Columbus Under Attack - Defend Our Heritage

Speakers Bureau

Need a speaker for your club meeting or a special event?

Contact one of OSDIA Speakers Bureau listings below. Please contact them directly for more information. Some may require travel expenses and/or honorariums. Be sure to also look at neighboring states, as many speakers are happy to travel.

And don’t forget, you can also host them via Zoom!

To apply to be listed on the Speakers Bureau, contact us at






Author Barbara Barcellona Smith speaks about writing, Italian culture, and her children’s book, Let’s Eat Snails! She has worked in radio, television, and corporate marketing, and also worked in the public school system, teaching English as a Second Language. She incorporates a fun and engaging 30-minute author video into her speaking engagements. Book signing.
Contact:  (334) 477-3735 | |

Will also travel to:  Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee




Lecturer, Instructor, and Genealogist Toni Anastasio McKeen speaks about various cities and areas in Italy (such as Matera, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Sicily), history of the Renaissance and the great masters (writers, sculptors, painters, architects), and many Italian and Italian-American men and women who have made long lasting contributions to the world in science, music, banking, and inventions. She plans and leads small groups to Italy every year, giving personalized tours rich in the culture and history of the country.
Contact:  (203) 431-9973 |  

Will also travel to:  West Chester County


Author Mark Hehl speaks about his two books: An Immigrant’s Dilemma and Ameri Sicula: Sicilian Culture in America. His two topics: Italian American traditions, quirks and superstitions and The dilemma to emigrate or stay and the perilous voyage to America circa 1900 are available to organizations. Additional information is contained on

Contact: (203) 982-6231,

Will travel anywhere in the USA and beyond.


Children’s Book Author and Illustrator and Art Teacher Stefania Munzi-Logus speaks about her children’s book—Jojo’s Tiny Ear—and diversity and hearing-loss awareness, and teaching these topics to children. Book signing.
Contact:  (203) 988-6271 |

Will also travel to:  New England Area




Author and Associate Professor of Literature and Film Marc DiPaolo speaks about his recent book—Fake Italian—as well as Generation X Italians, genre fiction, Dorothy Day Catholicism, comic books, movies, and staying Italian when moving away from an enclave. He has a doctorate in literature and is a winner of CHOICE Outstanding Academic Text award 2011 for War, Politics and Superheroes. Book talk and signing.
Contact:  (405) 306-2103| dr.dipaolo@gmail.com

Will also travel to:  New York, Texas, Colorado, or anywhere if a stipend is offered




Clergyman and Professor Rutherford Johnson speaks about numerous topics, including Italians as the Forgotten Minority, Italy before the Savoy Kingdom and Republic, the Pontifical States, Ancient Roman Society, Italy as an ancient cultural melting pot, the Renaissance and Baroque, and more. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University Extension School. Email for a complete list of topics with full descriptions.
Email: |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere




Author Bill Carpentier speaks humorously about growing up in an Italian family in the 1950s and 60s in Brooklyn and Queens. He also addresses topics, such as aging and technology, from a baby boomer perspective. A former marketing executive, he published Dust from the Attic (Mill City Press), a collection of humorous personal memories. Book signing.
Contact:  (916)


Author and Filmmaker Caroline Cocciardi speaks on Leonardo da Vinci and her recently published book, Leonardo’s Knots. The book is based on a 20-year da Vinci research project she conducted, in which she detected a minute, interlocking embroidered knot pattern on Mona Lisa’s dress that deviated from the decorative embroidery of the day. “The Mona Lisa Knot” was a mathematical pattern based on angular crossing patterns, which tells the story of the messages in Leonardo’s knots. Book signing.
Contact:  (408) 666-4050 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the United States


Award-Winning Actor and Author Michael Dante speaks about his six decades of show business experience, during which he appeared in 30 films (Kid Galahad, Winterhawk, Seven Thieves) and 150 television shows (Maverick, Six Million Dollar Man, General Hospital, Perry Mason). He has authored an autobiography (Michael Dante: From Hollywood to Michael Dante Way) and two novels (Winterhawk’s Land and Six Rode Home). In honor of his accomplishment, his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut, named a street “Michael Dante Way”. Book and memorabilia signing.
Contact: |   


Photojournalist, Author, and Peace Activist Francesco Da Vinci speaks about his historical memoir—I Refuse To Kill: My Path to Nonviolent Action in the 1960s—as well as the spirit of the sixties, conscientious objection to war, and today’s need for service to others and what each person can do to build a more nonviolent, humanistic culture in America. He was a photojournalist for 25 years—along with two years with the U.S. Senate Gallery of Photographers—and a professor of social psychology. Book signing and public speaking with multimedia.
Contact:  (424) 535-3072||

Will also travel to:  Los Angeles or San Diego


Larry Delrose actor, author and producer, speaks on how to lead a happy life. Travel expenses. Will do book signings.
Contact:  (760) 770-3332 | |

