All’ICCC (At the ICCC) – January/February 2024 – Letter from Claudia Gentile Sims

Cari Amici,

Welcome to 2024 at ICCC.

I’m very enthusiastic about this year’s Board of Directors, who start on January 1, but before I talk about them, I want to extend a heartfelt and inadequate “thanks for everything” to Jerry Baiamonte, who is retiring from the Board. Jerry has given years of invaluable service to the ICCC as a board member, committee chair and past president, and is now stepping away from the Board into a well-deserved retirement. Note, I didn’t say he is retiring from ICCC, he is retiring from the Board. He has promised me that he will still volunteer, participate, and continue to provide wise counsel to me as he has always done with grace and a generous spirit. Grazie mille, caro amico. Happy trails to you…but please don’t go too far.

Elected to the board for a second three-year term are Julie Mastroianni (Property) and Flavio Zannin (Secretary). Laura Ferro (Finance), who has already completed one three-year term has accepted a one-year appointment to finish a board opening that resulted from an unexpired term. Thank you to Julie, Flavio, and Laura for their continuing commitment to ICCC.

Board members with terms continuing in 2024 are Monica Ercolani (Vice President), Diane Nizza, Marguerite Gabriele, Sandra Celli Harris, Angel Muñoz, and me.

A new group of talented individuals step into board roles on January 1: Robert Anthony Gerace, Kim Lammers and Kip Mankenberg. This trio has a passion for Italian culture and have committed to leadership roles to help deliver ICCC’s mission to advance, celebrate and preserve Italian culture. How lucky we are to have this “A” team to serve our center! Each of these talented individuals brings a unique set of skills to impact an ever-improving ICCC experience for everyone the organization touches. Un caloroso benvenuto a Robert, Kim, and Kip and welcome back to Monica, Diane, Marguerite, Sandra, Julie, Flavio, Angel, and Laura.

The searing ceiling-catastrophe is behind us. For most small non-profits like ICCC, this calamity would have been the end. Finito. How did ICCC survive such an event? We had years of careful stewardship of our resources carefully managing expenses while improving quality. We had a creative and diligent staff that alchemically kept things going at the Center against huge obstacles and turned the impossible into the possible. We had dedicated board members and volunteers who stepped up to help in a very dark moment. We had generous donors like you who recognized the enormity of the catastrophe and helped by giving extra. Believe me, it took an entire village to get through this. You are part of that village.

Things are pretty much back to normal at ICCC as we head into 2024 with a new board and a full calendar of activities and classes. As I have said many times in this space, please make your reservations early. Our events sell out quickly. Upcoming highlights include our Aperitivo “Undrunk Heroes” on January 30 covering some of the lesser-known delicious wines from Piedmont and Tuscany, and a course on The Wonders of Italian Art from Veneto to Southern Italy.

We’ve been through a lot, but together we came through it successfully. We’re looking forward to an exciting 2024 at ICCC, full of interesting things to learn and do and fascinating people like you, to share the love of Italian culture with.

Don’t forget to download the latest issue of La Voce Italiana Magazine to be updated on all the ICCC activities and to enrich your knowledge of Italian Culture.

Click here to download the PDF.


A presto,
Claudia Gentile Sims, President