NCCA Celebrates 60 Years of Supporting Italian American Civil Servants

I. I. (June 06, 2019)
On Thursday, May 23, 2019 ,The National Council of Columbia Associations in Civil Service, celebrated 60 years of uniting and supporting Italian Americans in civil service and honored outstanding members of its large but close-knit community with an annual Awards Dinner Gala at El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn.

The National Council was founded in 1959 to give "a single unified voice to Italian Americans in Civil Service, protect civil servants from government failure to treat Italian Americans fairly for hiring and promotions."

The National Council of Columbia Associations in Civil Service now represents 120,000 men and women of Italian descent working in the FDNY, the NYPD, NYC Correction, Parks and Recreation, Departments of Sanitation, Transportation, Customs, Human Resources, United States Secret Service, NJ Police, Boston Police, California Police, Connecticut Police and many more across the United States.

The event began with the American and Italian National Anthems. The Star Spangled Banner was sung by a member of the association, Ms. Daniela Taormina, a police woman in her uniform. Followed by the invocation of Msgr. Robert J. Romano, NYPD Chaplain and Pastor of Brooklyn.

Vice President Peter Segalini, welcomed the participants and the honorees, six outstanding members of the Community who, within their fields, contributed to the advancement of Italian Americans in civil service and to the promotion of their heritage and Italian culture.

“We have 60 more years to go,” said the President of the National Council, Cav. Dott Joseph A. Guagliardo, in his opening speech addressing more than 350 guests, most of them Italian American civil servants, coming from across the country to attend the event.

“Organizations of Italian Americans in civil service are getting smaller and smaller,”  continued President Guagliardo, “So, as The National Council we have to become bigger, in order to support, educate and help them in any way we can.”

Supporting one another is at the very core of the National Council Columbia Association, which was largely created to combat the negative stereotypes faced by Italian Americans working in civil service at the time, and to forge a strong work network that overtime has become a family.

This year two hard fought battles were prime examples of the unity and support of the National Council: the protection of the Columbus Statue in Columbus Circle, with subsequent listing of the monument as protected landmark by the National Parks Service, and the successful advocacy spearheaded by one of the honorees Michael Santo Esq - Commissioner for Social Justice, Order Sons and Daughter of Italy who was instrumental in obtaining a Proclamation of apology from the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, Hon. LaToya Cantrell, for the governments part in the 1891 infamous lynching of 11 Italians, thus initiating, as Mr. Santo said, healing for “a longstanding wound”.

Leading by example, the National Council has dedicated 60 years to ideals of equality for all men and women. Through its mentoring and educational programs as well as its charitable endeavors it strives to better the professional lives of its members and perpetuate the traditions of Italian language and culture while inspiring future generations to do the same.

The Italian Government Representatives, the Hon. Fucsia Nissoli Fitzgerald and the Hon. Francesca La Marca both confirmed the strong bonds of cooperation and friendship between Italy and the members of the National Council, as did the Hon. Giovanni Aceti on behalf of the Ministero dell’Interno, Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza, H.E. Amb. Antonio Bandini and MAECI Inspector General Min.Plen Natalia Quntavalle.  

Official accolades and congratulations were received for the 60 years of accomplishments of The National Council, from the US House of Representatives, the Hon. Peter King, the Governor of the State of New York, the Hon. Andrew Cuomo, the Mayor of New York City, the Hon.Bill deBlasio, the Comptroller of New York State, the Hon. Thomas DiNapoli and Nassau County Executive, Lauren Curran,

The Honorees for 2019:were Msgr. Robert J. Romano, NYPD Chaplain and Pastor of Brooklyn’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Domenick Cama, COO of Investor’s Bank, asMan of the Year Award; and James Moschella Esq. of the National Council Counsel; Commissioner for Social Justice NYS Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, Michael A. Santo, Esq; and VP of the Detective’s Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo, who were named 2019 Guardians of Columbus Honorees.

The President Recognition Awardees for 2019 were awarded to:

Michael Massucci, Chief of Personnel of the FDNY Intl. Columbia Association; James Minore, Chairman of the Board and 2nd VP local 44 of the NYC dept. of sanitation; Joseph Rao, Queens South Financial Secretary of the Police Officers Benevolent Organization; John Romano, I.A. Businessman at the I.A. Police Society of Connecticut.

President Guagliardo also presented two posthumous awards to Detective Anthony DiCarlo, Executive Board Member of the NYPD Columbia Association and to Al Imperiale, Association Chairman of the I.A. Police Society of New Jersey to honor their contributions to the community. A moment of silence was observed. The two awards were to be presented to a family member but entire families, adults, young adults and little children all went up to the podium, to accept the prestigious President’s Recognition Award so dear to them.

Three New National Council Presidents were named: Christopher Pizzo of the NYPD; Anthony LaCorazza of United States Secret Service; and Richard Giudice of the Port Authority PD.

Organization Recognition Awardees for 2019 were given to:

C.O. Anthony Marano of the NYC Dept. of Corrections; Louis Forte of the NYC Dept of Education; Filippo Guiffre of the BSI10-13 / Columbia Retirees; Det. Emiliano Fuda of the Port Authority Police.

At the end of the Awards Ceremony, and after hundreds of photographs taken, the warm fraternal feeling of kinship and mutual respect was still tangibly evident among the participants - members as well as the community at large - in perfect representation of the National Council's mission.