Will also travel to:  Arizona


Executive Director, Cofounder, and Historian of the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles Marianna Gatto speaks about Italian-American history and culture, Italian Americans in the West and in Southern California. She has two decades of experience in public history, non-profit leadership, advocacy, fundraising, museums, and education, and is a published author. Book signing, lectures, and consulting work. 
Contact:  (213) 485-8432 | | and     

Will also travel to:  United States and Europe


Author Jeffrey Gilliland with Cino Chegia speaks on Cino’s biography Four Dollars and a Dream. A survivor of World War II in Italy, Cino immigrated to the United States, worked his way up in the Bay Area’s garbage collection industry, and founded a youth soccer club. Book signing.
Contact:  (510) 701-1404 |


Author and international speaker William Giovinazzo speaks about Italian and Italian-American history and culture, including Italian’s literary heritage, especially Dante and The Divine Comedy. He recently published Italianità: The Essence of Being Italian and Italian-American, which is reviewed in this issue of the magazine (page 20). His writing on Italian culture, history, and cuisine draw from his Italian-American upbringing as well as his travels throughout Italy.  Book reading and signing.
Contact:  (949) 309-0137 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere United States


Author and Historian J. Michael Niotta, Ph.D. speaks about Italian-American history, particularly that surrounding World War II, including the pre- and post-Pearl Harbor enemy alien situation on the West Coast and the reasons that prevented the internment of all Italian Nationals following that of Japanese Nationals. He also talks about the overshadowing of the 2001 Review of Restrictions of Persons of Italian Heritage During WWII. He has recently published The Fight Abroad and the Fear Back Home: Italians of the California Coast During World War II. Book signing. 
Contact:  (619) 398-7459 | |


Author Gail Reitano speaks about her debut novel—Italian Love Cake—and themes that arise in it, including Italian-American immigration/assimilation; pre-WWII economics, politics, and fascism; Italian-American feminism; the role of ancestors in shaping our identity and the role of food in uniting the Italian-American family. Book reading and signing.
Contact:  (415) 215-1526 | |

Will also travel to:  San Francisco Bay Area


Author Margo Sorenson speaks about writing about beautiful Italy and celebrating Italian life and culture. She grew up in Bari and Napoli, and has authored 30 published books, including the Positano-based young adult novel Secrets of Translation (Fitzroy Books) and the children’s book Spaghetti Smiles (Pelican Publishing). Book signing and special discount on her books through her publisher.
Contact:  (760) 702-1182 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere United States


History and Italian teacher Mark Nemetz Tedesco speaks about the magic of the city of Rome—its stories, people, and history—and his recent book—She Seduced Me: A Love Affair in Rome. Book signing.
Contact:  (760) 773-7259 | |


Author, Cantor, Playwright, and Screenwriter Mark A. Thompson speaks about his novel, Sinatra’s Tailor, the story of Umberto Autore, who was orphaned in Italy during World War II and immigrated to the U.S., where he became Frank Sinatra’s tailor. He also presents An Evening with Galileo, a one-man musical on the invention of the telescope and ensuing conflict between science and religion in 17th century Italy. Book signing.  
Contact:  (562) 400-2968 | | and

Will also travel to:  Nationally and Internationally


Author Christine Evelyn Volker speaks about drawing on your roots for a first book and also on her grandfather’s wine cellar. Last summer, she published her first novel—Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City (She Writes Press).  Book signing.
Contact:  (510) 496-0660 (c/o Stephen Volker) | |

Will also travel to:  New York; Chicago; Seattle; Washington, D.C.




Inspirational speaker, educator, and musician James Divine speaks about growing up Italian. He gives a comedic and dramatic presentation on what it was like growing up with a mom from Napoli and can also incorporate live saxophone music of Italian songs. He is the author of I Cannoli: My Italian Life. Book signing. 
Contact:  (719) 238-4193 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the United States




John Colletta, Ph.D. has been a popular lecturer in the field of genealogy for 30 years. He worked at the Library of Congress and taught programs at the National Archives for 21 years. Dr. Colletta’s publications include numerous articles, both scholarly and popular, two manuals—They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans—and one narrative family history, Only a Few Bones, which includes instructional essays on how to write factual and engaging family history.
Contact:  (202) 544-9498 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.




Professor Giuseppe Albanese speaks on all aspects of opera. He has a dynamic educational program—entitled The Joy of Opera—that is an introduction to Bel-Canto. He currently presents opera courses at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society and has received their Excellence in Teaching Award.
Contact:  (561) 624-3245 | |

Will also travel to:  Southeast


President/Owner of Golden Voice Production Lawrence C. Branchetti speaks about music and heritage. Nicknamed “The Golden Voice,” he carries on the musical memories of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and other Italian greats. In 2011, he was awarded the Miami Award by the U.S. Commerce Association for “production and his vocal ability.” He has also devoted his time to supporting fundraising events as a credit to his Italian roots.
Contact:  (305) 758-5081 | |


Member of the Dante Society Anthony Branco speaks on The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. His knowledge extends back 30 years, when he first read the work, and he continues to re-read the work on a daily basis.
Contact:  (813) 856-7090 |


