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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 21, 2014 Pirandello .gceum "I Migliori" Iwards March 29, 2014 DR. PHILIP CORDARO Special I Migliori Award Architect, Italian Culturalist Dr. Philip Cordaro was born in Palermo, Sicily in 1915. He emigrated to the United States where he worked for many years as a journalist, writer and university professor. Among his early writings was a biography of President John F. Kennedy. He devoted his life to the promotion of the Italian language and culture. He was a founder of the previously constituted Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts in Cambridge. He later wished to create an institution capable of awakening the interest of art, literature and science lovers and of obtaining the merited recognition and admiration for those Italians and Americans that had contributed in the past and continue to contribute in the present day to expand the horizons of knowledge. Therefore, in 1985, he became a founder of the Pirandello Lyceum. Elected the Pirandello Lyceum's first president, Dr. Cordaro initiated many activities and programs to celebrate the Italian language and culture which attracted many scholars from throughout the world. Monthly meetings were devoted to lectures about great Italian writers historians and scientists. To appreciate the accomplishments of contemporary Italians and Italian-Americans, Dr. Cordaro received the approval of his board of directors to establish " I Migliori in Mens et Gesta" ('the Best in Mind and Deeds") to which he is being honored himself 29 years later. Dr. Cordaro currently lives in Barcelona, Spain, where he continues to write. His most recent work is "America, Amore Mio", a novel about Sicilian immigrants and their experiences in America. He continues to follow the many activities of the Pirandello Lyceum and frequently communicates with the officers and board members of the Pirandello by phone and by Skype. ANGELA PERI Film, Media With 30 years casting experience in the Boston area, Angela Peri, C.S.A., is the owner and founder of BOSTON CASTI NG. A member of the Casting Society of America and an original member of the Massachusetts Production Coalition, Angela founded Boston Casting in 1991, and has cast thousands o[ national, regional and local productions from feature films to commercials and industrials. Nominatted for 3 Artios Awards for the Academy Award nominated filrrn THE FIGHTER, Seth MacFarlane's TED and THE PROPOSAL, Ang~ela has worked with many of the nation's top directors. Angela's recent credits include David O. Russell's Academy Award nominated film AMERICAN HUSTLE, THE FORGER, BASIC MATH, BUSINESS TRIP, TItlE EQUALIZER, THE JUDGE, R.I.P.D., HERE COMES THE BOOM, and LABOR DAY. Angela is the recipient of the 2009 Imaginnaire Award for her vast contributions to the New England production community, and is featured in the Bill Brett book Boston, Inspirational Women. As a retired actress and stand up comedienne, Angela continues to infuse her own brand of humor and experience into causes she is passionate about. Angela lends her expertise to organizations and events related to autism and is the recipient of the 2013 President's Award from The Federation of Children with Special Needs, and the 2008 Margaret Bowman award for outstanding parent in the autism commuffity. Nominated by Frank Ciano RICHARD M. LECCESE Italian Heritage Born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts to parents of Italian descent, he was raised with a profound appreciation of Italian history and culture...one that truly reflected the traditions and customs of my family's ethnicity and roots in Gaeta, Italy. After graduating from Somerville High School in 1964, he began my career in the banking industry and held various roles at State Street Bank and Lexington Trust Company before being recruited by the Reliance. Cooperative Bank to assume the position of Assistant Treasurer at its Acton, Massachusetts branch. Following several mergers and acquisitions, he transitioned into a Workers' Compensation Claims Adjuster capacity at CNA Insurance Company, and spent the latter part of his career in the claims adjustment field at the Boston-based Guaranty Fund Management Services Company. Richard currently serves on the Board of Directors of the AARP Braintree Chapter # 4042, and is Vice President of the Italian-American Cultural Organization (IACO) of Braintree, Massachusetts, where he has actively participated in various cultural events and activities that have allowed him to further celebrate his Italian heritage, promote awareness of the Italian culture, and appreciate the contributions and achievements of many Italians and Italian-Americans in society. Most recently, he has served as Committee Co-Chair for IACO's Italian Heritage Month, a community celebration of cultural pride. As the recipient of the 1994 Man-of-the-Year Award, an acknowledgement of many service contributions to the S.S. Cosmas and Damian Society of Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was selected to take on the advisory role of Consigliere during his 25-year affiliation with this wonderful organization. Additionally, he has had the pleasure of being part of numerous committees in preparation for the annual Italian Feast of the Healing Saints Cosmas and Damian, a renowned celebration across New England. Throughout his career and volunteer experiences, the leadersh ip style he has found to be most valuable is one guided by integrity, transparency, and communication. "1 have certainly been blessed by the continuous confidence, encouragement, and support of my