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) 

More than 3,000 people from across America and Italy will join the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) on October 15 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in the nation’s capital for the Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Gala. The NIAF gala has been attended by five sitting U.S. Presidents.

Academy Award-winning actress Sophia Loren, honorary gala chair, and Willis Group Holdings Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Plumeri, gala dinner chair, will join Members of the Italian American Congressional Delegation and prominent Italian American leaders in business, sports, entertainment, and the arts at the gala.

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 and the Americans. Conferences scheduled for Friday, October 14, include: Italian Cities of Art and Agricultural Tourism; Italian Americans in Sports; and Italian Americans in Cinema: Artistic Creativity and Expression in Front of and Behind the Camera. On Saturday, October 15, Loren will be on hand for the screening of her film Francesco e Nunziata directed by Lina Wertmuller.

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