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Professions Profiles

Attorney Charles R. Bernardini

Today we highlight the distinguished career of prominent attorney Charles R. Bernardini. Rarely has anything of any consequence occurred in our ethnic community without Chuck being in the forefront, or participating as a statesman, mentor and advisor, be it politics, local or statewide, cultural and/or social. A recognized community leader, Chuck, in addition to being a leading and successful attorney with the prominent Chicago firm of Ungaretti & Harris, has always made time to work toward the improvement of our Italian-American condition. A second-generation Italian American, Chuck grew up in Streator, Ill., and distinguished himself as an undergraduate and then ...

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Major League Umpire Dan Bellino

This month we introduce you to Dan Bellino, licensed practicing attorney and professional Major League Baseball umpire. That’s quite a combination. Upon graduating from Northern Illinois University, Dan thought that his career path would take him through law school in the field of intellectual property and land him in private practice as a patent lawyer. He distinguished himself as an outstanding student at the John Marshall Law School, but a funny thing happened upon his graduation in 2002. He decided to put all of his efforts into being an umpire in professional baseball. He gave it his best shot and ...

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Attorney Thomas M. Battista

Rarely has Thomas M. Battista joined an organization — professional, social, or community — and did not become a leader in its governance. He has served as president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers and the Italian-American Political Coalition; board member and legal advisor to the Italian-American Human Relations Foundation; an elected delegate of the Assembly of the 32,000 member Illinois State Bar Association, its supreme governing body; chief counsel to the chairman of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board; and deputy director of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board. Raised initially in Elmwood Park, Battista and his family then moved ...

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Attorney Louis Cairo

There is rarely a local election, bar association election or similar activity that requires funding or the encouragement of participation when Louis Cairo isn’t solicited for assistance with that in mind. Whether it be a judicial race, or an election in the Illinois or American Trial Lawyers Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, or the Justinian Society of Lawyers, anyone seeking a leg up in those organizations, introductions, hosting a successful event or funding, Louie is always the person to call. Louis C. Cairo practices personal injury law, and his experience includes representing clients who suffered brain damages due to ...

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DiSilvestro family of attorneys

This month, we highlight the Di Silvestro family, two generations of Italian-American lawyers helping people and being leaders of the community. The patriarch of the family, the late Robert F. Di Silvestro, passed on a legacy of respect, integrity and leadership to his two attorney sons, Robert J. Di Silvestro and Stephen P. Di Silvestro. His wife, Theresa, survives him. Dad was Jesuit-educated, attending Saint Ignatius High School and Loyola University for both his undergraduate and law degrees. He began his professional career as an attorney in 1955, assisting others until his death in 2003. During his distinguished career, he ...

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Attorney John G. Locallo

This month we highlight the distinguished career of John G. Locallo, who in 2007 was the seventh Italian American since 1972 to be elected as third vice president of the 34,000-member Illinois State Bar Association. Like those before him, he worked his way up in automatic ascension and was sworn in as president in June 2011. He succeeds these prominent folks from our community over the last twenty-five years or so, including the late Lawrence X. Pusateri and Michael Coccia (both former Justices of the Illinois Appellate Court), and Ralph Gabric, along with this author, Cheryl Niro and Joseph Bisceglia. ...

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Landscape businessman Frank Mariani

This month we highlight the distinguished career of a very successful and renowned entrepreneur, a successful landscaping businessman, Frank Mariani. Since he was in first grade, Mariani helped at his grandfather’s nursery — John Fiore & Sons in West :ake Forest, Ill. “The school bus stopped at the garden center, so I would get off the bus and work with my grandmother there.” The Fiores, Mariani’s mother’s family, have been in the nursery business since the late 1800s. Mariani’s father, Vito Mariani Sr., worked there well before carving a niche in high-end residential landscape maintenance in 1958 and starting Mariani ...

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Periodontist Dr. Richard F. Marinello

Dr. Richard F. Marinello credits an Italian-American dentist as his role model and mentor in pursuing his professional goals in the field of dentistry. “My interest in dentistry was brought about by our family dentist, Dr. Joseph Propotti, whose encouragement prompted me to pursue dentistry as a profession.” A Roseland native, he attended and his family were parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua. A Catholic high school guy, Dr. Marinello graduated from Mendel Catholic on the South Side, followed by two years at Loyola University in the Pre-Dental program. The lengthy commute from Roseland to Loyola’s Lake Shore campus via ...

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