NIAF Networks with Media in Phoenix


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

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano was the guest of honor at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) fourth media networking event in Phoenix at Avanti Restaurant on February 18. The dinner, co-chaired by Chris Coraggio, sports director/anchor at News Channel 5; Jan D’Atri, Channel 12’s Arizona midday host; Jan D’Atri Show KFYI Radio, columnist at the Scottsdale Republic; and David DiFilippo, regional publisher for Golfer’s Guide Arizona, brought together journalists from the print and electronic media including: News Channel 5, Fox 10 News, KESZ-Radio, 99.9 FM, and the Scottsdale News.

Governor Napolitano spoke about the importance of recognizing and honoring heritage, particularly our Italian heritage. She proudly discussed her roots, her grandparent’s humble beginnings in the United States and her ascendancy to the governorship, just two generations later.

Jeff Capaccio, Esq., NIAF regional vice president in the Far West region and a partner at the Palo Alto, Calif., law firm of Carr & Ferrell LLP, greeted the guests and opened the dinner with an overview of NIAF’s goals and activities. Capaccio was joined by NIAF Arizona scholarship recipients: Joseph Abbruscato, freshman at Arizona State University; Maria DiLeo, second year medical student at the University of Arizona; and Theresa Shepherd, senior at Arizona State University. Several top members of the governor’s staff also attended the event. Avanti proprietor Benito Mellino prepared a special Italian menu for the guests.

NIAF media events give journalists an opportunity to take a break from their busy schedules to meet with colleagues and celebrate their shared ancestry and culture. The events also introduce the Foundation as the “one-stop” source for information about Italian Americans and issues important to the Italian American community.

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