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Industry Leader Mark Bertolini To be Honored at Italian-American Gala in Nation’s Capital


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


(WASHINGTON, D.C.—October 7, 2008) Mark T. Bertolini, president of Aetna Inc., will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 33rd Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Bertolini will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business on October 18, 2008 at the Hilton Washington & Towers. The black-tie event begins with a 6 p.m. reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

The NIAF gala is one of the premier annual events in the nation’s capital, attracting more than 3,000 guests from the United States and Italy. As with most election years, the Foundation anticipates the attendance of the 2008 presidential candidates. .

Mark T. Bertolini, president of Aetna Inc.

Honorees joining Bertolini include Joseph DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., Leonardo DiCaprio, Golden Globe Award-winning actor, Gina Lollobrigida, legendary actress, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States and Gianmario Tondato da Ruos, CEO of Autogrill, S.p.A.

Comedian Tom Dreesen will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. NIAF guests will be joined by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., Italy’s Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Giovanni Castellaneta, Yankee great Yogi Berra, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and others.

Bertolini has a long history in the health care industry. Prior to joining Aetna in 2003, he held several senior vice president positions at Cigna HealthCare. He also served as executive vice president of NYLCare Health Plans and CEO of SelectCare, Inc. Bertolini is a member of the University of Connecticut Health Center Board of Directors and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association Board of Directors. He also chairs the Operations Committee of the Association of Health Insurance Plans and serves on the Advisory Board of the Cornell University School of Human Ecology.

A native of Detroit, Mich., Bertolini holds a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University.

During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host Piazza d’Italia, a two-day exhibition of Italy’s Best and a Celebrity Auction and Luncheon. Friday evening’s “Salute to the Martini” will include singing sensation Patrizio Buanne. NIAF will sponsor three conferences: “The Presidential Candidates’ Perspectives on the Future of Healthcare in America,” “Energy: America’s Challenge of the 21st Century,” and “From Dante to Benigni: Italian Language and Culture in American Schools.”

Dinner tickets begin at $400 per person. Proceeds will benefit NIAF educational programs and Gardens of Hope, a NIAF co-sponsored community garden project benefiting the homeless and those in inner-city shelters. For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Carolyn Laurenzano at 202/939-3114 or, or register online at

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