NIAF News Releases



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

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: June 21, 2012
6 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7 p.m. Gala and Awards Program

WHERE: The Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

The NIAF West Coast Gala will pay tribute to a host of internationally prominent individuals, all while celebrating the rich heritage of Italians and the Italian American community. Blues guitarist and musician Johnny Rivers will lead the list of celebrities attending the gala.

This year’s honorees include Roberto Crea, Ph.D., chief executive officer, founder and president of CREAGRI Inc., John A. Legnitto, vice president and group manager for the San Francisco region at Recology; Kim Polese, chairman of ClearStreet Inc., and Anna Paola Snaidero, vice president of advertising and public relations of Snaidero USA.

NIAF will also honor Aili and Andres McConnon, coauthors of “Road to Valor: A True Story of World War II Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation.” Their new book, published in June, chronicles the life of Gino Bartali, champion Italian cyclist and World War II hero, whose legendary story reflects the Italian soul and character.

The NIAF gala begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception in The Fairmont’s Fountain and Crystal Room, followed by dinner in the Venetian Room with an awards program honoring Italian entrepreneurs and Italian American leaders while showcasing San Francisco’s vibrant international community. The gala will benefit the Foundation’s scholarship and education programs.

Jeffrey M. Capaccio, Esq., and Marcella Leonetti-Tyler, NIAF regional vice presidents for the far west (north) and far west (south), respectively, will serve as dinner co-chairs.

Tickets begin at $300 per person. For more ticket information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jerry Jones at 202/939-3102 or and visit:

Media Contacts: Elissa Ruffino, 202/939-3106,
Gina Ghilardi, 202-939-3116,

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Italian Americans. To learn about our programs/events, visit

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