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  • May 06, 2020 6:45 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    This year, due to COVID-19 and for the health and wellbeing of the community, the Festival Italiano is postponed.

  • December 04, 2019 8:44 AM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    ITALIAN AMERICAN OF THE YEAR Nominations

    Susan Gurule

    I would like to nominate Susan Gurule for a Bravo award for her wonderful job in

    Chairing the Dante Alighieri October Heritage committee and coordinating all of the

    great events throughout the month. Susan personally attended all of the events and

    was amazing in keeping everything running perfectly. Susan has a long history of

    community volunteerism and participation. I am probably not qualified to name all of

    her accomplishments but she is a Past President for the Dante and has been a big part

    of their organization for many years. She was also a great asset to the Columbus Day

    Parade committee during my tenure as President. Susan was also nominated by

    several others.


    John Domenico

    John is the former long time owner of Federal Foods and Produce in north

    Denver. Now retired¨ John is a member of the Italians of America ®IOA© and the Our

    Lady of Mount Carmel Men’s Club. Every Friday morning during the school year¨ John

    heads out to the West Colfax viaduct at 6∫00 am regardless of rain¨ cold¨ snow or

    anything else¨ and volunteers for a local non profit called Food for Thought. From

    6≠8∫30 am he helps in the bagging¨ storing and distribution of 2700 bags of food that

    get delivered to low income school children every Friday in Denver. For many of these

    children¨ it is the only food they get all weekend and John is there every Friday

    morning to help. In addition¨ John volunteers all weekend at the Mount Carmel Bazaar

    in July¨ The St Rocco Feast in August¨ the Red Lion Run Car show in July¨ the monthly

    Prima Domenica’s at Mount Carmel¨ the IOA Rodders Ball in April¨ and other events

    that I can’t even remember right now.


    Dominic Losasso

    He served as President for the The Sons of Italy and the Colorado OSIA Grand Lodge.

    Supporting the Italian American community Dominic, a graphic designer, has donated

    many hours and talent to benefit the Andiamo! Colorados Italian community

    newspaper, IABA, Colorado’s Italian American Hall of Fame, Rocky Mountain Italian

    American Chamber of Commerce, and to the office of Vice Consul of Italy, in Colo and

    Wyoming. He was a member of the IABA and has helped with the annual awards

    design every year.


    ITALIAN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Nominations

    Theda Archer

    These are her volunteer positions

    Jewels of Hope¨ Porter Hospice¨ Senior Resource Center¨ Soup for the Soul¨

    Mount St. Vincent Home¨ Children In Foster Care


    Ernie Marranzino

    Born and raised in north Denver¨ Ernie has been a fixture in the community for many

    years. Retired from the Denver Fire Department¨ Ernie has spent his life volunteering

    for worthy causes. His passion is for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church as he has

    volunteered at the annual Bazaar for over 50 years¨ including setting up¨ tearing down¨

    and running the gaming booth. He has also chaired the annual bocce and golf

    tournaments for the church¨ worked the Prima Domenica’s¨ spaghetti dinners¨ and

    started the annual pasta fagioli ®fasool© dinner on Ash Wednesday at the church.¨ a

    tradition that is still going. Ernie is a member of the Mount Carmel Men’s Club¨ and the

    Order Son’s and Daughter’s of Italy Denver Lodge where he volunteers to work bingo

    during the week.


    Rita DeFrange

    When it comes to volunteering¨ I am not sure there is anyone who does more than

    Rita. She is currently the president of the Italians of America¨ the recording secretary

    for the Sons and Daughters of Italy Denver Lodge¨ a member of Mount Carmel’s Altar

    and Rosary¨ and the Fiori d’Italia¨ and previously with the Columbus Day Parade

    committee and committee for social justice. She was responsible for organizing¨ and

    also worked¨ the Red lion Run car show in July¨ and The Rodders Ball in April for the

    IOA¨ both events were a huge success that gave 100• of its net profits to charities¨

    such as Food For Thought¨ and Caruso Family Charities. She organized the first

    annual ladies bocce tournament for the Altar and Rosary Society to benefit Mount

    Carmel church¨ ran the pizza fritte booth for the Mount Carmel Bazaar in July¨ and the

    pizza fritte booth for the St Rocco Feast in August. Rita also volunteers to make

    baskets and gifts to give away at all of the events put on during the year. She

    volunteers at Prima Domenica¨ the children’s Christmas party¨ the Children’s

    Halloween party¨ the spaghetti dinners¨ Cibo¨ the general meetings every month¨ Food

    for Thought¨ Sister Michael’s house¨ St. Joseph’s Table¨ decorates the float for the St

    Patrick’s Day parade in Denver and the Carnation Parade in Wheat Ridge¨ and much

    more.


