109th Annual State Convention

 By Nancy DiFiore Quinn
The 109th Annual State Convention of the Grand Lodge of New York, Order Sons of Italy in America was held at Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center on Thursday, May 27th through Sunday, May 31st.  Kudos to State Convention Chairperson Carol DiTrapani, Co-Chairpersons Carmine Rosato, Annette Lankewish, Ernest Magliato and Rae Lanzilotta … and the entire Convention Committee for a spectacular event!
State President Joseph Rondinelli presided over the convention and it was obvious to all that he was well prepared and enjoyed the “coming together” of the Brothers and Sisters of the Grand Lodge of New York.
Our State Historian Lucy Codella presented a film (which we viewed in segments all during the convention) of all the State Past Presidents.  It certainly will remain as a video journal of the accomplishments of the Past Presidents beginning with Grand Venerable (State President) Joseph E. Fay.
During this State Convention the delegates of the New York Grand Lodge, Order Sons of Italy in America elected a new State President by acclamation … Sister Carolyn Reres of the America Lodge #2245, Franklin Square.  She has been in the order for over twenty years and has served in various key positions on the Executive Board of the Grand Council.  We look forward to her knowledgeable leadership!
The following Executive Board Officers were also elected by acclamation:  1st Vice President Robert Ferrito of the John D. Calandra Lodge #2600, Yonkers; 2nd Vice President Anthony Naccarato of the Giuseppe Verdi Lodge #2163 of Syosset; State Orator Michele Ment of the Fr. Donald B. Licata Lodge #2435 of Carmel; State Recording Secretary Biagio Isgro of the Roma Intangible Lodge of Albany; State Financial Secretary John Fratta of the Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge #285, Manhattan; State Corresponding Secretary James Spatafora of the Duca Degli Abruzzi Lodge #443 of Endicott and State Treasurer Arthur Spera of the Constantino Brumidi Lodge #2211 of Deer Park.  Luigi Squillante of the Cellini Lodge #2206 of New Hyde Park was appointed by President Reres as the State Principal Trustee.  Of course, our Past State President Joseph Rondinelli now serves as the Immediate Past President and a member of the Executive Board.  In addition, President Carolyn re-appointed Fr. Adam Forno as chaplain of the New York Grand Lodge and Anthony D’Angelis of the Galileo Galilei Lodge #2253 of Hicksville as the New York State Deputy.   
The following brothers and sisters were also elected to serve as National Delegates from the Grand Lodge of New York at the upcoming 54th Biennial National Convention to be held in Bonita Springs, Florida:  Michele Ment, Biagio Isgro, John Fratta, Arthur Spera, Luigi Squillante, Joan Rondinelli, Eleanor Jobbagy, Keith Wilson and Lucy Codella. Brother Joseph Fratta was elected as the first alternate delegate.  We will be electing a new National President and National Officers at this convention.
On Friday afternoon, Sister Mildred Mancusi of the Per Sempre Ladies Lodge #2344A, Lynbrook was awarded the prestigious Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro Award together with Brother Joseph Fratta of the Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge #285, Little Italy. The purpose of the award is to recognize and acknowledge OSIA members who have distinguished themselves in the ideals and principles exemplified by its founder, Dr. Sellaro.  Both surely deserved this award!
Ernest & Anna Magliato and family were presented with the 2015 Family of the Year Award.  The Magliato Family hails from the Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge #285 in Little Italy.  They were honored for their outstanding involvement within the Sons of Italy as well as their civic and community service.
The Bene Emeritus Award, the State’s highest award was presented to Brother Carmine Federico at a special Awards Banquet on Friday, May 29th.  The award is given for outstanding and distinguished service in accordance with our motto … liberty, equality and fraternity.  Brother Carmine is a Past President of the Progresso Lodge #1047 in Syracuse and is currently serving as the National Arbitration Committee Chairperson of the Supreme Lodge of OSIA.
Also on Friday evening, more than 350 delegates and guests were delighted to welcome New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as the keynote speaker.  NYOSIA is proud to acknowledge the great achievements of this Cellini Lodge brother Tom DiNapoli … and we could not be prouder to share his Italian heritage.
On Saturday, we were advised by Chairperson Emelise Aleandri that the Cornaro Award will be presented to Dr. Anna Maria Monaco at the June 13th Scholarship Awards Presentation.  The Italian American Literary Award was presented to Philip Cioffari. 
Filial lodges and individual brothers and sister from all over the state donated $83,000.00 to various worthwhile charities including: Cooley’s Anemia, Alzheimer’s, Cancer Research, the Commission for Social Justice (CSJ), New York OSIA’s own Garibaldi Meucci Museum, and the Gift of Sight.
The theme of this convention was “Celebrating the past … Shaping the future!”  We certainly did a lot of celebrating as well as discussed new innovative ideas to shape the future.  Thank you State IPP Joseph Rondinelli for a memorable two years … and welcome State President Carolyn Reres who will now shape the future!