in the firm and took over sole ownership in 1968 upon the retirement of PR pioneer Harry Bruno and his partners. Some of the significant publicity campaigns that he led included 31 programs for the National Association of Engine & Boat Manufacturers (Boating Industries of America), including the annual National Boat Show, the America’s Cup Races for the NY Yacht Club, the New York International Hotel & Restaurant Show, and the American Federation of Information Processing Societies and its National Computer Conference (NCC).
Notable achievements were many successful special events including the establishment of a water ski show in Central Park, the launch of an inaugural “in water” boat show in Norwalk, CT and the establishment of Bruno, Ianuzzi and Gudgeon, Inc., a boutique public relations firm.
In the 1970s, Senior began to focus his promotional work on trade shows and conventions, an industry where his skills had proven to be the strongest and most effective. After serving exposition clients for three years, he began producing his own shows in the technology field. In 1983, with the debut of PC EXPO at the NY Coliseum, that brought volume buyers and sellers of computer products and services together, his firm had successfully completed its transition from public relations to trade show ownership and management.
H.A. Bruno, Inc., quickly became a leading producer of technology events with the creation of PC EXPO in Chicago, and niche events FinCom (financial computing), CITEX (computer dealers), CaseCon (database software), Microcomputer Managers Association Trade Show (MMA) and NetWorld Dallas and Boston in partnership with Novell the pioneering computer networking company.
By 1988, H.A. Bruno, Inc. was being heavily pursued for acquisition by other trade show companies here and abroad. The firm merged with Blenheim Group, PLC, in 1990, a London based company that needed a strong presence and partner to manage and grow its acquisitions being made in America. Senior took the helm as CEO of Bruno Blenheim, Inc., based in Fort Lee, NJ, with an expanded portfolio of events that now included CMM (converting machinery & materials), Bobbin Show (sewn and woven product machinery), UNIX Expo and 65 shows serving the franchise industry as well as trade publications.
Under Senior’s tutelage, Bruno Blenheim acquired DB EXPO the leading database trade show, launched NetWorld in Frankfurt, Germany and San Francisco, a packaging show for the Latin market, high end fashion shows Premier Collections and International Jeanswear, and HBA Global Expo, the leading product development event for the beauty and personal care industry.
The technology shows became major forums for new product announcements from leading companies such as IBM, Compaq, HP, Dell, Novell and Sony. Technology icons, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs also delivered Keynote Addresses at Bruno Blenheim events.
Senior’s skills set included association management and he worked on their behalf with lobbying, authoring technical and promotional books, and filmmaking. He worked closely with the Jewelers of America (JA) and acquired the ownership and management of their two fine jewelry shows in New York.
As a result of the spectacular growth of Bruno Blenheim, the Blenheim Group, PLC, quickly raised its status as the largest trade show company in the world with more than 300 shows under its ownership and millions of annual attendees. In 1997, Blenheim Group was sold to Miller Freeman, a division of United Business Media, PLC, and Senior and his two sons purchased some of the Bruno Blenheim shows which they now operate in the United States and South America out of the Paramus, NJ office of H.A. Bruno, LLC.
Upon his retirement in 1998, Senior led a full and active life with his wife Lyn, splitting their time between homes in Hobe Sound, FL and Fort Lee, NJ. An avid golfer he was member of Rockland Country Club in Sparkill, NY, The Loxahatchee Club, Jupiter, FL and Palm Beach Yacht Club.
Nourishing his love to create, he mastered the art of stone and clay sculpturing at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta, FL. He also traveled to Europe and took cooking classes in Tuscany, where he perfected his craft to the delight of many friends and family who enjoyed his fine meals.
He was a member of the National Italian American Foundation and he and his wife Lyn served as event chairs for the annual Pink & White Ball at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.
Senior graduated High School from Cardinal Hayes School for Boys in the Bronx and received a BS in Education from Fordham University.
Among his many recognitions and professional achievements were his induction into the Cardinal Hayes High School Hall of Fame and The King’s Glove Award for lifetime achievement in the trade show and exposition industry, which sits on permanent display in New York’s Javits Center.
Mr. Ianuzzi leaves behind his loving wife, Lyn Palka Ianuzzi; his adoring four children Ralph Ianuzzi, Jr. of Upper Saddle River, NJ, and Stephen Ianuzzi of Yorktown Heights, NY, Elizabeth Alaimo and Christine Ianuzzi, both of Staten Island, NY.
Five grandchildren will hold his memory in their hearts: Lauren Ianuzzi, Lisa Marie Ianuzzi, Matthew Ianuzzi, Gina Alaimo and Christina Alaimo.
He also will be missed by his daughters-in-law Gayle Ianuzzi, Betty Ianuzzi and Mary Vaccaro; son-in-law Vincent Alaimo; sisters-in-law Joan Pinder, Karen Palka and Connie Ianuzzi; brother-in-law Walter Palka, numerous nephews and nieces, and his first wife Leonora Lombardo Ianuzzi, her extended family, as well as many friends and work colleagues worldwide.
Family and friends can attend viewings on Thurs., Sept. 19th and Fri., Sept. 20th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. at A.K. Macagna Funeral Home, 495 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ.
A Funeral Mass will take place on Sat., Sept. 21 at 11:00 a.m. at Madonna Church on the Hill in Fort Lee, NJ. Entombment to follow at Madonna Mausoleum in Fort Lee, NJ.
Donations in memory of Ralph Ianuzzi, Sr., for an educational fund, can be made to Cardinal & Gold Fund, Inc. in c/o Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, NY.
For directions or to sign Ralph Ianuzzi, Sr. guest book, please visit www.akmacagnafuneralhome.com.
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