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  • June 13, 2020 10:24 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    What you Missed  - June 10, 2020 - member meeting via zoom

    Meeting called to order at 6:10pm by President Janet Lombardi, followed by some short board reports. Janet reports that we’ve not had many expenses, and a few people have re-signed up for membership. Ann Bosso-Johnson was delayed, but Gina said that we have $5845 in the Treasury. 

    Gina talked about coming member meetings: In July we’ll have another Zoom meeting, perhaps adding Biz Bites to this session. Feragusto is cancelled for this year. Jeffco wants to limit gatherings to 50 with social distancing, so perhaps we can meet in Aug. Sept. and Oct. are still open and undecided. She announced that we decided to postpone the December party til January…and in Dec. we will organize some kind of charity event. 

    We did member introductions, most talking about how they are handling the current situation and how it’s affecting business. Dana Francescatti remarked that everyone is reinventing – which we all agreed.

    Janet introduced our speaker, Alfred Gizzo of Arrivo Digital Marketing. He gave a presentation on Google My Business and how we can utilize this forum. To grow business, it’s important to have review since 60 – 72% of people looking for a business are reading these. He urged us …. DON’T ignore it! It’s more important than your Facebook Page. Google maps and Google posts are added. Call him to get information on promoting your business. Post every week…what’s new with your business. People can find all pertinent information without going to a website. You can message from your mobile phone, can book from the site. Contact Alf at :  alf@arrivodigitalmarketing.com

    Meeting adjourned at 7:25pm

  • March 03, 2020 4:49 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)





    TREASURER’S REPORT: ANN   $4069, sent out a balance this morning, but will have final numbers for Feb. meeting later. Members: 22 Business; 47 Regular members. Still a few overdue members. 

    Terri: Discussion about auto-renewal. Ann: if someone says they don’t want auto-renew, the site will not do it. Terri: every auto-pay sends a warning about when it’s due. This may add to some confusion about when dues are to be paid. Janet will call Wild Apricot to clear this up.

    Gina: Talked to Silvia, our March speaker, today, she will do a 20min. presentation then Q&A. Does not think it’s necessary to have audio/visual equipment…Gina will print out info from her. Catering from Pie Society -cost should be about $11 -12/per person. Ann has paid for the venue. Talked about room set-up. We need to be able to talk to other members.    

    Ferragosto: Assumption Church is happy to provide a space for the event. (August meeting) Gina will explore idea for food and entertainment. This is an event in Italy where they take off the month, have beach BBQs, it started as a feast for the Assumption of Mary. John: this is a good event, having it at Assumption is good. Gina: Ties in with our goal of having things out in the community. I’ve done some research on the event. We’ll probably make a donation to the church. 

    I’ve not talked to Mrs Condi’s yet. For OCT – For Italian Heritage month in Oct I'm working on putting together an event at Balistreri Vineyards with the singing Celebrity Chef Andy LoRusso to benefit Caruso Family Charities.  It's planned for Thurs, Oct 15 which is the day after our regularly scheduled monthly Oct meeting so I wondered if IABA would consider inviting members to attend the Caruso event to support that in lieu of the monthly meeting or if they don't want to go to the Caruso event they could donate and maybe we could do one IABA donation at the event?  The ticket cost for the Caruso event will probably be $85 and a table will be $1000.  This would be a good event to support for a "philanthropic community" cause by purchasing individual tickets or maybe buying an IABA table to have a presence.  

    Nov. – we don’t do a meeting usually, it’s a board retreat.  Dec. – holiday party – has looked into some sites – a site on So. Broadway may want to trade some space, but this is all still in the works. We’re not going to get a weekend date in Dec. The Grid is a possibility – they have tables…it’s different. If you want something like last year, we need to move fast. We need to decide what our budget is for this party. Even if we go back to Sons of Italy, it will be $800.  The Grid has a nice set-up. Gina will send a link to this place for us to evaluate.

    REVIEW: Feb meeting: - They tried to give a long presentation into a 45 min. program. They want to join the club. 

    (Brief interruption – Zoom cut off. Meeting resumed, Terri Cervi took minutes from this point)

    Debrief of February meeting - a little disappointing in their presentation and delivery however, lessons learned to help them and the Board with expectations in the future.

