One might say she's a knight of the round (dining) table.
Entrepreneur Florence Ko of Gruppo Mobili has been knighted with the title Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia, an honor bestowed by the Italian government.
For close to two decades, Ko and Gruppo Mobili have been dedicated to distributing high quality Italian furniture through its brands FURNitalia, Space 2000, Calligaris, and Lucem.
Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Giorgio Guglielmino read the citation as representative of the Sergio Mattarella, President of the Republic of Italy.
“Over the years, thanks to Florence Ko’s entrepreneurial and marketing expertise, the number of brands being distributed has grown to include luxury furniture pieces from top-level Italian houses such as Poltrona Frau, Molteni & C, and Giorgetti, among others. Moreover, she has launched her own furniture company, Space 2000, of which production makes use also of Italian suppliers,” the citation said.
“Florence Ko’s business activities have successfully contributed in promoting the image of Italy and of the Italian industry, highlighting the visibility and prestige in the eyes of the Filipino market,” it continued.
In her acceptance speech, Ko paid tribute to her husband, William.
“He’s really the one who opened the door to the great love and fruitful relationship with the Italians. He started more than 30 years ago promoting Italian products,” said Ko. “I think we already have the DNA of Italians.”
“The Philippines and Italy have a lot in common, but family is extremely important within both cultures. That’s why we treat our Italian partners just like our family.”
Originally established in 1947 and reformed in 2011, the honorific title, translated as “Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy,” is given to “Italians and foreigners who have acquired particular merits in the promotion of friendships and collaboration between Italy and other countries.”