August 16, 2011 – The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage, re-elected Joseph DiTrapani of New York to serve a second 2-year term as National President, during its 52nd Biennial National Convention in Orlando, August 7-14, 2011. Mr. DiTrapani, president of insurance brokerage agency Professional Group Marketing, Inc., was elected by acclaimation and re-installed as OSIA’s National President on August 13.
Joining Mr. DiTrapani in his upcoming administration are a slate of officers also re-elected for a second term:
Anthony J. Baratta of Illinois, National First Vice President
Daniel J. Longo of Maryland, National Third Vice Preisdent
Anthony F.M. Spaziani of Ohio, National Fourth Vice Preisdent
Vera Girolami of California, National Fifth Vice President
Frank Panessa of Maryland, National Financial Secretary
Nancy DiFiore Quinn of New York, National Treasurer
Rita Maletta Robak of Massachusetts, National Recording Secretary
Raymond Dettore, Jr., of Rhode Island, National Orator
Salvatore Gambino of New Jersey, National Historian
And serving his first term as National Second Vice President is Joseph Russo of Massachusetts.
Vincent Sarno of New Jersey, who served as OSIA National President from 2005-2007, was elected to lead the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) , OSIA’s philanthropic branch, for a second term. Established in 1959, the SIF has raised more than $117 million for educational schoalrships, medical research, disaster relief, cultural preservation and other special projects.
Santina Haemmerle of New York was also chosen for a second term as president of the Commission for Social Justice (CSJ), OSIA’s anti-defamation branch. The CSJ fights the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the U.S. entertainment, advertising, and media industries. It also collaborates with other groups to ensure that people of all races, religions and cultures are treated with dignity and respect.
More than 200 OSIA national officers and trustees, state presidents, national delegates, and their guests were present to review OSIA’s last two years of activities, elect the new national leaders and set the organization’s cultural, philanthropic and administrative agendas for 2011-2013.
During the convention, OSIA lodges announced they had raised more than $350,000 for the Order’s main charities: the Alzheimer’s Association, the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, cancer research, and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. The money was raised by members and their lodges over the past two years.
In addition to recognizing the incoming and celebrating the outgoing national officers, four remarkable Italian Americans were honored at the convention for their professional and personal contributions. Dick Vitale, ESPN analyst and the unmistakable voice of college basketball, received the OSIA Sports Award.
Linda Abronzino of California and Sam Fumosa of New Jersey were honored with the OSIA Sellaro Award for their many years of service to OSIA in leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. The award is named after Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro, who founded the Order in 1905.
OSIA National Past President from 1997-1999 Frank J. DeSantis of California was presented the Guglielmo Marconi Award. Mr. DeSantis was honored for his dedication as a Sons of Italy leader and member for nearly 40 years, as well as his devotion to his Italian heritage and the Italian American community. The Marconi Award, named for the Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi who invented wireless telegraphy, is OSIA’s highest honor.
Established in 1905, OSIA has more than 500,000 family members and supporters and a network of more than 650 chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation’s fifth largest ethnic group according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit www.osia.org.