JCCIA taps Ron Onesti to lead the way

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Ron Onesti has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.

Onesti steps up to the post after serving for the last two years as second vice president of the JCCIA. He also serves as president of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and as a member of the board of directors of Casa Italia and the Italian American Veterans Museum.

Onesti is the founder and president of Onesti Entertainment Corp., which runs five entertainment and dining venues across the Chicago area and produces concerts, special events and festivals nationwide. Among the latter are Festa Pasta Vino on South Oakley Avenue, Festa Italiana on Taylor Street and Little Italy Fest-West in Addison.

Onesti has leveraged the resources of his corporation on behalf of countless Italian-American organizations and causes over the decades. For his generosity and leadership, he has been awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor and been inducted as a cavaliere into the Ordine della Stella d’Italia by the president of Italy.

Locally, he has been honored by the JCCIA, Casa Italia, the Italian American Executives of Transportation, the IANU Foundation, the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, the Italian American Police Association and others.

Joining Onesti as 2021-22 officers are the following:

First Vice President Lisa Ryan is the chief of staff to a Chicago alderman. Her father, Aldo Bottalla, immigrated to the United States from Termini Immerse, Sicily, when he was a boy, and her uncle, Anthony Bottalla, was president of the JCCIA. This is her second term as vice president.

Second Vice President Salvatore Camarda is the CEO of MeetApp, a global technology company headquartered in Chicago and in Stockholm, Sweden. A tech entrepreneur with almost 20 years working with global corporations as well as start-ups, he is an officer of the Maria SS. Lauretana Society of Altavilla Milicia, an organization over which his father, Joseph, has presided for more than 50 years.

Third Vice President Lyn Scolaro recently retired after teaching Italian at the high school level for nearly 40 years. Dubbed cavaliere ufficiale by the president of Italy, she is a tireless advocate for the teaching of Italian on the local, state and national levels. A longtime member and officer of the American Association of Teachers of Italian-Midwest Chapter, she is the Ente Gestore of Italidea-Midwest.

Secretary Stan Kuczynski is president of Chicago West Suburban UNICO, having previously served as recording secretary and chairman of the Scholarship, Fundraising and Bylaws committees. A retirement planner with 28 years in financial services, he founded Hammer Retirement Services in 2013.

Treasurer Christina Caliendo Cerami is a past vice president of the JCCIA, a volunteer in the JCCIA office and a member for more than 40 years. Her father, Joe De Serto, was one of the founders of the organization. A real estate broker by profession, she is the president of the Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Di Piero is the host of Keepin’ It Real with Frankie D., an Italian American podcast on ItalianAmericanLife.com, the home of “Your Italian American Moments.” Frank is a board member at Casa Italia, Italidea Midwest and Little Italy Cenetta.

About Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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One comment

  1. Ron Onesti is a proud Italian American whose wide-ranging talents and experience make him the ideal person to assume this important leadership role. Whether it is entertainers, politicians, or world leaders, Ron is the man for the job. Congratulations Ron!

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