    Gina and Janet donated $$ to Mt. Carmel that will appear in account as "Sponsorship of Meeting".

    It will be an agenda item at each board meeting to debrief the good bad and ugly of each previous member meeting.  

    Marketing in Andiamo - discussion about 1/4 page ad for $100 per for $600 annually.  We could "sell" to members to re-coop cost or use totally for IABA listing of upcoming events.  Ads could be sold to members as little as $20 or share with club.  Janet will get more information.  It is noted that the publication is not digital - therefore a disadvantage in selling talking points.

    More discussion to pay Simona for web services.  We have budgeted $$ for 2020 for marketing services and fees.  So far Simona has volunteered her time.  It is noted that it is in the bylaws, that this is a paid position.  The amount will be at the discretion of the board. Further discussion will take place on the amount.

    Notes from members:

    Caruso Family Charity Gala - May 2

    Columbus Parade and Events from Rich Sabell

    Janet has purchased a microphone for more mobility in meetings.  Janet will submit receipt to Ann for reimbursement.

    Motion - moved and seconded to subscribe to ZOOM meetings for 1 year.

    The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m. 


  • February 19, 2020 1:37 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    After networking and renewing friendships, we enjoyed a great dinner buffet provided by Lechuga’s – spaghetti, meatballs and sausage, sausage cannoli, salad – and wonderful pizzelles for dessert.

    President Janet Lombardi opened the meeting thanking Lechuga’s and Father Hugh of Mt Carmel for allowing us to meet here. And since the church usually charges for the hall, she and Gina will be making donations to the church and encouraged anyone to do the same.

    Since we have a guest speaker, we dispensed with member introductions. Janet introduced the board. We have $3855 in the bank –21 business members and 47 individual members. Gina Hallisey (VP) talked about upcoming meetings and sponsorship opportunities…those would help offset the cost of meetings and give members a chance to spotlight their businesses. Sponsorships would also be available for events (Italian Festival, Automezzi, Christmas party). Contact Gina for any information!

    Janet and Simona have worked hard on the website – so be sure to check for updates, minutes, calendar and more.

    We are moving forward with taking out regular ads in Andiamo and suggested that members might share the cost by having their business listed in it.   People seemed to like this idea. She also mentioned that we could get decals printed…if anyone was really interested. She said that someone has organized a “new” club with the initials IABC….and has reached out to our members. Please know that we are in good shape, and if you hear from that group it is NOT our IABA,

    Gina first thanked Silvia Comuzzi-Sexton for graciously delaying her talk until next month so that our speakers tonight, traveling in the country and here only for a short time, could talk about their company. She then introduced our speakers – Allesandro Bovino and Justin Salvadore who have a company called Bella Italia that assists in genealogical research in Italy. They did a slide show presentation and talked about the history of keeping records in Italy and how challenging it is to find accurate information using birth, marriage and death records that are found in city halls and churches.  But they have many contacts and are enthusiastic and willing to help anyone find their ancestors. They also do special trips to discover your roots in Italy and offered the possibility of obtaining an Italian passport for dual citizenship.

  • January 05, 2020 4:00 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)




    Meeting called to order at 2:25pm by Janet. 

    Minutes from Dec. meeting were approved as submitted.

    Gina suggested that Janet serve as president…all approved.  Vice Pres: Gina was nominated, all approve. Joy nominated as secretary, all approve, Treasurer, Ann Bosso-Johnson…all approve. Membership…Janet suggested Terry – and discussion followed about the duties and challenges of the position. She agreed to take the position, all approved. Two members-at-large – Gary Molinaro and John Naccarato. 

    Discussion of website – which has some challenges. Since we want to pay Simona for her services, it’s helpful to know how much time she spends on it. In the past, $150/month was suggested. We’ll go thru the 2020 budget and make a decision at that point.

    Janet would like everyone’s photo and short bio for the website.

    Treasurer’s Report – Ann Bosso-Johnson:  Ann passed out P&L, budget, State Farm proposal, membership list. Various budget items were discussed. Members who have paid for dinners and do not show up will not be reimbursed. Those who are ill will get credit for the next meeting. Monthly meeting costs will vary depending on the venue and the menus. Board agreed to up member meeting charge to $15.  Membership number is now at 61. There are four past due members. 

