Stir It Up

Star Power With Italian Zoom at NIAF's Gala

October 18, 2015

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO who provided the now-famous Fiat for Pope Francis’ USA Tour was among top honorees at the black-tie National Italian American Foundation Anniversary 40th Anniversary Gala on Saturday night.

Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., took home NIAF’s Special Achievement Award in International Business.  Many commentators think -- and so it is -- that Fiat’s logo on the rear of the little black four-seater was a PR inspirational choice for the Vatican as well as for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Marachionne, born in Chieti, Italy, is well known for taking Fiat from bankruptcy, as one introducer said, to “a startling turnaround” in the industry with Chrysler. Marchionne, whose father is Italian and mother Austrian, accepted the award dressed in a warm black sweater, open-collar shirt and casual pants. He explained that he travels so much all the time in his job that “I order black sweaters by the dozens”.

Maria Bartiromo (Photo by: NIAF) Maria Bartiromo

Another honoree, Connie Francis, Italian American musical legend born as Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, was inducted into the Italian American Hall of Fame at the gala. Among her successful recordings areWho’s Sorry Now?”andStupid Cupid.”  Unable to attend because of health issues, the audience was encouraged to lobby for her induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Still another well-known honoree was Steve Perillo, president and owner of Perillo Tours, who received the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business. The Perillo company arranges grand expeditions for those who want to travel throughout the world.

Co-hosting the event, which drew 1,600 guests, were the glamorous TV star Maria Bartiromi, NIAF board member and Fox News business anchor; and NIAF celebrity ambassador, actor, entertainer Joe Piscopo.  New York singer Giada Valenti helped open the gala with the U.S. National Anthem.  She told a reporter that all along she had expected to sing Italy’s National Anthem, but another Italian singer Carlo Rotunno had that task.  Valenti was told just ahead of time of the misunderstanding.  “I spent the last hour in my hotel room learning the lyrics,” she laughed.  Both singers were flawless.

Overall, a stream of celebrities was center-stage during NIAF’s Gala Awards Weekend to celebrate a milestone at NIAF’s new venue, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. To open the weekend festivities on Friday evening, NIAF hosted a celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday in the hotel’s ballroom.

NIAF’s lineup of celebrities also included actors Danny Aiello, Chazz Palminteri and Annabella Sciorra; traditional classic guitarist Tom SinatraThe Washington ChorusThe Sicilian Tenors, Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale, Il Volo tenors, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boscetto, and baritone Gianluca Ginoble.

Italian singer Carlo Rotunno (right) & Pino Cicala, a past NIAF honoree at il Canale (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Italian singer Carlo Rotunno (right) & Pino Cicala, a past NIAF honoree at il Canale

Sinatra, from Agrigento in Sicily, has star quality in Italy and has played 105 concerts in Russia. He dined at il Canale on Sunday with restaurant owner Joe Farruggio who hails from the same hometown.

Other gala honorees who received awards were:

Amato L. Berardi, founder of Berardi & Associates Inc., and former member of the Italian Parliament, who received the NIAF 40th Anniversary Award for Leadership and Service;

Richard E. Caruso, Ph.D., founder and director of Integra Life Sciences, who received the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business and Health;

Mario Gabelli, founder, chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors Inc., who received the NIAF 40th Anniversary Award for Leadership and Service;

Alfred M. Rotondaro, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former NIAF Executive Director, who received the Italian American Community Leadership Award

Josephine J. (Gargiulo) Templeton, M.D., trustee of the John Templeton Foundation, who received the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Philanthropy.

Tom Sinatra (left) & Joe Farruggio (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Tom Sinatra (left) & Joe Farruggio

From Georgetown, Franco Nuschese, president of Georgetown Entertainment Group LLC, received an award for leadership and service. A pre-event warm-up invitational dinner was held earlier in the week at Nuschese’s Cafe Milano.

At the $100-a-ticket raffle for a new Fiat 500L Lounge – in which the tickets were thoroughly spun in a big mixer – an unlikely event happened. Odds of winning the car similar to the one the Pope used here were 1 in 2,000.

The ticket of The Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison, chair of the anniversary celebration, was drawn out and announced to the amazement of those onstage. She had purchased 10 tickets.  But Mrs. Harrison graciously declined the Fiat and demanded a second spin.  Another name came up this time. 

