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Mary Alice Cerrito-Fettis HONOREE 2014

Mary Alice Cerrito-Fettis was born and raised in Monterey in a prominent local Italian family. Her parents, Sal and Alice Cerrito were pioneers in the restaurant industry, at one time owning seven restaurants in Monterey and other areas of California.

Mary Alice graduated from Santa Catalina School and earned a BA and master’s at Teaching History from Santa Clara University. After graduating from college, she became an international charter flight attendant with Trans International Airlines and traveled to more than 45 countries, giving her a very broad view of life. With her sister, Gloria Brown, she managed Cerrito's Neptune Table Restaurant on Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf, including the restaurant, banquet facilities and entertainment business. Neptune's Table featured great seafood and was considered the best dance lounge on the Monterey Peninsula with long lines out the door.

Mary Alice became the President of the Monterey Hotel & Restaurant Association (precursor to the Monterey County Hospitality Association). She was a Pink Lady at CHOMP and co-founder of Women on Wine, an organization to assist in the education of women in oenology. She became a member of the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce serving on their Small Business Committee and participated in the first Small Business Excellence Awards Dinner. She served as President of the Board of Directors of the North Fremont Business District and continues the Board today, working on the Streetscape and Specific Plans for the district.

Mary Alice also worked with Chef Wendy Brodie at Cambridge Plan International creating healthy experimental menus and working with restaurants to implement the recipes. With Pan American Investments, an import company, her job was to sell loads of 44,000 pounds of garlic and sesame seeds. At Pan American Real Estate, she sold commercial and residential real estate for over 25 years. Currently she is a real estate property manager representing family interests.

For several years she has been the President of Monterey Fisherman's Wharf Association and has helped to bring more world recognition to the Wharf. In her capacity, she works with the City of Monterey, State of California, Harbormaster, Monterey Bay National Sanctuary, and 36 Wharf merchants. She has overseen several important annual wharf events, including reinstating the annual world-class "Whale Fest Monterey," which empowers and inspires the public to preserve our oceans. She chaired the "Art on The Wharf' event which celebrated local marine art and recently, has launched a marine art photo competition as part of Whale Fest Monterey. She helped launch the first "All Things Italian - Columbus Day Weekend Celebration" and the upcoming "Japanese-American Heritage Days" on the wharf.

Mary Alice married Nick Fettis, composer, pianist extraordinaire, owner of a successful piano business, property manager and Boy Scout volunteer. Their son Peter Fettis, Eagle Scout, Faculty Award recipient from York School, is a senior at University of California Santa Barbara majoring in Environmental Studies and teaches art to elementary students. As Pete was growing up Mary Alice volunteered for school projects, was a cub scout den mother, boy scout counselor, and attended almost all of his numerous sports activities.

Mary Alice's husband, Nick, is of Greek descent so she became an active board member of the Hellenic Cultural Institute, supervised their monthly lecture series and continues to serve on the Board of Mentors. Due to her love of local history, she served on the Board of Directors of Monterey History & Art Association, chaired the La Merienda Committee, and works with Catholic Daughters on events to raise funds for battered women, abused children and scholarships. She is a member of Carmel Mission, the Italian Catholic Federation #36, Monterey Museum of Art, Knights of the Vine, Chaines de Roittisseurs, Monterey History and Art Association, and Money Hungry Women, an investment club. She still enjoys travel, reading, attending movies and theater, visiting museums, walking, bike riding, paddle boarding, horseback riding, and entertaining family and friends.

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