NIAF News Releases



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

Joe Natoli(Washington, D.C. --- March 18, 2008) Joe Natoli, senior vice president and CFO of the University of Miami, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Business at the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Ambassadorís Ball. The event with be held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa the evening of April 4, 2008, and features a 7 p.m. cocktail reception followed by dinner and an awards program. This yearís event is being hosted by Italyís Ambassador to the United States H.E. Giovanni Castellaneta and Mrs. Lila Castellaneta.

David Lawrence Jr., former publisher of The Miami Herald, who worked closely with Natoli during his tenure as president of The Miami Herald Publishing Company, will present the award to Natoli. Lawrence, a longtime respected community leader, now heads the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation.

ďJoe Natoliís dedication to public service is filled with innumerable achievements. His work is a direct reflection of NIAFís mission. It is truly an honor to recognize his work at this yearís Ambassadorís Ball,Ē Arthur J. Furia, Esq., NIAF regional vice president for the Southeast, said.

A Brooklyn native, Natoli moved to South Florida as a teenager. Following college, Natoli joined Knight Ridder, the parent company of The Miami Herald, as a staff accountant. At the age of 28, he was named the paperís controller and became its general manager at age 38, and president one year later. In 2001, he relocated from Miami to California, where he served as publisher of the San Jose Mercury News and in 2004 to Philadelphia to serve as publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he returned to Miami to join the University of Miami as its CFO.

Natoli has worked to improve communities in Miami, San Jose, and Philadelphia, focusing on childrenís causes. He has supported Miami Childrenís Hospital, the YMCA, March of Dimes, Beacon Council, and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. He currently sits on the boards of the Miami-Dade County United Way, the Orange Bowl Committee and Perry Ellis.

During the Ambassadorís Ball, NIAF will pay tribute to prominent individuals, several of whom are Florida residents. Eros Ramazzotti, one of Italyís most popular singers and songwriters, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Music. He will also perform at the Ball.

Also at the Ambassadorís Ball, Paolo Zegna, chairman of Ermenegildo Zegna Group, will accept a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Fashion on behalf of the Zegna Family. Joseph C. Amaturo, general partner with the Amaturo Group Ltd., will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Humanitarian Services; Frank R. Nero, president and CEO of the Beacon Council, will receive the Foundationís Special Award for Public Service; Camillo Ricordi, M.D., professor of surgery and bioengineering and director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Medicine and John F. Scarpa, co-founder of American Cellular Network Corporation, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Tickets begin at $250 per person. To purchase tickets, contact Carolyn Laurenzano at 202/939-3114 or For more information on the Ambassadorís Ball visit

NIAF is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. To learn about our programs/events, visit

Follow NIAF on Facebook! Follow NIAF on Twitter! Check out NIAF on YouTube!


Find out more!