BROWNSVILLE, Pa. – Little did the late Phil and Ruth Ann Giannetti realize the impact their lifelong philanthropy would have on their family and the community, quietly giving time and resources to everyone in need as they grew their Dodge dealership into a nationally recognized business.
Three generations of the Giannetti family will be honored May 24 for their deep commitment to community giving by the Greater Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual membership dinner.
Tickets for the commemorative dinner are on sale at the chamber office at 325 Market St.; NAPA store, 600 Market St.; and Brownsville Bus Lines, 525 National Pike E. The evening begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. on the upper level of the Brownsville Sons of Italy, Frank Ricco Lodge 731, 16 Race St. Tickets are $30 each.
"The Giannetti family has given a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to Brownsville for decades, but has shied away from the spotlight. The chamber is pleased to honor them, on behalf of the community, for their longstanding support of local projects," says Frank Ricco, chamber president.
Brownsville natives Phil and Ruth Ann (Lunden) Giannetti were an ideal match – role models who instilled a sense of pride in the community and quiet generosity in their children, Nancy, Chip , Anne and spouses. In keeping with family tradition, their grandchildren – 11-year-old twins Philip and Charlie – are helping to carry the torch today.
"We are what we are because of our parents," says Chip, who’s worked in the shop since high school and took over the business following his father's death in 1989. His mother died in 2008 after a brave battle with brain cancer.
Through the years, the 3.1-acre dealership at 656 National Pike E. has been in the national spotlight. Phil Giannetti and Chrysler's former chairman Lee Iacocca, a native of Allentown, PA, were on a first-name basis, oftentimes calling each other to talk shop or just to chat. In 1977, the dealership sold the first three Rail-Track pickups produced in Detroit to Monongahela Railway, a feat that created a media blitz when the manufacturer's top management came to town for the key-turning ceremony. Through Chip's leadership and Ruth Ann's ongoing support, Phil Giannetti Dodge was inducted into the Chargers Club in 1996, receiving a "Grand Award" and honored as one of the Top 5 dealerships in the nation.
|Chip, Nancy and Anne|
Chip, a 1971 graduate of BAHS, tried college, but found his true calling in the shop, starting full-time in January 1972. He and his wife, Eva, a retired elementary school teacher from BASD, live in Brownsville Township. He is a member of the Brownsville Sons of Italy, Frank Ricco Lodge 731, social member of Hiller Volunteer Fire Department and member of the newly formed Brownsville Planning Commission.
Anne, a 1984 BAHS graduate, washed and pin-striped cars at the dealership when she was in high school, hoping to one day build cars. She holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. She became the dealership's bookkeeper in 2011 when Anna May Mazurek retired after nearly 45 years and moved to South Carolina. Anne, her husband, Michael Osborn, a director at Deloitte Tax LLP, and the twins live in Irwin.
To schedule an interview or photo:
Frank Ricco, 724-785-3600
Chip Giannetti, 724-785-6800
1992 Photo: 25th anniversary of Phil Giannetti Dodge.
From left, Chip, Nancy, Anne