Mazzini-Verdi fetes powerhouse pair

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The Mazzini-Verdi Club honored Steve Menconi as Man of the Year and Cathy Ciminello as Woman of the Year at the President’s Ball on Dec. 3 at its clubhouse in Franklin Park. The following profiles were provided by the organization.


Catherine Ciminello has long been involved with the Mazzini-Verdi Club alongside her husband, Paul, and has served as a member of the Mazzini-Verdi Ladies Club for the last seven years. Active with the club’s St. Joseph Table and Festa Fuori, she joined the Ladies’ Club board in 2020 as financial secretary. In the midst of the pandemic, she created a database and mailing list of members and took over the responsibility of dues collection. The next year, she was asked to handle communications for social events.

Catherine is the daughter of Giuseppe Di Venere, a talented carpenter who was born in Carbonara di Bari, and Josephine Zucchero, who was born in Chicago and traces her roots to Trabia, Sicilia. Catherine grew up in the Maria SS Addolorata and Our Lady of Angels parishes, graduated from Cathedral High School and attended courses at various institutions on the way to becoming a Certified Facility Manager.

For 34 years starting in 1961, Catherine worked for John Blair & Company, a broadcasting group that represented and owned numerous radio and TV stations. She worked her way through the ranks from Sales Assistant all the way to Vice President, Manager of Office Administration, becoming the company’s first female Vice President who did not go through sales and earning recognition in “Marquis Who’s Who.”

After leaving Blair, Catherine served as President of the Park Ridge Condo Association and worked at Forsythe Technology, Marcus and Millichap, and Cole Taylor Bank. She served as editor of the book “Paul Ciminello, Remember My Name.” A member of various Italian-American organizations, she served on the board of the Bel Canto Foundation helping aspiring opera singers.

Catherine and Paul have traveled extensively throughout the world. She feels blessed to be married to such a remarkable man and eternally grateful to share a life with such a talented artist with such a glorious sense of humor.


A legacy member of the Mazzini Verdi Club, Steve Menconi received his father’s membership after his passing. He has known many of the members of the club hi

Steve regularly attends the club’s Monday night cenetta, where he has built new friendships and renewed old ones with members who recall his mother and father. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and is proud to be a member of the

Born in Chicago, Menconi traces his roots to Massa Macinaia in the province of Lucca. He attended Our Lady of the Angels Elementary School and graduated from East Leyden High School in Franklin Park. Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst University, where he met his wife, Leslie. The couple married at St. John Church in Mokena on Oct. 5, 1986.

In 1983, Steve took over his father’s company, Menconi Terrazzo, transforming it into one of the most successful terrazzo and specialty flooring companies in the Midwest. His oldest son, Clayton, is now his partner in the business. His son Jonathan also works at the company, while his son Christopher works for Elmhurst School District 205. Clayton and his wife, Brooke, a special education teacher, live in Elmhurst with their 1-year-old daughter, Charlotte.

A member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Chapter of the Lucchesi Nel Mondo, Steve was among a dozen noteworthy individuals who received the Medaglia D’Oro when the Associazione Lucchesi Nel Mondo celebrated its 50th anniversary last year in Lucca. Honorees have distinguished themselves in the areas of business and volunteerism, contributing to the economic and social growth of the nations in which they currently reside.

Steve and Leslie live in Elmhurst. They are both active at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church, where he has been playing guitar in the contemporary praise band since 1998.


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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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