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Mr. CARTWRIGHT. Madam Speaker, today I honor Dr. Peter Pettinato, VMD, who will be named the UNICO National President at the group's annual convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1922, UNICO is the largest Italian American service organization in the United States.
Peter was born in Carbondale Pennsylvania in 1962. He graduated from Carbondale Area Junior-Senior High School in 1980 as the valedictorian of his class. He continued his academic career at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park where he studied animal bioscience and chemistry. In May 1984, he graduated from Penn State with his Bachelor of Science degree and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with his Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris in 1989.
After receiving his VMD, he returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania and began working at the Carbondale Veterinary Hospital as a staff veterinarian. In July 1996, he joined Johnson Technical Institute as an instructor of veterinary technology and the staff veterinarian. Seeking to return to private practice, Peter opened his own clinic, French Hill Veterinary Clinic, in Greenfield Township in 1999, and he continues to own and operate the practice.
In 1989, Peter joined the Carbondale Chapter of UNICO, and over the past three decades, he has dedicated himself to the organization and truly embodied the motto of service above self. He was elected the president of Carbondale UNICO in 1996, and he has served as the secretary since July 2000. He has served as the governor of Pennsylvania District II twice. Additionally, he spent eight years as the secretary for the eastern region. He was elected 2nd vice president in 2018, 1st vice president in 2019, and executive vice president in 2021. He has also been both a trustee and secretary of the UNICO foundation.
Peter has dedicated his life to the service of others and is actively involved in his community in addition to his work with UNICO. He is a past president of the Northeastern PA Veterinary Medical Association and past president of the Board of Trustees of the Carbondale Public Library. He also participates in bringing theatrical productions to life in the region. He has served as president of both the Area Community Theater and the Coal Company Theater. He is the founder and president of the Royal Mutineers: A Fairly Talented Theater Company, and he is a member of the Ritz Company Players.
I am honored to congratulate Peter as he takes on this leadership role with UNICO National. May he have a successful and fulfilling tenure as president during which I know he will lead with intention and integrity.
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