Industry Leaders To be Honored at Gala in Washington, D.C. **Intel, Travelocity and Universal Forest Products Chairs**


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

(WASHINGTON, DC – September 30, 2005) Paul S. Otellini, president and CEO of Intel Corporation; Michelle Peluso, president and CEO of Travelocity; and Ambassador Peter F. Secchia, chairman of the Board of Universal Forest Products Inc., and managing partner of SIBSCO LLC, are among the honorees at National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 30th Anniversary Awards Gala, Saturday evening, October 15 at the Hilton Washington & Towers, Washington, D.C. The gala begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner.

The NIAF Gala is one of the premier annual events in Washington, D.C., attracting more than 3,000 people from throughout the country and abroad. This year’s dinner chair is Willis Group Holdings Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Plumeri. 

During the NIAF gala, Mr. Otellini and Ms. Peluso will receive NIAF Special Achievement Awards in Business. Ambassador Secchia will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award for International Affairs. They will be joined by General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award for Military Service.

Actors Danny Aiello, Maria Bello, Dennis Farina, and Antonio Sabato, Jr. and singers Jay Blackand Natalie Merchant will join popular entertainer Tony Danza, the evening’s M.C.

During the NIAF convention weekend (October 14-15), the Foundation will host conferences, wine tasting events, the traditional celebrity luncheon and auction, a youth networking breakfast, and the 6th Annual Salute to the Martini with music by Jay Black and the Americans. Conferences include: Italian Cities of Art and Agricultural Tourism with a book presentation of How Italy Helped the Cold War: The Untold Story – “Mission Italy” by Ambassador Richard N. Gardner; Italian Americans in Sports; and a screening of Uncle Nino starring Joe Mantegna, NIAF celebrity spokesperson. NIAF will also host a screening of Sophia Loren’s film Francesca e Nunziata. The Region of Piedmont, this year’s sponsoring region from Italy, will host a wine tasting event and provide products that are typical of the region.

Dinner tickets begin at $400 per person. Attire: Black tie. Proceeds will benefit the NIAF Scholarship and Education Programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact: Bonni Cellini at 202/939-3114 or or register on-line at

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to promoting the contributions of Italian Americans. The Foundation has a wide-range of programs that provide scholarships and grants, legislative internships in Congress, conferences and cultural seminars. Visit our website at