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Professional Portfolio

University Administrator Joseph P. Matty

Allow me to introduce you to Joseph P. Matty, executive director of alumni relations and alumni association at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Many prominent folks from our ethnicity and our community have significant leadership roles at NIU along with Joe Matty. For example, the newest dean at the law school, Jennifer Rosato, is the first ever Italian-American female dean of any American law school. Judge Anthony Iosco serves as president of the Alumni Association Board, with Judge Rod Equi serving as president of the Alumni Association Board of the law school. Anthony D’Andrea, whose career was previously highlighted in ...

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Journalist Daniel Nardini

My wonderful editor, Paul Basile, who recommends subjects for this column from time to time, faxed me an article from an old edition of the Washington Post with the headline “The ‘Last American Tourist’ Flees Beijing.” The article, dated June 13, 1989, identifies this month’s subject, Daniel Nardini, as “the last American tourist,” a dedicated educator and journalist. The article describes Nardini’s misfortune to arrive in Beijing on June 3, 1989, the night tanks and troops smashed into Tiananmen Square to recapture it from student demonstrators, as we vividly recall only too well. Nardini’s adventures and travels to the Far ...

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Attorney Joseph R. Curcio

This month we highlight the distinguished career of Joseph R. Curcio, one of the true leaders throughout the legal profession and especially in the Italian-American legal community. Frankly, I’ve been after Mr. Curcio for years to permit me to highlight his distinguished career, one that our community should know about and an individual that we can all be proud of and respect greatly. Perhaps, because of his Calabrian roots, he has been adamant about his quasi-anonymity and with great humility has prohibited me from telling our community about all that he means to the younger lawyers that have come along ...

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John Marshall Law School Hall of Famers

The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association Board recently announced the 2010 recipients of its prestigious Distinguished Service Award. Three of the recipients are people from our community: retired Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Pomaro, Salvatore “Sam” Tornatore and Mary Ann (Iantorno) Hynes. The announcement was made by the president of the Alumni Association Board of this 120-year-old law school, Katherine Amari, who also serves as president-elect of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. The Distinguished Service Award was created to recognize graduates and their contributions to the school, the profession and to the community. These recipients are hard-working members of the ...

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Attorney Carl Gigante

This month, we highlight the distinguished career of Carl Gigante, one of the more esteemed and successful lawyers in the Illinois legal profession and an outstanding member of our ethnic community. Carl achieved recognition as one of the leading lawyers in Illinois in the most complicated field of eminent domain law. Gigante is the second son of Joseph, a motion picture projectionist, and Annette Gigante, a homemaker. Gigante’s older brother, Joe, is a family physician in the western suburbs. The Gigante brothers grew up in the Far West Side’s Galewood neighborhood in a Chicago-style bungalow. They were raised in the ...

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Attorney Sal Indomenico

This month’s subject provided me with a wonderful narrative that I am republishing here with minor editing, mainly for length. Please meet Sal Indomenico, a highly respected Illinois attorney, in his own words: “My life began in a small town, Floridia-Siracusa, Sicily, born to Antonio and Girolama Indomenico (nee Buccheri). My father, a welder, was 21 when I was born, and my mother, a seamstress, was 17. At the age of 4, my parents, baby brother and I left Sicily for Melbourne, Australia, where my father had siblings. Melbourne has a fairly large Italian community and offered a better opportunity ...

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Attorney Joseph M. Gagliardo

Over the last 25 years or so, we have read in the pages of Chicagoland ethnic and legal publications about Joseph M. Gagliardo, past president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. We learned about Joe when he was president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, who distinguished himself in that position. We appreciate him for being a founder and charter board member of the political voice of our community, our Italian American Political Coalition. The January 2011 edition of Super Lawyers, a highly respected legal publication, listed Joe as one of the “Top Attorneys in Illinois” and because ...

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Candy industry legend Nello Ferrara

This month we posthumously highlight the distinguished career of a giant in the business world, a trailblazer and legend in the Italian-American community. Nello V. Ferrara passed, after a full and successful life, in early February 2012. Mr. Ferrara was Chairman of the Board of Ferrara Pan Candy Company of Forest Park, which was founded by his father, Salvatore Ferrara, in 1908. Completing his education in 1942, when he graduated from DePaul University Law School, earning his Doctorate of Juris Prudence, Nello Ferrara subsequently became a member of the Illinois Bar. At that time, there were probably less than 100 ...

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Investment Adviser Joseph W. Lamberti

Community leader, ethnic activist, money manager, investment counselor, and Italophile — this month I introduce the readers to Joseph W. Lamberti. Skilled, educated, trained and certified to provide financial planning management specifically for individuals and business owners in his capacity as wealth management advisor and vice president with Merrill Lynch, all Joe wanted to talk about in anticipation of writing this article were his Italian roots. “My family is from the town of Piandelagotti in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy. It is a quaint place with beautiful views. Along one main road there is a church, town square, restaurant, ...

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Chicago Park District Planning Director Gia Biagi

This month we highlight the distinguished career of Gia Biagi, who, for the last decade, has worked for the Chicago Park District, currently as the Director of Planning and Development. Her current responsibilities in that significant position include leading development of long-term strategic capital improvement planning and setting priorities for the $350 million park design and construction program, designing and developing 300 discrete projects annually, ranging from new community centers and playgrounds to natural areas and urban horticulture sites, leading successful intergovernmental effort to acquire more than $60 million in tax increment financing for park projects, and acquiring over 100 ...

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