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Remembering Ali Group’s Luciano Berti

Ali Group founder Luciano Berti passed away on Jan. 18, 2021, 8 days shy of his 90th birthday.

Luciano Berti picturehandupBerti was born in Italy and earned a sociology degree from Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright scholar. Berti then went on to earn a doctorate in political science from Italy’s University of Turin. After a brief stint as a professor in Italy, Berti made an investment in a Milanese warewashing company in 1962. Shortly thereafter, Berti went out on his own, founding ALI Comenda. This was the first step toward developing what is known today as Ali Group, a multinational foodservice equipment manufacturing firm with 79 brands spanning 30 countries and 10,000 employees.

Berti and his wife of 52 years, Giancarla, who preceded him in death in 2019, participated in many charitable and philanthropic activities. The couple was involved with organizations supporting the arts and sciences through their founding of the Fondazione Berti in Italy and the Berti Foundation in the United States. Children of Ali Group employees received educational assistance through the Berti Foundation Scholarship Program in the U.S. This came in addition to the AFS Intercultural Program offered to Ali Group employees in Italy, and the scholarships offered through the Accademia della Scala to send young Italian musicians to the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado.

In 2016, FE&S presented Berti with its inaugural Icon Award.

“We have lost a dear friend to many, and for those of us in the Berti family, a loving father and grandfather. Many of you who personally knew my father know that beyond his deep intellectual curiosity, he always enjoyed meeting people,” says Filippo Berti, chairman and CEO of the Ali Group. He is also the son of Luciano and Giancarla. “He genuinely cared about his employees’ well-being — as much as he cared about the business. I look forward to continuing his legacy.”