NIAF News Releases

NIAF Strengthens Presence on West Coast


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

At an outdoor luncheon replete with ocean breezes, blue skies and San Diego’s best summer sun, NIAF hosted its first Frank J. Guarini/NIAF Media Forum at A Modo Mio on August 24, 2011, in the Hillcrest section of the city. Our media host, Alexis DelChiaro, anchor of KUSI Good Morning San Diego, greeted San Diego’s media professionals, special guests, community leaders and NIAF council members.

Three of NIAF’s grant projects - Italian Language in La Jolla, At Giovanna: a Taste of Italy and the 2011 Sicilian Festival, were recognized at the luncheon. The recipients were Tom Cesarini, Joanne DiBona and Bernadette Tarantino.

NIAF Regional Vice President in the Far West-South Marcella Leonetti-Tyler spoke about the importance of NIAF’s presence on the West Coast and its many benefits to the Italian American community. She was joined by her fellow regional vice president in northern California, Jeffrey M. Capaccio, Esq. He emphasized the important contributions that Italian Americans have made throughout the United States as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification in 2011. They were joined by area coordinators Vicky Carabini and Frank N. Lieggi.

San Diego’s famed restaurateurs Joe and Joey Busalacchi of Zia’s Bistro, Po Pazzo and Café Zucchero served as the restaurant hosts at the family’s newest restaurant, A Modo Mio.

Stay tuned for the Foundation’s upcoming events online. Mark your calendars for NIAF’s 36th Anniversary Awards Gala Weekend, October 28-29, 2011, in the nation’s capital, visit

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