New JCCIA President Enza Raineri was among a dozen community leaders honored at the 16th annual Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence Gala on May 7 at White Eagle Banquets in Niles. The event was hosted by the Order Sons of Italy in America’s Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Raineri received a Community Leadership Award along with Berwyn Police Chief Michael D. Cimaglia, Festa Italiana Milwaukee founder Paul F. Iannelli, OSIA Roma Lodge President Rick P. Bonanno.
Also honored were firefighter and paramedic Jeffery H. Bruno (Community Service); singer Jack V. Miuccio (Entertainment); Conca d’Oro Restaurant proprietor Peter Carini, Tucci Restaurant proprietor Joseph Armenise and Salvi Sports Enterprises co-owners Pat and Lindy Salvi (Entrepreneurship); West Allis, Wis., Alderman Vincenzo Vitale (Government); and licensed nurse practitioner Mary E. Matury Gibson and registered pharmacist Anthony Panici, R.Ph. (Medicine).
Profiles of the honorees follow:
Joseph Armenise, Sr. was the 3rd child born to Carlo and Dora Armenise. Both of his parents emigrated from Italy. He was raised in Kankakee, IL, where his father owned a grocery Store and 2 restaurants. Joe began working for his father full time during the summer at 13. Joe attended Southern Illinois University majoring in Business Law. After overseeing his father’s business while he was ill, Joe realized that his passion was the restaurant business. Instead of returning to Southern Illinois University, Joe decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York for a complete culinary experience. He worked as a Food Service Consultant in the Chicago area for 22 years.
He established Tucci’s in Bourbonnais, IL in 2000. Tucci’s has been recognized as the number one Italian restaurant in the area by its patrons for 3 consecutive years.
Joe takes great pride in his Italian culture, his family and community service. He is recognized a top restaurateur. He feels very blessed by his success and loves giving back to those who have helped him reach his dream. He feels a strong sense of fulfillment when he is able to donate his time, experience or food to organizations whose mission is to help others.
Joe has 3 children. While his daughter, Gina, has pursued other interests, his son, Joe, Jr. and his daughter, Angie, have inherited his love for the restaurant business and are each successful in their own right.
Beginning with Carlo and Dora, to Joe, Sr., and down to Joe, Jr. and Angie, the Armenise family continues what started in Italy over 100 years ago, a passion for the restaurant business.
Rick Bonanno was born and raised in Racine, WI. His parents, Paul and Anita, and his siblings, Cindy, Lori and Dan, are also Racine natives. Rick’s Italian heritage comes to him from Calabria, Sicily and Umbria via his great grandparents. His maternal great grandfathers were founding members of Roma Lodge in the early 1920’s.
Rick has a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master of Science degree from Iowa State University in Industrial Arts Education. He spent the majority of his career with Kohler Company’s Engine Division in various sales and service capacities.
He has been a member of Roma Lodge in Racine for 40 years, and recently completed his 2nd term as its 27th President. He is a member of the OSIA Lodge Filippo Mazzei #2763 and the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. Rick also is the Racine Representative for WisItalia, serves on the Italian Initiatives Committee at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and is a member of the Italian Workmen’s Club in Madison. He is a member of Moose Lodge #437 in Racine, a Charter Member and Treasurer of the Rebel Golf Outing, and a Graduate of Distinction of the William Horlick High School Hall of Fame.
Rick and his wife, Pam, a retired Racine schoolteacher, reside in Kenosha and have 2 daughters, Lauren and Paige.
Rick is truly honored to receive this prestigious award. Thanks are extended to President Marsalli and the Grand Lodge of IL & WI and to the brothers and sisters of OSIA Lodge Filippo Mazzei #2763.
Jeffrey H. Bruno, the son of Marlene and Joseph Bruno, an immigrant of Sicily, was born in Kankakee, IL. His dad was actively involved in the Sons of Italy Americo Vespucci Lodge #1722 until his untimely death at 46 years of age. Jeff keeps his father’s ritual booklet from the Sons of Italy as a reminder of his rich and proud Italian heritage.
A U. S. Army veteran, Jeff has been with the Kankakee Fire Department for the past 26 years and is Captain/Shift Commander. He has earned numerous Fire/EMS certificates throughout his career.
He is currently the State Commander of the AFFI Honor Guard, Board Member of the Hundred Club of Kankakee County, 3rd Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus, Lifetime Honorary Member of the Gleaners, a Member of the Bradley-Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club and sits on the Bradley-Bourbonnais High School Superintendent Key Communicators Council. Jeff has also served on the Board of Education for the Kankakee School District #111, and has coached youth baseball, soccer and softball. He is also employed by Clancy-Gernon Funeral Homes as an Associate.