    Christmas Party report: Gina: Sons of Italy cannot book for early Dec. in 2020 weekends. Discussion of weekend vs. week-night – mid week may be hard for some, but pricewise is better.

    Awards – Were very successful, especially the Bravo Award, opening the nominations to other clubs. This should help to get other members attending the event. 

    New Business:

    Future board meetings:  first Monday of the month is what has been done in the past. Perhaps some can be done on Zoom/by phone, esp. if there’s not too much on the agenda. Gina suggest we meet in person, quarterly. With a phone option, people can attend either way. Time suggested - 6pm. We agreed to meet in person the first Monday of each quarter. Janet will work on getting Zoom set up for us.

    Member Meetings:  We looked at the 2019 schedule and possibilities for 2020.  Gina: has talked to members of other clubs and there is interest in doing more jointly. Venues are a challenge – since so many places charge to meet. Janet related that the club used to have a sponsor for a meeting and that person would be able to promote their business. Gina will scout venues and would like to have places set up for the year. A goal is to focus on Business, Cultural and Community each quarter. There was discussion about various programs that may appeal to our members. Round tables could be helpful to members. Biz Bites should stay, and door prizes are good. Gina will send out an email to ask members if they have a place for meetings that we can check out. 

    Marketing:  What can we do to help this club grow?  Maybe decals (some smaller than what was provided to us last year); Advertising – we did an ad in Andiamo. The editor will publish the Awards (and photos) we gave out in Dec. Gina will ask about more frequent ads in the publication. Discussed ways to track any people that come to us through that.

    Suggestion – new members should have a folder with club information. Maybe some coupons from members. Gina will also find prices on small pins – which people seem to like.

    Procedures: Janet went over a list that she has put together – things that need doing through the year and steps to take for meetings, events etc. but do not need to be included in Bylaws. These should help any board members going forward. These are easily changeable or added to/subtracted from.

    Future of IABA: Ann B-J – stay business focused, think about an August Italian festival:  Ferragosto; Simona: More business, grown our membership. Work on breaking even financially. Gary: concentrate on quality of membership – people you can do business with, work on a good synergy of good business members; John: We’re all coming to the same conclusion – we’re all Italian, love Italian culture – want to work together; Terry – this board seems so functional, we have great ideas, we can go forward; Gina- we need to grow, we don’t want to compete with the other clubs, sees IABA being a bit more professional, having all our businesses getting to know each other. She wants to add the fun factor! 

    In general – we need to do business with each other and give testimonials. During the 30-sec. intros members should talk about what’s new/special in their business. We’re here to build amongst each other. We need to base our success on the quality of members and their levels of participation.

    Meeting adjourned at 4:30pm.

  • December 11, 2019 11:30 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    Our Christmas party was a success!

  • December 02, 2019 6:00 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)




    Andrew called the meeting to order at 5:04. 

    Minutes (November) approved as written.

    Gina – update on Christmas party. Venue is done, caterer is ready, need count by Friday. Andrew can pick up light bars. For the band, (there are 18) we can order pizzas and such. Paul Bonaquisti is donating a case of red and is bringing other wine at $9/bottle. What we drink we’ll pay for and can take the rest back. We’ll get beer also. We won’t mess with drink tickets…folks will probably not drink that much. Andrew suggested a couple different kinds of beer. Gina needs to finish up the awards. She asks that the board members show up at 4. Janet has sent out one more e-blast – and we’re now at 40 registered. Janet asked us to reach out to at least 5 people. 

    Discussion on awards and categories – which names should go where. Andrew suggests that each board member email him to vote on the awards.

    Janet  -discussion on voting for board members update. Currently there are 10 nominees. The incoming slate can take the 7 people picked and select which office each will assume.  We should perhaps clarify the bylaws to make sure the method is clear going forward.

    Marketing: - Janet likes the idea of a packet going out to members. Decals are nice. We can do a survey on some marketing thoughts and approach the membership to see what they would like to incorporate. We should gear this to getting new members, keeping members, and building your business. Gina suggests we write a plan – which may require a committee!

    We all “sang” happy birthday to Andrew!

    Andrew adjourned the meeting at 6:15 pm.

