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Justinians to Install officers, honor Perconti

Prominent attorney John J. Perconti will be the guest of honor when the Justinian Society of Lawyers hosts its annual installation and awards dinner on Oct. 4 at the Palmer House Hilton. (708-338-0760) The following officers will be formally installed at the event: Michael F. Bonamarte (president), Vincent R. Vidmer (first vice president), Natalie M. Petric (second vice president), Judge Regina A. Scannicchio (third vice president), Dion U. Davi (treasurer) and Bruno R. Massaro (secretary.) John J. Perconti — Award of Excellence John J. Perconti is a highly-acclaimed Illinois attorney and co-founder of Levin & Perconti, and a lifelong member ...

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SACA to honor attorney Umberto Davi

The Sicilian American Cultural Association will present attorney Umberto S. Davi with its Medal of Merit on Sept. 24 at Monastero’s Banquets in Chicago. Tickets for the event are $40 for adults (cash bar) and $18 for children 2 to 12 years of age. Entertainment will be provided by past winners of the Bel Canto Foundation Opera Contest. (773-588-2515) Umberto S. Davi The Sicilian American Cultural Association is proud to present attorney Umberto S. Davi with its coveted Medal of Merit. Davi is a founding member of the Sicilian American Cultural Association, a lifetime member of the Joint Civic Committee ...

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DePaul taps Benedetto for key post

Dr. Corinne Benedetto has been named interim dean of DePaul University’s School for New Learning. Benedetto joined the School for New Learning in 1998, previously serving as associate dean for operations and enrollment management and as associate dean of undergraduate programs. Last academic year, she also served as a member of the Office of the Provost’s SNL & Adult Learning Task Force. “As a task force member, Corinne played a key role in developing pathways to address the ongoing evolution of adult higher education and how DePaul can continue to lead in this competitive field,” DePaul Provost Marten denBoer says. ...

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Fiasche family spreads the word about nduja

In only three years, Antonio “Tony” Fiasche has led the effort to pluck nduja, a spreadable salume, from the obscurity of a small Calabrian town and make it something of a sensation in the gourmet world. The Wall Street Journal and foodie magazines have been salivating over it, and chefs worldwide are inventing ways to use it in pizza, vinaigrette, aioli, arrabiata, marinara, hollandaise and more. The skyrocketing acclaim of Fiasche’s company, Nduja Artisans, has engendered plans to open a gourmet deli just west of the Loop in the near future. But like many success stories, Fiasche’s began decades earlier. ...

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Retail activists Joe and Melissa Basilone

Not long after moving from Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood to Portage Park in the Far Northwest Side of the city in 2007, Joe and Melissa Basilone found themselves constantly returning to their old neighborhood for things to do. “We didn’t realize when we moved that there was nothing to do. The neighborhood has beautiful homes and is a great area, but there was nothing to do,” Basilone said. “We always found ourselves getting in the car and driving to our old neighborhood. Finally, I said ‘There is something wrong with this.’ It took us a few years to realize that ...

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Singer Cory Bolletino

Growing up blind and with a variety of medical conditions, 27-year-old Cory Bolletino of Mount Prospect attended mainly special needs schools, and occasionally had to sit out of school for medical reasons. He didn’t have much of a chance to make childhood friends, he says, so his world centered around his mother Veronica, father Rick, and music. “The way I used to relax was through music. Music was my best friend,” says Bolletino. “It will always be my best friend.” He has spent years listening to singers like Andrea Bocelli, Julio Iglesias, Marco Antonio Solis and Camilo Sesto, and likes ...

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Casa instructor Giovanna “Jackie” Dimetros

It only seems like Casa Italia’s popular language and cuisine instructor, Giovanna “Jackie” Dimetros, is leading a double life. Some people know her as Giovanna and others as Jackie, she has inexplicably English and Greek surnames, and people aren’t certain whether she’s a cooking or Italian teacher or both. But she is in fact one delightful Italian-born Chicagoan who integrates all these identities. The story begins during World War II. An American Army officer, Major Jack Spears, a Chicago native stationed in Tuscany, fell in love with his future wife Miranda in the town of Livorno. After they married, they ...

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Undefeated featherweight Gio Mioletti

Giovanni “Gio” Mioletti won a unanimous decision on April 28 at the UIC Pavilion, beating formerly undefeated William Hernandez in a battle of undefeated featherweights. It was his toughest test to date and, according to his trainer and head coach, John Nocita, “He did everything he had to do to beat a very tough opponent.” Mioletti, from suburban Woodridge, was excited to be fighting in front of his hometown fans. “I was really looking forward to this bout because I knew I’d have family and friends in attendance,” he says. The win moves Mioletti’s record to 7-0, and Nocita thinks ...

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Activist storyteller Tori Hagerty

A trip to Ghana in the summer of 2011 was a wakeup call for Tori Hagerty, serving as a catalyst for a project that now encompasses hundreds of interviews, two books and a nonprofit foundation that aids the orphanage where she volunteered for a month-and-a-half. “It changed my entire worldview and made me appreciate all the luxury that we have here in America,” Hagerty says of her trip. It also inspired her to combine a longstanding passion for storytelling with her desire to make the world a better place. While volunteering in Ghana in 2011, Hagerty met Amara, a young ...

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Linguistic entrepreneur Gianluca Butticè

When Gianluca Butticè moved from his native Sicily to the U.S., he faced the challenges of learning English and American culture. Surmounting that learning curve inspired him to make the journey easier for others. So after spending the past several years teaching Italian, he is branching out into offering tours of Italy that encompass language and culture in a mutually enhancing way. “I know the doors that are opened when you learn a new language,” he says, explaining that traveling, learning the culture of a country and learning the language can all reinforce each other. Butticè, 41, believes everything he ...

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