ELLIS ISLAND, NY – Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was honored by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. on Tuesday morning at the Sixth Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards. The awards honored three outstanding Americans with roots to Ellis Island: Mike Krzyzewski in Sports, Bill Novelli in Public Service, and John Mack in Business. The Peopling of America Award, honoring an immigrant from another time period or different port of entry, saluted fashion entrepreneur Josie Natori. Due to weather conditions, Krzyzewski was unable to attend the awards ceremony hosted by ABC News Correspondent Lynn Sherr in the Great Hall at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum on Tuesday, April 17, the date that marks the centennial of the busiest day in Ellis Island’s immigrant processing history.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. instituted the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards in April 2001 as part of the grand opening of the American Family Immigration History Center® at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and online at www.ellisisland.org. The awards celebrate the Golden Door to America for the 17 million immigrants who came to this country through the Port of New York and Ellis Island. Forty percent of Americans today can trace their roots to an ancestor who was among those brave and determined individuals. The Peopling of America Award honors the lives of those who arrived through another port of entry or at another time.
Annually, the Foundation honors a select number of these immigrants or their descendants who have made a major contribution to the American experience. By presenting a copy of the original ship’s passenger manifest documenting their, or their ancestors’ arrival, we reflect on their journey, their courage and determination, and honor the unique contribution they have made to this “Nation of Immigrants.” Honorees are selected through a process that is guided by an Awards Committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
April 17, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the busiest day in Ellis Island’s history, when 11,747 individuals arrived there to begin new lives in America. A usual day saw some 5,000 immigrants processed. It was the highpoint of 1907 when 1,285,349 immigrants entered the United States, with Ellis Island processing nearly 80 percent of those new arrivals. The country would not welcome as many immigrants again until 1990.
According to Dr. Alan Kraut of American University and chair of the History Advisory Committee for The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., America’s current wave of immigration has striking similarities to the turn of the last century when Ellis Island was America’s flagship immigration depot. “The percentage of our foreign born population in 1907 was 15.7%, and today it is just slightly lower at 12.5%,” said Dr. Kraut. “However, the real difference is where they are coming from: in 1907 most of those arriving were from Southern and Eastern Europe, while today they are coming predominantly from Latin America and Asia.”
2007 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award Recipients
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI - Sports
Michael William Krzyzewski’s Polish grandfather, Josef Pituch, arrived in America from Austria by way of Ellis Island on March 21, 1906. He made his way to Waltersburg, Pennsylvania, like so many others, to work in the coal mines. After marrying and starting a family, the Pituchs eventually relocated to the Polish community in the inner city of Chicago. It was here that their daughter Emily met her future husband, William Krzyzewski. The man who would come to be known as Coach K was born to Emily and William on February 13, 1947.
After attending the all-boys Catholic Weber High School in Chicago and developing his talents as a basketball player, Mike Krzyzewski was accepted by the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he played basketball under head coach Bobby Knight from 1967 to 1969. He earned second team All-NIT honors and a spot in the North-South Game. After graduating from West Point, Krzyzewski served five years as an officer in the United States Army.
Krzyzewski's college coaching career began as a graduate assistant to Bobby Knight at Indiana University from 1974 to 1975. Coach K’s first head coaching position came just a year later at his alma mater where, for the next five years, he led the Cadets to a 73-59 record and an NIT appearance in 1978.
Named as head coach of the Duke University Blue Devils Men’s Basketball Team in 1980, Krzyzewski overcame some difficult early seasons to build one of the most successful collegiate athletic programs of all time. In his 27 years at Duke, Krzyzewski became the winningest coach in NCAA Tournament history, was named National Coach of the Year twelve times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Duke Board of Trustees recently announced it will name its new Center for Athletic Excellence in his honor. Appointed United States National Basketball Head Coach for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Mike Krzyzewski sets the bar as a humanitarian of sport, an ambassador of education, a coach, a teacher, a friend, a family man, a leader and a motivator.
WILLIAM D. NOVELLI – Public Service
Twenty-four year-old Raffaele Novelli, paternal grandfather to William D. Novelli and son of Nicola and Cecilia, left his ancestral home in Calascio, Italy arriving at Ellis Island on February 6, 1897. Making his way to Tarrs, Pennsylvania he found work as a coal miner. He was soon reunited with Maria Giuseppa Florio, whom he'd know in the old country, and they married in 1899 and started a family. They returned to Italy, but Raffaele continued to travel to Africa and America in search of employment to support his growing family of four. By 1910 the Novellis had returned to America for good. Maria gave birth to four more children, including Domenico, father of Bill Novelli and his brother, Jerry.
