This year, the 53rd Biennial National Convention took the New York OSIA National Delegates to the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The delegates were anxious to get the convention underway because this would be the last convention chaired by our own National President Joseph DiTrapani.

In the traditional New York OSIA manner, many of the New York Delegates - with a few invited guests - gathered on Monday evening – to kick the week off with a group dinner at Maggiano's Italian Restaurant in Philadelphia.  The food was plentiful and all enjoyed some relaxing conversation with their fellow delegates.

The Supreme Council met in Plenary Session on Monday afternoon and all of the New York delegates were in attendance to view the national officers at work.  State President Joseph Rondinelli represented New York OSIA proudly and proved himself to be a true asset of New York OSIA.

Tuesday morning arrived quickly and we were ready to roll up our sleeves and begin working.  The session opening promptly at 9:00 am by National President DiTrapani and various Executive Council reports were reviewed and approved.  After the Presidents/Spouses Luncheon, the breakout sessions took place and all our NY delegates served on different committees such as, Future Good & Welfare of the Order, Resolutions & Messages, By-Law Committee Membership, Fundraising and Education & Culture.  The Presidents Cabinet also met to discuss various issues facing the grand lodges around the country - concentrating on Fundraising and the IRS filing of Form 990 (expertly delivered by Brother Biagio Isgro).  Wednesday the convention convened and the Budget Report, By-Law Committee report, National Executive Director's report and reports from the breakout meetings.  After the Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro Award Luncheon, the meeting continued and we viewed a wonderful new DVD from the 2013 NELA dinner.  All State Presidents will be given a copy of this DVD to make available to their local lodges.

At Wednesday's luncheon we honored the 2013 National Sellaro Award Recipient Brother Angelo R. Bianchi.  He was both proud and emotionally moved during his acceptance of this award.  Brother Bianchi is a long time member of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey and has always been a staunch supporter of his Grand Lodge and of National OSIA.  This was certainly a well deserved award!

State Past President and National Past President Joseph Sciame addressed the delegates with regard to the Garibaldi Meucci Museum.  He explained that OSIA has taken care of the museum for over 100 years and since 1985, they have had a professional staff there.  State grants have dried up and the newest fundraiser for the GMM is the Brick Walkway Program.  Delegates were encouraged to purchase a brick in tribute to their family name.

National Scholarship Chairperson Michele Ment delivered a detailed report regarding the 2013 Scholarships that were presented at the NELA dinner this year.

A new National CSJ Chairperson was appointed - Brother Carlo Carlozzi of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut.  Our own Sister Santina Haemmerle was given much deserved kudos on her past service as National CSJ Chairperson.

Thursday was a much-needed day off from business. Many of us toured the city of Philadelphia on an open-air tour bus.  The New York Delegates had a great time viewing the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall - and of course, the famous "Rocky" statue and "Rocky" steps!

On Friday, business continued and nominations were made for the positions of National Officers on the Grand Council.  Elected from the New York Grand Lodge were: Nancy DiFiore Quinn, National 5th Vice President; Thom Lupo, National Financial Secretary; National Trustees Carlo Matteucci and Nicholas Mauro; National Foundation Trustees, Marianne Principe O'Neil, Bruce Lankewish and Salvatore Lanzilotta, National Arbitration Commissioners Carmine Federico (elected chairman of the committee) and Salvatore Lanzilotta.  Newly elected National President Anthony Baratta also re-appointed Rev. Adam Forno to serve as the National Chaplain of the Supreme Lodge OSIA.  Fr. Forno will continue to also serve as the State Chaplain for the Grand Lodge of New York OSIA.  Immediate Past National President Joseph DiTrapani was also elected as the new President of the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF).

Regarding the charitable giving - On behalf of all the members of the New York Grand Lodge OSIA - our State President Joseph Rondinelli proudly announced the following donations: $70.000 to Cooley's Anemia, $30,000 to the Alzheimer's Foundation and $40,000 to the Doug Flute Jr. Foundation for Autism.  New York OSIA was by far the largest donor during charitable giving.  It is because of YOUR generosity that we were able to make these very substantial donations on behalf of New York OSIA.  More than $300,000 was donated to charities on behalf of all the OSIA Grand lodges.

