NIAF Networks with Media in Miami Beach


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

To kick-off the NIAF’s media activities in 2003, the Foundation hosted its first media networking dinner for American journalists of Italian heritage and Italophiles in Miami Beach at The Hotel Astor on Thursday, January 30. The dinner was underwritten by The Hotel Astor and hosted by Michele Gillen, investigative reporter at WFOR-TV (CBS affiliate).

A total of 21 attended the dinner with 10 journalists from the print and electronic media including: the London Financial Times correspondent; Los Angeles Times Miami bureau chief; WMXJ-FM; WPLG-TV (ABC), WLRN-radio (NPR), WSVN-TV (Fox) and WTVJ-TV (NBC).

Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer delivered a Proclamation declaring January 30 as “National Italian American Foundation Day” in the City of Miami Beach. He read the Proclamation to the group of guests and spoke about one of the most influential mayors in the U.S., Fiorello H. LaGuardia, New York City’s “Little Flower.” He also pointed out the many Italian influences that are visible throughout Greater Miami and the Beaches.

Arthur J. Furia, Esq., NIAF regional vice president for southeast USA greeted the guests and gave special thanks to The Hotel Astor for creating a special menu at the Metro Kitchen + Bar and AV Wine Imports, Inc. for the donation of red and white wines during the reception and dinner. Furia also welcomed Italy’s Consul General in Miami, Hon. Giuseppe Morabito and his wife, Sheba.

During the event, the journalists discussed the daily barrage of news stories, the need for follow-up articles and more positive success stories that are occurring in cities across the U.S.

The goal of the NIAF’s media events is to give journalists an opportunity to meet with their colleagues and introduce the Foundation to them as the “one-stop” source for contacts and information on Italy-US cultural and economic issues and to Italian Americans.

NIAF Networking Dinner in Miami Beach
Giuseppe Morabito, Italy’s Consul General in Miami and Sheba Morabito, Marco Vicenzino, London Financial Times, and Mayor David Dermer, City of Miami Beach at NIAF’s first media networking dinner in Miami, January 30, 2003.
NIAF Networking Dinner in Miami Beach
(L to R) Arthur J. Furia, Esq., NIAF Regional Vice for Southeast USA and Gina Cancelliere, meterologist, at WPLG-TV (ABC) at the NIAF’s first media networking dinner in Miami Beach.
NIAF Networking Dinner in Miami Beach
(Lto R) John Salamone, NIAF executive director, Hon. Giuseppe Morabito, Italy’s consul general in Miami, David Dermer, city of Miami Beach mayor, and Arthur J. Furia, Esq., NIAF regional vice president for the Southeast, at the Foundation’s first media networking event in Miami Beach. Mayor Dermer presented a Proclamation to the NIAF designating January 30 as “National Italian American Foundation Day.”