By: Gregg A. Garofalo, President
I am proud to welcome you to the 91st year of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. I promise to work my hardest and do my best as president for the 2012-2013 year. One
I feel like it was just yesterday that I was nominated to fill the position of secretary of the Justinian Society. I will never forget the excitement of being an officer, and the honor which was bestowed upon me. I would like to extend my warmest thank you to Franco A. Coladipietro and the nominating committee for nominating me and giving me the opportunity to serve the Society.
I would like to thank all of the officers and the executive board members for their support and dedication. I would particularly like to thank Past President Katherine A. Amari O’Dell for all of her help and guidance over the past several months and in the year leading up to my presidency and congratulate her on a very successful year.
Thank you to all of the past presidents who are so dedicated to the Justinian Society. American writer Henry Miller said “A real leader has no need to lead; he is content to point the way.” This Society is so lucky to have so many great leaders that are always there to “point” or assist those new members, young and old.
The 2012-2013 year started with a great dinner at Gibson’s Steak House with the number of attendees nearly 100. Not only were we well fed, we were also treated to a complimentary cocktail hour thanks to Amata Law Centers sponsorship.
The May dinner was followed by an outstanding golf outing. The weather could not have cooperated more, over eighty golfers enjoyed the beautiful course, and the staff at Bloomingdale Golf Club provided us with an outstanding feast throughout the day. The success of the outing this year is in no small part to Sam Tornatore, Richard Caldarazzo, Vince Vidmer and the entire Golf Outing Committee. All of the monies raised are for the benefit of the Justinian Society Endowment Fund which includes both the Children’s Endowment Fund and the Scholarship Fund.
My focuses this year as your president are the basics that have made the Society such a prominent bar association over the years. Along with the assistance of Officers Frank Sommario and Anita DeCarlo, we will be launching a membership drive. We will be promoting some of the great benefits of being a member of the Justinian Society including our new website which Past President Katherine A. Amari O’Dell launched during her year, a complimentary CLE for members in the Spring of 2013, the Justinian Society mentoring program also started by Past President Amari O’Dell, a sponsorship program to raise money for Justinian Society events, and some new monthly meeting dinner venues including the Hugo’s Frog Bar in Rosemont for the January Joint Chapter Dinner Meeting.
We look forward to this year’s Installation and Awards Dinner on September 12 at the Renaissance Hotel, and I want to thank Antonio M. Romanucci for chairing and emceeing the Installation Dinner. This is a new venue, and we have some new and exciting changes for the guests. First, we will honor Hon. Franco A. Coladipietro with our prestigious Award of Excellence, Dominic DiFrisco with our Lifetime Achievement Award, and Richard Caifano, Hon. Gloria Coco, Hon. Bruno Tassone and Sam Tornatore with Presidential Service Awards. Lastly, in an effort to try and be more environmentally conscious we have jumped on the digital wave and changed our Installation and Awards Dinner ad books to a digital format.
This year the choice for the recipient of the Award of Excellence was easy. Hon. Franco A. Coladipietro. This award is given to an individual who has proven leadership and has improved the condition and image of Italian Americans. Mr. Coladipietro has dedicated much of his legal career to the Justinian Society, the Illinois State Bar Association and to the people of the State of Illinois. As a past chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Illinois State Bar Association, Mr. Coladipietro helped create the Children’s Assistance Fund which has gone on to raise over id=mce_marker50,000 for children’s waiting rooms in courthouses and children’s programs all over the State of Illinois. As a past president of the Justinian Society, Mr. Coladipietro helped organize the charitable arm of the Justinian Society. As the representative of the 45th District of the State of Illinois, Mr. Coladipietro continues to dedicate his life to the people of the State of Illinois. During all of this time, Mr. Coladipietro has continued to work in the Law Offices of Amari & Locallo, where he is a partner.
Dominic DiFrisco has spent his life promoting the rich cultural heritage of Italian-Americans. Mr. DiFrisco, a past chairman of the board of Our Lady of Pompeii Shrine, founding member of the Italian American Human Relations Foundation, and president emeritus of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, continues to dedicate his life to betterment of Italian-Americans. Mr. DiFrisco currently holds the position of Senior Consultant at the Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, the leading independent global public relations firm.
Year after year after year, there are so many Justinian Society members that continue to give their time and/or their money in support of the Justinian Society, and four of those individuals, Richard Caifano, Hon. Gloria Coco, Hon. Bruno Tassone and Sam Tornatore, will be receiving Presidential Service Awards. While this award could go to so many different people, each of these four individuals has shown during my involvement in the Justinian Society a relentless dedication to the Justinian Society. I ask that everyone take note of these very deserving individuals this year and in the years to come.
On behalf of your officers and the entire executive committee, I want to thank you for your continued support. We all look forward to seeing everyone at the dinner meetings and all the other events planned for this year, and I thank you for giving me the honor to serve as your president this year.
Gregg A. Garofalo, President