Author of Italian-American fiction and Licensed Mental Health Counselor C. D’Angelo (pen name) speaks about her novel—The Difference: A culturally inspiring genealogy and immigration women’s fiction novel—and writing/story developing for Italian culture. She also speaks on mental health, travel, immigration, ancestry, and genealogy—which serve as themes in her novel. Book signing, book club Q&A, pitch-writing, coaching, motivational speeches.
Contact:  (904) 742-8796 |


Retired law professor Michael J. Polelle speaks about his novel, The Mithras Conspiracy (Lido Press), a thriller set in Rome about a cult dedicated to the Roman god, Mithras. He also speaks about American Constitutional law issues. He is a former columnist of Fra Noi Magazine and an award-winning legal writer. Book signing. 
Contact:  (941) 388-1840 | |

Will also travel to:  West Coast and other areas in the United States


Poet and Memoir author Nadia Steffé speaks about World War II in Istria, Italy, and about Italian migration and assimilation into countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia. She recently published her memoir—My Native Land Sings to Me—which is about her post-World War II experience emigrating from Istria with her family. Book signing.
Contact:  (732) 429-9133 |

Will also travel to:  New Jersey; New York, California; Montreal; Toronto; Vancouver.


Author Carmine Vittoria speaks about World War II in the Naples area, which he experienced as a child. He recently published Bitter Chicory to Sweet Espresso: Survival and Deliverance from WWII in the Naples, Italy, Area. 1940-49 (Purpo, Inc.). A Professor Emeritus, he taught Electrical and Computer Engineering for 32 years at Northeastern University and has published numerous scientific articles. Book signing.
Contact:  (305) 365-6428 | |

Will also travel to:  Washington, D.C. and Boston




Author and Historian Major Peter L. Belmonte (U.S. Air Force, ret.) speaks about Italian Americans in the U.S. military from the Civil War through World War II, specializing in World War I and the Old West. He has authored 11 books on such topics and was recently featured as an on-camera consultant for a Netflix series about soldiers who received the Medal of Honor (speaking on Vito Bertoldo, a soldier from Illinois who fought World War II and received the Medal of Honor). Book signing and presentation. 
Contact:  (618) 803-1889 | |

Will also travel to:  Areas surrounding St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati


Roman Catholic Deacon and Psychologist Rev. Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., offers tips on avoiding procrastination. Author signs his new book, Still Procrastinating? The No Regrets Guide to Getting it Done. Deacon Joe also provides presentations on CLUTTER and the Psychological Meaning of HOME.  He also can speak on growing up Italian-American, first generation college student, and he can speak about his journey as a Catholic Deacon.
Contact:  (773) 325-4244 (Work) | 630.434.0580 (Home) |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S. and Italy


Author and frequent traveler Kathryn Occhipinti, M.D. leads language lessons based on her book Conversational Italian for Travelers. She will introduce the fundamentals of the Italian language and provide handy travel tips. All will leave reading and speaking basic Italian! She also speaks on Sicilian wine and ancient grape varieties in the provinces of Agrigento and Messina.
Contact:  (800) 257-9877 | |

Will also travel to:  Indiana; Iowa; Wisconsin


Author Tony Romano speaks about his life as a first-generation Italian American growing up in a family who did not read but produced a son who became a writer. He is the published author of the novel Where My Body Ends and the World Begins (Allium) and the story collection If You Eat, You Never Die: Chicago Tales (HarperCollins). He has received the Norman Mailer Award and has been named “Illinois Author of the Year” by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. Book signing.
Contact:  (630) 201-2497 |

Will also travel to:  Neighboring States; New York; Washington, D.C.


Sociology professors John & Maria Tenuto on media stereotyping of Italians and Italian Americans. Will travel.
Contact:  (847) 543-2537 | |




Author/historian Alan Gauthreaux speaks on his book about Italian immigrant history in Louisiana. Book signings.
Contact:  (504) 452-7147 |




Author Anna Lucarello Foultz speaks about Two Steps Forward, A Memoir, which is about her life as a first-generation Italian American. She has been the recipient of several awards, including the Americana Award from the Ocean City Lodge #2474, presented to her at their Columbus Gala. At 91 years old, she is the oldest active and most decorated Girl Scout. She was also a World War II pin-up girl. Book signing.
Contact: (410) 641-7667 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Author and Professor Albert F. Marra speaks on dual Italian-U.S. citizenship, Italian and Italian-American history and culture, the treatment of Italian immigrants in the United States, and the differences between northern and southern Italians. With a master’s degree in romance languages and a doctorate in bilingual education, he worked as an Official U.S. Government (U.S. Coast Guard) interpreter/translator (English-Spanish/Italian). He received the Special Achievement Medal related to the sinking of the Costa Concordia in Italy in 2012. Recently, he published Southampton Summers: Stories of Three Italian Families, Their Beach Houses, and the Five Generations that Enjoyed Them. Book signing.
Contact:  (703) 328-9233 |

Will also travel to:  Mid-Atlantic from New York to Virginia



Author Dick Rosano speaks on wine, food, travel, and Italian culture. He has written long-running columns in the Washington Post, Wine News, and Wine Enthusiast. He is the author of six novels, including his recent one—A Death in Tuscany—reviewed on the previous page of this issue. Book signing. 
Contact:  (240) 888-8877 | |         

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.




