Joseph A. Unanue is president of the largest Hispanic-owned company in the country, which was founded by his parents, Don Prudencio and Dona Carolina Casal Unanue, in 1936. Today the Secaucus, NJ-based firm, which began in lower Manhattan as an importer of olives, olive oil, and canned sardines, manufactures, markets, and distributes close to 1,000 fine food products.
The Brooklyn-born leader began working in the family business part-time as a young man during school vacations. Following service in the United States Army during World War II, he received a degree in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He then joined his father at Goya Foods. Mr. Unanue spent the next 25 years learning every facet of the food industry, from purchasing, production and distribution, to credit, personnel, and payroll. His engineering degree also paid off as the company expanded and built new distribution center and manufacturing facilities.
Mr. Unanue continues the long tradition of community service started by his parents. The company, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1996, supports scores of civic, cultural, athletic, and religious organizations including: the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Repertorio Espanol, Ballet Hispanico, and the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Goya is a supporter of the New Jersey Council for the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has contributed to the learning through Arts Educational Program at the Guggenheim Museum.
Mr. Unanue has been honored repeatedly for his community-minded service. Among his many distinctions, he has been named "Man of the Year" twice by the National Conference of Christians and Jews and has received the Leadership Award from the National Minority Suppliers Association. In addition, he has received the Key to the City of Boston, the 1991 National Hispanic Achievement Award presented by Hispanic Magazine, and has been knighted with the "Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta." Mr. Unanue has served on the Board of Trustees of the Boys Club of America, the Board of Regents of Seaton Hall University, and the Board of Directors of the 1995 Special Olympics World Games. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America, the Advisory Board of Banco Popular of New York, the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society Foundation, Casita Maria, Inc., and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He has received honorary doctorates from Mercy College, Long Island University in New York, and Felician College in New Jersey.
Working in a glass office open to view Mr. Unanue is known to his employees as "Joe." He is married to the former Carmen Ana Casal. They live in New Jersey and have six children and sixteen grandchildren.
http://www.neco.org/awards/recipients/josephaunanue.html (Proof Positive)
Joseph and Carmen Unanue (at left) at the reception for the recent Walsh Library Gallery exhibition, Voces y Visiones, with Seton Hall Executive Vice President Sister Paula Buley and University President Monsignor Robert Sheeran.
|Joseph and Carmen Unanue are long-time supporters of Latino activities and organizations, and Seton Hall as well. Joseph, a former member of the University's Board of Regents from 1982 to 1989, has been named "Man of the Year" twice by the National Conference of Christians and Jews; has received the Leadership Award from the National Minority Suppliers Association, the Key to the City of Boston, and the 1991 National Hispanic Achievement Award presented by Hispanic Magazine; has been honored by Bnai Brith in 1989; and has been knighted by the "Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta." Also, he has served as the Grand Marshall of New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade and has been named Grand Marshall of the Hispanic Heritage Parade in New York. Joseph received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Seton Hall University in May 2004.|
Carmen received an honorary doctorate of Humanitarian Service from Seton Hall in May 1994. She is well known throughout the Archdiocese of Newark and the Latino community for her philanthropic work and volunteer service. Also, she is vice chair of the Board of Trustees, El Museo del Barrio, the largest museum of Latin American art and culture in the Northeast.
The Unanues, frequently through Goya, have made many charitable contributions over the years, among them 30,000 lbs. of food to Colombia earthquake victims in 1998, as well as to the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater; Repertorio Español; Ballet Hispanico; Puerto Rican Day Parade; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; El Museo del Barrio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Arts Educational Programs at the Guggenheim Museum.
http://academic.shu.edu/latinoinstitute/ (Proof Positive II)
|Knight of Malta Joseph A. Unanue is the head of Goya Foods.|