Italian American Hall of Fame and Special Recognition

Italian American Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Committee

Karen Canatele Whitey Marinelli
Frank Perrecone Frank Valentine

Banquet Event Chairs
Karen Cantele John Falzone
Michelle Fandel Anna Mirabile

2018 Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Award Banquet

2018 Hall of Fame and Special Recognition and Award Banquet

Saturday, October 13th 2018

at the Venetian Club, 2180 Elmwood Rd, Rockford

$35 Per Person

6:00 p.m. Social Hour

(Cash Bar Available)

7:00 p.m. Dinner

Appetizers, Chicken, Sausage, Meatballs, Pasta

Salad, Bread and Dessert

8:00 p.m. Award Ceremony

Contact John Falzone @ 815-979-6936 for reservations


This prestigious group is comprised of area Italian Americans who have made significant contributions to the community. These men and women have shown a tremendous amount of dedication and leadership. Inductees are nominated by the community and selected by the Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Committee annually.

Italian American Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Criteria and Nomination Form

Nominees should be persons of Italian heritage whose exemplary lives have made significant contributions to the community in the arts, sciences, government, business, industry, education, volunteer, civic and philanthropic activities, or any other category that is appropriate.  Such contributions should reflect a notable community impact and highest standards and ideals. The primary difference between Hall of Fame and Special Recognition consideration is whether the nominee has significantly impacted the Italian American community.  Hall of Fame nominees should be individuals who have made an overall positive impact in the Italian American community.  Nominees who have not significantly impacted the Italian American community but otherwise meet the criteria mentioned above will be considered by the committee for Special Recognition honors. It is not necessary to indicate on the nomination form which category you are nominating the individual for.  The committee will make that determination based on the information provided.  If you have any questions, please use the contact form below.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Italian American Hall of Fame or the Special Recognition Award, please read the criteria for these awards listed above and then click on the nomination form link below:

Hall of Fame Nomination Form


2018 Italian American Hall of Fame 

2018 Hall of Fame Inductees:
Rose Mary Zammuto, posthumously
Valeri DeCastris

2018 Special Recognition;
Castronovo Bridal Shop


2017 Italian American Hall of Fame 

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees:
Rosie Scalise Shenidan
Joan Gullo
Coleen Gullo

2017 Special Recognition:
Angie Armato (Sports)


2016 Italian American Hall of Fame 

2016 Hall of Fame Inductee:
Steve Salvato

2016 Special Recognition:
M. Spinello & Son Locksmiths (Business)
Jim Barbagallo, posthumously (Lommunity Service)

2015 Italian American Hall of Fame 

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee:
Louie Miceli

2015 Special Recognition:
John Terranova (Community Service)

2014 Italian American Hall of Fame

2014 Hall of Fame Inductees:
Lewis Maffioli

2014 Special Recognition:
Maria’s Italian Restaurant (Business)
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society (Military)

2013 Italian American Hall of Fame

2013 Hall of Fame Inductees:
John Canova
Karen Cantele
Joseph A. Cavallaro

2013 Special Recognition:
Lisa Trapani Frost (Art)

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 Italian American Hall of Fame Pictures for 2012

Alex Pumilia-Sagona is presenting is grandfather at the 2012 Banquet

Whitey Marinelli presenting the 
Italian American Hall of Fame Award to Dr. Albert L. Pumilia

Dr. Albert L Pumilia with his wife Elsie and his two daughters Dr. Cathryn San Souci and Dr. Pacita Pumilia and his grandson Alex Pumilial-Sagona

Dr.Albert L. Pumilia with his family from left to right his wife Elsie Pumilia,
Dr. Richard San Souci, Dr. Pumilia, Jeannette De Mesa, Alex Pumilia Sagona,
Dr. Cathry San Souci


Carla Mullin and Pauline Urso receiving the Italian American Hall of Fame Award for The Amici Italiani Youth Troupe from Whitey Marinelli at the Banquet on Saturday October 6, 2012

Rosie Scalise Sheridan accepting the Italian American Hall of Fame Award for The Amici Italiani Adult Dance Troupe of October 6,2012

Amici Italiani Youth and Adult Dance Troupe with the directors of the troupe after receiving The Italian American Hall of Fame Award on October 6, 2012

Shirley Martignoni Fedeli founder of Dance Troupes pictured with Directors of the Troupes, Rosie Scalise Sheridan, Bea Giammarese Ricotta, Cara Cacciatore Mullin, Paulinge Urso and Dr. Albert L. Pumilia

Frank Perrecone, president of the Greater Rockford Italian American Association carrying the Columbus stemma banner at the Columbus Day Mass procession in St. Anthony of Padua Church.   Paul Mastrangli following carrying the Columbus wreath to be placed at the monument in the church gardens.

Presentation by Frank Perrecone at the Columbus monument in the St. Anthony Church gardens.  Next to Frank is Whiety Marinelli, Ben Todaro and the Amici Italiani Dance Troups.

 Italian American Hall of Fame Awardees
1978--Ben Abruzzo, Emily Guagliata, Nunzio A. Ingrassia, Mary A. Misuraca,
Dr. August L.Magnelia, Peter Perrecone, Thomas C. Cancelose
1979--Peter Dal Pra, Lucy Domino, Sam Mazzola, Rev. Anthony Marchesano
1980--General Fred J. Ascani, Sammy Mandell, Sam. A. Marino, Porfi A. Picchi
1981--Peter P. Cicero, Frank "Fuzzy" Falzone, Anthony M. Fiorenza, Joseph A. Gussardo
1982--Joseph Marino , Luigi Dodaro
1983--Frank St. Angel, The Sons of Italy
1984--Sam Cannariato, Jake Cason
1985--Zeke Giorgi, Dr. A.L. Zacharia, St. Anthony of Padua Franciscan Order
1986--St. Elizabeth Social Center, Sister Anthony Marelli
1987--Italian Choral, Jasper St. Angel 1988--Frank Giovingo
1989--Lombardi Club, Venetian Club, Verdi Club,St. Mary Club, St. Ambrose Club
1990--Joe Vecchio, Lena Scandroli
1991--Zeno Gasparini, Peter Montaleone
1992--Angelo Gaziano
1993--Carl Dargene, Frances Drago
1994--Gene & Shirley Fedeli
1995--Bob Corirossi, Whitey Marinelli
1996--Carmella & Vincent LaLoggia
1998--Paul A. Logli
1999--Don Gasparini
2001--Philip A. Nicolosi, Michael G. Segneri
2002--Marie Sherman
2003--Ted Bacino, Anthony Colletti
2004--Anthony R. Fabiano, Lawerence J. Ferolie, Mathew P. Cicero
2005--Paul Maffioli
2006--John Falzone
2009--Guy Fiorenza
2010--Joseph D. Bove
2011--Paul Francis Mastrangelli and Benjamin "Ben" Dominic Todaro
2012--Dr. Albert L. Pumilia and Amici Italiani Adult and Youth Dance Troupes
2013--Karen Cantele, John Canova, and Joseph A. Cavallaro
2014--Lewis Maffioli

Italian American Special Recognition Awardees
2010--Lino Gnesda (Art),
Alphonso (Al Grace) Graceffa (Music),
Valentino (Val Eddy) DeCastris (Music)
Veto Santini (Sport)
Frank "Chico" DeCastris (Sports)

2011--Dr. Joseph L. Nicolosi (Art)
Joseph C. Scandroli (Business)
Carl R. Scandroli (Business)

2013--Lisa Trapani Frost (Art)

2014--Maria's Italian Restaurant (Business)
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society (Military)