Author Carmela Cattuti speaks about immigration and Italian integration into American culture. She has published two novels of historical fiction—Between the Cracks: One Woman’s Journey from Sicily to American and The Ascent: A Novel Based on True Happenings—that are part of a trilogy-in-the-making. Book signing. 
Contact:  (617) 970-5320 | |

Will also travel to:  Northeast, San Francisco, Savannah, Washington


Author Gina Fava speaks about all things Italian-American (food, culture, heritage, wine, books, art, entertainment, sports, tradition, and customs), travel, writing and publishing books, and studying abroad. She is the author of four published books set in Italy (The Race, The Sculptor, Formula, and Un Momento). A former lawyer and Bostonian Magazine columnist, Gina is the owner of wine stores on the South Shore of Massachusetts and is a regular speaker at book clubs and Italian-American organizations. Writing workshop and book signing.
Contact:  (508) 246-9770 |

Will also travel to:  Buffalo, New York and surrounding towns in Western New York; Rhode Island; New Hampshire.


Professional tour director Mariann Prigioni Millard engages her audience with lively and fun information on the cultural and geographical gems of Italy.  Mariann has worked in Italy as a tour director since 2008, possesses dual citizenship and relishes staying connected with her Italian cousins across the pond.  Mariann is an experienced Zoom presenter and delights in providing a variety of historical, cultural and educational programs on Italy. This includes customizing presentations to meet the needs of her audiences in the US. Very reasonable honorarium. 
Contact:  (410) 948-6682 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Owner and Founder of Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures Francesca Montillo speaks about Italian culture, cuisine, travel safety, and first-time travelers to Italy. She recently published 5 Ingredient Italian: 101 Regional Classics Made Simple, highlighting regional dishes simplified for the American home cook. Lecture and book signing.
Contact:  (617) 281-3117 |

Will also travel to:  New England States




Author Deborah Andruccioli-Stevens speaks about her two novels: The Serpent’s Disciple and Holy Predator. The Serpent’s Disciple has won numerous awards, and Holy Predator is her recent release. Book signing.
Contact:  (612) 889-2301 |      

Will also travel to:  Wisconsin; Florida




Author Mark Sullivan speaks on World War II in Italy and the true story of Pino Lella, a teenager who guided Jews over the winter Alps to escape the Nazis and became a spy inside the German High Command. His recent novel—Beneath the Scarlet Sky—was based on this story and is an Amazon Charts bestseller. He is the author of 18 novels. Multimedia presentation and book signing. If interested, Pino’s son, Michael, is available via Skype or in-person.
Contact:  (406) 579-5207 | | 

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.




Italian American author Lorraine Haddock presents an interesting program celebrating the culture and traditions brought from Italy to America by Italian women. Her educational talk is based on her book, Bella Figlia della Mamma, Mamma's Beautiful Daughter, a bilingual picture book for children.  Very proud of her Italian heritage, she hopes to promote the language and culture of Italy by sharing this special story. Lorraine's presentation includes a beautiful display of vintage handmade Italian linens, a traditional copper conca, and family photos. Book Signings.
Contact:  (856) 981-4836 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic


Author Joseph L. Orazi speaks on Italian immigration and assimilation and the events leading up to and through WWII. He recently published L’America, a historical fiction novel that follows the lives of three Italian emigrants who make their way to America in 1915 and follows them until 1927. He is currently working on the novel’s sequel. In 2004, he released his documentary—“Prisoners Among Us” —about Italian immigration and assimilation and the largely unknown events leading up to WWII. It received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York Independent Film Festival and Best Documentary at Montreal Italian Film Festival. Lectures and book signing. 
Contact:  (609) 805-1107 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the United States


Cavaliere Dr. Gilda Battaglia Rorro speaks about her memoir—Gilda, Promise Me—which focuses on her Italian-American upbringing and has a special introduction written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. She highlights themes such as women’s issues, civil rights, and the significance of learning Italian. She has served as Honorary Vice Consul for Italy in Trenton. Book signing and presentation. 
Contact:  (609) 587-7000 |

Will also travel to:  Philadelphia and New York City


Author William Torsiello (aka Billy Terrell) speaks about his book The Other Side of Rock and War and the humanitarian deeds of U.S. service men and women. He served in the Vietnam War from 1966-1967 and is highly decorated, receiving the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and many others. He also has over 2,000 commercially released songs and recordings, and was a songwriter and music producer for the past 54 years. Book signing.
Contact:  (856) 764-9434 | |