Jeff gained worldwide attention in 1996 when he aided in rescuing a toddler who fell in the gorilla exhibit at Brookfield Zoo. He was featured on Oprah, Dateline and in People magazine.
Jeff and his wife, Trina, have been married for 29 years, and have a son, Justin married to Tami, and a daughter, Kaylee.
He remains active in the community and believes in giving back and devoting time to help others. He credits his father for instilling this trait in him, as well as holding high to his Italian customs, traditions and heritage.
In 1966 at 14 years of age, Peter Carini came to the United States with his family to find a better life. His father instilled in him a strong work ethic. While the adults in the family worked jobs, the younger kids attended school. Once Peter was old enough he started working.
His first job was with the Milwaukee Athletic Club as a busboy. He spent some much time watching the chefs that he was promoted to a cook. In 13 years, Peter worked his way to Executive Chef. New management of the Club terminated Peter’s position there. For the next 10 years he worked at various restaurants and hotels honing his knowledge and skills.
In 1996, Peter opened his own restaurant, Carini’s La Conca d;Oro. It was long hours and a lot of hard work, but 20 years later his restaurant is still going strong. Now he also has the help of his wife, Janice, and his two sons, Gregg and P. J.
Peter imported a wood burning Mario Acunto pizza oven from Naples, Italy for the latest addition to the menu, authentic Italian pizzas. The menu is still the same authentic recipes he has been using since the restaurant opened 20 years. One day, Peter’s legacy will continue through his sons, who will continue operating the restaurant with same care and attention to Italian cuisine that Peter has instilled in them.
Michael D. Cimaglia was raised in Berwyn, IL.
He became a Berwyn Auxiliary Police Officer in 1987 and a Berwyn Police Officer in 1988. He has served as a Patrol Officer, Tactical Officer and a Detective. He has been a Berwyn Police Officer for 29 years. Moving through the ranks of Watch Commander, Division Commander and Acting Police Chief, Michael currently serves a the Berwyn Police Chief.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree From Lewis University, Joliet, IL.
He was elected President of the Italian American Civic Organization of Berwyn, IL in 2002. In 2016, Michael, along with other Board members and past and present officers of this organization, established OSIA Lodge #2889. He followed in the footsteps of both his father, Dominic Cimaglia, and his grandfather, Achille Cimaglia, by becoming a member of IACOB. He and his father have both held the position of President of the organization. He is carrying on this same tradition by enrolling his sons, Dominic and Michael, Jr., as members of the Lodge.
Michael has also volunteered in feeding the needy on Thanksgiving, delivering food baskets at Christmas, Christmas with the sailors, as well as assistance in the construction of several parks.
Michael has 3 children, Dominic, Toni Marie, and Michael, Jr., and 2 grandchildren, Adreana and David. He and his girlfriend, Lisa, currently live in Hickory Hills, IL.
In 1978, when Paul Iannelli became President of the Milwaukee UNICO society, its function was to provide scholarships to young people of Italian descent. He wanted to add to UNICO’s purpose and felt the need and responsibility to create something that would bring the Italian community back together, much the same way as the traditional festivals had done years earlier. He was involved with Summerfest and was knowledgeable of the process and operations on the Summerfest grounds.
At that time, Milwaukee was investing heavily in ongoing improvements to the grounds but then the grounds closed for the rest of the year after the 11 day event. This led to questions on the part of the politicians as to whether this was a productive and best use of the land for the taxpayers.
Paul recognized the potential to bring back the “Italian Feast” that so many people of Milwaukee had enjoyed in previous years. He drafted a letter to the Mayor explaining his idea of using the grounds for a 4-day Italian Festival. After further discussions with the Mayor, Paul contacted the Summerfest Board of Directors for approval. As a founding member of Festa Italiano, Paul received a letter of appreciation from the Mayor of Milwaukee, and several articles recognizing him for his achievements were published in the Milwaukee Journal.
One man’s vision to recreate what had been lost and to reestablish something that would bring the Italian community back together again led to the birth of Festa Italiana in August of 1978. Festa Italiana has been a constant and successful event during Milwaukee’s Summerfest ever since. Paul remembered the values and traditions brought with the early Italian settlers to the various communities across the country and this inspired him to recreate a tradition so many Milwaukee Italians had lost. Pauls’s efforts were the most significant and meaningful gift that anyone could contribute to the Italian community in Milwaukee!