dear wife, Maddalena, in all endeavors honoring and celebrating our Italian heritage." Nominated by Nicolane Ciano LUIGI MUNNO PRESIDENTS AWARD Vice Consul General of the Italian Consulate in Boston Born in Salerno, Italy, married to Pina in 1979 and has two wonderful daughters Alessandra and Giulia. His wife, Pina, is an English Professor currently teaching in Rome. His eldest daughter, Alessandra, is enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston, his youngest is enrolled in the Law School of Roma "Roma Tre". In 1961, his father, Professor of History and Philosophy, made the decision to accept the task of directing the Italian Schools of, at first, Mogadishu in Somaliland and, consequently, Tripoli in Libya. The move was avant-garde, especially considering the context of the family unit leaving the countryside for a foreign continent. The ten years spent abroad have played a massive role and continue to have enormous influence on the life decisions Luigi had, and continues, to make. He studied Political Science of the Near and Middle East at the Istituto Universitario of Napoli, where in 1975 he graduated with the highest marks. Prior to his graduation he decided to take up a position working for the Railways of the Province of Naples. In 1980 he passed the entrance exams at the Ministry of Foreign AffairS. From 1982 to 1988 he was in charge of the Visa Office at the Embassy of Italy in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv. In 1991, after a period of time spent in Rome at the Ministry, he accepted a post to be in charge of the Accounting Office at the Embassy of Italy in the Syrian capital of Damascus. From 1996 to 2001 he assumed the Visa Office post again, this time at the Italian Embassy in Serbia, at Belgrade. In 2008, he accepted the post of Vice Consul at the Italian Consulate in Boston. The years passed in Boston have allowed Luigi to offer constant assistance to the community not only on a Professional level, in regards to the indispensable day in and day out work done at the Consulate, but also on a more personal level thanks to the opportunity to meet, and ultimately befriend, many representatives of the Italian and Italian-American communities in Boston and New England. Although his time in Boston will be coming to an end in a few short months, Boston and the experience passed here will forever remain in his heart. ANTON IO SESTITO OSIA Massachusetts State 1st Vice President Antonio was born in Palermiti, Catanzaro in Calabria, Italy. He emigrated to the United States with his family when he was eight years old and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts. In 1990, Antonio joined the Order Sons of Italy in America as a member of the South Shore Lodge #1850 in Hingham, Massachu- setts. He served as Vice President for one term and President for five terms. Enthusiastic and capable, he was always willing to lend a helping hand to all his brothers, sisters and friends. Antonio has served as a State District Deputy for District 5 and as a State Deputy to the Braintree Men's Lodge for twelve years. Has served on a variety of commissions, including State Membership, Scholarship, Organization & Education, Historical, Tutto Italiano Car Show, and the Council General of Italy 150 Unification of Italy' Committee. Presently Chairman of the State Convention, Antonio has been our State Convention coordinator for four years and has co-chaired three successful Italian/American Heritage Dinner Dances to help defray the per-capita and lessen the burden to the affiliate lodges. As Membership Commission Chairman, Antonio established the goal of increasing membership and helped develop a new Member- ship brochure. Later, during Commission and filial lodge meetings, he suggested using the slogan "JUST ASK" and for the first time in over 20 years we have had an increase in membership. Few, in fact, have worked harder or demonstrated a greater commitment to the Sons of Italy. On the State level Antonio has held the following offices: State Trustee, District 5 (three terms), State Financial Secretary (one term), State Orator (one term) and State Second Vice President (two terms). Currently he is serving as our State 1st Vice President An asset to the State Council, he has performed exceptionally well in his pres- ent position. Dedicated, capable, and a superb ambassador for SOl, Antonio can be expected to carry on the great accomplishments of our forefathers. Antonio still resides in Hingham with his wife Marieanne, and he is the proud father of Antonio, Jr. and his daughter Marissa, who is serving as a State Trustee for District 5. He is also "Nanno" to his grandsons Tommy and Patrick. Nominated by Florence Ferullo Kane LORI E. AZZARA, Psy.D. Psychology Dr. Azzara is a licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in neuropsychology. She is a full-time tenured professor at North Shore Community College, and chair of the Behavioral Science Department. In May, she will complete her 15th year at the college. She also owns a small private practice (Commonwealth Neurobehavioral Associates) in Stoughton, Massachusetts where she conducts neuropsychological evaluations on adolescents, adults, and the elderly. She has an expertise in memory and aging. Dr. Azzara holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch New England University in Keene, NH. Her undergraduate degree was in Special and Elementary Education, with a Master's in Education degree in School Psychology from Boston State College. She has a generally worked in non-traditional settings and with underserved populations including juvenile delinquents, incarcerated adults, and those on public