Mr. Novelli was raised in the Pittsburgh area and attended the University of Pennsylvania where he played varsity football and lacrosse, earned a B.A. in English and Journalism, an M.A. from Penn's Annenberg School of Communications, and most importantly met his wife Fran. He began his career at Unilever and went on to work for the advertising giant Wells, Rich and Green where he honed his skills and realized he enjoyed marketing ideas as well as products.
In his next position, as Director of Advertising and Creative Services for the Peace Corps, Bill Novelli further developed the art of marketing concepts and concerns. He then co-founded Porter Novelli in 1972 to apply marketing to social and health issues, creating one of the world’s largest marketing/public relations agencies with corporate, not-for-profit, and government clients. After nearly two decades as President of the firm, he departed in 1990 to pursue a second career in public service.
Mr. Novelli is a recognized leader in the international practice of social marketing, and was named one of the 100 most influential public relations professionals of the 20th century by the industry’s leading publication. He has served as Executive Vice President of CARE - the world’s largest private relief and development organization, helping impoverished people in Africa, Asia and Latin America – as well as President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, where he still serves as chairman of the board. Bill Novelli is now CEO of AARP, a membership organization of over 38 million people age 50 and older. He has written extensively on marketing management, communications and social marketing and is the author of 50+: Igniting a Revolution to Reinvent America.
JOHN J. MACK - Business
On December 22, 1903 John J. Mack’s paternal grandfather and namesake John Mack arrived at Ellis Island as Hanna Makhoul from what is today Lebanon. Bound for Marion, SC, he mistakenly disembarked his train at Marion, NC, settling there instead. His twelve-year-old son, Charles, John J. Mack’s father, soon immigrated to Marion and joined his father traveling on foot to surrounding communities selling household goods door-to-door before eventually founding a wholesale grocery supplier.
In 1939, after the death of his first wife, with whom he had four sons, Charles married Alice Azouri, a fellow Lebanese immigrant who had been a refugee in Cuba for 14 years. Their second son, John J. Mack, was born on November 17, 1944 in Mooresville, North Carolina.
A gifted athlete, Mr. Mack attended Duke University on a football scholarship and, having learned the value of hard work from his parents, ran a late-night snack shop out of his dormitory room. Mr. Mack lost his father as a sophomore and his college scholarship (due to a football career–ending injury) in his junior year. Knowing he was on his own, Mr. Mack went to work as a clerk at a securities firm, attending classes during his lunch break on his way to earning his degree in 1968.
John Mack first joined Morgan Stanley in May 1972 as a member of the firm's bond department and rose steadily to positions of increasing responsibility –becoming a member of the Board of Directors in 1987 and President of Morgan Stanley in 1993. When Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter merged in 1997, Mack became President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. Before rejoining Morgan Stanley as Chairman and CEO in June 2005, Mack served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse Group, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse First Boston, and Chairman of Pequot Capital Management.
A member of the Board of Trustees of Duke University, John Mack also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital (The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell), a Director of IMG and Catalyst, a Trustee of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a member of the Business Council and the Business Roundtable as well as numerous International Business Advisory panels.
JOSIE NATORI – Peopling of America Award
On May 9, 1947 Josie Natori was born Josefina Almeda Cruz in Manila, The Philippines. The eldest of six children, she was part a close-knit and supportive family and thrived in the matriarchal Filipino culture with its strong female role models. Though her earliest success was a solo concert with the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of nine, business was to be her true calling - taking her to New York in 1964, at the age of 17, to study economics at Manhattanville College.
After graduating, Mrs. Natori’s ascent up the corporate ladder was quick. She joined Merrill Lynch in 1971 as an investment banker and, during that time, she met her future husband, Ken Natori, a third-generation Japanese-American and managing director at Smith Barney.
Josie Natori became the first female vice-president in investment banking at Merrill Lynch but by the time she gave birth to her son, Kenneth, Jr. in 1976, “the novelty had begun to wear off.” Thanks in part to the reaction of a buyer at Bloomingdales to a hand-embroidered, appliquéd blouse from her homeland, Natori followed her instincts, quit her job and set up shop in her living room. Although she had no experience in fashion or manufacturing, her innate understanding of the lingerie market guided her. As founder and CEO of Natori Company, Josie Natori reconfigured an industry, erasing the boundary between innerwear and outerwear. In addition to four distinctive lingerie lines, Natori launched a Home collection in February of 2006.
Philippine President Corazon Aquino presented Mrs. Natori with the Galleon Award in 1988 and the honors have continued to accumulate - 1998 New York City Partnership’s Business Woman of the Year, delegate to the Clinton Economic Summit Conference in Little Rock in 1992 and Commissioner to the White House Conference on Small Business in 1993. She sits on many corporate and non-profit boards and devotes significant amounts of time to charitable efforts on behalf of women and fashion both in the U.S. and in the Philippines.