Paul and his wife, Rose, have been married 66 years. They have 2 daughters, Paulette and Nancy, 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Mary E. Matury Gibson was born to immigrant parents who came from Sicily in the 1920’s. She is the youngest of 6 children raised on a small farm in Lowell, IN. Life was hard for Mary and her family as they tried to fit into a community where first generation Italians were not well received.
After being accepted into a Licensed Practical Nursing Program offered by Chicago Public Schools, Mary left Lowell in 1965. While her marriage to her high school sweetheart failed, she raised her 2 daughters on her own while working as a LPN in critical care at a hospital in the south suburbs of Chicago. She continued her education at Moraine Valley Community College where she received an Associate in Nursing degree and became a licensed RN. Mary continued her education at Purdue University Calumet and received her BA in Industrial Environmental Psychology and BS in Nursing with Nurse Practitioner Competency. She became a licensed, Board Certified, Nurse Practitioner. Mary worked as a nurse practitioner for 30 years while sending both of her daughters to school and college. During this time, Mary also served in the U. S. Army Nurse Corps Reserves for 10 years and achieved the rank of Captain.
Mary retired from full time work in 2010, but still continues to see patients a few days a week in private practice. She has written and published 3 books: Remembering Strawberry Fields, A Memoir in 2014; Entrusted with Their Care: A Nurse’s Story in 2016; and Against the Wind due out in 2018.
She spends her time with her daughters and 5 grandchildren.
Jack Miuccio sings all types of music—Italian, particularly Andrea Bocelli, jazz, country, opera, the standards, ballads, musicals, 50’s rock and just about anything else. His repertoire includes music from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Bobby Darin and Sammy Davis.
His appearances include EWTN, HBO, ABC News, WGN News, and Metromix Cable TV. He has sung at such venues as Chicago White Sox games, AllState Arena, U.S. Cellular Field, Willowbrook Ballroom, Sports Hall of Fame, Stephens Center, Navy Pier, Pro Football games, Police Association, War Veteran’s Association, Binyon’s Horseshoe Casino, Hollywood Casino, and Potowatomi Casino, He has taken part in the Columbus Parade and the Parade Queen Contest. His restaurant appearances include Onesti Dinner Club, Tuscany, Chambers, Giannotti’s, Altavilla, Enzo’s Empire Room and Two Catillians.
He has sung at many festivals and occasions honoring a number of famous people, including Mike Ditka, Mario Andretti, Tommy LaSorda, Carmen Salvino, Jack Binyon, Tony LoBianco, Dennis Farina, Lennox Lewis, Leon Spinks, Alison Rosati, Dave Savini, Vince Gerasole, Rick DiMaio, Mark Giangreco, Dennis Savard, and numerous church officials as well as numerous government officials.
He has performed with the likes of Connie Francis, Keely Smith, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, The Gaylords, Deana Martin, Dick Contino, Freddie Bell, Dick Judson, Joe Vito, Johnny Frigo, Chuck Salvo, Franz Bentler, Teddy Lee, Dennis DeYoung, Eddie Hubbard and Dick Biondi. Jack has also worked with Onesti Entertainment, JAM Productions, Redmink Productions, Prism Entertainment, Mary Monica Music and numerous other entertainment companies.
Jack was the recipient of the David Award for Arts and Entertainment in 2000 and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Governor of Illinois in 2002.
Anthony Panici, a first generation Italian-American, is the son of Italian immigrants Ettore and Anna and a lifelong resident of Chicago Heights, IL. He earned his BS in Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1990. As owner of Southtown Rx in Chicago Heights, he delivered prescription medication to the Chicago Heights population and everyone knew Anthony and his pharmacy.
He also owns and operates Custom Med Plus in New Lenox, IL that specializes in compounding medications individually, personalized service and home delivery to treat pain management, hormone replacement, suppositories and capsules. He also owns Property Management Solutions, a clinical pharmacy that specializes in long term residential care from a medication monitoring point of view. He also still delivers prescription medication in Chicago Heights. He is committed to service and helping the community.
Anthony is heavily involved in the Italian-American community. He is a long time member of Societa Opearia di Mutuo Soccorso “Amaseno” Provincia di Roma 3 in Chicago Heights and President of Amaseno Lodge No. 3. His passion for the Italian “club” started with the Amaseno Lodge where his father, uncles and other Italian immigrants socialized and had a good time speaking their native language freely. He has spearheaded the organizing of countless events for Italian-Americans to enjoy, including trips to Italy, dinners at the “Club”, golf outings, social gatherings, and philanthropic events. He is deeply committed to his Italian culture and heritage.
