Tag Archives: UNICO National

Fighting fiction with the facts

The Chicago-area Italian-American community was dealt a devastating series of blows in the waning days of July. It’s impossible to express the damage done to our collective psyche when Chicago’s three Columbus statues were plucked by the city from their pedestals in the wee hours of the morning and whisked off to storage. According to Mayor Lightfoot, the moves were made in the interest of public safety and are only temporary, but a profound sense of betrayal and loss remains. The question is, how do we most effectively respond? As Fra Noi goes to press, the Joint Civic Committee of …

Read More »

Stan Kuczynski to head West Suburban UNICO

Stan Kuczynski has been elected president of the Chicago West Suburban Chapter of UNICO National. Kuczynski was inducted into the organization in 2014, and served as recording secretary and chairman of the Scholarship, Fundraising and Bylaws committees before ascending to the presidency. “To be president of this 61-year-old organization comes with a lot of history and responsibility,” he says. “I only hope I can live up to the expectations of the generations that came before me.” Kuczynski says that he joined the chapter because he wanted to be a part of an organization that not only did charitable and patriotic …

Read More »

Loyola launches groundbreaking Italian American studies program

A sixth-generation Italian American with a profound connection to her roots, Carla Simonini, Ph.D., arrives in Chicago next month to lead Loyola University’s Italian-American Studies program. Complimenti! It took five years, a massive fund-raising campaign that netted $500,000 and a historic commitment by Loyola University of Chicago, but our metropolis finally has an Italian-American studies program to call its own. Though the program is based at Loyola, which matched the $500,000 to create a $1 million endowment, organizers say it also belongs to the local Italian-American community, which will be invited to participate through a variety of outreach efforts. These …

Read More »

Meet the presidents of CIACO, West Suburban UNICO and the Arcolians

Robert Urbinati President, Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization How long have you been a member? I have been a member for approximately 13 years. Why did you join? CIACO was having a membership drive and I was invited by a current member and personal friend to attend the meeting. I remember there being a lot of people I already knew at the meeting. Due to the number of friends and acquaintances that were already members, I felt comfortable and decided to join. They’re very enthusiastic about celebrating their Italian American heritage and giving back to the community. What do you …

Read More »

Loyola endowed chair nears its goal

Past UNICO National President Tony Fornelli; the Rev. Thomas Regan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Past UNICO National President Mike Veselka; local historian Dominic Candeloro; and Art Lurigio, associate dean for faculty at Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences, celebrate the first installment of UNICO National’s $25,000 pledge toward the fundraising drive to create an endowed chair of Italian American Studies at Loyola University in Chicago. The drive is only $65,000 shy of its $500,000 goal. http://luc.edu/italianamerican/

Read More »

2011 Book Presentation

by Richard Caifano During the middle of the 20th century, 20 percent of the Jews located in Italy lost their lives to the Nazi campaign of annihilation; throughout the remainder of Europe, 80 percent of the Jewish population was lost. This remarkable difference came from the ethic of the Italian people, and its importance is being noted throughout the world. It was an undertaking that required the ingenuity and dedication of countless Italians who were under the rule of a regime aligned with the campaign of its Axis partner Germany, whose quest was the destruction of the Jewish race. At …

Read More »

Future President Mike Veselka

by Richard Caifano Michael Veselka was raised in the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago, where he learned the importance of community and the meaning of integrity. He now owns and operates a successful flooring installation business with his wife of 35 years, Marlene. They reside in Glenview with their sons, Steven and Michael. The rewards of hard work and enterprise he learned from his father early in a pizza restaurant in Chicago helped mold Veselka into the successful businessman he is today. And the sense of community identity he acquired on the streets of Galewood helped to propel him through the …

Read More »

2012 National Convention

by Richard Caifano The recently completed 90th annual convention of UNICO National saw Chicago area members rise to prominence in the ranks of the leadership. Glenview resident Michael Veselka was elected as Executive Vice President of UNICO, placing him next in line to assume the office of national president at the UNICO Convention in Ft. Lauderdale that will be held from July 31 to August 4, 2013. Orland Park’s Paul Domico was re-elected to the position of Midwest Regional District Governor. Domico was also elected to serve a three-year term as a Trustee of the UNICO Foundation, the charitable arm …

Read More »

2013 Annual Convention

by Richard Caifano On August 3, 2013, Chicago flooring contractor Michael Veselka was installed as President of UNICO National amid the applause and merriment of delegates and their families in attendance at the 91 convention of the largest Italian-American service organization in the country. Michael and his wife, Marlene, were warmly received as president and first lady in an evening filled with pride and accomplishment for Italian Americans. * New Jersey businessman Joseph Valenzano was the recipient of this year’s Americanism Civis Ilustris Award. * Unico Past National President Joseph Agresti of New Jersey received the Vastola Award for exceptional …

Read More »

2013 Golf Outing

“For 45 years, the Chicago West Suburban Chapter of UNICO has been the consummate host of one of Chicagoland’s most popular charitable golf events. This year’s highly successful event was held at a new venue in Bloomingdale, Ill. Over the years, under the leadership of Jack Cerone, Joe Rovetto, Ed Gesualdo and current co-chairs Mario Veltri and Joe Mollica, Chicago West Suburban UNICO’s outing has been noted for its gastronomic delights from sausage-and-egg breakfast before the shotgun start to a buffet feast consisting of roasted lamb, chicken oreganato, Italian sausage with peppers, sweet corn and a variety of fresh fruits …

Read More »

Want More?

Subscribe to our print magazine
or give it as a gift.

Click here for details