Italy’s President of the Chamber of Deputies To Address Nation’s Largest Italian American GALA ** on. Le Pierferdinando Casini To Attend NIAF Gala **


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

(Washington, DC – October 2, 2003) On. le Pierferdinando Casini, president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, will address 3,000 prominent Italian and Italian Americans in politics, business and entertainment at the NIAF’s 28th Anniversary Awards Gala, Saturday evening, October 25 at the Hilton and Washington Towers in Washington, DC.

“NIAF is privileged to have On. le Pierferdinando Casini, the Italian Speaker of the House of Representatives, as our honored guest. He is a charismatic leader who is one of the brightest lights on the political scene in Italy. He joined our leadership during our business conference in Bergamo this past summer,” NIAF Chairman Frank J. Guarini said.

Casini has had an extensive public career spanning 20 years, and was elected president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2001. In 2000, Casini was elected vice president of the Internazionale Democratici Cristiani, and in 1993, he founded a new political group, Centro Cristiano Democratico, in which he held the positions of secretary and president.

The honorees for the NIAF 28th Anniversary Gala are: Roberto Benigni, actor and director, who will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment; Joseph Galli Jr., chief executive officer of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., who will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business;Larry W. Sonsini, chairman and CEO of the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, who will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Commerce and Law; and Thomas Tizzio, senior vice chairman of American International Group (AIG), who will receive the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award for Humanitarian Service.

Joining the NIAF gala honorees this year are singer Tony Bennett, sports legend Yogi Berra, and director Dino De Laurentiis, along with actors Tom Dreesen, Doris Roberts and Antonio Sabato, Jr.

During the gala awards convention weekend, NIAF will also feature conferences, exhibits, the traditional celebrity auction, and a seminar on tourism. On Friday, October 24, attendees will have the opportunity to have candid discussions with children of some of the most famous Italian Americans of the past at the Children of the Greats conference. Molise is this year’s sponsoring region from Italy.