Services Held in Italy for Marcolin Group Founder, Giovanni Coffen Marcolin

VALLESELLA DI CADORE, Italy—Services were held here this past weekend for the founding patriarch of the Marcolin Group, Giovanni Coffen Marcolin, 82, who died on Oct. 23 after a long illness.

Marcolin founded the "Fabbrica Artigian," which specialized in the making of gold laminated temples for eyewear, in Cadore Veneto, the eyewear district, in 1961. In 1967 he extended it to production centers in Vallesella di Cadore, where the company launched its first line of products, and, in 1985, moved the entire production to Spar in Belluno.

The group expanded its distribution to the U.S. via distributors and then, later, in an exclusive partnership with Marchon Eyewear for many years. It grew internationally via other expansion and distribution arrangements. In 1985, the company moved its production and its headquarters in 1988 to Longarone in Belluno. Marcolin established the Marcolin Foundation in 1991, to assist the local area with charitable works. The Marcolin Group listed on the Italian stock exchange in 1999 and it was later sold to outside investors including the Della Valle family. Marcolin , in 2012, was sold to PAI Partners.

In the Italian newspaper, Corriere del Veneto, Matteo Toscani, the vice president of the Regional Council of Veneto, said, “Many in Belluno are saddened by the death of Giovanni Marcolin Coffen , founder of the group which became one of the world's eyewear giants. The [people in the region] are indebted to Marcolin, a beautiful story of redemption and economic international success , which began more than 50 years ago . A history of inventiveness, entrepreneurial courage and knowledge of the craft has guaranteed jobs, professionalism and prestige to the entire Dolomite province.”

The news of the senior Marcolin’s passing came through just as the Marcolin SpA Group announced on Oct. 24, that it had reached an agreement to acquire Viva International Group. Giovanni Zoppas, Marcolin’s CEO, told VMail, “It is a sad coincidence the demise of Giovanni Coffen Marcolin happened the same day as Viva’s acquisition. We are very grateful to the “Big Man,” who established the basis for the current Marcolin, for the commitment and the work he did until the end for ‘his’ company, for which he has made great things. Our duty is to continue to continue.”

A Marcolin spokesperson added, “In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that anyone who wishes to convey condolences might offer a donation to the Associazione Italiana Leucemia (AIL). AIL is an Italian ‘ONLUS’ (socially active non-profit organization) constituted in Rome in 1969. The mission is to improve patients and their families’ quality of life and provide direct assistance to patients in their struggle against blood diseases.”