Franco Nuschese, president of Georgetown Entertainment Group LLC, and owner of Cafe Milano in Washington, D.C., will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 40th Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Nuschese will receive the NIAF 40th Anniversary Award for Leadership and

Franco Nuschese

Franco Nuschese

Service on October 17, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. The black-tie event begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

Honorees joining Nuschese include Amato L. Berardi, founder of Berardi & Associates Inc., and former member of the Italian Parliament; Richard E. Caruso, Ph.D., founder and director of Integra
LifeSciences; Connie Francis, Italian American music legend; Mario Gabelli, founder, chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors Inc.; Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.; Steve Perillo, president and owner of Perillo Tours; and Alfred M. Rotondaro, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former NIAF executive director; and Josephine J. (Gargiulo) Templeton, M.D., trustee of the John Templeton Foundation.

Born in Minori on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Nuschese began his professional career in marketing in London and Las Vegas. From 1983 to 1991, he managed restaurants for Caesars Palace and later opened two restaurants at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino. Nuschese arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1991 and was general manager for the Italian restaurant, Bice. A year later, Nuschese opened Cafe Milano, using his marketing background to propel the restaurant to top-ranked status. In addition to serving as president of Georgetown Entertainment Group LLC providing professional services focused on public relations, strategy, marketing and organization, Nuschese is president of Capital Wines LLC, a producer of fine Italian wines. One of his personal achievements was hosting a lunch for Pope Benedict XVI’s 81st birthday at the Vatican Embassy during the Pope’s visit to the nation’s capital.

Nuschese is active in organizations that support Italian culture in America. He serves on the boards of the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology; the Global Virus Network; the Georgetown University Italian Research Institute; and the Atlantic Council. He also contributes to Spanish Catholic Charities, and to events benefiting American military troops and veterans.

Besides NIAF’s distinguished honorees, celebrities and entertainment take center stage during NIAF Gala Weekend to celebrate a milestone in its history. As part of NIAF’s lineup of celebrities, actors Danny Aiello, Chazz Palminteri and Annabella Sciorra; singer and songwriter Giada Valenti; performer Tom Sinatra; The Washington Chorus; The Sicilian Tenors, Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale, will join Il Volo’s Piero Barone and Ignazio Boscetto, and Gianluca Ginoble, as part of the weekend performances.

NIAF Board Member and Emmy Award-winning Fox News Anchor and Global Markets Editor Maria Bartiromo and SNL legend, NIAF Celebrity Ambassador, actor, entertainer and radio host Joe Piscopo will co-host one of the most popular galas in our nation’s capital. To open the weekend festivities on Friday evening, October 16, Piscopo and celebrity guests will celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday and honor the legacy of Sinatra with the crooner’s celebrated melodies from his songbook.

NIAF’s 40th Anniversary Weekend is presented by Alitalia, the airline that brings the best of Italy to the world. Tickets to Saturday’s Gala begin at $400 per person. Young professional tickets cost $200 per person available only by phone. Tickets to Friday evening’s celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday cost $200 per person. Proceeds benefit NIAF’s educational programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Jerry Jones at 202-387-0600 or jerry@niaf.org, or register online at https://www.niaf.org/40.