Crain’s has published an article about Tony Abruscato, the new Chairman of our Board of Directors. We’ve posted the article below, and you can find the original publication here.
“Tony Abruscato, who heads up the Chicago Flower & Garden Show every March, has been named chairman of Chicago Gateway Green.
He replaces restaurateur Grant DePorter, whose term is up.
In Mr. Abruscato, Gateway Green has someone well-versed in working with the city and putting on events.
When former Mayor Richard M. Daley was in office, Mr. Abruscato ran Special Events Management, a company that helped event organizers get streets closed for charity fundraisers.
Mr. Abruscato left that to start his own company, Flower Show Productions, which puts on the Chicago flower show and a second flower show during the Lake County Fair in July. In recent months he’s worked to help bring a perishable center to O’Hare International Airport. “Instead of shipping flowers by truck form Miami, we can add 10 days to its life by going through O’Hare. It’s giving the flower industry a boost,” he says.
Mr. Abruscato has been a Gateway Green board member for three years and served as chairman in 2011.
Given his green thumb, it’s no surprise he’s a cheerleader for the organization.
“I don’t think people realize how vital Gateway Green is to Chicago,” he told me in a phone conversation today. “Gateway Green raises money and manages the upkeep and planting and design of expressway gardens. If it weren’t here, you’d see grass, dirt or litter. Chicago is one of the few cities in the world with gateway gardens. When you’re sitting in traffic in other cities, you see a concrete mass or dirt. So my goal is to talk about how vital the organization is and bring attention to it and the corporate partners that help with that process. If it wasn’t for the Chicago Cubs, United Airlines and Midtown Tennis Club and others who sponsor the expressway gardens, we wouldn’t’ be able to do what we do.”
When he’s not greening up the city, Mr. Abruscato and his partner, Sam Griffith, owner of Griffith Parc Blow Dry Boutique and Salon, like to hang out with Emma, their westie, and vacation in Michiana, where they have a second home.