On October 29, 2022, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) celebrated its 47th anniversary Gala in Washington D.C. NIAF prepared a rich program for the entire weekend that included the launch of the Luiss America Foundation, the medical conference held by the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) on cancer care, the film projects for the top three grant finalists for The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum, the panel discussion by Luiss University, and a special luncheon on the United States’ global security challenges featuring General Jack Keane.
For the occasion, the Italian Embassy in D.C. hosted a party at the ambassador’s residence Villa Firenze where were present political, diplomatic and business personalities. Ambassador Mariangela Zappia gave a speech in which she emphasized the importance of the collaboration between Italy and the U.S.
This year’s Gala region of honor was Tuscany. The honorees included Italian-American chef Giada De Laurentiis, American politician, Michael Pompeo, Chief Operating Officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Ornella Barra, chairman of A.C. Milan Paolo Scaroni, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., and American automobile designer Jason Castriota.
The Gala hosts were the financial journalist Maria Bartiromo and the actor Joe Piscopo. The Honorary Congressional Co-Chairs was Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Steve Scalise.
As always, the grand finale gala was an incredible success followed by a fun after-hours celebration. Attorney Brancaccio Balzano was once again invited to attend the ambassador party as well as the grand finale Gala. As the representative of the Italian-American community, she personally spoke to the ambassador and discussed future projects that could benefit the public. She also made acquaintance with the honorees and personalities present at the Gala to benefit nonprofit organizations to promote the Italian culture.