    Fred Marzano

    Born and raised in north Denver¨ Fred is the current president for the Sons and

    Daughters of Italy Denver Lodge in Wheat Ridge. Fred is a former railroad man

    working for the Rio Grande railroad in Denver for over 30 years. Now retired¨ Fred is

    also member of the Italians of America ®IOA©¨ the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Men’s

    Club¨ and the Fiorie D’Italia. Every Friday morning during the school year¨ Fred heads

    out to the West Colfax viaduct at 6∫00 am regardless of rain¨ cold¨ snow or anything

    else¨ and volunteers for a local non profit called Food for Thought. From 6≠8∫30 am he

    helps in the bagging¨ storing and distribution of 2700 bags of food that get delivered to

    low income school children every Friday in Denver. For many of these children¨ it is the

    only food they get all weekend and Fred is there every Friday morning to help.

    In addition¨ Fred volunteers all weekend at the Mount Carmel Bazaar in July¨ The St

    Rocco Feast in August¨ the Red Lion Run Car show in July¨ The IOA Rodders Ball in

    April¨ the monthly Prima Domenica’s at Mount Carmel¨ the Sons and Daughters of Italy

    car show that benefits Caruso Family Charities¨ the summer bocce league and the

    children’s Christmas party at the Denver Lodge. He organized the spaghetti dinner at

    Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church last January¨ and did one for the Denver Lodge in

    May. He also volunteered for the Bocce and golf tournaments for Mount Carmel

    Church and the Sons and Daughters of Italy lodge. He also runs bingo two days a

    week for the Denver Lodge. It appears that in retirement¨ Fred is busier than when he

    worked at the railroad.


    IABA BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Nominations

    Vince Francescatti

    I would also like to nominate Vince Francescatti for a Bravo award. Vince is very visible

    for our organization and has had many testimonials from members singing his praises.

    His wife Dana is very nice too. Rich Sabell


    Dan Fratello¨ Cascade Solar Electric

    Dan Fratello is an expert in energy management and shares his expertise to help

    homeowners and businesses with their solar energy systems¨ LED lighting and

    electrical needs. Dan is a long standing member of IABA and has assisted many IABA

    members with their solar needs including a large project at Balistreri Vineyards.

    Whether a small homeowner install or a large commercial project¨ Dan and his staff

    provide stellar customer service from the initial contact throughout the entire job and

    beyond which is why most of his business is referral based. Dan handles all the

    energy savings and solar cost calculations that can be intimidating and explains it in

    terms the consumer can understand. His friendly demeanor¨ sincerity and passion for

    what he does is evident if youßve ever talked with Dan. He also has a fun sense of

    humor and always jokes that heßs the token Venetian in the IABA membership as he

    has yet to meet any other member with Venice roots. Dan and his company¨ Cascade

    Solar ¶ Electric¨ consistently demonstrate exemplary business practices which is why I

    would like to nominate them for the IABA BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Award.

  • October 03, 2019 6:52 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    Come to the October Member Meeting and grab a copy of the newspaper Andiamo! We have a full page a full page advertising with all the members listed.


  • September 17, 2019 9:01 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    Join The Dante Alighieri Society in celebrating Italian Heritage Month this October.

    Festivities kickoff October 3rd at Spero Winery and continue all month long...

    Please see the attached flyer for all the fun events and details.

    Dante IHM 2019 Flyer HIGH (1).pdf


  • January 26, 2019 7:12 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)

    From left to right: Tom Tancredo (Board Member), Anne Cucchi (Membership), Janet Lombardi (Vice President), Andrew Murano (President), Joannie Flynn (Membership), Simona Fava (Webmaster), Joy Lawrance (Secretary), Ann Bosso Johnson (Treasurer).

    Click here to read more

  • November 10, 2018 6:36 PM | Simona Fava (Administrator)


    Stay Tuned – CHristmas party Registration Opening Soon! 

  • May 02, 2018 6:43 AM | Anonymous

    Meeting Host and location:     Shear Productions Salon

    Catered by: Rossi’s Catering – Billy Rossi

    Food served: Roasted Italian chicken and potatoes, green beans, and salad. Delicious as always!

    Networking started at 5:30, Dinner was served at 6 and meeting and presentation about Branding Your Business, by Janet Lombardi, presented at 7:00. All member introductions were given with a comment on their business branding.

    Debi ran the meeting this evening and thanked everyone for coming.  She asked for updates on the following items:

    • Membership Update– Anne: No new members to report this month.
    • Treasurer Update – Ben/John: John is in Maui, poor thing, but Ben attended the  meeting. No formal update, but the transition to John as treasurer is 99% completed.
    • Festival Italiano Update – Janet: Filed the first application.
    • Meeting Venues and Speakers – Janet:
    • Monthly meeting location options: Grandmas Noodless, Caruso Kithen
    • Communications/website/Facebook Update - Janet: Members can now pay through the website for events and membership fees.  If you find anything confusing or if you’re having issues, please let Debi or Janet know so improvements or fixes can be made.
    • Other news: Caruso Family Charities, has a fund raiser coming up on April 18th  at ComedyWorks from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.  The event is sponsored by Comfort Dental and features comedian: Jeff Caldwell.  Lucy’s restaurant (above the comedy club) will donate 20% to the charity if you have dinner there prior to the comedy event. For more information or to make a donation, please visit:        

                    www.carusofamilycharities.org

    Speaker was Janet Lombardi. A discussion was facilitatedon Branding. 

    Here are a few of my takeaways:         

    "Branding is all the ways you establish trust, image, dependability and loyalty with your clients and peers, It’s a promise of value!”     

    A good brand achieves the following objectives: 

    1. Clearly delivers your message·       
    2. Confirms your credibility·                       
    3. Emotionally connects your target audience with your product and/or service·Motivates the buyer to buy·       
    4. Creates user loyalty

    "Brand is an emotion that customers feel when they think of you.” 

    It was a great topic and it inspired great conversation in the group. 

    I hope this inspires you to join us next month!!

    Ciao,

    Jackie Sharrock

    AccuCheck Screening

    We help employers hire right the first time by using our 3-step screening process.


  • March 22, 2018 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    Wednesday March 14th, 2018

    With most of the board on vacation we had an intimate, but fun group this month!  Our host was MICI handcrafted Italian restaurant. We were served a variety of salads, antipasti, crostini and pizzas.  Everything was very tasty.  This restaurant is a huge hit with parents with young kids, so the place was very lively from 5:30pm until about 7pm. 

    Anne Cucchi did a fabulous job as acting board director in very challenging sound conditions.  Jerry Caruso’s charity, Caruso Family Charities, has a fund raiser coming up on April 18th at ComedyWorks from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.  The event is sponsored by Comfort Dental and features comedian: Jeff Caldwell.  Lucy’s restaurant (above the comedy club) will donate 20% to the charity if you have dinner there prior to the comedy event.  For more information or to make a donation, please visit: www.carusofamilycharities.org. You’ll laugh and cry a lot at the event, but it’s an incredibly great cause!

    Anne introduced us to a wonderful speaker: Lou Riverso, Business advisor for Jefferson County Business Resource Center.  This center offers several wonderful programs for small businesses located in JeffCo.  They offer many different programs at little to no cost to the businesses.  To learn more, please visit:www.jeffcobrc.org

    All in all, it was a good meeting with great company, food and wine.  I hope to see you at our next meeting Wednesday, April 11th..

    Jackie Sharrock
    AccuCheck Screening
    “Helping You Hire Right the First Time.”
    Email: jackie@accucheckscreening.com
    Cell:303-557-8324.



  • March 01, 2018 1:13 PM | Janet Lombardi (Administrator)

    Our wonderful evening started by being greeted by our host Paul of Bonacquisti Wine Company with delicious wines.  We then were spoiled with fabulous food provided by our own, Billy Rossi from Rossi’s catering, who still uses his Mom’s original meatball recipe! They were “delizioso!”

    Debi started the meeting portion of our evening by giving Vince and Dana their awards for 2017. She also reminded everyone that dues have gone from $60 to $90 for individuals and businesses can join for $150.  The Board is seeking a treasurer and a Facebook person for 2018.  Debi thanked Belva for taking the minutes for the board meeting.

    Janet and Nicole spent the remainder of the meeting revealing the new Website, denveriaba.orgNico Associates and these 2 amazing ladies have spent countless hours working on improving the capabilities and user-friendliness of the existing site.  Here are a few of the great improvements: 

    • You can now register and pay for events online and a lot of work is being done to greatly improve the “member only” portion. 
    • You can now easily send out email blasts, special offers, etc.  It will track all the events you’ve signed up for and will send automatic reminders. Just to name a few things. 
    • You will have a private and public profile to protect you from getting “spammed.”  The public profile will list your company name, your name, phone number and website.  Your email address is only shared with other members.  You’ll receive an email in the near future to create your own login and from there you can create your company profile, add your logo, flyers etc.
    • Easily sign up new members, change addresses, pay your membership renewals etc.
    • This is a work in progress and for any questions/suggestions, please contact us.

    All in all, it was a very informative meeting with great company, food and wine.  I hope this motivates you to not miss our next meeting on Wednesday March 14th. 

    Jackie Sharrock

    AccuCheck Screening

    “Helping You Hire Right the First Time.”

    Cell: 303-557-8324


  • January 16, 2018 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    The meeting last night (1-10-18) was hosted by Brodo’s Italian Scratch Kitchen located in BelMar, Lakewood, Colorado.  Brodo’s catered our meeting with, as usual, EXCELLENT food.  We had great Mozzarella Cheese Rounds, Muscles in Wine Sauce, Stuffed Italian Sausage Rolls and Toast Points with Tamponade, and wonderful wine.

    President Debi Portararo held the meeting going over important membership business.

    Debi thanked everyone for coming, and introduced the new Board Members joining in 2018:  Terry Cervi, John Gravina and Andrew Murano.  The full board for 2018 will include the following:  Debi Portararo, Anne Cucchi, Belva Wildman, Janet Lombardi, Terry Cervi, John Gravina, and Andrew Murano.

    Debi reported Janet Lombardi is mending after surgery.  Send her a card or a text to get well soon…….

    The January Meeting historically is the organizations Business Meeting.  Debi covered the following items:

    1. Yearly Dues are increased from $60.00 per year to $90.00 per year for individuals
    2. Yearly Dues are offered for a business at $150.00 per year, which allows four individuals to attend the monthly meetings as members
    3. Individual members will pay $10.00 to attend the monthly meeting to cover the cost of food provided
    4. Guests will pay $15.00 per person to attend the monthly meeting to cover the cost of food provided
    5. Any member or guest that attends the monthly business meeting without having sent in a RSVP will be charged an additional $5.00 (Member cost goes to $15.00 and Guest cost goes to $20.00)
    6. If you RSVP and do not attend the membership meeting you will be expected to pay for the meeting as though you attended.  (As a side note, when we give the number of people attending to the caterer or owner of the establishment that is providing the food we have to pay for the amount we say are attending.  Last night we had RSVP’s for 27 and 25 showed up.  We still had to pay for 27 even if there were only 25 there. )
    7. The Website is being reconstructed to be “user friendly”; if you go on the website now it will not be user friendly.   When the new site is completed the old site will be directed to send everything to the new site, which should happen within the next 30 days.
    8. Anne Cucchi gave a report on new members joining the organization.
    9. The Outgoing Treasurer, Ben Parham, had a conflict and was unable to attend the meeting to give a financial report; the organization is in a good position and Ben will be turning the books over to the new Treasurer within a couple of weeks.
    10. Tish was not in attendance so we were not able to talk with her to find out when she will be taking over the email blasts.
    11. The Membership is interested in participating in Festival Italiano in 2018.
    12. The Membership is interested in participating in Italian Heritage Month and have instructed the Board to present ideas for projects for that month.
    13. The Membership is interested in putting together a Bocci Ball Tournament with the IOA.
    14. The Board is working on the 2018 Budget.

    Debi thanked everyone for attending and “with the help and enthusiasm of our 2018 Board and Membership this will be a Spectacular Year”.

    There being no further business the meeting adjourned and members spent the next hour visiting and getting to know one another and sipping some VERY GOOD VINO……….now, aren’t you sorry you didn’t attend?  See you next time.

    February’s meeting promises to be a very good and interesting meeting.


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