Giorgio Tavecchio travels back to Italy a few times a year to visit family and coach American Football camps. In 2018, he helped coach the ‘Torino Is Bear Territory’ Football Camp hosted by his alma-mater Cal, where he struck up a casual conversation with a curious on-looker, Paolo Tempo. This conversation led to a friendship rooted in a shared passion for American Football. From the roots of this friendship blossomed an idea; a desire to repay the United States for their unique journeys in American Football. “What do we have to offer?” the two asked themselves. They found their answer in the fertile majesty of their native soil: Italian food and wine.
In true team-spirit, Paolo brought on board Davide Merlo, his teammate from the glory days of American Football in Italy, adding over thirty years of wholesale grocery sector experience and the tenacity of a Defensive Lineman to the team. To round it out, Giorgio roped in Sicilian-born placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato, best friend and former college teammate to add a dash of Southern spice to this outfit. Combining their experiences in American Football with their love for Italian cuisine, Davide, Paolo, Vincenzo, and Giorgio bring you the best that Italian food and wine has to offer.
We welcome you to join us on this journey!
Giorgio Tavecchio – Chief Executive Officer
Born: in Milan, Italy, Giorgio bounced back and forth between the United States and Italy a few times before settling in the San Francisco/Bay Area when he turned 9 years old. There, Giorgio excelled as a soccer player before a casual request to kick for the football team and the delicious team barbeque after his first ever practice changed the course of his sporting career and life.
Career: Giorgio walked-on to the Cal football team in 2008 and ended up starting for four years, contributing an integral part to one of the best Special Teams units in the Pac-10. He then continued his playing career as a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, before bouncing around as a free agent for years. The uncertainty of Pro Sports prompted Giorgio to concurrently pursue other passions.
ElevenTwelve: Having grown up in a restaurant family and having worked as a busboy and waiter for four years, he naturally gravitated to quality Italian cuisine.
Vincenzo D’Amato- Chief Development Officer
Born: in Palermo, Sicily, Vincenzo moved to the Los Angeles area with his family when he was 8 years old. Noted for his strong soccer skills, he was chosen by the El Toro High School football team to be the kicker. Three years of successful kicking brought serious attention from top D1 colleges, resulting in a scholarship offer from Cal.
Career: Vincenzo began his Cal career as the starting kicker in 2009, lettering four years and setting numerous school records. Upon graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies, Vincenzo pursued his two passions: coaching kickers and working at Italian restaurants, coaching some of the top kickers in the Bay Area and working at highly-acclaimed Italian restaurants in Palo Alto.
ElevenTwelve: Vincenzo recently moved back to Los Angeles to focus his attention on growing ElevenTwelve.
Davide Merlo- #11, Chief Operations Officer
Born: Davide was born and raised in Torino, Italy. As a young boy, the rugged nature of American Football captivated his ‘rebel bad-boy’ personality, leading to a playing career of almost 20 years upon completing mandatory military service in the elite Parachutists Battalion.
Career: Off the field, Davide honed his business acumen in the supermarket industry, managing meat and dairy divisions of large supermarket chains, acting as chief buyer for large supermarkets, and directing market strategy before acquiring and successfully running five of his own stores. He currently is involved in consulting for a large meat-packing company in Northwestern Italy.
ElevenTwelve: His close friendship with Paolo Tempo- a bond formed from their playing days- and his deep knowledge of the Italian food and beverage industry make him an invaluable piece of ElevenTwelve team.
Paolo Tempo- #12, Chief Financial Officer
Born: Paolo grew up among the ranks of the Tauri Torino American Football Team in his native Torino, Italy.
Career: Known for his lightning fast speed and quickness, Paolo made it all the way to the Italian national American Football team as a cornerback and kick returner.
Upon finishing mandatory military service as a Corporal Major with the famed Alpini Corps and earning his degree in Economics, he followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the family accounting and financial advising business before becoming CEO and founder of his own business accounting and consulting company, which is still operational today. Over the course of his thirty-year consulting career, Paolo has guided his family business to notable successes, including the foundation of multiple companies focusing on business growth strategies in Italy, France, and the UK.
ElevenTwelve: Paolo brings an innovative business mind and a deep passion for Italian cuisine to the ElevenTwelve team.