Ali Group CEO Filippo Berti has issued a statement thanking well-wishers following the passing of his father and company founder, Luciano Berti, earlier this month.
Luciani, who started the business in 1962 when he set up warewashing firm ALI Comenda, died peacefully from natural causes on Monday 18 January, aged 89.
Filippo – who joined the firm in 2008 when Ali Group bought Beverage-Air, where he held the role of president – took over the reins from his father five years ago after a period spent running Ali Group’s North American operations in Chicago.
Even though Luciano stepped away from the day-to-day running of the business, he remained actively involved with the company’s corporate staff in his role as chairman.
Filippo described his father as a “charismatic leader and a true titan of the foodservice industry”.
He said: “We have lost a dear friend to many, and for those of us in the Berti family, a loving father and grandfather. Many of you who personally knew my father know that beyond his deep intellectual curiosity, he always enjoyed meeting people.
“He genuinely cared about his employees’ well-being — as much as he cared about the business. I look forward to continuing his legacy. On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you for your kindness and sympathy during our time of loss. It gives us great comfort to know that you are thinking of us during this time.”
Throughout his entire life, Ali Group remained Berti’s deepest passion. In the early days he would work six days a week in the business and was known for personally selling his dishwashers himself when he went away on trips.
Today, Ali Group comprises 79 different brands, employs 10,000 employees in 30 countries and boasts revenues in excess of $2.7 billion a year.