NIAF News Releases



Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or


EVENT: NIAF 35th Anniversary Gala

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Saturday, October 23, 2010
6 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m. Dinner and Awards

WHERE: The Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (202/483-3000)

Giuliana DePandi Rancic, anchor and managing editor of E! News and star of the Style Network show “Giuliana & Bill,” Danny DeVito, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor, Lidia Bastianich, noted chef, and actors Michael Badalucco, Dion, Linda Fiorentino, Joe Pantoliano, Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Annabella Sciorra are among the celebrities at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 35th Anniversary Awards Gala.

Rancic will emcee the Foundation’s annual black-tie event and will be joined by her husband, Bill Rancic. DeVito, a recipient of the Foundation’s 1993 Special Achievement Award in Arts and Entertainment, will present one of the awards during the gala. They also will be joined by All-Star MLB Mike Piazza and Yankee legend Yogi Berra on the dais.

Prominent Washingtonians including Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Supreme Court Justice, Jim Messina, White House deputy chief of staff; General Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Podesta, president and CEO for the Center for American Progress and Hon. Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant’ Agata, Italy’s ambassador to the U.S. will attend the gala.

2010 NIAF Gala Honorees:
• Dott. Fulvio Conti, CEO of ENEL S.p.A., will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in International Business.
Aurelio De Laurentiis, Italian film producer and President of SSC Napoli soccer club, will receive a NIAF United States–Italy Friendship Award.
Tom Izzo, Head Coach of Men’s Basketball at Michigan State University, will receive a NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports.
Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO of Hilton Worldwide, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.
• Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, Physician-in-Chief at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Science and Medicine.
Joe Uva, President and CEO of Univision Communications, Inc., will receive a NIAF One America Award.

Highlights of the NIAF weekend include “Davi Sings Sinatra, A Tribute to Sinatra - The Great American Songbook - and America,” an exclusive performance by Robert Davi, on Friday, October 22 in the hotel’s International Ballroom.

Tickets to Saturday’s black-tie gala begin at $400 per person. Proceeds benefit NIAF’s educational programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Jerry Jones at 202/387-0600 or, or register online at

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.

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