NIAF General Counsel and International Attorney in Miami, Arthur Furia, Hosts Italian Dignitaries, Community Leaders at Film Screening of “The Italian Americans”

For Immediate Release                                           

Contact: Elissa Ruffino,


** Conference Announcement “Feeding The Planet-Energy for Life” at Miami Dade College in March 2015**

(WASHINGTON, D.C.—JANUARY 14, 2015)  To celebrate the rich culture of Italian Americans who live in Miami and across the nation, Arthur J. Furia, Esq., National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) General Counsel and member of the Board of Directors, Miami Dade College (MDC) Foundation Board Member,  and  Partner at Shutts & Bowen LLP, was joined by  José  A. Vicente, President of Miami Dade College (MDC)-Wolfson Campus, and Alexandra Villoch, President and Publisher of Miami Herald Media Co., to preview the upcoming four-hour documentary series, “THE ITALIAN AMERICANS,” at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College, as part of the NIAF/Frank J. Guarini Media Forums.

“When NIAF’s leadership team had the opportunity to serve as a community partner to promote the upcoming documentary, ‘THE ITALIAN AMERICANS,’ we were pleased to partner with a project that told the Italian American story in an objective and engaging manner.  Working with Miami Dade College in presenting this immigrant experience in Miami is so often replicated in our great community,” said Furia.

The upcoming PBS documentary will air nationally on February 17 and 24, 2015, at 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Narrated by acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci, “THE ITALIAN AMERICANS” reveals how Italian immigrants challenged the notion of the American melting pot – choosing instead to maintain their distinct culture and allegiance to family.

During the screening premier, the co-hosts were joined by keynote speakers— the series’ award-winning writer and producer John Maggio, and the series’ companion book author Maria Laurino.   Following the screening, they fielded questions and discussed their desire to strip away stereotypes about Italian Americans and not offer a romanticized view in the project.  “Let’s look at the span of history here and how it affects people,” said Laurino.

“With this series, we have begun a national conversation about immigration and the struggle to make it in mainstream society,” Maggio added.

At the podium, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado presented NIAF with a City of Miami Proclamation designating December 11, 2014, as “National Italian American Community Day.”   Community leaders at the screening included Florida State Senator Maria L. Sachs; Chair of the MDC Board of Trustees and PBS commentator Helen Aguirre Ferre; and Italy’s Consul General in Miami Adolfo Barattolo.  Dignitaries from Italy included the Undersecretary of State Mario Giro, CEO of Gambero Rosso Paolo Cuccia, and fashion designer Renato Balestra. The GRASPA Group, headed by Graziano Sbroggio, served Italian delicacies and desserts that were paired with select wines provided by Gambero Rosso. The series’ corporate funder, Michael DelGrosso of Del Grosso Foods, provided posters for the guests.

Honorable Mario Giro extended his deepest appreciation to Furia for promoting the rich Italian heritage among the Italian American community throughout the United States through this documentary. “The official role, you have given me is a unique privilege to acknowledge our mutual friendship.  I also appreciate the significant and engaging role the Italian community of South Florida is playing in the Sunshine State.”

Following the film screening, Vicente, Barattolo, Furia and Cuccia announced the upcoming conference, “Feeding The Planet-Energy for Life,” to be held on March 12, 2015, at MDC- Wolfson Campus at the historic Freedom Tower.  The MDC conference will support and introduce the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 that will showcase American innovation to improve agriculture, nutrition and health around the globe. “The March 15 conference represents one of the most important international appointments leading up to the next World’s Fair as we showcase American innovation in Miami as well as in Milan,” added Furia.

The Milan Expo 2015 World’s Fair opens May 1 and continues through October 31, 2015. The USA Pavilion is titled “American Food 2.0.”   Before more than 100 guests, Furia introduced a video of the USA Pavilion’s “America Food 2.0 United to Feed the Planet.”   To learn more, visit:; EXPO Milano 2015:;  and USA Pavilion at Expo Milano:

For more than 30 years, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), a non-profit, non-partisan organization, has worked to preserve and promote the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent, the nation’s fifth largest ethnic group. To learn more, visit

Miami Dade College is the largest and most diverse college in the nation, with seven campuses, two centers and more than 165,000 students from across the world. Learn more at