New Member Monday: November 2016 Edition

New Member Monday: November 2016 Edition


img_5872Amelia Castelli Ballenilla is the Deputy Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures Officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami, Florida. Amelia says, “I am 34 years old, was born in Cleveland, Ohio (City of Champions this year, yeah!) and of course am Italian American. My entire family (both mom and dad’s sides) are from a small town called Coreno Ausonio, where I’ve traveled to quite often and briefly lived as a child. A fun fact about me: as a child/young adult I danced in an Italian Folklore group all around the Cleveland, Ohio area.” Connect with Amelia on Instagram and Facebook.

cedClaire DeMarco recently retired from her role as Vice President at BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. She was Senior Financial Control Leader, Finance and Corporate Strategy and also worked on IT auditing, risk review management, and programming. Claire is now focusing on nonprofit work. She serves as Area Representative for Pittsburgh for the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and National Italian American Leadership Council (IALC); President of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival (a yearly event that presents never-before-produced one act plays); Board Member of Off the Wall Productions, a Carnegie, PA theater company whose emphasis is presenting plays written by female playwrights; and a Board Member of ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s Cultural Talk Magazine.

unnamed-5Rachel Donofrio is Adult education instructor/examiner for Orange-Ulster BOCES in Newburgh, NY. Rachel is a recent MBA Marketing Management graduate of St. John’s University – Rome, Italy campus and completed an academic exchange in customer marketing and innovation at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Prior to her MBA, Rachel worked for eight years as the associate director of membership communications and associate director of programming/publicity for a national nonprofit organization based in Long Island, NY. Rachel is currently working as a teacher but is actively seeking opportunities in marketing and communications (both domestic and abroad). She recently obtained her Italian citizenship through her Sicilian grandfather and is excited about returning to Europe in the future. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.

ccmaddenesCarolann Caviglia Madden is a poet, translator, and second generation Italian American. She is currently a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, as well as a founding editor of Locked Horn Press (, and an Assistant Poetry Editor at Gulf Coast ( Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in World Literature Today, Yalobusha Review, Witch Craft Magazine, Women in Clothes (Penguin, USA), Nimrod International Journal, The Southwest Anthology: The Best from the Writing Programs (Texas Review Press), and elsewhere. She is currently working on translating the poetry of both Uruguayan poet, Selva Casal, and Italian poet, Sibilla Aleramo.

10fe996Francesca Sara Pasini was born and raised in Milan but has always lived in an American household, traveling between Italy and the US all her life. After receiving her M.Sc. in Marketing Management from Bocconi University, she decided to relocate to NYC to start her career. She says, “Being strongly attached to my roots and my culture, I have proudly become a member in order to join NOIAW’s mission to empower Italian American women and to contribute to the celebration of Italy and Italians. I feel close to home even from across the ocean!” Connect with Francesca on LinkedIn and Instagram.

lp-2012-cropLaura Pisaturo is Chairperson of the Rhode Island Parole Board. Laura says, “I am a first-generation Italian (my father was born in Vairano, Italy and came to Rhode Island, USA in 1938 at the age of 7). He and my mother, a Brooklyn, NY native, met in NYC when he was attending law school. I am a proud Italian-American and Rhode Islander. An attorney and advocate, I have worked on a number of social justice issues impacting women and children as well as the LGBTQ community. I am a former prosecutor and civil litigator and currently serve as the Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Parole Board (recently appointed to a second term by Rhode Island’s first female (and Italian-American) Governor, Gina M. Raimondo).” Connect with Laura on LinkedIn and Twitter.

alessandraAlessandra Santamaria is a fourth year medical student at St. George’s University and is currently applying to residency programs in the Tri-state area in the hope of becoming a Psychiatrist upon graduating from medical school. Alessandra says, “I am excited to a part of such an array of professional Italian women. I am currently applying to Residency programs in the tristate area in hopes of becoming a Psychiatrist upon graduating from Medical School. I look forward to bringing some of my enthusiasm and passion to NOIAW.”

Christina Parello Silvers is an editor for Bloomberg BNA on international tax matters. She calls herself a New York City girl (always and forever!), born in Brooklyn to a loving Italian family. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, Christine sat for the New York bar exam and moved to D.C. to explore a job in the area of human trafficking. She recently got married and lives with her husband, Justin, in Arlington, Virginia. Connect with Christine on LinkedIn.

Want to be featured in our December post? Why not become a member of NOIAW today? You’ll get access to great benefits including discounted admission to our cultural events, special members-only opportunities, our LinkedIn networking group, mentoring program, and more. Plus, your membership dues support our fantastic scholarship and cultural exchange programs for Italian American women. Click here to learn more!


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