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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
 
 
Logo of CIBPA   1961      A strike occurred at one of Windsor’s major employers, led by a small group of Italian Canadians. The company, after the strike, issued a directive that no more Italians be hired. Dr. Frank DeMarco, the company physician, decided that the discriminatory policy demanded a fight. He called a few of his Italian Canadian friends who had established themselves in the business and professional sectors of Windsor, and they met to organize their opposition to the company’s position.
 
1962   Out of necessity and for the fight against discrimination, the Windsor Italian Professional and Businessmen’s Association was born.

The first president was Roland Baldassi, an attorney who was blunt and to the point, and who was widely respected for his openness and candor. His board of directors included Anthony Soda, Tony Valente, Tullio Meconi, Al Dottor, Frank Bernacchi and Angelo Zamparo. The WIPBA donated Italian books to the Windsor Library and they took the bold step of renting the Cleary Auditorium to host the North American debut of Windsor’s own Emilia Cundari, after her triumphant performance at La Scala, in Milan, Italy. They held an annual Roman Festival, which included a parade, complete with horse-drawn chariots. The WIPBA began organizing Civic Night, which was an evening of thanks to those individuals in elected and administrative office in Windsor and Essex County.
     
1988   Windsor helped form the National Federation of Canadian Italian Business and Professional Associations, which today has chapters in Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Windsor, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, with a chapter forming in Winnipeg.
     
1995   Under the leadership of Dr. Domenic Aversa, the constitution of the WIPBA was changed to allow women members, in recognition of the fact that many Italian-Canadian women were making a significant mark on the business and professional sectors of Windsor and Essex County.
     
2000   The constitution was again changed, to name the organization the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association of Windsor, to conform to the names of all the other chapters of the National federation.
 
The CIPBA of Windsor has been able to change with the times, and is still here after more than 40 proud years, a testament to those early founders of 1962.
 
CIPBA maintains its Constitutional Objectives by:
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Supporting cultural, educational and charitable endeavours
Representing the Italian Business and Professional Community of Windsor and Essex County on issues impacting the Italian Community and/or the Community in general.
Providing a forum for networking amongst the Members of CIPBA and encouraging the transaction of business amongst members of CIPBA on a local, national and international level.
Soliciting and receiving donations, bequests, legacies and grants to establish and maintain a fund or funds.
Disbursing all or part of the capital of the fund or funds and their income to carry out of the objectives of CIPBA
 
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