Grandsons Commemorate the Birth of the Founder of the Nobella Prize.
Don Alfredo Vito Nobella, the originator of the Nobella Pizza Prize, was born on this day in 1876. His grandsons noted the date by presenting the small Sicilian town of his birth with a commemorative statute sculpted in white marble. The town square, where the statue was unveiled, was filled with joyous townspeople celebrating the festive occasion. Speakers at the event praised the Don for establishing two awards now known as the Schmuckup Prize and the Putzie.
The Basilica of San Sebastian is the church where Don Vito was baptized. A devout Catholic, the Don often called upon San Sebastian – known as the protector saint because he was said to have the power to safeguard the faithful against the black plague – to protect clients who purchased an insurance policy. In the early days, the Don referred to his enterprise as The San Sebastian Protection Company.
During the celebration, it was noted that in addition to establishing two of the world’s most respected prizes, Mr. Nobella was also the founder of the largest insurance organization in Sicily.
After the Italian government deregulated the insurance industry in the late nineteenth century Mr. Nobella, known to friends and close associates as Don Vito, began a program that revolutionized the buying and selling of insurance. Deregulation allowed for the creation of new ways to package insurance and Don Vito led the way in establishing innovative means to sell these ingenious contracts.
One of the Don’s most noteworthy innovations was a life insurance policy whereby clients who paid their premiums got to live a little longer.
Another breakthrough credited to the Don was the creation of after-life insurance. Since an after-life policy was effective posthumously and passage into heaven was guaranteed this type of policy was wildly popular among Italian widows who purchased policies for their deceased husbands as well as for themselves.
He then branched into property insurance – another innovation that rapidly gained in popularity. With such a policy, property was deemed safe from random hazards and it too was guaranteed.
Mr. Nobella’s insurance organization grew rapidly through the early decades of the twentieth century as the company’s unpublicized slogan – you buy or you’re never heard from again – became well known among customers and prospective clients alike. And because premiums were reasonable Mr. Nobella was treated with respect and it was said of Don Vito that he always made you an offer you can’t refuse.
Mr. Nobella was a very good salesman.
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