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Professional of the Year in Specialty Product Sales - Gioia Company

   LOS GATOS, CA, January 31, 2012 /Worldwide Who's Who/ -- Katherine Winkelman, Owner of Gioia Company, LLC, has been recognized by Worldwide Who's Who has been named a Worldwide Who's Who Professional of the Year in Specialty Product Sales. While inclusion in Worldwide Who's Who is an honor, only a small selection of members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, years of service, and the credentials they have provided in association with their Worldwide Who's Who membership.

Fueled by a love of all things Italian, Katherine Winkelman took a bold step back from her career as a non-profit project planner to establish Gioia Company, LLC in 2006 alongside her long-time friend and mentor, Lee Marie Michals. The founders first met back in 1974, when Lee Marie hired Kathy as a travel agent. Recognizing their affinity for Italian art, culture and language, the pair developed professional relations with some of the most talented Italian craftsmen, many of whom design custom gift items for import into the United States. With little more than a genuine desire and a business plan, Kathy and Lee Marie embarked on their new journey as the proprietresses of Gioia Company, LLC.

"I knew after a year-long sabbatical in Roma, that one day I would return and work again with the Italian people. I value the traditions, the family life, and the fun-loving spirit of my Italian relations. Gioia, which means 'joy' in Italian, gives me an opportunity to share these Italian Old World Traditions with others through unusual Italian gifts and home decor. These handcrafted Italian ceramics, Venetian masks, and other Italian arts allow me to pass the Italian heritage to future generations."

So states Kathy on Gioia Company's website. For more than five years now, she has been providing her American audience with the finest handcrafted Italian ceramics, masks, Murano glass pendants, Venetian linens, flatware, stemware, inlaid wood furniture, music boxes, cameos and Capodimonte florals. Kathy makes every effort to support a new generation of Italian artists in both Italy and the United States. As such, she maintains close professional relationships with all of the commissioned artists and even profiles many talents on Gioia Company's website. Kathy notes that all of their items are available for purchase and can be ordered via phone or Internet. In addition to her efforts with Gioia Company, Kathy and company offer fundraising event support and art presentations for Italian heritage groups and organizations throughout California, at select wineries and in support of certain non-profit organizations. She also hosts "Festa Gioia," a monthly open house to showcase the products offered by the company.

Kathy earned an MBA as well as a bachelor of arts in history, with a concentration in Renaissance history and early American history, from Santa Clara University. She is professionally affiliated with the SCU Catala Club, the Alumni Association of Santa Clara University, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Italian American Heritage Foundation San Jose, the Italian Historical Society of American, the Global Women's Leadership Network, and Little Italy Project, San Jose. Looking to the future, Kathy intends to expand on the product line offered by Gioia Company and focus on the website reach. Away from work, she enjoys spending time with her family and, of course, traveling to Italy.

For more information about Gioia Company, LLC, visit http://www.gioiacompany.com.