Fifteen distinguished professional Italian Americans were honored with a Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence at the 15th Annual Reception and Ceremony on May 1, 2016, at White Eagle Banquets in Niles. The event was hosted by the Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin, Order Sons of Italy in America.
Serving as Master of Ceremonies, the Hon. Anthony Calderone, Mayor of Forest Park, introduced Richard R. Della Croce, who gave a wonderful performance as he sang both the American and Italian national anthems. Mayor Calderone introduced Grand Lodge President Marie Marsalli, who welcomed the honorees and guests.
In the spirit of da Vinci, the Order recognized the successful and outstanding accomplishments and contributions of excellence to our society by the 15 honorees in their various paths and fields of life’s pursuit.
In presenting the award to the recipients, President Marsalli stated: “Our honorees are truly professionals and walk among giants in their chosen field. They are outstanding citizens of their community. They truly embrace their Italian heritage. We wish them continued success in their endeavors.”
The prestigious da Vinci Award of Excellence was presented to Vesuvio Bakery & Deli (Business of Distinction); Frank Fontana (Communications); Richard R. Della Croce (Community Leadership); Emilia DiMenco (Community Leadership); Anthony T. Machi (Community Leadership); the Rev. Domenic J. Roscioli (Community Leadership); Enza Parrella (Designer); Giuseppe Vella (Entrepreneur); Vincent Carini (Entrepreneur); the Hon. Joseph Tamburino (Government); the Hon. Catherine Adduci (Government); Thomas “TJ” Somer (Government); Antonio Romanucci (Law); John Cifelli (Law); and Vera Girolami (OSIA Legend).
Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet luncheon featuring Italian dishes prepared by the White Eagle Banquets chefs. Homemade Italian biscotti and fresh fruit were served for dessert. Entertainment was provided by DJ Giovanni. Photos were taken by Tim Townsend.