The Friday Sports Award Luncheon was a huge success and a very enjoyable event.  National OSIA honored Jennifer Rizzotti, head coach for 14 years for the University of Hartford Women's Basketball team.  She is a three time America East Coach of the Year Award winner and led the Hawks to four regular season championships, five tournament championships and six trips to the NCAA Tournament.  Ms. Rizzotti was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2013.

Saturday was a day of culmination for this convention.  All of the National Officers were installed - and everyone listened attentively while National President Anthony Baratta addressed the delegates with his plans for the next two years of his administration.  All of the New York delegates were so proud of our humble National outgoing National President Joseph DiTrapani and delighted to have him "back home in New York where he belongs."

On Saturday evening, a prestigious Guglielmo Marconi Award gala was held honoring United States Congressman Tom Marino.  A member of OSIA for nearly ten years, Congressman Marino works diligently to promote the Italian culture and tradition, working with the Italian American community throughout Pennsylvania and exemplifying the philanthropic and humanitarian mission of OSIA.

It was a week packed full of meetings and break-out sessions where many OSIA concerns were addressed. State President Joseph and First Lady Joan hosted the New York delegates and many brothers and sisters from across the country with warmth and gracious hospitality.  Sincere kudos to New York Hospitality Chairpersons John Quinn and John O'Neil for their care and concern of all the delegates that passed through the State President's Hospitality Suite.  As a matter of fact - we must thank all the New York delegates and their spouses for helping out whenever needed.  You were the best!

The 54th National Biennial Convention in August 2015 will be held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Just a few notable issues that all our New York OSIA members should be aware of:
  • A by-law was passed that all Social Members of our filial lodges have now been given the right to vote.
  • National member initiation fee has been raised from $3.00 to $8.00.
  • All National officers are now responsible for their own travel expense.
  • The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has voted by an overwhelming majority to resign from OSIA effective June 30, 2013.  By passing the abovementioned changes, the National OSIA budget was passed without an increase in per-capita tax to the grand lodges.

Lastly I would like to introduce a program to all our members that would help to assist our National Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) meet its charitable goal for charitable giving.  The program is called "OSIA's Sustaining Patrons Circle."  Your donation every month from your credit card will help our National Charities, General Charity Fund, Scholarship, Disaster Relief and the Garibaldi Meucci Museum.  Here is how monthly giving is made easy for everyone to participate:

Sign up for monthly giving online or mail a printable form.  (log on to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A minimum monthly donation of $10.00 for at least 3 consecutive months is required to be a member of the Sustaining Patrons Circle.

Note the amount you would like to donate every month.

You may change the amount of your gift at any time by contacting the SIF National Office.

Designate the program(s) to which you would like your gift applied.

You may change the gift designation at any time by contacting the SIF National Office.

On the same day of every month, the amount you designate will be automatically charged to the credit card that you designate.

You may suspend your monthly donations at any time by contacting the SIF National Office.

When you complete 3 consecutive monthly donations of $10 or more to the SIF, you will be installed as a member of the Sustaining Patrons Circle and recognized on the Honor Roll.
Each January, as long as you have participated in monthly giving for any part of the previous calendar year, you will receive a tax letter noting your full donation amount for the previous calendar year.

This is really a simple way to exhibit pride in your Italian Heritage without breaking your personal budget.  You can donate as little as $10 a month - up to whatever you can afford.  Take pride in knowing that you are helping to uphold the important work of the SIF!  For additional information, contact the National Office at 202.547.2900 or log on to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Let me take this opportunity to thank all of my Brothers and Sisters for supporting my goals on a National OSIA level.  As National 5th Vice President, I look forward to representing New York with dignity and pride.

Nancy DiFiore Quinn

National Fifth Vice President