  • November 02, 2019 8:00 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)




    Meeting called to order at 2:59pm.

    Andrew welcomed us, and presented the agenda, hoping we can move quickly.

    Andrew explained BOX…similar to DropBox. An easy way to share documents. 

    Ann BJ went through the treasurer’s reports including P&L and the membership roster. She reported that we have (usually) about 24 members at a meeting, and typically the cost is slightly more since she adds tips. She went over budget items for 2020. She also talked about renewing our trademarks. She moved that we update and pay for renewing, seconded by Janet, all in favor. She then recommended that we get an updated Quickbooks account online – this would cost $42/month for the first year, then $70/month after. She moved that we use this plan for the first year, second by Janet, all approve.

    Gina presented the Christmas Party proposal. (date Dec. 11) She went over the venue (Sons of Italy building) – the sponsors she’s gotten so far, menu, band and awards. Suggestion for awards – Italian of the Year might be for someone not in IABA. The goal is to bring other clubs to the event. Janet talked about the value of this event, making it special – so even though the cost is more, this is probably good for the club. The suggested ticket price would be $40 per person. This would include food, wine and entertainment. Janet talked about what awards have been in the past, adding something from the outside, while keeping IABA Member of the year and Business of the year. Other Italian clubs will be invited. Janet moved that we accept the proposal as presented based on 75 people at $40 per person, Andrew seconded, motion passed. 

    Gina and Janet will get together and decide on Award categories and criteria and get back to the board.

    By Laws:  Article II, Section 2.1 – the address should be P.O. box 151165, Lakewood, CO 80215.

    Article III Section 3.1 – no change.

    Section 3.2 – annual meeting – change to second Wednesday in January.

    Section 3.3 – Monthly meeting needs to be second Wednesday of the month.

    Section 3.10—Written ballots –add electronic ballot. 

    Janet moved that we accept the changes/additions mentioned above; Andrew seconded. All approved.                   

    Janet gave a report on monthly meetings….3 things to be done. She would like to focus on venues, and have someone else finding a speaker and work on networking. We need to have an agenda for each meeting/time line to follow. We need to stay on task. Bottom line is that there needs to be more people working on the meetings. We agree that Biz Bites are important, and we should have a business speaker. 

    Discussed the decals that Joe Aiello had printed…they were put out at the Oct. meeting, and people took them.  There is some dispute about how much to pay for them…we actually did not approve this in advance. Janet will research how much he said they would be. Gina will contact the printer to discuss the invoice.

    Andrew announced that because of a baby coming in January, he feels he must step down as president at the end of this year. 

    Meeting adjourned at 5:20.

  • September 28, 2019 3:00 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)




    The meeting was called to order at 1:30pm

    Andrew has gathered thoughts and ideas and presented a list of issues and questions for us to consider as we go forward. These will be addressed at our meetings to come.

    Founder of IABA Joe Aiello has a renewed interest in the group. He’s not been a member for a while, but is back now, and would like to bring some ideas to grow the club. Some email exchanges have made a few board members uneasy, so Joy suggested that a letter be written to him, acknowledging his experience and history. Andrew agreed to write one, with Joy reviewing. We’ll invite him to a board meeting, put him on the agenda, and give him time to present his ideas.

    Discussed the issue of confusion over payment to Gary Cucarola for our Sept. meeting. Janet moved that we give Gary a check, Joy seconded, all approved. Ann and Janet will take this to him personally.

    Discussed “donations” for our events/meetings. It was suggested that instead of selling items, we request that people make a donation, which keeps records clear for our non-profit status.

    Discussed meeting agendas – Andrew would like to make them more interesting and suggests changing things up a bit. We need to encourage more networking and testimonials since we are a BUSINESS organization. Perhaps we don’t always need the “60 second” intro/elevator pitch – which too often takes more time. We like the Biz Bites – giving one or two members a chance to spotlight their services. We might want to include some “mixer games” to get people talking to those they don’t know so well. And we do want to attract younger members, so these will be good ideas making our meetings more interesting.

    Janet talked about elections, which need to happen by the end of the year. It is her understanding that board positions are for a two-year term. She also talked about awards – business of the year and member of the year – that we have, in the past, presented at the Christmas party. (no conclusion)

    Our board meeting in November will focus on Bylaws and continue discussion on our future progress.

