NIAF News Releases



Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NIAF vice chair and board member, and former Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, spoke to more than 50 journalists of Italian ancestry and Italophiles about the importance of core Italian values—self-respect, strong work ethic, loyalty to family and gusto for life during the Frank J. Guarini/NIAF Media Forum in San Francisco.

Chris Spain of HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc, NIAF Vice Chair Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Jeff Clarke, CEO and president of Northern California Public Broadcasting and Courtney Spain Aragon

The eighth-annual event was held at the Italian Consul General Fabrizio Marcelli’s private residence on February 24, 2010. This year’s media co-chairs included ABC 7 News Producers Lisa Caracciolo and Paula Marcheschi along with Kathryn Pellegrini of MacKenzie Communications. Silicon Valley attorney and NIAF Regional Vice President Jeff Capaccio provided introductory remarks and welcomed Ms. Harrison, the keynote speaker.

Ms. Harrison talked about the negative impact of programs that denigrate or caricature the Italian American experience, the need for public media programs which celebrate the heritage of all Americans in a way that inspires, educates and informs. She recommended that the young adults featured in MTV’s “Jersey Shore” reconnect with their real heritage and not barter their self respect for the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

“It is so important that young people understand that their heritage, whatever it may be, can serve as a resource of strength and inspiration. These simple values, commitment to family, self respect, lifelong learning, helping others, are evergreen and more important than ever in our media centric culture, “said Pat Harrison.

Vicki Liviakis of KRON 4-TV, Hon. Fabrizio Marcelli, Italy’s Consul General in San Francisco, and Jeff Capaccio, NIAF regional vice president for the far west.

The forum also showcased NIAF’s educational programs and recognized Daniella Alleveto, a NIAF Voyage of Discovery participant and student at the University of California at Berkeley, and Louis Dematteis, a grant recipient who produced the documentary “Crimebuster: A Son’s Search for his Father.” Maria Serrano of the Golden State Warriors announced the upcoming “Best of Italy Night!” featuring Toronto Raptors' Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli. The March 13 Oracle Arena event will benefit NIAF’s scholarship fund.

During the dinner, guests enjoyed Italian specialties from Umbria, Italy prepared by Giulio Tempesta, NIAF council member and proprietor of Ristorante Umbria. The wines were provided by NIAF council member Lorenzo Scarpone of Villa Italia. Scarpone had the guests sample the award winning Le Fonti Chianti Riserva and La Boatina Pinot Grigio wines.

Other special guests enjoying the evening's camaraderie included NIAF area coordinators Richard Botteri, Esq. of Portland, Oregon, Anthony Capozzi, Esq. of Fresno, Calif. and City Attorney John Russo of Oakland,Calif., Fabio Ficano, chair of the Silicon Valley Italian Executive Council of International Relations and Renewable Energy Initiatives, Salvatore Moncada, CEO of Moncada Energy, Chris Spain, chairman of HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc., Jeff Clarke and Linda O'Bryon, CEO and president and chief content officer, respectively, Northern California Public Broadcasting, Inc. (KQED, KTEH, KQET, KQEI), Amelia Antonucci, director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Prof. Marco Salardi, director Educational Programs Italian Consulate General in San Francisco and Nile Tuzun, president and chief creative officer of NILEBrand Hospitality International.

The media forums give professionals in the communications field an opportunity to foster working relationships with colleagues and learn about the Foundation's exciting youth initiatives. Through these events, NIAF cultivates an excellent rapport with members of the media, promotes Italians and Italian Americans, and encourages all to preserve our rich culture. NIAF has planned similar events for other major cities throughout the U.S.

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