Screenwriter/Producer Robert Bruzio speaks on the journey and struggles of getting a movie made. He is the screenwriter and associate producer of Bottom of the 9th, a major motion picture scheduled for release on July 19. Creative services, writing, producing, communications.
Contact:  (914) 469-7695 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S. and beyond


Author Deborah Burns speaks on her memoir—Saturday’s Child—which is about emerging from the shadow of her larger-than-life, unconventional Italian mother. The story’s backdrop is the Canzoneri Country Club in Upstate New York. The club was founded by her uncle, Tony Canzoneri, the Lightweight Boxing Champion of the World. In addition to focusing on the mother-daughter relationship, she also highlights the lost era of this hotel and the Italian-American experience of the characters. Book signing. 
Contact:  (917) 405-3391 |

Will also travel to:  Northeast and anywhere in the United States (if costs covered)


Actor, Producer, Director, and Author Joseph Cirillo speaks about how he became an actor, his relationship with A-list Italian-American celebrities (Sinatra, DeNiro, Pacino, Connie Francis), and his recent memoir entitled An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse. He was a member of the New York Police Department and is recognized for his role as a police captain in Ghostbusters. Book signing.
Contact:  (516) 673-5871 |


Award-winning Author and Professor Andrew Cotto speaks about writing fiction and non-fiction about Italy and the Italian-American experience. His latest novel, Cucina Romana, is the second in his "Italian Adventure" series and was described by Adriana Trigiani as “Beautifully descriptive and romantic, this is one Italian adventure you don’t want to miss!” Book signing and cooking demonstration.
Contact:  (718) 915-1044 | |

Will also travel to:  East Coast from Massachusetts to Maryland (with an emphasis on the Tri-State area) and as far west as Ohio. 


Newspaper Editor and Journalist Michael Cutillo speaks about writing memoirs, being a first-generation Italian American, traveling to and in Italy (including how to set up group trips), and a variety of other Italian-related topics. He has dozens of newspaper writing awards and is a regular columnist for OSDIA Grand Lodge of New York newsletter “The Golden Lion.” He recently published a memoir entitled George Washing Machine, Portables & Submarine Races:  My Italian-American Life. Book signing. 
Contact:  (315) 398-1351 |


Author George Dapra speaks on his memoir, Non-Disclosure. A retired Federal Agent, he worked in New York City in the United States Witness Security Program. Book signing.

Will also travel to:  East Coast from Florida to Maine


Multi-award winning author Mike De Lucia is an in-demand orator who speaks out against the negative Italian stereotypes perpetuated by the media. He also discusses his latest book, Madness, based on the life of Hall of Famer, Hank Luisetti, the son of Italian immigrants, who revolutionized basketball in the 1930s. A man who is not a media-induced caricature, but a college educated, innovative young man who took on the basketball establishment and won—not by force, but by God-given talent, vision, and a determination to embody the American Dream. Book talks and book signings. References available.
Contact:  (914) 419-6969 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere United States


Paul Failla, retired police officer, speaks on growing up Italian, character-building, and youth awareness (driver safety, substance abuse, etc.). He has published a book entitled Life: 101 and has performed an original one-man show for several OSDIA lodges called “The Class of Life” (
Contact:  (631) 278-4294 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Author, journalist, and photographer Eleanor Foa speaks about Italian Jews, their history, and their World War II experience in Italy as well as the story of Italian Jewish printing and how/why it came about. She also talks about the memoir writing process and her recent release, Mixed Messages: Reflections on an Italian Jewish Family and Exile (Centro Primo Levi, Inc.). Book signing.
Contact:  (212) 879-1542 | |


Author Carla Gambescia speaks about her published book, La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Cuture for A to Z. She gives a presentation called “The Alchemy of Italy”—which includes all things Italian: food, wine, history, architecture, art, style, and anecdotes—that even the most sophisticated Italophile can enjoy. Carla has written about and toured every region of Italy either on foot or by bicycle. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business. Book signing.
Contact:  (914) 443-9892 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S. & Canada


Author and College Writing Instructor Maria Giura, Ph.D. speaks about “Writing the Italian in Your Memories” and conducts an hour-long teaching workshop. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Celibate and the award-winning poetry collection What My Father Taught Me. She has more than a decade of teaching experience. Workshop and Book Signing.
Contact:  (718) 979-1272 | |


Historian & author Salvatore LaGumina, noted scholar of Italian American studies, speaks on Italian Americans in WWII as well as their response to the earthquake of 1908 in Messina, Sicily. Will do book signings.
Contact:  (516) 798-8256 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Composer/Playwright/Author Norman Mathews speaks on musical theater, Sicily, and food/recipes. He has received numerous grants and awards, including being a recent winner of FutureFest (performance of new plays). He recently published his memoir—The Wrong Side of the Room: A Life in Music Theater—which was selected by Kirkus Review in Best Books of 2018. Book signing.
Contact:  (212) 781-2590 | |

