NIAF Networks with Media in Beverly Hills


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

NIAF Networks with Media in Beverly Hills

CNN’s Bill Schneider was the keynote speaker at the kick off of the Foundation’s Frank J. Guarini Media Forum in Los Angeles on February 25, 2009. Schneider, CNN’s senior political analyst, discussed “The First 100 Days” to more than 50 journalists of Italian ancestry at world famous Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills.

At the forum, Schneider was joined by media co-chairs, Silvia Bizio, Hollywood correspondent at La Repubblica, and Mario Trecco, editor of L’Italo Americano. They spoke about the importance of working together to promote our rich culture.

NIAF’s Vice Chairman Joseph R. Cerrell welcomed the special guests including Italy’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nicola Faganello and the Foundation’s area coordinators Gerard V. Centioli, Marcella Leonetti-Tyler, Vicky Carabini and Doug DeLuca. Thanks to the generous support of Centoli and Richard R. Frank, president and CEO of Lawry’s Restaurant Inc., the NIAF event was underwritten.

This year’s event was the eighth annual media networking event in the city. Representatives from Bloomberg News, Variety Magazine, KTLA-TV, Thomson Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, Fox Sports Radio and the Los Angeles Business Journal shared ideas and exchanged business cards.

The previous day in Phoenix, NIAF Vice Chairman Jerry Colangelo opened the first in a series of Frank J. Guarini/NIAF Media Forums at The Pointe-Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. During the luncheon, Colangelo discussed his experience in assembling the 2008 United States Men’s Basketball Olympic team, which won the gold medal in Beijing, China to local media professionals.

On February 26 in San Francisco, Italy’s Consul General Fabrizio Marcelli hosted a dinner for area journalists at the Italian Consulate’s residence. At the event, NIAF Regional Vice President Jeff Capaccio joined keynote speaker Sonny Vaccaro, a sports marketing executive who pioneered grass roots marketing for Nike, Adidas and others.

The media forums give professionals in the communications field an opportunity to foster working relationships with colleagues and learn about the Foundation’s exciting youth initiatives. Through these events, NIAF cultivates an excellent rapport with members of the media, promotes Italian Americans, and examines the important issues facing the Italian-American community today. Similar events are planned in other major cities throughout the U.S.