NIAF President Joseph Cerrell Addresses UNICO National Convention


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

(Washington, DC – September 3, 2003) Joseph R. Cerrell, National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) president, gave the opening address at UNICO National’s 81st annual convention held in San Antonio, Texas on August 14. Cerrell was the guest of Frank Caperino of San Diego, Calif. who was elected to serve as the 2003-2004 President of UNICO National. More than 400 delegates and members representing 128 chapters in 16 states attended the annual convention.

“I am proud that throughout NIAF’s history we have joined hands with our brothers and sisters at UNICO to promote the best of our wonderful heritage as well as support programs that reach out to those in greatest need,” Cerrell said during his UNICO address. “NIAF and UNICO have most recently worked together in support of Advanced Placement in our schools and the first U.S. Italian language immersion camp for children at the Concordia Language Village in Minnesota,” he added.

For the second consecutive year, UNICO has invited one of the two leaders of the NIAF to speak during its annual convention. Last year, NIAF Chairman Frank J. Guarini addressed UNICO’s 80th annual convention in Florida. Guarini was invited by John Alati of Verona, New Jersey, who served as the 2002-2003 UNICO National president.

UNICO has accepted the NIAF’s invitation to hold a meeting with its leadership during the NIAF’s annual convention and gala weekend, October 24-25 in Washington, DC.

UNICO National is the nation’s largest Italian-American service organization, with approximately 6000 members in 128 Chapters in 16 states. Members work to support charitable, educational, scientific and literary projects while promoting Italian heritage and combating negative stereotyping. More information can be found at the UNICO website,