NIAF New York Gala


Contact: Elissa Ruffino, 202-939-3106,



Thursday, April 28, 2016

6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception, 7:30 p.m. Dinner


Cipriani 42nd Street

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

Mike Piazza, 12-time MLB All-Star elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and Luigi P. “Lou” Carnesecca, legendary coach of St. John’s University’s basketball team and inductee of the Naismith Basket Ball Hall of Fame, will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation’s New York Gala.

The two sports greats will receive NIAF Special Achievement Awards in Sports. Chris Mullin, head coach of St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball, will present the award to Carnesecca.

Actors Chazz Palminteri, Michael Badalucco and Tony LoBianco, former MLB Managers Ken Aspromonte and  Bobby Valentine, former MLB third baseman Bob Aspromonte,  and NIAF Celebrity Ambassador, entertainer and radio host Joe Piscopo are some of the celebrities attending the Gala.

Among the industry leaders being honored is Frank Bisignano, chairman and chief executive officer of First Data Corporation, who will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business. Bisignano will be joined by Michael J. Inserra, Americas vice chairman at EY, who will receive the NIAF Achievement Award in Financial Services; and Arthur J. Mirante ll, principal and tri-state president at Avison Young, who will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Real Estate.

NIAF will also honor Joseph R. Guccione, managing director of Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, with the second annual Mario M. Cuomo Award in Public Service.

The evening will also include a posthumous honor for Honorable Marie L. Garibaldi, NIAF executive vice president and former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice.

Held at the legendary Italian Renaissance-inspired Cipriani 42nd Street on April 28, the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m

Special to the evening’s event, the Sicilian Tenors, including Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale, will serenade the guests with a selection of songs.  The gala also includes opera singer Cristina Fontanelli, singing the U.S. national anthem and “Inno di Mameli,” Italy’s national anthem

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.

Proceeds from NIAF’s New York Gala will benefit the Foundation’s philanthropic and educational programs. Tickets: $500 (Gold Ticket); $1,000 (Platinum Ticket). Attire: Cocktail. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, visit: or contact Jerry Jones at 202-939-3102 or

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving the proud heritage of an estimated 25 million Americans of Italian descent, the nation’s fifth largest ethnic group. NIAF’s mission is to serve as a resource for the Italian American Community; to preserve the Italian American heritage and culture; to promote and inspire a positive image and legacy of Italian Americans; and to strengthen and empower ties between the United States and Italy. Visit