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Sons of Italy Foundation to Honor Fiat/Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne, General Colin Powell & Actor Gary Sinise

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2012 -The Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF), a leading Italian-American philanthropic organization, will honor three leaders in public service, business and entertainment at its 25th Anniversary National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, May 23, 2013, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) will receive the SIF 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service for his outstanding career in the military and diplomatic fields as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 65th U.S. Secretary of State. He is also the founding chairman of America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit that aims to make children and youth a national priority by focusing on ending the high school dropout crisis. Under General Powell’s leadership, the organization has become the nation’s largest multi-sector alliance that focuses on the well-being of young Americans.

The SIF Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service is presented annually to a person who is not of Italian heritage. The award and the recipient reflect the significance of working together to build a better global community.

Sergio Marchionne, chairman & CEO of Chrysler Group LLC and CEO of Fiat S.p.A., will receive the SIF 2013 Award for Excellence in Global Business. Mr. Marchionne’s savvy as a businessman is undeniable; he is responsible for turning around two major automobile companies, Italian auto manufacturer Fiat and American manufacturer Chrysler. In addition to his duties as head of the two auto companies, Mr. Marchionne serves on numerous boards of directors, including the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Italian Branch of the Council for the United States and Italy as chairman, Fiat Industrial S.p.A. as chairman and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association as president.

Actor Gary Sinise will receive the SIF 2013 Award for Courage & Patriotism. As founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF), Mr. Sinise works tirelessly to assist the men and women who defend our country. GSF partners with a range of organizations that support U.S. service personnel and veterans, including the Tunnel to Towers Foundation which builds customized smart homes for severely wounded veterans. A skilled musician and entertainer, Mr. Sinise has also entertained U.S. troops around the globe with his Lt. Dan Band. Along with NELA Gala emcee Joe Mantegna, Mr. Sinise hosts PBS’s annual National Memorial Day Concert.

At the 2013 NELA Gala, the SIF will also recognize the men and women who have served or are serving our country. The SIF will continue its collaboration with and support of the Wounded Warrior Project and will be joined by U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno in its salute to patriotism.

About 1,500 guests attend the annual NELA black tie gala. Guests have included the President of the United States, members of Cabinet and Congress and foreign diplomats. Previous honorees include President Bill Clinton, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, AIDS researchers Anthony Fauci and Robert Gallo, the late Geraldine Ferraro, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.), and entertainers Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Regis Philbin and Joe Mantegna.

The SIF is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization for people of Italian heritage. To date, the SIF has contributed more than $123 million to medical research, disaster relief, scholarships and cultural preserv-ation, along with other special projects. NELA Gala proceeds help fund these philanthropic programs.

For information about tickets and sponsorships, please contact Diane Crespy at 202-547-2900 or email


Press inquiries:
Dona DeSanctis,

Gala info, tickets, sponsorships:
Diane Crespy,