Giorgio Kolaj represents passion, hard-work, and success in a variety of ways. As the youngest of five, Giorgio and his brothers spent their humble beginnings finding work early in their youth to support the family. Working in kitchens, to managing restaurants, they quickly learned the value of discipline, teamwork and perseverance – qualities that would later help define their business.
Since 1986, Giorgio and his brothers have been dedicated to building the New York-based pizza brand Famous Famiglia. As Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for Famous Famiglia, he helped launch a successful partnership with the Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr. Family to expand the brand on both a national and international level. Giorgio was a key individual in the completion and transitioning process. Today, Famous Famiglia operates company-owned and franchised locations in a variety of captive markets. The brand recently appeared in the two-hour premiere episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” earlier this year with Donald Trump. Famous Famiglia is the Official Pizza of the New York Yankees and of Madison Square Garden.
Prior to rejoining the family business, Giorgio enjoyed a successful career in the high-tech industry, where he worked at IBM Global Services, selling large-scale technical services solutions to IBM’s global strategic outsourcing clients, including Merrill-Lynch, Bank of America, Cable & Wireless, Bankers Trust, and many others. Upon leaving IBM and in the midst of the DOT-COM era, Giorgio helped launch a successful security software company with a team of international technologists. Giorgio’s role in the new start-up was to develop strategic channel partnerships around the globe; his offices spanned London, Munich, Paris, and Israel. Three years later, the growing technology company was acquired by Computer Associates. Giorgio holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Business Administration; both with Latin Honors.
It is his business and professional acumen combined with passion for the hospitality industry that led Giorgio to open Valentino’s on the Green in September 2010. The beautifully restored restaurant and banquet facility bring a wealth of exclusive restaurant expertise and business practice to the mansion that was once home to film legend Rudolph Valentino.
When he is not building his businesses in the food and beverage industry, Giorgio is proud to be a member of the: Board of Directors of D.A.R.E. America; National Italian American Foundation – Executive Business Council Member; Giorgio also recently served as the President of Boy Scouts – Queens Council. He speaks several languages, and his hobbies include spending time with his 14 year old daughter Camilla and sculpting.