Showing posts with label New Jersey Italian Americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Jersey Italian Americans. Show all posts

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Margaret Fontana Assumes Role of Executive Director for New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission

 I'm incredibly proud to announce I've accepted the role of Executive Director for the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission. I'm looking forward to this exciting chapter with an outstanding organization. Please read the full press release below. 

Trenton – March 18, 2024 - The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission proudly announces the appointment of Margaret Fontana as its new Executive Director. With an extensive career spanning diverse sectors in media, nonprofit, healthcare, education and entertainment, Fontana brings a wealth of experience and a passion for cultural preservation to her new role.

A seasoned media executive with extensive expertise in various industries, Margaret Fontana has garnered a sterling reputation for her significant achievements. Her background includes notable roles as a writer and producer for esteemed networks such as NBC, Fox, and Discovery Channel, along with a decade-long tenure in corporate Fortune 500, nonprofit organizations, where she spearheaded award-winning media, leadership, and interactive marketing strategies.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Fontana founded the popular online community and blog, Italian American Girl, which boasts over 45,000 members and serves as a vibrant networking hub for Italian Americans worldwide.

Margaret Fontana's commitment to education and cultural enrichment is evidenced by her active involvement as a guest speaker at her alma mater Rider University. Fontana recently completed her Mini-MBA in Marketing & Communications from Rutgers University.

The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission, established in 2002, is dedicated to promoting and preserving the rich culture, history, and heritage of Italians and Americans of Italian descent. As the newly appointed Executive Director, Margaret Fontana will support the Commission in its mission to coordinate cultural and educational programs that celebrate the contributions of Italian heritage to the fabric of New Jersey's diverse society. Fontana aims to expand its reach and impact through innovative initiatives and strategic partnerships.

"As an Italian American, it is an honor to join The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission and contribute to the preservation of our rich cultural legacy," said Margaret Fontana. "I am excited to collaborate with stakeholders across the state to promote awareness and appreciation of Italian heritage among students, educators, and the broader community." 

Kicking off the Commission’s first major event since Covid, Fontana will lead the NJ Italian Heritage Commission in its Annual Conference on April 20th at Rutgers University, where “Increasing Awareness of Italian Heritage Through Film,’ will be the featured theme. A panel discussion led by notable educators and Italian American voices, will highlight the discussion on the ‘Integration of an Italian’s Dream Leads to the Origin of the Hispanic People and Beyond.’ Included in the presentations will be: 

·       What Is Happening with Our Statues?

·       The Roman Legacy in the Creation of America

·       Video: Gianni Bernego Gardin's Tale of Two Cities about Venice

·       St. Frances Xavier Cabrini - Immigration

To register for this event email  

Please add RSVP in the subject line.

Sign in and Refreshments from 8:30am to 9:00am

Lunch & Musical Interlude Dame Dr. Mary Rorro

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Check out my interview with the Italian Roots and Genealogy Podcast: A Nostalgic Look into Italian Heritage and the American Dream

 It was an honor to speak to Bob Sorrentino of the Italian Roots and Genealogy podcast show. We had a great conversation all about being Italian American and how each generation of Italian Americans have their own unique stories to tell.  Grazie Bob! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

East Hanover Italian American Club Honoring Columbus Day - Interviews with Cake Boss & Alicia Vitarelli

The East Hanover Italian American Club is honoring Columbus Day with a weekend-long celebration.

On Friday, October 8, EHIAC will hold its traditional Columbus Day Dinner Dance honoring noteworthy Italian Americans. The EHIAC Italian festival starts on Saturday, October 9, at Lurker Park in East Hanover. The weekend is capped off with one of the biggest Columbus Day parades in the state of New Jersey on Sunday, October 10.

For more information, log onto

As they do every year, the East Hanover Italian American Club recognizes standout citizens in the Italian-American community. Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro has been tapped as Italian-American Man of the Year. News 12 New Jersey's Alicia Vitarelli get this year's honor as Italian-American Women of the Year.

Lisa Marie Latino, head of Long Shot Productions ( interviewed Buddy and Alicia about this prestigious award.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Memory Of Those Lost On September 11, 2001 -

Its been nine years already since the attacks on 9/11; seems like it was yesterday. We can pray for peace and support those who lost a loved one. Sending prayers and support to victims families and friends of September 11th.

You can still help the families of the victims of 9/11 by donating to Families of September 11 click here:

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Interesting video produced by; I have a lot of opinion behind this topic and because I am a first generation Italian American. I don't necessarily agree with all these opinions. Watch this video; share what you think.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Jersey Soon To Increase Exports With Italy.

Due to an executive order passed a year ago by Governor Jon Corzine, trade was increased within the state, which led to successful ties in exporting between New Jersey and Italy. Due to the increased trade,the N.J./Italy Trade Council was formed. The council is currently working to create an online directory and information hub for businesses to increase their trade and export to Italy. Trade council members are hoping for further success in export trading with Italy. The results could provide culturally funded programs, which would be available to the Italian American community. Well, this sounds good, I look forward to seeing the increased relationship and results. Reminds me of that old commercial from when Gov. Thomas Kean was in office, he would always say, "NJ & You Perfect Together." Now, we can add, NJ, Italy & You..Perfect Together.

For more on this story:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Masters of Reception": TLC's New Show About An Italian American Family Owned Wedding & Catering Business From New Jersey.

It appears TLC has become fond of picking up shows that include Italian American family run businesses from New Jersey. This time around, producers Kelly Ripa (who is from NJ) and Mark Consuelos (who is part Italian) have teamed up with the Frungillo Family from NJ, who run multiple catering/banquet halls and produce some of the most lavish and over the top weddings you've ever seen.

Robert and Jerry Frungillo have been in the wedding business over 30 years and have served everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Pope. The show promises to focus on the family quality and how the business is based on the foundation of their values and work ethic.

According to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, "We are so excited to be teaming up with TLC and feel that this show is a natural fit with their programming," says Ripa and Consuelos. "We are fascinated by how the Frungillos put these weddings together, and all the while make it seem so effortless. We truly believe TLC's audience will fall in love with this family. We certainly have."

The Series premiere is Tuesday, August 18 @ 10/9c.

For more on the show go to:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Jersey Bocce Invitational- Supporting Our Troops & Teaming With Up With The Boys & Girls Club.

The New Jersey Bocce Invitational is on again for this year slated for June 20, 2009 in our very own New Jersey. The Bocce Invitational was created by our Italian American community and the purpose of the event is to support Operation Shoebox New Jersey which, provides much needed care packages to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Along with this amazing organization the Bocce organizers have also teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club of New Jersey, where they offer programs in the areas of education, the environment, health, the arts, careers, alcohol/drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development and athletics.

The Bocce Invitational encourages your attendance in this amazing event that will also feature celebrity guests and singers such as Joe Piscopo, Giada Valenti, & Marisa Petroro. Its for a great cause.

Visit their official site for event details.