The Federation of Italian American Societies of New Jersey is celebrating its 86th anniversary and this year’s annual dinner dance will be held on Saturday, May 4 at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover. The cocktail hour begins at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner and music by DJMC.
Each year, the Federation honors distinguished Italian Americans. The 2019 Man of the Year award will be presented to Louis LaSalle, Senior Vice President, Corporate External Affairs, RWJBarnabas Health. Lou has been serving the community for many years, making his contribution felt in countless ways. Lou LaSalle came to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in April 1990 and has been recognized by his colleagues as a community-minded professional who is able to gather the best resources to help foster a sense of community spirit and a purpose to improve the health and wellbeing of New Jersey residents.
With indefatigable energy, this consummate volunteer is the go-to person for patients, families and the community. Fundraisers, golf tournaments, community health fairs, galas, the gift shop, government affairs and the development of corporate alliance are all part of his day’s work. In 2013, Lou was named Senior Vice President for External Affairs for Barnabas Health and in 2015 named Senior Vice President for Corporate External Affairs, RWJBarnabas Health Executive.
Among his many honors are the American Heart Association “Lifetime Achievement Award;” North Essex Chamber of Commerce “Outstanding Community Leader” award; Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin’s Annual C.Y.O. Business honoree; NJ Labor Business and Industry’s “Icon Honor Celebrating Leaders over age 60;” being inducted into the City of East Orange “Hall of Fame” and the Italian Tribune Christopher Columbus award.
The 2019 Heritage award will be presented to Robert Di Biase, Chairman of the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission since 2012. During his tenure he has acquired funding for the continued development of the Commission’s “Universality of Italian Heritage Curriculum” (NJItalianHeriatge.org). He also brought together the mayors of Toms River, New Jersey and Matera, Italy to sign proclamations of Sister City status and is currently developing an educational exchange program between them for high school and college students.