Every year, the Italian American Executives of Transportation undertakes two noble goals: to give students a chance to further their academic dreams and recognize those who’ve made a big difference in the lives of others. That they feed people generously at their annual banquet is another story (which we’ll get to eventually). But to be sure, a capacity crowd enjoyed the festivities at the Nov. 22 event, held at Alta Villa Banquets in Addison.
“Without the help and encouragement of the officers, board members, our committees, and the membership of the IAET, this event could not be possible,” says Vito D’Ambrosio, IAET President. “Our main objective is to foster a positive public image of Italian Americans and to be of service to others.”
The banquet proved beyond doubt D’Ambrosio’s assertion. The banquet honored Terrence J. Hancock as the IAET Man of the Year. Having joined the ranks of Teamsters Local Union No. 731 in 1979 as a rank-and file member, today he’s president and serves as Co-Chairman on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Teamsters/Employers Apprenticeship and Training Fund. He’s also been appointed to the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor, and is most proud of his role as President and Director of “In Search of a Cure,” founded in honor of his beloved autistic son Bryan
The IAET Woman of the Year, LeeAnn Cali, is a second generation Italian American who in 1993 turned a family property in Delavan, Wisc. into a Small Community Based Residential Facility, Vintage on the Ponds. In 1998 the Vintage expanded to 70 bedrooms and is currently the largest CBRF in Walworth County, employing more than 80 employees. The facility has won numerous awards including 1st Runner Up by The Best of Walworth County for retirement facilities in 2013.
The IAET also handed out close to two dozen scholarships to high school graduates, and current student students at the college and undergraduate level. The recipients were all on hand to accept the cash awards and plaques; dressed to the nines, they exhibited intense pride and gratitude for the IAET’s generosity.
Jack Miuccio and the band Phase 4 provided first-rate entertainment. One highlight featured performances of the American and Italian national anthems.
As for the food: A generous spread of calamari, sausage and peppers, focaccia and much more greeted the hundreds of banquet attendees.
And that, friends, was just the first round appetizers. Abbondanza e fratellanza!