Peter F. Secchia

Peter F. Secchia

Let it be known that it is with great respect and admiration that we honor Sergeant Peter F. Secchia, U.S. Marine Corps, upon his induction into the Michigan Military and Veterans Hall of Honor. Secchia served a distinguished military career, including service during the Cold War. Indeed, his contribution to his country is a feat to which we all should aspire.

Peter F. Secchia, of Grand Rapids, Michigan was born on Thursday, April 15, 1937 in Englewood, New Jersey. He served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps 1956-1959. Peter earned a BA in economics from Michigan State University in 1963.

Secchia was elected Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman in 1980, 1984 and 1988. He served as Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee in charge of the Midwest Region. Peter was host for the 1985 RNC Midwest Leadership Conference. Secchia served as an advisor on the 1988 George Bush for President Committee. He was nominated as the United States Ambassador to Italy and San Marino by President George H.W. Bush and served those posts concurrently 1989-1993. Peter was Chief Executive Officer for Universal Forest Products. Secchia worked as the Chairman of the River City Food Company operating 29 restaurants in Maryland, Michigan and Pennsylvania. He served for twelve years on the board for John Cabot University in Rome. In 1994, Peter was appointed chair of the Secchia Commission I by Governor John Engler of Michigan which was focused on improving government services. The Secchia Commission II focused on public sector pensions. Secchia is a member of the National Italian American Foundation Council of 1000. He was founding president of the West Michigan Lodge of the Order of Sons of Italy in America. Peter inaugurated the region's largest annual ethnic festival “Festa Italiana” and has participated in and sponsored many Italian American events. Secchia made a $1 million donation in 2010 to his alma mater, MSU for construction of the women’s softball field “Secchia Stadium.” A building at the MSU College of Human Medicine, part of the Grand Rapids Medical Mile was named after him. The "Secchia Award for Heartfelt Commitment” is presented in his honor. Several of his many awards include: The Department of State “Distinguished Honor Award” in 1993, “Michigan Master Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1994 an the MSU “Distinguished Alumni Award” in 1999.

Indeed, the patriotic contributions of Sergeant Secchia must be recognized, as in all who have served the United States of America in this capacity. The personal sacrifice so selflessly offered by these brave men and women for the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must never be forgotten. Peter Secchia embraced the essence of American heroism and should be recognized as a role model by all individuals.

In special tribute, therefore, we honor Sergeant Secchia for his exemplary service to the United States of America, and to commemorate his induction into the Michigan Military and Veterans Hall of Honor.