UNICO National Recognizes Italian American Achievements & Contributions at Mid-Year Meeting and Prepares for 101st Annual Convention

Upcoming 101st Annual UNICO National Convention & Italian American Awards Gala set to honor notable names in Journalism, Business, and Sports

Atlantic City Awards Dinner

UNICO National celebrated the achievements of Italian Americans at its Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting and Presidential Awards Banquet. The event, held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 17, 2024, saw key personalities in business and sports honored. The founder of Asphalt Paving Systems, Bob Capoferri, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in Business. NFL quarterback Joe Flacco of the Indianapolis Colts received the Vince Lombardi Award. The awards were presented by ESPN Correspondent Sal Paolantonio and Congressman Jeff Van Drew.

“We were proud to recognize Bob Capoferri and Joe Flacco for their leadership and achievements. We also recognized the valuable contributions of Denise Ingue of the Rare is Beautiful Foundation for her tireless work addressing rare disease, along with UNICO's Greater Atlantic City Chapter. For more than one hundred years, UNICO has promoted the Italian American community and celebrated our Italian heritage. We are now preparing for and have announced our honorees for our 101st annual convention and gala this July in Princeton,” said UNICO National President Cav. Ralph Contini.

Known as the largest Italian American Service Organization in the United States, UNICO holds true to its core principle of Service Above Self. Operating across the nation with numerous chapters in New Jersey, UNICO provides support to communities and charities, along with preserving Italian heritage and culture. Its course of philanthropy includes varied scholarships and charitable assistance totaling over a million dollars per year, addressing mental health wellness, Alzheimer's support, cancer research and prevention, and local community needs. Also core to its nonprofit mission, UNICO promotes Italian heritage, empowering the next generation of Italian Americans to serve and to lead. 

The upcoming 101st Annual UNICO National Convention & Italian American Awards Gala is slated for July 31, 2024, in Princeton, NJ. Notable figures to be recognized at the event are Ralph A. LaRossa, chair, president & CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG), for his exemplary business leadership, and ESPN National Correspondent Sal Paolantonio, who will receive the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism & Broadcasting Excellence. The Philip Mazzei Americanism Award winner is Sean Mullin and Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr. will receive the Cianci Award. The Rizzuto Award recipient is Carol Martini Hemphill, and the Vastola Award winner is Ralph J. Torraco. The UNICO Armed Services Awards will go to Master Sargent John C. Dunne III, U.S.A.F. (Retired), recipient of the DeFilippo Freedom Award; PFC Jon R. Lapo, U.S. Army (Retired), receiving the Anthony Fornelli Award; and Captain Ben R. Cascio, Esq. USMC (Retired), will be honored with the John Basilone Freedom Award.

Source: UNICO National