Ensign Engineering staff celebrated the unveiling of the portrait of their late vice president and company co-founder, Carl Cannizzaro, during a ceremony at their office, 1111 Calhoun Avenue, on Monday, October 23.
Cannizzaro, who co-founded Ensign Engineering with Regina Marengo in 1993, died in June, and the dedication of the painting was a belated way to say farewell.
While serving on the board of directors of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Cannizzaro was “very active, part of every activity they had,” Marengo said.
While Cannizzaro wasn’t born in the Bronx, he became a real Bronxite, according to Marengo.
Cannizzaro was also familiar to Bronx Times Reporter readers, where his letters to the editor stirred up commentary from other readers.
“I wanted it to be in the paper for those people to know that Carl’s not just been quiet lately, he happened to die,” Marengo said. “Because he stopped writing in June and we never really had anything published that he had passed away.”
Marengo said that since Cannizzaro didn’t have a wake, it wasn’t publicized that he had died.
“I think there’s something very cathartic about the whole process and helps everyone come to terms,” she said.
Marengo recalls that working with Cannizzaro was always a team effort, and one of their proudest accomplishments was working on restoring the World Trade Center site with the Freedom Tower.
With Ensign Engineering just entering its 25th year, it’s “been a long haul and a wonderful experience. That really was a proud experience for us,” Marengo said.
As for the painting, Marengo said she wanted to make it special, so while “it’s a watercolor painting, it’s more of an impressionist type of rendering, but it captures his spirit.”
The painting came about after Marengo met a woman at SUNY Maritime College during a retirement ceremony.
Marengo, a Navy Reserve captain, was officiating the event.
“I met this woman who did watercolors and we got into a conversation,” Marengo said. “It was just right after Carl passed away and as luck would have it, she said she would do a rendering. I couldn’t have been happier with it.”
The woman, Faye Knight, visiting from China, did the painting from a photo of Cannizzaro.
And with Knight’s painting of Cannizzaro displayed in their office, the Ensign Engineering staff can finally bid a fond farewell to their boss.