The International Columbia Association was officially founded on November 15, 2006, by Vincent A. Tummino, retired member of the New York City Fire Department, he currently serves as its President. Mr. Tummino has also served as President of the Columbia Association FDNY for 9 years and has served on the Board of Directors for over 15 years. He has been appointed as Ambassador of that Association.
Daniel Nigro, retired Chief of Department of the NYC Fire Department, also assisted in the founding of the Association and was appointed as its Executive Director.
The inspiration behind the International Columbia Association was Mr. Tummino's pride for his Italian heritage. He feels that there is a need to continue to promote the Italian heritage and culture throughout the world, and to ensure that they are not forgotten by future generations.
Italian-Americans who were born in the United States still feel a close connection to Italy. Their great-grandparents, grandparents, or parents made great sacrifices to leave their homeland and travel many miles to start a new life.
The events of September 11, 2001, have opened many doors between the United States and Italy and have consequently brought the countries closer together. In the wake of the tragedy, Tummino made a promise to his friends and colleagues that he would do everything in his power to build something positive on the ruins of that tragic day.
Through the help of many friends, both nearby and overseas, and after making 20 trips to Italy from 2001 to 2006, Tummino's dream became a reality. The Columbia Association was allowed to offer more scholarships to firefighters and their families to ensure them a better education, to continue to promote the Italian culture, and to maintain solidarity.