Texanthropy Spotlight: Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano – 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Award Winner

July 20, 2017

This week I am spotlighting the final 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Winner. Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano won the GVA for Corporate Community Impact for Small Business. This award recognizes a small private business that has implemented employee volunteer programs, that has community service as a core value, and that goes beyond occasional volunteering, but is rather committed to long term community engagement.

It’s no surprise that Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano demonstrates all of these traits, because founder Carmelo Mauro is known throughout Texas for his generosity in donating time and funds in support of numerous causes. Carmelo’s most notable accomplishment is a pilot program in entrepreneurship at Del Valle High School in Austin. The students are taught culinary and management skills and entrepreneurship in classroom space that kitchen and interior designers have transformed into a real restaurant. Approximately 5,200 students have gone through the Del Valle program since 2001, and its success inspired Carmelo to establish programs in 240 Texas schools serving over 21,000 students annually.

Additionally, in 2001 Carmelo was recognized by the National Restaurant Association as their Cornerstone Humanitarian of the Year. Of Carmelo, the West Houston Leadership Institute said: “Carmelo is synonymous with graciousness and generosity in West Houston, reflected both in his restaurant and his work in the community.”

I couldn’t agree more…congrats Carmelo! And congratulations once again to all of the 2016 Governor's Volunteer Award winners. Thank you for all you have done to make your communities and the entire state of Texas a better place.