NIAF 2017 New York Gala: celebrating Italian American success

Mar 23, 2017 986

BY: Umberto Mucci

Last night I had the honor and the pleasure to attend the 2017 NIAF Spring Gala in New York. It is always an enormous privilege to be able to be part of this amazing celebration of the Italian American community. At the famous Cipriani 42 venue, for a completely sold out event, many friends of We the Italians were so kind to welcome me as the founder of our network, which tries to do the best to represent and tell this amazing community to the Italians who live in the boot.

After an hour of cocktail network, where I had the pleasure to greet several important people, some of which are among the interviewees of my books, the ceremony started with a touching video about NIAF. The video opens with John Viola, the young, dynamic, amazing President of NIAF, a true leader of the Italian American community and a great friend of We the Italians.

Then, the awardees started to get on the stage to receive their awards. Excellences of the Italian American community like Vincent A. Cino, Anthony Cammarata Jr. and Anthony Scaramucci thanked the audience. Our great friend, the beautiful Rossella Rago, was awarded for her success in “Cooking with Nonna”, with her whole family cheering, proud of her: a brilliant leader among the young Italian Americans. Shirley and Vernon Hill are not Italians, but a few years ago they invested in Seguso Vetri d’Arte, a 623 years old family tradition of the finest Murano glass artists. The Seguso family thanked Shirley and Vernon while awarding them, for this demonstration of how much Italy and the United States work perfectly together.

Italy was very well represented by the Consul General Francesco Genuardi, another efficient demonstration that our country sends only the best diplomats to the US Consulates.

The best moment of the night was when the real excellent icon of this wonderful community took the stage, to present Maria T. Vullo the award of the third annual Mario M. Cuomo Award in Public Service. Matilda Cuomo talked about the importance of carrying on Italian traditions in the younger Italian American generations.

I must confess that whenever someone in Italy asks me who is the person that better represents the marvelous Italian American community, I always say that in my opinion the answer is “Matilda Cuomo”. She is a beautiful person, a great woman, a proud Italian who I am happy to say appreciates We the Italians and always tells me, when I have the honor to meet her, how important is to fill the gap between the two countries and to recognize the “Two flags One heart” theory. We the Italians loves Matilda Cuomo, loves NIAF and loves all the Italian Americans who made America the great country is. Italy needs more America, but America needs more Italy, too.

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