The Italian American Police Association honored David Figlioli, Ron Onesti and the Rev. Daniel J. Branch on Nov. 5 at Alta Villa Banquets in Addison.
David Figlioli — Man of the Year
A former police officer, David Figlioli has dedicated his career as an attorney to defending the rights of those in law enforcement who have been injured on the job.
The son of a World War II Army veteran and retired Chicago Police sergeant, Dave served in law enforcement for more than a decade, rising to the rank of sergeant in the Chicago Police Department.
Before committing his life to judiciary work, Dave attended Concordia University, where he achieved his undergraduate degree in Education. He served in the Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg and Chicago Police Departments from 1979 to 1991. He spent four of his nine years with the CPD in the Gangs North Unit at the Area 3 Station at Belmont and Western.
David enrolled at the John Marshall Law School in 1986, where he earned his Juris Doctorate, graduating magna cum laude in 1991 while working full time for the CPD and attending classes in the evening.
Since starting his legal career, Dave has dedicated his work to fighting for the rights of those harmed by negligent, reckless, and careless individuals and entities.
A founder and general partner at Morici, Figlioli & Associates, Attorney, Dave brings a quarter century of legal experience to the firm.
While he is able to handle a wide range of personal injury cases, he primarily spends his time handling cases involving worker’s compensation, claims arising from the PSEBA and PEDA statutes, and police officer and firefighter disability pension claims.
Currently, Dave holds memberships in various associations, including the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Justinian Society of Lawyers, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association. Additionally, he has continued to serve on the Board of Managers for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Rated by SuperLawyers ®, Dave has held an AV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell ® since 2002.
His areas of practice are workers’ compensation, police and firefighter Injury and pension claims, as well as PEDA and PSEBA claims.
Ron Onesti — Lifetime Achievement Award
Ron Onesti is an entertainment industry powerhouse recognized as an innovative leader across the country. With a passion for his heritage, he has provided enjoyment for countless lovers of the “Italian Experience,” from Las Vegas to Hoboken, N.J.
Ron is the president of Onesti Entertainment Corp., which produces concerts, special events and festivals nationwide. A specialty of the company is the production of Italian festivals. In the Chicago area, he stages Festa Pasta Vino on South Oakley Avenue and the Little Italy Fest-West in Addison and coordinated and/or provided entertainment services for several suburbs.
In 2005, he took over the Arcada Theatre, a 900-seat vaudeville theater in St. Charles that was founded in 1926, restoring it to its original splendor and using it to showcase local and national talent in the far western suburbs. It is now the No. 1 live music venue in the Midwest, with more than 200 shows annually.
He has produced several projects for television, including a PBS special about kids against drugs and violence that garnered three Emmy Awards. He is currently a regular on-air host on the Chicago PBS station, WTTW Channel 11.
Ron has also appeared on numerous radio shows, including his own entertainment-based talk show co-hosted by his brother, Rich, on FM radio in Chicago, and an entertainment-based show on Chicago’s WGN radio. He also writes regularly for the Daily Herald and Fra Noi.
Passionately involved in the Italian-American community, he donates his time and talents to countless organizations, including the Italian Consulate, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Casa Italia, the Italian American Veterans Museum and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
Ron was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, one of only three medals recognized by Congress, at an all-military event at the Statue of Liberty. He has also been honored by Casa Italia, the Italian American Executives of Transportation, the IANU Foundation, the Order Sons of Italy in America and many more.
By bringing major Italian superstars like Zucchero, Laura Pausini, Il Volo, Orietta Berti and many others to the States; producing hundreds of live performances on stages all over the country; and spreading the wonders of his Italian culture, Ron is living the American dream while honoring the memory of his grandparents, who came through the gates of Ellis Island.
The Rev. Daniel J. Brandt — Humanitarian of the Year
The Rev. Daniel J. Brandt was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 22, 1999. During his first six years of priesthood, he served at St. William Parish on the far western edge of Chicago.
From there, he moved on to serve as pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Bridgeport. He met many challenges and enjoyed countless blessings there.
Prior to his five years of graduate seminary education, Fr. Brandt was business manager of a CPA and law firm in Lombard — an experience that has helped him tremendously in the administration of parishes and now the Police Chaplains Ministry.
His educational background includes a bachelor in science in management and accounting from Northern Illinois University, and a master’s degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Fr. Brandt also has bilingual skills gained over two summers of intensive language study in Mexico.
As full-time Director of the Chaplains Unit of the Chicago Police Department, Dan ministers to the 10,000-plus men and women who protect and serve the citizens of this great city — as well as 5,000 retirees, 500 police recruits, and all their families. His “parish” encompasses the entire city of Chicago: 225 square miles.
Two and a half years ago, when wrapping up his term as pastor in Bridgeport and accepting Fr. Tom Nangle’s invitation to replace him as Director of the Chaplains Unit, Dan returned — like the Prodigal Son — to the North Side. He resides at Resurrection Parish near California and Diversey in Logan Square. This location is ideal for his crisis ministry with the Police Department, as he can be out his door and on the Kennedy Expressway in either direction in less than 60 seconds.
Most of all, he thanks Almighty God for allowing him to serve as a priest of Jesus Christ and a servant to the good men and women in law enforcement who have followed — among parenthood and religious life — one of the most worthy callings this world knows.