My grandfather emigrated from Italy to Cleveland, Ohio for a chance at a better life. It took him 7 years to save up enough money to pay for my grandmother and my uncle to make the trip to the United States and for the opportunity which this country provides. He wanted a better, more prosperous life for his future children and grandchildren (me). Thanks grandfather!
At 11, my father had me cleaning restrooms at a factory, and at 13, I was working on an assembly line. I graduated high school at age 17 and was working full time both as a landscaper and bartender in the evenings.
A friend of mine made me a bet that I could not make The Ohio State University Marching Band. So I drove down to Columbus, tryouts were in 3 days, in which I memorized all the music, and the marching band military movements. I made 1 of 4 open spots on the snare drum line, out of 40 others who also tried out in 1988.
I had not saved up money for college, but after making the band, I was able to get some money from my parents, and also worked manual labor as a heavy highway construction worker and later, as a hod carrier, working with brick layers, in commercial building construction to pay the bills. It was 4 hard years of working manual labor, taking classes, and long hours during the fall with the marching band. I learned a lot about people and work that has made me who I am today.
After college, I worked for several marketing firms being trained with some of the best strategic minds on how to write and present marketing and business plans and executing various advertising programs. While working, I pursued my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Franklin University in Columbus at night and graduated on the Dean's List. Again, working 50 plus hours a week and taking masters level classes proved to be extremely challenging, but a useful learning experience in my life.
In 1997, I was at an OSU marching band reunion game where I met my wife Lilli in the north end zone, with 100,000 other Buckeye fans walking around. We were married at St. Mary Church, in Urbana, Ohio one year later. We were in the band together for 2 years in college, but we never talked. The band and the Lord brought us together again, 8 years later. What a blessing she is to me today and our love continues to grow.
During our first years of marriage, I started my own
marketing firm in Columbus with another individual. It grew to 25 people
inside of 2 years before I became a full time employee at Johnson Welded Products, Inc. in
Urbana, Ohio, our family business.
We have 5 boys, Frankie, Luca, Nino, Lorenzo
(we call him Renzi), and Victor. After living in downtown Urbana for 10 years, we
moved to the country 6 years ago, and own some 15 plus acres of land,
Urbana and Mechanicsburg. I greatly treasure our family time, and I do not
support attempts to redefine marriage. Marriage is the only institution
that unites kids with their moms and dads.
Vote Family. Vote Vitale.