NIAF
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LUCIO CAPUTO JOINS NIAF BOARD OF DIRECTORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or elissa@niaf.org


(WASHINGTON, DC—March 23, 2005) Dr. Lucio Caputo, president of the International Trade Center of New York, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). The elections were held March 11 during the Foundation’s board meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Lucio Caputo’s vast understanding and considerable experience with U.S. – Italy relations, a cornerstone of NIAF’s mission, are valuable resources to the Foundation,” NIAF Chairman Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli said.

Dr. Caputo is also founder and president of the Italian Wine & Food Institute (www.italianwineandfoodinstitute.com), a non-profit organization established in 1984 to promote and further improve the image of Italian wines and foods in the U.S. He is also founder and president of the GEI (www.gei-ny-com), an association of major Italian businesses in the U.S.; U.S. Representative of the Verona Fair Authority (www.verona-fair-trips.com); chairman of the European Wine Council; vice chairman and member of the Executive Committee of the National Wine Coalition; chairman of the Italian Business Advisory Council; member of the board of the Association of the Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations; chairman and member of the board of the Society of Legions of Merit; and member of the Advisory Committee of the Princeton University.

In 1982 Dr. Caputo became president of Ital Trade USA corporation. In 1987 he became the president of International Trade Center of New York, a promotion and public relations company created to expand the presence of Italian products and services in the U.S.

In recognition of his outstanding work in favor of Italy, the President of the Italian Republic awarded Mr. Caputo with the title Cavaliere Ufficiale in 1972, Commendatore in 1981, Grande Ufficiale in 1996 and Cavaliere di Gran Croce in the Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic in 2003.

In October 1967, Dr. Caputo was appointed Italian Trade Commissioner in Philadelphia, the youngest government official to serve in such a position abroad. In 1972 he was appointed Italian Trade Commissioner in New York. Under Dr. Caputo’s guidance, the New York office became the largest Italian government commercial office in the world. Dr. Caputo has been listed in the “Who’s Who in the World” and “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.” He is a member of many organizations, and has traveled in Europe, Africa, America and Asia, meeting with economic, business and press representatives in order to promote the image of Italy and Italian products in the world.

Born in Monreale, Italy, Dr. Caputo received a doctorate in law followed by a degree in journalism and a doctorate in political science from the University of Palermo. After attending the Air Force Academy in Florence and completing his tour of service as a lieutenant in the Italian Air Force, he joined Italy’s Foreign Trade Institute in Rome.

Others elected to the NIAF board of directors are: Hon. Charles Gargano, chairman of Empire State Development Corp. and vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Joseph Moglia, CEO of Ameritrade Holding Corporation; Joseph J. Plumeri, chairman and CEO of The Willis Group; and Ronald L. Zarrella, chairman and CEO of Bausch & Lomb.

NIAF is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to promoting the contributions of Italian Americans. Visit www.niaf.org.




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