Our mission is to promote, preserve and care for programs and cultural activities of the Italian-American community in the Washington, D.C. area, and to present the best of Italian culture to the larger society through educational, historical and cultural Italian programs.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CISC Board Members serve without renumeration
Fr. Andrei Zanon*
Fr. Andrei Zanon was born in Joaçaba, in the state of Santa Catarina – Brazil, on March 6, 1990. The son of Terezinha Prigol and Davide Zanon, he is the youngest of three brothers. His great-grandparents came from the Veneto region in Northern Italy. He entered the seminary of the Missionaries of St. Charles/Scalabrinians in 2008 in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil and on June 1, 2013, he took his first religious vows. June 1st is a very special date for the Scalabrinian Congregation since that date commemorates the death of its founder, Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini. To continue his studies in preparation for the priesthood, Fr. Andrei was sent to study theology in the city of Bogotá, Colombia where he was ordained deacon on June 1, 2019. During his first three years of theology as part of his pastoral ministry, Fr. Andrei worked at the Scalabrinian Web Radio in Spanish. Before his ordination to the priesthood, Fr. Andrei spent his one pastoral year helping parishes on the outskirts of Valencia, Venezuela and Bogotá, Colombia. Fr. Andrei was ordained a priest on December 21, 2019 in Herval D´Oeste, Santa Catarina, Brazil, near his hometown, and after his ordination, Fr. Andrei began his priestly ministry at the parish of Our Lady of Pompeii. in New York City. Fr. Andrei describes himself thus: “I am excited to learn, to give my best in this new mission in which I have a lot to learn considering that I am young in the mission and with little experience, some of my characteristics have always been availability and punctuality, also responsibility and joy.” As a motto, Fr. Andrei chose this phrase of St. Óscar Romero (Archbishop): “La oración es la cumbre del desarrollo humano. El hombre no vale por lo que tiene, sino por lo que es.” (Translation: “Prayer is the peak of human development. Man does not have worth because of what he has, rather for what he is.”)
Francesco Isgrò, Esq.*
James W. Cocco, CPA*
PRESIDENT & CEO
Francesco Isgrò is an attorney specializing in immigration and international law. From 1979 to August 2018 he was employed by the U.S. Department of Justice. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center (1990-2000) and the David A. Clarke School of Law (2000-2017). He is a graduate of Union College (B.A.) Antioch School of Law (J.D.), and the Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M.), where he specialized in International Law. He served in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic from 1975 to1977. Mr. Isgro is active in a number of Italian American organizations, and is a past President of the Lido Civic Club of Washington DC, the DC Chapter of the National Italian America Bar Association, and the Sons and Daughters of Italy International Lodge. From 2007 to 2020, he was the Executive Editor of Voce Italiana, the Italian American monthly newspaper published by Holy Rosary Church and serving the Washington DC area.
Mr. Cocco is managing director of James W. Cocco, CPA LLC of Fairfax, VA with over 35 years of experience in providing financial and tax advisory service solutions, consulting, and business development strategies for both private and public companies. Mr. Cocco has previously held senior management positions for two local Washington D.C. public accounting firms as well as worked 17 years with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where he held various positions including being a national tax program administrator and International Examiner in the Large and Mid-cap Business Division.
Tina Maiolo, Esq.
Tina Maiolo is an Employment and Immigration Lawyer in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. Her family hails from the town of Marglianella in the region of Naples, Italy. Tina has been named the official referral counsel to the Embassy of Italy in the United States, the only individual ever to hold that title. In 2012, Tina was honored as “Woman of the Year” by the National Association of Professional Women. She has also been recognized by the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) as one of its “Wise Women” of the DC Area. Tina has three children: Michela, Miley and Matthew.
*Corporate Board Members
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ciro DeFalco, Chairman
Ciro De Falco has had a long and distinguished career in international finance and development. After completing his studies, he went to work for the United States Treasury Department as an economist. From 1966 to 1988, he held a number of important positions in that agency, working primarily on policy formulation and execution dealing with Latin America, Africa and Asia. During that period, he also had an opportunity to work abroad, serving as the Treasury Attaché both in Brazil and in Italy.