assistance. Lori is the eldest of eight children born to Victor and Sheila Azzara. Her paternal grandparents were both immigrants, at a young age, from San Fele, Italy before emigrating to W. New York, New Jersey in the early 1900's. Dr. Azzara is an active member of the Renaissance Sons of Italy. Nominated by Marjorie Cahn GINA FIANDACA Public Service Gina Fiandaca is the Director City of Bos- ton's Office of the Parking Clerk with al- most 26 years of experience in the public sector. She has earned a reputation as one of the City's most effective administrators with broad experience in auditing meth- odologies, financial analysis, strategic planning and constituent delivery systems. She holds a BS/BA Cure Laude from Suffolk University's Sawyer School of Business, and Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University with further advanced study in Manage- ment Policy, Environmental Resources and Leadership as well as Financial Analysis and Economic Policy at Harvard University. She is a Member of the Board and Vice-President of the Massa- chusetts Parking and Transportation Council and is the author of numerous articles in professional journals. She recently received the coveted Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award. MS Fian- daca, a life-long resident of East Boston, is a member of the Son's of Italy, and has a long history of supporting her community. Nominated by Dr. Domenic Amara TERESA F. MAZZULLI Cultural Researcher After her retirement as an administrative manager for financial and law offices, "Terri" has been a very active participant as a volunteer in many organizations and causes whose primary mission is to promote Italian language and culture. Born and raised in South Boston by her parents, American born Mary Diorio and Italian born Luigi Mazzulli, Terri was inculcated at an early age to love and appreciate Italian culture by her father a construction worker who emigrated from his native Calabria in search of a better life in America. Luigi often repeated the mantra to Terri "All Roads Lead To Rome" a quote attributed to the distinguished English poet and the Father of English Literature, Geoffrey Chaucer. Inspired by the quote, Terri over the years sought out and made known to others the historic accomplishments of Italians and Italian-Americans who have made significant contributions to America and to the world in the areas of art, literaturE, language, science, and music. In 1992 to commemorate the SOOth Anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first voyage which resulted in the discovery of America, Terri as a member of the Proper Bostonian Quilt Guild began her thematic Columbus series: "Discovery I - 1492 - 1992," "Discovery II -1493 - 1993," "Discovery III - 1498 - 1998," and "Discovery IV -- 1502 - 2002," thus completing Christopher Columbus' ten years of discovery. After the Discovery IV quilt, Terri created a twin size quilt to recognize Columbus' ten year odyssey of discoveries and her own ten year odyssey as a quilter. In 2006, Terri created her final thematic Columbus quilt to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' death in 1506 which she called "Columbus' Voyage and Discovery in the Afterlife." All of the wall hanging Columbus Quilt Series were created by hand in the hand piece tradition using designer Jinny Beyer's "toile" in purple and teal background. The Columbus Quilt Series have been exhibited at Boston Athenaeium, Dante Alighieri Society, Fanueil Hall, and the Center for Lowell History. In 2001 as a member of the Doric Docents, a volunteer group of Massachusetts State House tour guides, assisted Susan Greendyke Lachevre, Art Collections Manager, Massachusetts Art Commission, in the publication of Italy Under the Golden Dome-The Italian American Presence at the Massachusetts State House. Terri provided research information for the publication which is a compendium of the work performed at the State House by Italian and Italian-American artists, sculptors, and mosaic artisans and also includes the contributions made by former Massachusetts Italian-American governors and legislators. In 2013 Terri was able to bring to fruition the placement of a bronze plaque to honor Gottlieb Graupner of Germany, Francis Mallet of France and Filippo Trajetta of Italy, the three multi-cultural founders of the first conservatory of music in Boston and in all likelihood in the United States at the approximate site where once stood the American Conservatorio of Boston in the year 1800. Terri had worked tirelessly writing letters to the Boston Consulates of Germany, France and Italy, City of Boston officials; the Goethe Institut, French Cultural Center and Pirandello Lyceum to petition all of them to support the placement of a bronze plaque to honor the conservatorio founders. After receiving the support, she then found a donor to underwrite the cost of the bronze plaque, and the donor she found was the Privitera Family Charitable Foundation. Upon securing the funding for the bronze plaque, Terri had to find property owners willing to have the bronze plaque placed on their building in the general area where the American Conservatorio of Boston was located. Adrian Facendola, property manager for Synergy Investments, accepted to place the plaque on a building where once stood the historic Church Green Building. The contract for Terri's design of the plaque, is Jeff Poirier of Quincy Memorials who then commissioned Mathews International Corporation - Bronze Division of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to cast the plaque. The official unveiling and dedication will be in 2014. Nominated by Sal Bramante