Media Advisory: NIAF 35th Anniversary Convention and Gala


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


EVENT: NIAF 35th Anniversary Convention and Gala

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Friday, October 22, 2010
9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Events, 8:30 p.m. Evening Entertainment
Saturday, October 23, 2010
9 a.m – 4 p.m. Events, 6 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m. Dinner and Awards
WHERE: The Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (202/483-3000)

Giuliana DePandi Rancic, anchor and managing editor of E! News and star of the Style Network show “Giuliana & Bill,” will emcee the Foundation’s annual black-tie Anniversary Gala before more than 3,000 guests from the United States and Italy. Rancic will be joined by Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, and Bill Rancic of the Style Network show “Giuliana & Bill.”

2010 NIAF Gala Honorees: • Dott. Fulvio Conti, CEO of ENEL S.p.A., will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in International Business.
• Aurelio De Laurentiis, Italian film producer and President of the Naples Soccer Club, will receive a NIAF United States–Italy Friendship Award.
• Tom Izzo, Head Coach of Men’s Basketball at Michigan State University, will receive a NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports.
• Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO of Hilton Worldwide, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.
• Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, Physician-in-Chief at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Science and Medicine.
• Joe Uva, President and CEO of Univision Communications, Inc., will receive a NIAF One America Award.

Highlights of the NIAF weekend include “Davi Sings Sinatra, A Tribute to Sinatra – The Great American Songbook – and America,” an exclusive performance by Robert Davi, on Friday, October 22 in the hotel’s International Ballroom.

During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host Expo Italia, a two-day exhibition showcasing the best of Italy, an Auction Showcase, the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Education Luncheon on “Women, Healthcare and Education” and a Sports Roundtable with panelists Tony Reali and Sal Paolantonio of ESPN. The convention will also feature a screening of the documentary “Crimebuster: A Son’s Search For His Father,” a conference on breast cancer awareness, “Let’s Talk About It!” with NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., and a seminar on the culture of Italian food and wine. Tickets to Saturday’s black-tie gala begin at $400 per person. Proceeds benefit NIAF’s educational programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Jerry Jones at 202/387-0600 or, or register online at

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.