He went to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 1988 to participate in a major reformulation of Bank’s role in the Latin American Region. He was originally the manager for policies and country strategies and subsequently was made Manager of one of the regional departments, responsible for lending to the English-speaking Caribbean countries and to four of the Andean countries (Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia). In that capacity, he managed a portfolio of several billion dollars per year.
In 2005, he was promoted to be the Executive Vice President, which made him the Chief Operating Officer of the institution. He served in that capacity until he retired in 2008. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1963 and finished his PhD work at the City University of New York in 1966.
Dennis Santoli, Esq.
Dennis R. Santoli spent more than three decades founding and leading insurance companies that underwrite liability risks for health care facilities. Before his retirement in 2016, he was president and CEO of The Campania Group and president of Hanover Healthcare. Santoli majored in history at Adelbert College and went on to earn a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center. He has remained strongly connected to Sigma Chi, his college fraternity, serving as chair of the Sigma Chi Leadership Institute and as the 67th Grand Consul (international president). In 2004, he was inducted into the Order of Constantine, the fraternity’s highest honor, and he has been recognized as a Significant Sig. He is currently chairman of the Sigma Chi Risk Management Foundation. A retired major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Santoli has assumed leadership roles in several cultural and educational institutions. He is on the board of directors of the Casa Italian Cultural Center, Language School and Museum in Washington, D.C., and executive director of the Blue & Gold Education Foundation in Vienna, Va.
Tom Sweeney hails from New York and has been a local entrepreneur on the Washington scene for over 30years. He has made contributions in the areas of media, public relations, the internet, and small business management. He was a founding member of a local “young” entrepreneurs organization and has been active in entrepreneurship and small business since. He has lent his talents to local youth sports, the Irish Gaelic language and history and in promoting jazz music and musicians in the local area.
Maria D’Andrea-Yothers is Director of the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She is responsible for administering the U.S. textile trade program, involved in the negotiation of several top trade priorities including special safeguards against China, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and textile trade talks with Kenya. She is considered an expert in the field of domestic and international policy issues related to textiles and apparel; her advice is sought by industry stakeholders, as well as U.S and foreign government representatives. Prior to joining OTEXA in 1992, Maria worked on textile and clothing trade issues as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. Maria is a second-generation Italian American and has spent close to 20 years promoting and working with the Italian American community in the Washington, DC area, mainly as an officer and Past President of the Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society and as a member of the Board of the National Christopher Columbus Association. She was honored as one of the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) Three Wise Women in January 2020.
James Yankay is the Chief of Revenue and Cost Analysis Branch within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the domestic immigration benefit agency. James has worked in various government roles in the field of immigration and data analysis for more than ten years and is considered an expert on U.S. immigration policy and operations. James earned his undergraduate degree in International Political Economy from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 2010. James has also earned a Master's degree from the University of Maryland. James lives in Arlington, VA with his wife, Claire.
Joseph Lupo, Ed.D (Emeritus)
Fr. Ezio Marchetto, c.s. (Emeritus)
Nancy De Santi - executive administrative assistant
DIRECTOR OF THE ITALIAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
OF WASHINGTON DC
Elizabeth (Liz) DiGregorio’s government career spans more than 30 years with experience in community preparedness, disaster management, strategic planning, operations, training, and regional and local government planning and grants management. She worked for FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 1980 to 2007 where she held several management positions including FEMA Chief of Staff during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, FEMA liaison to the White House USA Freedom Corps, and Director of the DHS National Citizen Corps Office where she built a national program on citizen preparedness. From 2011-2015 she was the Senior Director, Community Resilience and Preparedness at the American Red Cross, Washington DC. She directed the nation-wide curriculum development of The Pillowcase Project which teaches youth how to prepare for emergencies. She continues to volunteer for the Red Cross. Ms. DiGregorio is a graduate of Colorado College (B.A) and the University of North Texas ((MPA). She is the daughter of immigrants who hail from Cansano (Abruzzo) and is active in a number of Italian American organizations.