Media Advisory: NIAF 30th Anniversary Awards Gala


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

EVENT: NIAF 30th Anniversary Awards Gala

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Saturday, October 15, 2005
6:00 P.M. reception, 7:00 P.M. dinner

WHERE: Hilton Washington & Towers
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (202/483-3000)

Singers Jay Black, Connie Francis and Natalie Merchant, and actors Danny Aiello, Maria Bello, Dennis Farina, Susan Lucci, Joe Mantegna and Antonio Sabato, Jr., will join the more than 3,000 people from across America and Italy at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 30th Anniversary Gala on October 15. The NIAF Dinner Chair is Willis Group Holdings Chairman and CEOJoseph J. Plumeri.

The 2005 NIAF Honorees are: (partial list)
• Paul S. Otellini
; president and CEO of Intel, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.
Ambassador Peter F. Secchia; chairman of the board at Universal Forest Products Inc. and managing partner of SIBSCO LLC, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award for International Affairs.

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 scheduled for Friday, October 14, 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 Mantagna, NIAF celebrity spokesperson, with actor Pierrino Mascarino. On Saturday, October 15, NIAF will host a screening of Loren’s film Francesco e Nunziata.

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