Contact: Elissa Ruffino, 202-939-3106,



The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception

7:30 p.m. Dinner                                  


Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd St.,

New York, N.Y.

Chazz Palminteri, Academy-Award nominated actor and playwright, will emcee this year’s National Italian American Foundation’s annual New York Gala. He will be joined by actor Ralph George Macchio Jr., best known for his roles in the Karate Kid, My Cousin Vinny and The Outsiders.

Held at the legendary Italian Renaissance-inspired Cipriani 42nd Street on April 8, the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport, a Brooklyn native, will give the evening’s invocation.

Leading the list of award recipients to be honored is New York television journalist WABC Channel 7’s Ken Rosato, anchor at Eyewitness News This Morning and Eyewitness News at Noon.  He will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Media.

The evening will also include a posthumous honor for ABC 7’s Lisa Colagrossi, Emmy Award-winning reporter, whose sudden passing in mid-March has greatly affected the Italian American community in New York.

Industry leaders Peter G. Riguardi, president of New York operations for Jones Lang LaSalle, and his father Edward A. Riguardi, a former commercial real estate executive at Jones Lang LaSalle, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Real Estate.

NIAF also will honor Janet DiFiore, the Westchester County, N.Y. district attorney, with the inaugural Mario M. Cuomo Award in Public Service.

Special to the evening’s events, Christina Carlucci, a New York City based performer, recently in the national tour of “Annie,” will sing the U.S. and Italian anthems.  The gala also includes a musical performance by Italian-Australian vocalist Alfio.

NIAF’s New York Gala is chaired by Gerard S. LaRocca, a member of NIAF’s Board of Directors and chief administrative officer, Americas, Barclays Capital.

Proceeds from NIAF’s New York Gala will benefit the Foundation’s philanthropic and educational programs. Tickets begin at $750 (member); $1,000 (non-member). Attire: Cocktail. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, visit: or contact Jerry Jones at 202-939-3102 or

Media Contact: Elissa Ruffino at 202-939-3106, For additional information about NIAF’s events across the country, visit and click on “Calendar.”

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