Will also travel to:  Within 150 miles of New York City



Artist, educator, national speaker, and exhibiter Patrick Morelli speaks about art and creating national monuments. He is the creator of two national monuments: “Behold” Monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at King Historical Park, and “Eagles Rock September 11th Memorial” overlooking the former site of the Twin Towers and honoring the victims with a 165-foot granite “Wall of Remembrance.” He has designed and sculpted “La Bellissima America”/“America the Beautiful”—a tribute to Italian-American immigrants as well as their sons and daughters. He is also the author of two novels. Book signing and sale of existing fine art sculpture and graphics. 
Contact:   (518) 782-4671 | | (National Monuments and National Art Education Programs); (Dramatic and comic novels)     

Will also travel to:  Anywhere nationally or internationally


Author and financier James Pavoldi, ARM, ALCM speaks about investing and finance. He recently published Investing Kindergarten: The $imple Truth That’s Worth a Fortune. Lectures and book signing.
Contact:  (518) 356-3866 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere United States


Author and educator Marianna Biazzo Randazzo speaks about Italian immigration to New York City and about Sicily in World War II. Historian/Media Specialist of Father Capodanno Lodge #212 (Staten Island, NY), she serves as Commissioner of the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum. She has recently published Italians of Brooklyn (Arcadia Publishing) and memoirs Given Away: A Sicilian Upbringing and Given Away: The Rest of the Story. In 2016, she won the NYS Order Sons of Italy Literary Award. PowerPoint presentation and book signing.
Contact:  (917) 609-3318 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere United States


Author Anthony Sciarratta speaks about art, entertainment, Italian culture, and his debut novel, Finding Forever (Post Hill Press), an Italian-American love story set in the 1970s. Book signing. 
Contact:  (646) 593-2254 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the New York City area


Author & U.S. Navy Lieutenant (Ret.) Nicholas Starace on his experiences in the Navy; WW II Navy battles and eye-witness accounts of 9/11. Book signing of White Sails Became Me: Memoirs of a Seafaring Heritage.
Contact:  (973) 376-9026 | |

Will also travel to:  New Jersey


Author Camilla Trinchieri speaks on transforming a World War II family story into a novel. Under the pen name Camilla Crespi, she has written eight mystery novels featuring a recently emigrated Italian woman. Her recent release—Seeking Alice—was published by SUNYPress and won the Italian-American Studies Association award for fiction 2017. It is a story of the conflicts and strife of an American and Italian family caught in Europe during World War II. Book signings.
Contact:  (212)473-9705 | |


Author/Illustrator of more than 40 books for children Dan Yaccarino speaks on how his new children's book, All The Way To America, about four generations of Italian Americans. Will do book signings.
Contact:  (212) 675-5335 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Sarah Gutmann (née Guidotti) is a professional genealogist and speaker with Legacy Tree Genealogists. She heads up Italian research and assist clients in obtaining dual Italian citizenship, for which she and her children hold as well. Over the past two years she has taught over a hundred genealogy programs as well as presented at RootsTech, Genealogy Gems, Extreme Genes, and Elevens with Lisa. She offers various genealogy programs, two of which are specific to Italian research.

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S. ($299 an hour, plus additional travel expenses)




Writer and Filmmaker Mark K. Spano offers screenings of his documentary Sicily: Land of Love and Strife. He has over thirty years of experience in film and television production, performing arts, arts management, and fundraising. Recently, he published an award-winning, critically-acclaimed novel entitled Midland Club.  He speaks on Sicily’s culture and economics.  Film screening and book signing.
Contact:  (919) 933-6173 | | 

Will also travel to:  Anywhere




Ex-professional/college football coach and Vince Lombardi historian/professor Jack Giambrone speaks about the challenges and successes of the legendary Vince Lombardi. He shares anecdotes and displays historic pieces of his nationally recognized 500-piece Vince Lombardi collection. Several pieces of this collection are currently on display in The Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.
Contact:  (937) 689-7640 | | The Lombardi Collection and Legacy (on Facebook)

Will also travel to:  Midwest and other locations


Author Gerardo Perrotta speaks about Italian themes on U.S. Postage Stamps and conducts a travelogue called Calabria by Stamps. He has published a book, Phila-Italy Americana: Italian Themes on United States Postage Stamps, and has given several live audience presentations on Italian-related themes at the University of Cincinnati OLLI (Learning in Retirement) Program. He also teaches Italian at NoiAmici online via Zoom.
Contact:  (513) 451-8701 | or




Writer/Humorist Celeste LaTassa Behe shares stories of her upbringing in the Bronx’s “Little Italy,” where she lived until 1985.  Her award-winning talks center on food, faith, and family as they were experienced in a bygone era. In 2014 and 2016, she won first place in Toastmasters D38, Area 52/53 Humorous Speech Contest for “Espresso: My Performance Enhancing Drug” and “Being LaTassa,” respectively.
Contact:  (610) 838-7151 (home) | (484) 554-2022 (cell) | |

Will also travel to:  Northeast


Retired Philadelphia teacher Ben Lariccia speaks about Italian immigration in the 1870s, early Italian immigrants in Ohio’s coal mines, and sheepherding in the Mezzogiorno. He is a seasoned writer with La Gazzetta Italiana newspaper and coauthored Coal War in the Mahoning Valley: The Origin of Greater Youngstown’s Italians. Book signing.
Contact:  (267) 259-2304 | |


Author, Journalist, Celebrity Chef, and Professor Maria Liberati speaks about Italian food, culture, and wines. She presents topics such as the cuisine of all regions of Italy, traveling through Italy’s ancient towns, Leonardo DaVinci and his life as a foodie, and gluten free and dairy free Italian food. She can customize a presentation on food, culture, and travel depending on the event. Maria has authored ten culinary travel books. Book signings; cooking demonstrations/lessons; and wine pairings.
Contact:  (215) 436-9524 |

Will also travel to:  Pennsylvania


Director of Marketing and Communications at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Stephanie Longo speaks on Italian-American history, particularly the Italian community of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She also conducts a workshop on trying to piece together a region’s history (having done so on Campania). She is the author of The Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Italians of Lackawanna County, and Dunmore. She holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Italian studies and runs SIAM, an Italian-American heritage society based in Scranton. Book signing and/or writing workshop.
Contact:  (570) 815-7401| |        

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Author Josephine B. Pasquarello speaks about several subjects, including growing up Italian, single-parenting, dealing with sudden death, large Italian family traditions, and how mob violence affects the families left behind. Her recent book, Love & Loyalty, is set in Philadelphia during the 1950s and 1960s and is about her mother, who raised 12 children after her husband was murdered.  Book signing.
Contact:  (267) 441-0997 |        

Will travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Managing Director of Little Italy Productions Joseph Puglisi speaks about topics related to the creation of a feature film—such as writing a script, hiring a cast and crew, acting in a film, and marketing a film. He is Executive Producer, writer, and actor for the recent feature film That’s Amore.
Contact:  (724) 316-5635 | | Facebook-Joe Puglisi

Will also travel to:  Anywhere


Former Italian instructor and award-winning author Frank Salvatore will talk about his novel, Janus: Two Countries, Two Love Stories. Also speaks on Italian emigration.
Contact:  (610) 449-0677 |

Will also travel to:  Mid-Atlantic; Ohio


Dancer, Author and Podcaster, Anna Harsh, shares her exploration of growing up as an Italian-American through the art of dance. She presents her vast research in Italy to preserve Italian dances from various regions. These dances offer the next generation with important life lessons and skills. She is the author of La Danza, Conflict, Passion, and Healing. She conducts Italian dance workshops and writing workshops. Book signings/ documentary screenings are available.

Contact: |

Will also travel to: Anywhere in the United States 




Professor of Renaissance art and architectural history Dr. Rocky Ruggiero speaks on art and architecture dating back to ancient Rome and traveling through the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. He has appeared as an expert witness for NBC News, the History Channel, and NatGeo/NOVA PBS, and produces a popular podcast series called “Rebuilding the Renaissance,” which is available on all major hosting platforms. He now divides his time between the U.S. and Italy. In the U.S., he offers specialized lectures, educational seminars, and cultural events as a paid speaker on Italian art and architectural history. In Italy, he offers private excursions and week-long study programs throughout the country.
Contact:  (401) 390-1356 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S. and Canada


Author Joseph C. Sciarillo speaks on his novel—Gifts for Ugo—describing the plot and setting, how he came to write it, and what he learned about his ancestors while researching the story. He will discuss the importance of memorializing stories from family lore and how collecting these stories can be an interesting Lodge project. Book signing.
Contact:  (401) 596-1328 | Email:  

Will also travel to:  Northeast; Mid-Atlantic; Ohio




Author Joe Giordano speaks on his two novels as well as on the process of getting published. His discusses his first novel—Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story—which is on late 19th century and early 20th century Italian and New York history; and his second novel—Appointment with ISIL—which is on the Islamic State in the Levant. Read the first chapter of Birds of Passage on his website! Book reading and signings. Can present outside of Texas via Facetime.
Contact:  (512) 565-2229 | | 

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.




Vincent Panella will read from his fiction and non-fiction work on the Italian American experience. Travel expenses. Will do book signings.
Contact:  (802) 348-7452 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.




Chef specializing in Italian regional cuisine and author of Italian cookbooks/travel books, Bill Abruzzo speaks on regional Italian cuisine, food products, culinary traditions, travel tips, and itineraries. His two cookbooks are entitled In the Footsteps of Nonna: Recipes and Ramblings in Southern Italy and Sicily and Culinary Crossroads of Italy: Recipes and Ramblings in Northern Italy, Istria and Calmatia (both published by Pelican Publishing Co.)Book signings and cooking demonstrations/lessons.  
Contact:  (540) 359-0286 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Richard Benedetto, Retired USA Today White House correspondent & columnist, currently teaching journalism at American University in Washington, D.C. Author of "Politicians Are People, Too."  Speaks on the 2016 presidential election, President Trump's relationship with the news media and offers intimate insights on past presidents and elections from Reagan to Trump. Also talks about how his Italian American heritage has guided his long career.  Travel expenses, but no honorarium.
Contact:  (571) 251-2067 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S.


