NIAF New York Gala


Contact: Elissa Ruffino at 202-939-3106,

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

Thursday evening, April 3, 2014
6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:30 p.m. Dinner

Cipriani 42nd Street
110 East 42nd St.
New York, N.Y.

CBS News Correspondent Alexis Christoforous will be the evening’s mistress of ceremonies at the legendary Italian Renaissance-inspired Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan. She will open the Foundation’s awards ceremony and introduce this year’s honorees Joseph Brancato, managing principal at the global design firm Gensler; Carmine Di Sibio, global managing partner – Client Service at EY; Mary Ann Esposito, renowned chef and television personality; and Lt. Gen. USMC (ret.) Frank Libutti, chief executive officer and president of PS&S Global LLC, the environmental remediation and alternative and renewable energy firm.

Guests will be joined by actors Danny Aiello and Tony Lo Bianco as well as independent filmmaker Frank Rainone.  Bishop Nicholas DiMarzo of the Diocese of Brooklyn will give the evening’s invocation.

NIAF Chairman Joseph V. Del Raso will introduce the NIAF Ernest L. Pellegri Grant of $500,000 that was awarded to the University of Maryland. Their project, “Between Washington and Ancient Rome: The NIAF Pellegri Program on Roman Antiquity and its Legacy in America,” will bring numerous opportunities for students to conduct research, pursue fellowships that will support the study of Latin and ancient Roman archeology and civilization.

To close the evening’s festivities, Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses, an eight-piece brass-infused swing band, will perform some of their famous songs including, “Jump, Jive, and Wail” and “Just a Giglio.”

NIAF’s New York Gala is chaired by Gerard S. LaRocca, a member of NIAF’s Board of Directors and chief administrative officer, Americas, Barclays Capital. NIAF is proud to announce that EY(Ernst & Young LLP) is this year’s presenting sponsor.

Proceeds from NIAF’s New York Gala will benefit the Foundation’s philanthropic and educational programs. Tickets begin at $750 (member); $1,000 (non-member). Attire: Cocktail.  For more information or sponsorship opportunities, visit: or contact Jerry Jones at 202-939-3102 or

For additional information about NIAF’s events across the country, visit and click on “Calendar.”

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