NIAF Elects New Board of Directors


Alex Benedetto
National Italian American Foundation

NIAF Elects New Board of Directors

Corporation for Public Broadcasting President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison and former Talk America President, Chairman and CEO Gabriel A. Battista elected to serve as co-chairperson of the Foundation

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 27, 2017) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has elected a new Board of Directors for the 2017-2021 term, during a March 23, 2017 meeting at the New York offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and ceo of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and former NIAF vice chair; and Gabriel A. Battista, former president, chairman, and CEO of Talk America, and former NIAF vice chair, were elected to serve as the Foundation’s co-chairpersons. Harrison and Battista succeed Joseph V. Del Raso, a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP, whose term as NIAF chairman ended this year.

Patricia de Stacy Harrison Gabriel A. Battista

“Certainly our new co-Chairs have some big shoes to fill, but I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with two of the most dedicated Italian Americans I’ve come to know during my time at the Foundation. Pat and Gabe have been tireless advocates for our community for so many years and I really look forward to the next phase of the NIAF story under their leadership,” said NIAF President and COO John M. Viola.

At CPB, Harrison directs federal funds to nearly 1,500 public radio and television stations and producers across the United States, with a strategic focus on innovation, diversity and engagement. Under Harrison’s leadership in 2011, CPB launched American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a nationwide public media initiative to help communities across the country identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis.

Harrison is also chairperson of the Leadership Council of Women and Girls Lead, an innovative public media initiative designed to focus, educate and connect women, girls and their allies worldwide to address the challenges of the 21st century. Prior to joining CPB in 2005, Harrison served as assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs and acting under secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

Battista has had a long and distinguished business career that spanned more than 40 years in high technology areas such as software development and implementation, telecommunications and the internet. During his tenure as chairman and ceo of Talk America, the company successfully changed its strategy and repositioned itself to become more profitable and enjoy significant growth. Previously, Battista served as the ceo of Network Solutions, as well as the ceo of Cable & Wireless Inc., which at the time was the largest telecommunications services provider that exclusively served businesses.

Currently, Battista is active in philanthropic efforts with a focus on promoting Italian culture and heritage, and is an investor in several business ventures. He serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Rome; a member of the Advisory Board for Italian Studies at Clemson University; chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for International Business Education and Research at Temple University; and is a member of the Union League of Philadelphia.

Harrison and Battista are joined by four newly elected vice chairs: Kenneth J. Aspromonte, a former Major League Baseball player and manager of the Cleveland Indians; John F. Calvelli, executive vice president of public affairs of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Robert E. Carlucci, founder and owner of R&R Ventures; and Hon. Anita Bevacqua McBride, Executive in Residence at American University School of Public Affairs and former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush.

NIAF’s new executive vice presidents are: Robert V. Allegrini, vice president of communications – the Americas and luxury brands for Hilton Worldwide; Arthur J. Furia, Esq., a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP; and Frank Giordano, president and ceo of The Philly POPS and Atlantic Trailer Leasing Corporation.

Linda R. Carlozzi, a shareholder in the New York Office of Jackson Lewis PC; Salvatore M. Salibello, former founder and managing partner of Salibello & Broder LLP; and Joseph D. Lonardo, managing partner of the Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP Washington, D.C., office, were elected secretary, treasurer, and general counsel, respectively.

Current members re-elected to serve as At-Large Executive Committee Members of the Board are Peter J. Arduini, president and CEO of Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation; Hon. Capri S. Cafaro, former Ohio Senate Democratic Leader and current Executive in Residence at American University School of Public Affairs; Nicholas R. Caiazzo, Esq., a partner in the New York office of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP; Joseph M. Della Ratta, real estate developer; and Hon. Basil M. Russo, national president of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America.

And current members re-elected to NIAF’s Board are Louis Tosi, a partner in the Ohio offices of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP; Paolo Catafalmo, founder and chairman of Investar; Dr. Antonio Giordano, president and founder of the Sbarro Health Research Organization at Temple University; Joseph H. Moglia, ceo of TD Ameritrade; and Vincent Viola, chairman and ceo of Virtu Financial LLC.


The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit