NIAF News Releases



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

(WASHINGTON, D.C. -- MARCH 19, 2012) Five notable Italian Americans in the fields of business, government, finance, transportation, law and public affairs were elected to the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) Board of Directors during a March 16, 2012, meeting at the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Litchfield Park, Ariz.

NIAF’s newly elected members of the Board of Directors are Mark Valente III, president of Valente & Associates; Hon. Capri S. Cafaro, minority leader of the Ohio Senate; Enrico Gaglioti, managing director at The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.; Frank Giordano, president of Atlantic Trailer Leasing Corp.; and Joseph D. Lonardo, a partner in the Washington office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

Mark Valente III, a Michigan native, is the President of Valente & Associates, a bipartisan, D.C.-based, government affairs consulting firm. For more than 30 years, Mr. Valente has brought his long record of active participation in local, state and federal government and public service to a wide range of clients, cabinet secretaries, elected officials, candidates and not-for-profit causes. Mr. Valente’s government experience began when he was elected City Councilman in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., and continued to develop through his service in the Office of Public Liaison in the Reagan White House, as well as Director of Congressional Relations for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) during the George H. W. Bush Administration. Because of his unique political background and legislative expertise, policy makers in both the United States Congress and the executive branch frequently seek Mr. Valente’s counsel. Mr. Valente is a graduate of Villanova University’s College of Commerce and Finance, as well as the University of Detroit School of Law.

“The NIAF Board of Directors is proud to appoint such outstanding leaders in their fields like Mark Valente III to further strengthen the expertise of our board. We welcome Mark’s leadership, business acumen and dedication to the community,” said NIAF Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

“As a long time supporter of NIAF and a proud Italian American, I am truly honored to join the NIAF board,” said Mark Valente III. “This is also a proud moment for me personally and gives me an opportunity to pay tribute to Frank Stella, a long time mentor and friend, and one of the founding members of NIAF. I consider it a great honor to continue his work to further the economic and cultural ties between the United States and Italy.”

Current members re-elected to NIAF’s board are Gabriel A. Battista, former executive chairman of Talk America; Robert E. Carlucci, founder of R& R Ventures; Joseph M. Della Ratta, CEO of Della Ratta Inc.; Hon. Mike Ferguson, chairman and CEO of Ferguson Strategies LLC; Kenneth G. Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and president of Invemed Associates LLC; Hon. Anita Bevacqua McBride, executive in residence at American University and former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush; Gen. Peter Pace, U.S. Marine Corps General (Ret.); Dr. John P. Rosa, renowned chiropractor and community organizer; Julian L. Rizzuto, international markets analyst for the Conair Corporation; John F. Scarpa, co-founder of American Cellular Network Corporation; and Michael A. Zampardi, managing director of Virtu Management LLC.

The NIAF Board of Directors includes some of the most prominent executives in the United States, including Maria Bartiromo, Emmy Award-winning journalist; John F. Calvelli, executive vice president for the Public Affairs Division of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Linda R. Carlozzi, Esq., a partner of the New York City office of Jackson Lewis LLP; Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq., partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP; Giuliana DePandi-Rancic, anchor and managing editor of E! News; Joseph M. DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc.; William (Bill) C. Freda, vice chairman and senior partner of Deloitte LLP; Louis J. Freeh, former FBI director; Hon. Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting; and Gerard S. LaRocca, CEO of Barclays Capital Inc. and the New York branch manager of Barclays Bank PLC.

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

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