Thank you to everyone who supported our 35th Anniversary Luncheon! The event, held on April 16, 2016 at the St. Regis New York, was a phenomenal success.
We were honored by the incredible generosity of our event sponsors, honorees, silent auction donors, event guests, and journal supporters. Navigate through the tabs above for a closer look at the event and silent auction and to get to know our honorees, sponsors, and donors!
The event kicked off with a fabulous silent auction featuring a wide array of items, including gift certificates to some of New York City’s best restaurants and cultural institutions, travel and heritage discovery packages in Italy, Italian designer handbags, signed books and cookbooks by Italian American authors, and deluxe gourmet baskets with the highest-quality Italian artisanal products. Guests also tried their luck at winning our gorgeous raffle prizes, including designer jewelry and handbags.
Each guest took home a fabulous swag bag with gifts including a novel by Adriana Trigiani; full size products from De Cecco and Asaro Organic Farms; Dolce & Gabbana perfume samples from Neiman Marcus Paramus; newspapers provided by The Florentine and L’Italo Americano; and samples from Perugina, Colavita, and Ferrero.
Lunch was served at 1PM in the grand ballroom. Cristina Fontanelli beautifully sang the Italian and American national anthems and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar of Development, Archdiocese of Brooklyn and Queens, gave the invocation. NOIAW Chair Maria Tamburri welcomed guests and Hon. Francesco Genuardi, Consul General of Italy in New York, gave opening remarks.
NOIAW’s Founder and Chair Emerita, Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey, recounted how NOIAW began in 1980, sparked by a conversation she had with the late Hon. Geraldine A. Ferraro. In her remarks, Dr. Sirey recognized all of the historic members of NOIAW’s board present at the event, including Barbara Gerard, Joann Sicoli, CMP, Diana Femia, Judge Saliann Scarpulla, Lucrezia Gallelli, Linda Carlozzi, Justice Angela Mazzarelli, founding member Donna de Matteo, and founding member and distinguished board member, Matilda Raffa Cuomo.
Anne Marie D’Attelo, Luncheon Co-Chair, presented NOIAW’s 2016 scholarship awards to Sarah Capasso (the Honorable Geraldine A. Ferraro Scholarship Award donated by John A. Zaccaro), Vanessa Corcoran (35th Anniversary Award), Victoria Calabrese (award in honor of Barbara Garodnick, sister of Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey, NOIAW Founder & Chair Emerita).
Unable to be present were scholarship award winners Maria Marotti (35th Anniversary Award), and Stefania Patinella (award in honor of David A. and Rita D. Martone, donated by Patricia Martone.)
NOIAW Chair Maria Tamburri introduced NOIAW 2016 Honoree Alisyn Camerota. Ms. Camerota is CNN anchor and co-host on CNN’s morning show New Day with Chris Cuomo and Michaela Pereira.
“Not only were the Italian women in my family wonderful role models on various levels, they were also great cheerleaders,” Ms. Camerota said. “They told me I could do whatever I aspired to do when I grew up. No one ever said, oh, maybe you shouldn’t pick broadcast journalism, maybe you shouldn’t set your sights on becoming a national newscaster, that’s just too competitive. No, they completely supported me, and believed in me and cheered me on, for which I’m eternally grateful today.”
NOIAW Treasurer and Luncheon Co-Chair, Maria T. Vullo, introduced NOIAW 2016 Honoree Jeanne Mariani Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan is a founding principal of StarVest Partners, a New York City-based venture capital firm that invests in outstanding expansion stage technology-enabled B2B companies. As Chief Inspiration Officer at Sullivan Adventures, Ms. Sullivan advises venture backed and multi-national companies seeking to promote opportunity, access to capital, board seats and entrepreneurship for women.
In her speech, Ms. Sullivan spoke eloquently about the lessons she learned from growing up in a large Italian American family, and touched on the importance of overcoming gender bias in order to get access to capital for female entrepreneurs, saying, “What made me a fierce advocate for women is this: I learned that we are 50% of the world, and we make more than 85% of the household decisions…We have clout with our $11.5 trillion of investible assets. This is the power of the purse.” In conclusion, Ms. Sullivan noted, “I am the one honoring you today – those of you who are with me to make the world a better place for young women and grown women, as role models, opening doors and funding women-led businesses, helping to fix a big problem of access to capital.”
We are proud to have honored Alisyn Camerota and Jeanne Mariani Sullivan, two women of the highest caliber and distinction, and we are pleased to welcome them into our community. They join a long list of distinguished NOIAW honorees, including our founding member, the late Hon. Geraldine A. Ferraro; Lidia Mattichio Bastianich; Lisa Lemole Oz; and many more.
We gratefully recognize the support of our silent auction donors. We hope you will support those who have supported us!
Amata Cucina Italiana
Cavalieri of New Jersey
Eleanor M. Imperato
I Trulli Restaurant
Joann Sicoli, CMP
La Villetta Ristorante
The Morgan Library and Museum
New York Yankees
ROME CAVALIERI Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resort
Staten Island Zoological Society
Tiro A Segno of New York, Inc.
Mary Ann & Joseph Mattone
The Columbus Citizens Foundation
Cherry Lane Theatre
Jeanne Mariani Sullivan
Riehm Plumbing Corp.
Hon. Frank J. Guarini
Matilda Raffa Cuomo
The Italian Welfare League
The School of Communications at American University
Grimaldi & Yeung, LLP
International Asbestos Removal Inc.
D. Coluccio & Sons Inc.
Richard Girasole CPA, PC
The Italian Tribune
Claudia & Tiffany Berns
Alisyn Camerota is a CNN anchor and co-host on CNN’s morning show New Day with Chris Cuomo and Michaela Pereira. Previously, she co-anchored Fox & Friends Weekend and America’s News Headquarters on Fox News. She also served as a national correspondent for Fox News, NBC’s Real Life and the crime show America’s Most Wanted.
Jeanne Mariani Sullivan is a founding principal of StarVest Partners, a New York City-based venture capital firm that invests in outstanding expansion stage technology-enabled B2B companies. As Chief Inspiration Officer at Sullivan Adventures, Ms. Sullivan advises venture backed and multi-national companies seeking to promote opportunity, access to capital, board seats and entrepreneurship for women.