Historian Marvin Carlin, VP of Citizens for the Preservation of Obici House, speaks on the remarkable story of Amedeo Obici, the penniless Italian immigrant who eventually founded Planters Peanuts. Colin and his group want to preserve Obici's home in Suffolk, VA.
Contact:  (757) 218-8672 | Email:

Will also travel to:  Mid-Atlantic


Author and travel planner Linda Dini Jenkins speaks on travel to Abruzzo. Through her company, Travel Italy the Write Way, she creates twice-yearly trips to Italy that include a stay in her adopted hometown of Sulmona. She also offers readings and signings of her book, Up at the Villa: Travels with my Husband and is currently working on a second book, called Becoming Italian: Chapter and Verse from an Italian-American Girl.
Contact:  (804) 467-4778 | |

Will also travel to:  New England; New York


Poet and Author Mike Maggio speaks about poetry and fiction as well as new publications. He is the Northern Regional Vice-President of the Poetry Society of Virginia. He recently released a collection of short stories entitled Letters from the Inside: The Best of Mike Maggio and has also authored other books of fiction and poetry. Book signing. 
Contact:  (703) 930-5214 | |




Writer/Speaker/Choreographer Mary Lou Sanelli offers many talks of interest listed on her website, The Immigrant’s Table, is one of her favorites. It's a fun, upbeat story that dramatically and poetically tells a story of immigration, cultural adjustment and weaving Old and New Worlds together into a rich fabric of memoir. Sanelli’s staged reading from her book of the same name, The Immigrant’s Table, includes storytelling, Italian food & wine: all the elements she so enthusiastically writes about in her story of coming of age first generation American, born to parents from Italy. Sanelli introduces her audience to her family in the most Italian of settings: around a table. And in introducing her family, she also reveals those long-held family recipes for a great meal as well as those for a lively family.
Contact:  (360) 280-0512 |

Will also travel to:  Northwest


Author Paul R. Spadoni speaks about his best-selling memoir, The American Dream: Living Part Time or Full Time in Italy. He was named Washington Journal Teacher of the Year and has degrees in journalism and education. He has also written features for Italian America magazine, including the popular “What’s in an (Italian) Name” (Spring 2015). Book signing.
Contact:  (253) 851-7839 | |

Will also travel to:  Oregon and California




Marconi biographer Cam Trowbridge speaks on the life and times of the great inventor, father of the wireless as well as on Italian and Italian American history. Will do book signings.
Contact:  (646) 256-0639 |

Will also travel to:  East Coast; California; Illinois


Children’s Author Diana Pishner Walker speaks on Italian-American Children’s books and topics for children, such as heritage, family, customs, tradition, and immigration. She has won numerous awards—including Readers Favorite Indie Award for Best Multicultural Fiction, Mom’s Choice Gold & Silver, and awards at several book festivals. Book signings, workshops, and school visits.
Contact:  (304) 365-0698 | |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere on the East Coast




Author Lawrence Baldassaro, author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball, a Sons of Italy Book Club selection, and Baseball Italian Style: Great Stories by Italian American Major Leaguers from Crosetti to Piazza, will speak on the topic and do book-signings.
Contact:  (414) 332-0710|

Will also travel to:  Chicago




Italian and Italian History Teacher Virna Chessari speaks about literature and her bilingual Italian/English poetry collection entitled The Ulysses Butterfly (La Farfalla di Ulisse).
Contact: |   


Director Emeritus, Loyola University Chicago, John Felice Rome Center and Former Executive and U.S. Diplomat Emilio F. Iodice speaks about Italian-American history, U.S. Presidential History, Leadership, Education, and topics related to Italy. In addition to receiving Medals of Honor from Spain and Italy, he has been knighted by the former King of Italy and also named an honorary Guard of the Pantheon for the Royal Family. He is a best-selling author who has published several books, including A Kid from Philadelphia, Mario Lanza: The Voice of the Poets and “Profiles in Leadership from Caesar to Modern Times.” Book signing.
Contact:  + 39 3317051090 |

Will also travel to:  United States and Europe


Civil Lawyer and Writer Carmine Paridiso speaks on topics related to Italian and Italian-American history, literature, culture, and heritage. He lives in Bari (Puglia region) and recently released his novel ANIMA: Everything is relative to E = mc2, which is a lesson dedicated to young people who face contemporary life with its many difficulties. 
Contact:  (328) 067-3393 |

Will also travel to:  Anywhere in the U.S. 


Paolo Quattrocchi is an international attorney specialized in Corporate & Commercial Law who speaks on any Italy-related argument and any legal, commercial, and institutional topics. He assists Italian and foreign companies in international transactions and is a founding member of Capitolo di Roma Lodge #3002, located in Rome.
He covers many institutional roles dealing with relations between Italy and Canada, serving as Director of Centro Studi Italia-Canada and as Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West.
Contact: |


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