As a young boy growing up in a small town in Italy, Antonio Baldaccini ’01, MBA ’11 had big dreams. He watched his father build and lead a successful global aeronautics and industrial manufacturing company called UMBRAGROUP, which made Baldaccini think about his own future and how he would make his mark on the world.
“I was always curious about the United States and Los Angeles in particular,” said Baldaccini. “My father had clients in the U.S. so in my early twenties, I decided to move to Los Angeles.”
Baldaccini admits it was a challenge adjusting to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles compared to his tranquil hometown. However, he embraced the opportunity and, after a year of working, decided to go back to school. He enrolled at Santa Monica College before transferring to LMU to study business.
“LMU was small and intimate compared to USC and UCLA and it just felt like home,” he said. “I really connected to the university’s Jesuit values and focus on the whole person.”
As a student at LMU, Baldaccini viewed the Sacred Heart Chapel tower as a beacon on a hill, sort of a guiding light as he navigated his studies and career. The view from the bluff even reminded him of his view in Italy. He loved LMU so much, in fact, that he returned eight years later to get his Executive MBA.
Baldaccini took over as CEO of UMBRAGROUP in 2014. His strong leadership skills and international perspective are the result of 20 years of experience in UMBRAGROUP companies in Italy, other parts of Europe, the U.S. and several other countries. He also credits his LMU education for instilling attributes commonly associated with the lion – powerful, fearless and strong – as well as the importance of giving back.
After his father’s death, Baldaccini along with his brother and sister created a company foundation in response to the local community’s needs. When the COVID-19 crisis hit Italy, the foundation made a large donation to local hospitals to purchase equipment needed to save lives.
Baldaccini has never been shy about opening his pockets to support a good cause. He was one of the lead donors to the Bill Lindsey Endowed Scholarship Fund – named after the founder of the LMU Executive MBA program that provides scholarship support to graduate business students.
Today, Baldaccini lives in the quaint town of Spello, Italy with his wife and three daughters. Remarkably, another LMU alum has a home in the same town – Ray Frew ’73, a prominent accounting scholarship donor who also stays active and engaged with his alma mater. Both men are leading lives of purpose and meaning that is truly the hallmark of an LMU education.
To learn more about giving to the College of Business Administration, visit cba.lmu.edu/give.