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Tag Archives: Lou Carlozo

Walgreens Exec Andrea Collaro earns national honor

Walgreens is fond of telling its loyal clientele that it’s “at the corner of Happy and Healthy.” If you’re looking for someone special at that intersection, someone who’s dedicate to making the happy and the healthy happen, you’re likely to find Andrea Collaro. As Senior Director of Brand Management and Product Development for the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Collaro oversees all products under the Walgreens banner. If it sounds like an incredible responsibility, it is — not just to Walgreens customers, but also to young women who look up to strong female business leaders. If anyone needs proof she’s a role ...

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Fantasia stands the test of time

  Imagine 40 years of launching “just marrieds” into their first moments together as husband and wife. If nothing else, that’s enough performances of the Chicken Dance, Macarena and “Daddy’s Little Girl” to fill several hundred wedding albums full of musical memories. But it’s also a story of steadfast devotion and true adoration among Chicagoland’s Italian-American families. For since their first wedding gig at Mr. Duke’s Villa DiDomenico Banquets in Wood Dale, bandleader Frank Trimble (guitar, vocals) and his younger sister Gina Frasca (keyboards, vocals) have turned their musical talents into several generations of celebrations. Today they’re the core of ...

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Four C Notes founder John Michael Coppola

The music of The Four Seasons — even as it enthralled a new generation of fans through the hit musical “Jersey Boys” — also marks a point of pride for Italian Americans, as the group’s original lineup boasts Italian roots through and through. There’s just one problem, though: When “Jersey Boys” ended its wildly successful Chicago run, demand to hear energetic performances didn’t end with it. How appropriate, then, that a “Jersey Boys” veteran has risen up to carry the musical torch. In fact, John Michael Coppola had the role of Frankie Valli down cold during a run of more ...

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Extraordinary healer Carmi Fazio

Becoming a healer is a calling and, certainly, many in the nursing field can rightfully claim that title. But in mid-April, Carmi Fazio — who works with Molina Healthcare of Illinois — was picked as one of three finalists for the CURE Media Group’s Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing. Fazio — who is Sicilian on her father’s side, Genovese and Romano on her mother’s — traces a direct line between her nursing skills and her family background. “Perhaps I am a bit biased but I have never met an Italian who wouldn’t help those in need,” says Fazio, who ...

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Mobile pizzaiuolo Gianni Gallucci

It’s been more than a century and countless pies since Raffaele Esposito popularized pizza as we know it today in 1889. His pizzeria is still open in Naples. And Gianni Gallucci, owner of the Chicago area’s Zero Ottantuno Mobile Pizzeria Napoletana, has worked hard to master that region’s style. “I’ve been making pizza professionally for more 10 years now and suddenly decided to do the unthinkable: I went back to school,” Gallucci says. In 2013, he attended the Academy of Pizza, a school hosted by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, and earned his APN certification: as in, really earned it. “Everyday ...

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Linguistic activist Vincent Cerda

It’s not as common as it once was for American kids to learn Italian as their first language — and even when they do, it often fades as they grow. That’s exactly what happened with Berwyn native Vincent Cerda, who grew up speaking Italian fluently but didn’t rediscover his love for the language until he entered high school at Nazareth Academy. “After some formal study all the language that I remembered from my youth quickly came back in a flood of memories,” says Cerda, 21. “At that point I knew I wanted to help others have the same experience.” He ...

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Crooning state trooper Jonn-Paul Oliveto

As he completed his studies to become an Illinois state trooper in 2010, Jonn-Paul Oliveto was pulled out of class and into a room where he stood opposite a captain, sergeant and master sergeant. To earn a passing mark, he had to sing the National Anthem. “I had an appointment to perform in front of them, without any rehearsal, so you can imagine my nerves,” recalls Oliveto, a trooper who works the Chicago area for the state police today. “But I’d come up with an idea: Instead of having the bagpipes play the National Anthem for our graduation ceremony, I ...

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State wrestling champ Vinny Scaletta

Imagine the Chicago Cubs winning 41 out of 43 to start the season, or the Bears losing only two games over three-and-a-half seasons. Now, you have an idea of the monumental accomplishment of Ridgewood High School senior Vinny Scaletta, a hard working wrestler with the heart and grit of a pro. Wrestling in the 220 lb. weight class, Scaletta captured a state title in February in remarkable fashion, beating one of the few opponents to best him this year. Austin Parks of Crystal Lake Central beat him just a week before Scaletta returned the favor when it truly counted. But ...

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Italy opens comics mecca in Chicago

Without a doubt, comics have emerged as a much-loved 21st-century art form. Could it get any better? When native Italians apply their mastery and artistic acumen to the task, there can only be one answer — and you don’t need Superman to skywrite it for you. Better still, a successful Italian school that trains future comic book artists and storytellers recently landed in the United States. The International School of Comics (known in Italy as Scuola International di Comics) is up and running in Chicago. Founder and president Dino Caterini chose the city because of its reputation for nurturing new ...

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Skinhead-turned-peace-advocate Christian Picciolini

Photo by Mark Seliger. At least the story starts in familiar fashion: Christian Picciolini’s parents emigrated from Italy to the United States, where they would meet, marry, raise a family and work hard at building a successful small business. But without his parents around to attend his school functions and sports game, Picciolini turned to a heartbreaking place to find his identity: the American white supremacist skinhead movement. He wasn’t even 14 at the time. “Hell, I had no idea who I wanted to be — aside from Rocky Balboa, of course,” says Picciolini, who has Italian lineage on both ...

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