NIAF News Monthly

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September 2010

A monthly bulletin for Italian American organizations and media outlets, dedicated to promoting the language, culture and traditions of Italians and Italian Americans.

New York Supreme Court Justice Dominic R. Massaro, one of only a dozen Italian Americans conferred Knight of the Grand Cross of the Italian Republic, who is President of the American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit, has been conferred Knight of the Grand Cross in the Royal Order of Francis I by H.R.H. Prince Carlo di Borboni, Duke of Castro and Head of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The Bourbons ruled in southern Italy until the unification of the Italian peninsula in 1861. Judge Massaro also serves as NIAF’s historian and is an ex-officio member of the foundation’s Board of Directors. Learn more at

NIAF Council Member Ralph Renzi has been named director of federal sales for WTOP and Federal News Radio, two stations serving the D.C. area. In this capacity, Renzi will manage all federal business for both radio stations and their websites. He has been working as a sales manager for the radio stations since 2007 and has been a radio marketing professional since 1995. Renzi also has experience as a sales manager with Z104 Radio, Red Zebra Broadcasting and Redskins Radio. Visit

Under the direction of Managing Director Maurizio Scrofani, CargoNet has announced the establishment of a national database that will provide law enforcement and all steps of a supply chain a means to deter theft, enhance recovery and provide crime analytics. Maurizio, who grew up in Italy, has served in several strategy and operations management positions in the retail and manufacturing sectors and is a board member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals for New Jersey’s Roundtable. Go to

Celebrate The Italian Grape Havest
Vendemmia da Vinci, a fall festival celebrating the centuries-old tradition of the Italian grape harvest, will be held on Sunday, October 10 at Tubman Garrett Park in Wilmington, DE from 2 to 6 p.m. The festival will feature some of the best local winemaking and cuisines from area restaurants. Don’t forget to enter the winemaking and gravy contest! Visit

Palladio Influences In America
The National Building Museum, in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust and the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, is holding an exhibition called “Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey,” on view from September 2, 2010, to January 9, 2011. The exhibit features 31 rare drawings on loan from the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust and architectural models by Timothy Richards to demonstrate Palladio’s influence in America.

Palladio trained as a stonemason near Venice, then began studying architecture by visiting Roman ruins and reading a classical treatise by Vitruvius. In his architecture, he sought to join the techniques of the Romans with the developments of his immediate predecessors and contemporaries, including Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo. In 1570, he published I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura (Four Books on Architecture), which highlighted not only his classical inspiration, but also his belief that architecture could be applied to any building and improve people’s lives. The treatise particularly inspired eighteenth-century domestic architects, Thomas Jefferson and many of the monumental buildings in Washington, D.C. Visit

Italian American Actor and Director To Be Honored
Italian American actor and director Chazz Palminteri, and his wife, actress Gianna Palmintieri, will be honored by D.A.R.E. America, with The American Dream Award during the organization’s 2010 Dare to Care Gala on December 1, 2010. NIAF honored Palminteri in 1996, presenting him with the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Performing Arts.

D.A.R.E. America is an educational program led by police officers in classrooms across the United States that helps children stay away from drugs, gangs and violence. Standing for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world. Visit:

Search for NIAF on Facebook and Twitter for the latest events!
September 9: NIAF Graduates to Leaders Workshop in Entrepreneurship
September 9:NIAF Council Event at the New York Stock Exchange
September 21: 2010 Festa Italiana Luncheon/NIAF Frank J. Guarini Media Forum in Seattle, WA
October 11: NIAF Council Reception in Charleston, SC
October 11:NIAF 8th Annual Sarazen Memorial Cup in Hopkinton, MA
October 22-23: NIAF 35th Anniversary Gala Convention Weekend in Washington, DC


Please send your group or city’s news on Italian American exhibits, cultural events, scholarships and special events to: Elissa Ruffino, the NIAF, 1860 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Or write her on the internet, e-mail address:

N.B. Events/programs noted are not necessarily endorsed or sponsored by NIAF.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans.

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