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Colavita USA joins Global Sports Mentoring Program
By Staff
Date: 9/19/2012
Colavita USA joins Global Sports Mentoring Program
Colavita USA Joins U.S. State Department and espnW in the Global Sports Mentoring Program and Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative.

Colavita USA, marketers of the #1 Italian brand of extra virgin olive oil in the US and a longtime sponsor of professional women’s athletics, is partnering with the U.S. Department of State and espnW to launch the Global Sports Mentoring Program. The program pairs female executives at U.S. companies and associations with experience in sports or a related field with emerging leaders from around the globe visiting here to learn and develop strategies to use their position in sports to affect positive social change in their communities. Colavita is pleased to open its doors to Geraldine Bernardo of the Philippines – a decorated athlete who has served as a member of the country’s Olympic Committee and as Executive Director of the Philippine Sports Commission.

The Global Sports Mentoring Program is the flagship component of the State Department’s “Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative,” which aims to increase the global number of women and girls involved in sports. Coordinated by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sports, Peace, and Society, the program builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the full range of diplomatic tools—including mentoring and sports—to empower women and girls and foster greater understanding.

Colavita was selected to participate in the inaugural Global Sports Mentoring Program because of its enduring history of supporting women in sports including professional cycling, tennis, and figure skating. Colavita’s professional women’s cycling program is the longest and most successful in U.S. history. Among the alumna of Colavita’s cycling program are five Olympians (including two medalists at the 2012 Olympic Games), the reigning World Champion in road racing, and numerous national champions. Colavita also supports cycling at the recreational level with the largest network of clubs for men, women, and youth participating for fun, fitness, and competition at the grassroots level in communities across the U.S.

“We are honored that the U.S. State Department and espnW have invited us to join the first-ever Global Sports Mentoring Program,” said John A. Profaci, Vice President of Marketing for Colavita USA. Profaci continues, “We endorse the program’s mission of Smart Women, Better World as we know through our commitment to cycling that sports inspire healthy lifestyles and strengthen families and communities.”

Colavita Assistant Director of Marketing Nicole Jeannette will serve as mentor for Bernardo. Jeannette, who oversees marketing initiatives for all Colavita brands, is also responsible for the company’s athletic sponsorship programs. “My role is to incorporate Colavita’s commitment to healthy living in everything we do – from providing signature ingredients central to the Mediterranean Diet to supporting athletes at the professional and recreational level,” said Jeannette. “We hope consumers are inspired to follow our lead.”

While at Colavita, Bernardo will collaborate on “Strong Women, Better World,” a consumer insight study aimed at understanding how participation in sports shapes the lives of women and girls. Research conducted by the United Nations points to women and girls’ participation in sports as an important social and economic empowerment tool. Studies also show a direct correlation between girls’ participation in sports and higher education and employment. The study will launch at Chelsea Piers in New York City and will be available online at on September 18, 2012.

Participating emerging leaders in the Global Sports Mentoring Program include 17 women representing Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In addition to Colavita, other U.S. organizations include Burton, ESPN, Gatorade, LPGA Foundation, NCAA, Procter & Gamble, Saatchi & Saatchi, Stanton & Company, Under Armour, University of Oregon, USA Gymnastics, U.S. Olympic Committee, Women in Cable Telecommunications, and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

For more information about the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program, visit University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society.

About Colavita USA: Family-owned Colavita USA LLC, headquartered in Edison, NJ, has been importing and distributingColavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil for over 30 years. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil is recognized as the #1 Italian brand in the US and has earned awards from renowned cooking publications such as Fine Cookingand Cook’s Illustrated and general-interest magazines like Men’s Health.

Colavita® authentic Italian specialty products, including durum wheat semolina pasta, a full selection of balsamic and wine vinegars, traditional and organic pasta sauces, and olive-canola blended oils are the ingredients of choice for chefs in home, restaurant, and professional kitchens. For more information, and

In addition, Colavita USA markets other fine food products under the Dal Raccolto® label and through partnership agreements with leading retailers, chefs, and cookbook author and TV host Rachael Ray to thousands of grocery and specialty stores and direct to many restaurants and other foodservice establishments. Colavita is also the sole importer and distributor of Perugina food and confectionery products, including the iconic Baci line, in the US. Information about the Perugina line of chocolates and other items is available at and

Colavita is nearing its 10th anniversary as a sponsor of professional cycling. Since 2003, women’s teams powered by Colavita olive oil and pasta have consistently ranked in the top 10 in the US, with #1 rankings in 2010 and 2011. To mark this important milestone, Colavita has recruited a team of inspiring athletes and partnered with espnW to compete as the Colavita/espnW Women’s Pro Cycling Team to raise the profile of women’s cycling. Athletes who have raced for Team Colavita include Olympians Dotsie Bausch (USA), Jasmin Glaesser (Canada), Rachel Heal (Great Britain), and Iona Wynter Parks (Jamaica), World Road Champion Giorgia Bronzini of Italy, and six-time US National Champion Tina Pic.

At the same time, Colavita continues to cultivate talent at the grassroots level. Team Colavita is the largest recreational cycling organization in the US, with 14 regional teams representing over 600 amateur women, men, and youth cyclists in more than 20 states from coast to coast. Follow Team Colavita at Team Colavita on Facebook and find news, results and information by visiting the website Team Colavita.

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