Angelo Falconi knew two things from an early age: he would make money, and it would involve cars.
He was six years old when he and a friend started a business waxing cars. Unlike subsequent initiatives, this one didn't go well. They chose a teacher's car, and liberally applied ... axle grease. For young Angelo, it was an uncommon setback on his way to becoming become one of the most influential businessmen in Washington County.
If you're reading this, you've probably been in Angelo's world. Did you attend a Wild Things game at the original Falconi Field? Angelo saved the team when it was still an idea. Penguins fan? Angelo stepped up when Mario Lemieux asked him to invest to keep the Pens in Pittsburgh. If you were treated at Washington Hospital, visited the Trolley Museum or the Whiskey Rebellion Festival, you've benefitted from Angelo Falconi's philosophy: Give back to the community whenever possible.
He was a born entrepreneur. At age 19, Falconi started a car dealership in Canonsburg, and a few years later became one of the youngest Ford dealers in Pennsylvania. If you met Angelo, the first thing he asked was 'What kind of car do you drive?" and then proceeded to sell you one.
He was visionary, creating a conglomerate of dozens of companies that included car dealerships, three personal care homes, and lots of real estate ventures.
Along the way, family members became employees, and employees became family.
Legacy? It defines him. Angelo passed away in 2015. But the pieces he set in motion are still reverberating.
"During his life, Angelo Falconi became an investor in our community and its future," said Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. "Mr. Falconi brought a sense of vision, without fanfare or pretense, because it was the right thing to do and because he believed in Washington County."
His web of companies continues to thrive, led by his sister's son, Washington lawyer Ed Morascyzk. As a child, Morascyzk sat quietly as Angelo talked business and community involvement with neighbors like Pete Cameron or Joe Hardy.
Angelo's philosophy lives on in Morascyzk. "I was influenced by Angelo and friends," he said. "They taught me to be involved, be a leader in the community. We firmly believe we have a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen."
You don't have to be named Falconi to be part of the team.
"Our people are our pride- many employees have worked with us for decades," he said. "They buy into our commitment to community and the spirit of philanthropy."
The Washington County Community Foundation is pleased to present the Charles C. Keller Award for Corporate Philanthropy to the Falconi Family of Businesses. It's given to a business that supports the community, not only financially, but with staff time and local leadership, and works to address community needs.
In addition to supporting the community at many levels, the Falconi Family of businesses, under several names, has been a true friend of the WCCF, supporting the Gives Day bonus pool and dozens of Foundation initiatives.
"Good corporate citizens like Ed Morasczyk are indispensable partners in achieving our mission to enrich the quality of life in Washington County," said WCCF CEO Betsie Trew.
"Our goals are in alignment with WCCF," said Morascyzk. "We're both keeping community assets strong in our corner of the world."