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Honoring Italian American heritage with NIAF

Mario Gates (October 27, 2011)
The 36th Anniversary of the National Italian American Foundation promises to be the best in the history of the organization. President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the Gala where over 3,000 guests from the United States and Italy are expected to attend and important personalities will be recognized for their contributions for the development of Italian culture and heritage in the world.

Time is running out, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)'s Washington Convention is about to start. The two-day convention (October 28-29) in the nation’s capital includes special receptions, entertainment and seminars, and most importantly a prestigious Gala.

NIAF serves as a unified voice for the Italian American community and its mission is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Italy and Americans of Italian descent while offering educational and youth programs including scholarships, grants, heritage travel and mentoring to prepare individuals to assume their roles as future leaders.

In keeping with their tradition of hosting the President of the United States, NIAF is proud to announce that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the 36th Anniversary Awards Gala on Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the Washington Hilton. The black-tie event begins with a 5 p.m.reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives, will introduce President Obama to the more than 2,000 guests gathered to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Italian Americans.

“We are honored to have President Obama address the largest gathering of Italian Americans in the country at the Foundation’s annual gala.

His presence is significant as we celebrate the rich culture of Italian Americans as well as commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Italy’s Unification and National Italian American Heritage Month,” stated John F. Calvelli, NIAF Secretary and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee.

United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., the Italian American Congressional Delegation of the 112th Congress of the United States including United States Representatives Michael Grimm, John Mica, Dana Rohrabacher as well as former senator Alfonse D’Amato, Hon. Louis Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI), John Podesta, president and CEO of The Center for American Progress and the United States Ambassador to Italy Hon. David Thorne, and Italy’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant’Agata will also attend the NIAF gala.

This year’s NIAF gala honorees include Claudio Bozzo, president of Mediterranean Shipping Company (USA) Inc., Hon. Capri Cafaro, Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate; Dion DiMucci, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; Hon. Frank J. Guarini, former United States congressman and NIAF chairman emeritus; Frank G. Mancuso, Sr., former chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio; Emma Marcegaglia, president of Confindustria; Paolo Scudieri, CEO of Adler Plastic S.p.A.; and Santo Versace, president of Gianni Versace S.p.A. and chairman of the Board of Fondazione Operation Smile Italia Onlus.

The two-day program also includes, among the numerous events (for a complete schedule click on www.niaf.org) the Expo Italia trade show, two days of showcasing the Best of Italy!

Vendors will offer samples of olive oils, chocolates and pasta, in addition to displaying top-of-the-line products from Italy. Highlights of the two days will include an opportunity to see the latest Italian luxury cars, including a Lamborghini and Maserati, sampling of Peroni Nastro Azzurro Beer, and wine tasting from Nuschese Wines of Capital Wines.

For additinal information and a full schedule of events go to NIAF's website: www.niaf.org





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