Anthony currently lives in Mokena, IL with his wife, Tera, and his son, Anthony Vincent. His son is also pursuing pharmacy education, so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Enza Ranieri, born and raised in Chicago, IL, is the eldest of 3 daughters of immigrant parents from Sicily. Enza has a BA in Public Relations from Roosevelt University. She has worked in several public relations agencies including Hill & Knowlton, Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt and the Hyatt Hotels International. She has also worked as an Account Executive at Golin/Harris Public Relations before moving into county government.
Enza began her service with the Clerk of the Court in 1989 as the Public Information Officer in Child Support Enforcement and currently serves as the Associate Clerk of the Criminal/Juvenile Bureau for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She has also overseen the Criminal Division (Felony Court), Criminal Department (Misdemeanors), Central Bond Court, Domestic Violence Court and the Juvenile Court Center of the City of Chicago. She has also served as Chief of the Civil Division of the Clerk’s office and Associate Clerk for Public Information for the Chief Juvenile Justice. She has also worked on domestic violence task forces within the county government and worked with high school aged youth to help them recognize unhealthy dating relationships. Enza has been involved in a variety of national and local political campaigns, including 2 presidential campaigns and 6 county government races.
Enza has served as 2nd and 3rd Vice President of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and is their current President. She is also a board member of the Italian American Coalition and active member of the Justinian Society of Lawyers as a Liaison for the Clerk of the Court. She has spearheaded the annual Italian-American Heritage Month Celebration of the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office honoring many prominent members of the Italian-American community. Enza has been honored by the Order Sons of Italy and the Women’s Division with the IMPRESA award, and is past Chair of the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Humanitarian Award Dinner.
Enza and 2 children, Robert, a sophomore at Illinois State University, and Arianna, a senior at Maine Township South High School, reside in Niles, IL.
Pat and Lindy Salvi of Chicago, IL entered the world of minor league baseball and purchased the Gary SouthShore RailCats, in 2008. After finding much success with the RailCats, including reaching the playoffs in each of his first 3 seasons, Pat expanded his enterprise to include a 100% interest in both the Schaumburg Boomers and North Shore Navigators (Futures Collegiate Baseball League), as well as a minority interest in the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (Futures Collegiate Baseball League). Under Pat’s leadership and direction, the mission of Salvi Sports is to combine family, fun and baseball to provide an exceptional level of fun, affordable family entertainment in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere.
Pat is the managing equity partner of the prominent Chicago personal injury law firm, Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. He received his Bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. He has published numerous articles in law journals, lectured at legal seminars, taught classes at universities such as Northwestern, Harvard and Notre Dame. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School.
Pat is one the most prominent attorneys in the country, consistently recognized with “Best Lawyers in America”, “Illinois Super Lawyer”, and “The Leading American Attorneys of Illinois”. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Mary’s University and is the Law School Advisory Council Chairman at the Univeristy of Notre Dame. He also serves as the Director of the RailCats as its representative with the American Association of Independent Baseball. Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. represents victims in personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases.
Lindy Salvi graduated from St. Mary’s College in South Bend with a nursing degree, meeting Pat while at school. Along with raising their 5 sons, Lindy became an active community volunteer. She has been involved as a member, committee chairperson, board member and chairperson with School of St. Mary of Lake Forest, Junior League of Evanston-Northshore, Carmel Catholic High School, Misericordia Heart of Mercy Homes and St. Patrick’s Church in Lake Forest, IL and Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, IL. She currently has a practice teaching AntiGravity Fitness.
Vincenzo Vitale, born in Sicily, immigrated to West Allis, WI in 1967. It was hard being away from his family in Sicily, but Vince was determined to be a part of the community. He acquired his apprenticeship and Manager licenses in barbering from Milwaukee Area Technical College, while also taking English classes. He had been a barber in Sicily, so this was a natural fit for him in America.
He currently serves as alderman for the City of West Allis and Vice Chairman of Public Works. Vince has also served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Chairman of Administration and Finance Committee, a member of the Safety and Development Committee, and past Chairman of the Fourth of July Celebration.
He is on the Citizen Committee for the Safety Commission, member of the West Allis Knights of Columbus, member and trustee of OSIA Lodge Filippo Mazzei #2673, member of the Italian Community Center of Milwaukee, WI, current President of Abruzzese Galileo Galilei Society, past President of West Allis Lions Club, and past President and Secretary of the St. Rita Parish Men’s Holy Name Society in West Allis.
He has been back to Sicily to visit with his family.
Vince and his wife, Vincenza, have been married for 45 years and have 3 daughters, Margaret, Francesca and Roseann, 2 grandsons, Tristan and Ty, and 1 granddaughter, Vincenza.
He learned from his parents the tremendous value of hard work and has passed those same values onto his children.
He and Vincenza made America their home and achieved the American dream.