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Chins Up, Washington

September 23, 2015

Dr. Tina Alster visited Great Day Washington at WUSA9 Tuesday morning to discuss KYBELLA™, the only FDA-approved non-invasive treatment for double chins. Check out the video here.

One of the first in the United States to offer KYBELLA™, and the only physician in the DC metropolitan area to do so, earlier this spring, Dr. Alster introduced KYBELLA™ at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery (WIDLS) for patients interested in eliminating a double chin.

Dr. Alster explains the benefits of KYBELLA™ with Markette Sheppard and Chris Leary (Photo by: Dr. Alster explains the benefits of KYBELLA™ with Markette Sheppard and Chris Leary

"The physicians at the WIDLS lead the industry in advanced aesthetic treatments. We are excited to add KYBELLA™ to our extensive tool kit. We are recommending KYBELLA™ for those with submental fat or double chins who do not desire more invasive treatment such as liposuction or facelifts. We recommend that non-invasive Ulthera microfocused ultrasound be performed as an auxiliary treatment when further tightening and lifting of the jawline is desired," said Dr. Alster.

 KYBELLA™ is identical to deoxycholic acid, a naturally-occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of fat. It is a cytolytic drug which, when injected into skin, physically destroys the cell membrane causing the destruction of fat cells. Once destroyed, these cells cannot store or accumulate fat. Patients typically receive a series of tiny injections at each treatment session. At least 1 or 2 additional treatments are administered at 1 month or longer time intervals for optimal cosmetic effect. Each minimally invasive procedure is performed in a 15-20 minute office visit. Results can be seen within weeks of treatment as the body naturally processes and permanently removes the destroyed fat cells.

And, coming in two weeks, another first for WIDLS: Coolmini, another chin enhancer (Coolsculpting under the chin to freeze fat). 

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Skies, Seas & Trees: Mary Page Evans at Addison/Ripley Fine Art

September 7, 2015

Visit Addison/Ripley Fine Art Gallery for Skies, Seas & Trees, an exhibition by Mary Page Evans September 12 - October 24, 2015. Opening reception for the artist is Saturday, September 12, from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Like the clouds that are the sometime subject of her paintings, constant movement and change in the work of Mary Page Evans is apparent in all of the her work. Her studio is strewn with the product of the artist's imagination and the close observation of the nature she delights in. Certainly it brings to mind one of the artist's mentors, Paul Cèzanne, who said of his work, "I think my mind becomes clearer when I am in the presence of nature." That clarity is present in this recent body of work, in the Virginia hills, the seashore clouds and the trees festooned with blossom.

Sandy Sea by Mary Page Evans (Photo by: Mary Page Evans) Sandy Sea by Mary Page Evans

Somewhere between Paul Cèzanne and another strong influence, Washington Color School great, Gene Davis, is the nexus of Mary Page Evan's art. Her line and palette, her love of the outdoors for a source of constant inspiration coupled with a willingness to have her paintings exist as contemporary considerations of the more fragile ecology of our world mark her as a present day artist, attuned to her surroundings and capable of both intellectual rigor and elegant visual insights. 

Strongly disciplined and aesthetically grounded in a deep appreciation of historical art, Evans' style is both fresh and familiar. Her Virginia hills have for her the same fascination as Mont Sant-Victoire had for Cèzanne. She continues to find new expression and intensity in the color and mood of clouds, new moments in their wayward flux. And her lines, outlining leaves or defining trees, are the expression of the distribution of light along one plane of an object, the momentary truth that fixes it to the paper or canvas. Perhaps, like a photograph, Evan's work captures an instant in nature's progress but, perhaps, as Cèzanne said, it reveals "a harmony parallel to nature".

Mary Page Evans is an American artist living and working in Delaware and Florida. She has had countless solo exhibitions over more than 40 years including ones in Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Her work can be seen as far away from Washington, D.C. as Kathmandu, Nepal in the recently built U.S. Embassy. In 2012 her work was the subject of a major exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum. Evans' drawings and paintings are held in many corporate and private collections throughout the US and Europe.

Addison/Ripley Fine Art is located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.

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