    Meeting adjourned at 3:20pm.

  • September 19, 2019 8:24 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)


    We started with vino – made from the grapes stomped at last year’s meeting here! All agreed that it was VERY good. Dinner buffet included cheese and salami, as well as sausage and peppers for sandwiches. Bountiful, indeed.

    Andrew opened the formal meeting at 6:10 and introduced our hosts Gary and Marilyn Cucarola. Gary said that he used four grapes to make this wine, and it was his attempt to duplicate the “Prisoner” wines. All applauded his efforts…and had more wine. He asked for help in bottling, and at least one guest (Alf Gizzo) joined in the process.

    Andrew asked new members to stand and introduce themselves, and we welcomed them into our membership. Then, guests introduced themselves – we had quite a few, which was really great. Members from the Dante Aleghieri society were there and talked about their outreach programs for Italian Heritage Month in October and passed out flyers detailing the events they have planned.

    Andrew stressed our mission – to support the business of the members in the Italian Business community. He then got us up and moving around, making sure that we talked to people we did NOT know! Naturally, it was lively and loud, but a lot of fun.

    Board members were introduced and we had an update on the Festival Italiano, which was a great success. Folks were reminded to put their business cards in the binder…and take those cards you wanted to contact for business. Andrew then asked for two members to promise to send an email blast this month, since it’s a service we offer to members!

    Gary spoke again telling us that he never tested the wine during the year…and that is 100% natural! He suggested that we might consider putting together a wine-making kit as a fund raiser. He invited us to enjoy more wine and told everyone that they could take home a bottle.

    Our Biz Bites for tonight was a presentation by Lori and Gary Richert from State Farm. She said that she is a relationship agent – really getting to know you and your family and said that Gary does the business insurance. She had lots of fun promo items for us to take home. 

    The evening ended with those interested getting a tour of the facility.

  • August 05, 2019 9:32 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)



    MEMBERS PRESENT: ANDREW Murano, SIMONA Fava, JANET Lombardi, JOANNIE Flynn, ANNE Cucchi., ANN Bosso-Johnson, JOY Lawrance

    Andrew called the meeting to order at 5:10pm.
    Minutes were approved as corrected.

    VP Reports from Janet
    AutoMezzi was good, there was a lot of traffic (maybe 1500-1800 people) and many people to follow-up with. Ann Bosso-Johnson manned the booth.
    Last meeting was a success – Cards drawn for the 10 min. Biz Bites at the next meeting were Joy Lawrance and Tish Gance
    She has paid the deposit for the Italian Festival and mentioned that Joe Bergano has a stash of items we may be able to use as give-aways or for purchase. Janet will visit him and see what we might be able to use. Joannie suggested we limit any purchases to $100. She will also have a sign-up sheet at our next meeting for people to volunteer. She added that we may need to buy some lights for the booth. She would like to do an email blast with Simona’s help.
    Andrew asked that she keep the board apprised about progress for this event, and since he will not be at the meeting on the 14th, he encouraged us to get people to sign up.
    Sept. meeting will be at Mrs. Condi’s. No location for Oct. yet.

    Anne Cucchi continues to reach out to people who “Like Italy” and invited them to the meeting on the 14th. We currently have 59 members.

    Ann Bosso-Johnson reports that we have $5707 in our account. There are 15 business members and 42 individual members. She has made calls re: renewals. Directors insurance has been renewed. Upcoming expenses include the Italian Festival and the Christmas party.
    (Janet will need the Insurance certificate for the festival – Ann will get that to her)
    Simona requested that some gluten-free items be included in our dinners, and Janet will work that out with our caterers. We might include a section on the website for “special food needs.”

    Since the next board meeting would happen on the Labor Day weekend, Joy moved that we meet on Aug. 26. Andrew seconded, all approved. Andrew then suggested that he would like to host the meeting at his home. He will reach out to use for details.

    The meeting was adjourned at 5:53pm.

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IABA Colorado - Italian American Business Association
Incorporated in 2006 as a Colorado Non-Profit Corporation and under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code as a 501(c)(6) Business League, the same classification as chambers of commerce. Our corporate headquarters is in Denver, Colorado.

P.O. Box 151165

Lakewood CO 80215