Joseph P. Vetrano, 1932
Real estate investor, consultant, and broker, he co-owned the Westfarm Mall, merged Bradlees and Stop and Shop.
Joseph P. Vetrano graduated Vermont Academy in 1932, and with hard work and persistence, began an entrepreneurial career that epitomizes the American dream. With pride, Vermont Academy honors Vetrano with the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award (1987).
Vetrano turned down a college scholarship to help his family during the Depression. He worked odd jobs, yet managed to make small real estate investments and important contacts with developers. Before long, Vetrano was orchestrating major deals within the industry. As a real estate investor, consultant, and broker, he co-owned the Westfarm Mall, merged Bradlees and Stop and Shop, and was involved in the construction of more than 20 supermarkets and shopping centers. In the 1950s, Vetrano worked in Rome as an American industrialist to help open market opportunities. There, he befriended the Pope and several Cardinals, associations that lead to the negotiated sale of a monastery to the Sheraton Hotel division of ITT.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan named him to the advisory committee on the arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Although he maintained offices worldwide, he maintained local loyalty. A Connecticut newspaper publisher stated, “I don’t think you could add up the number of generous contributions in the town. He has touched thousands of lives”.