Meet our new Board of Directors and Officers
Sara Cammeresi was born in Denver, but lived in Seattle from 1994-2003 and then returned in 2011 after spending 18 months living in Rome. Sara is a full-time, homeschooling parent of two with dual citizenship in Italy and the USA. Her relatives are from Calabria while her husband’s family has its origins in Norcia, Abruzzo, and Molise. Sara is very active in the homeschooling community and also a Master Gardener. Sara is starting her two-year term on the board as Chair of the NOI program and the Festa della Befana event.
Margherita Conti was born in Oklahoma but has lived in the Seattle area since 1994. Now in the process of claiming her Italian citizenship, her grandfather immigrated to the Pittsburgh area from Sicily in 1898. Margherita is a business owner and professional musician. She joined Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) in 2014 and has been a volunteer for Il Punto in various capacities since that time. Margherita enjoys working with Il Punto to gain a deeper understanding of Italian language and culture. She plans to focus on strategic and long-term planning for Il Punto, as well as helping to build its donor base during her two-year term on the board.
Grayson Martello-Livingston is the youngest member of our board at 23 years of age and the only board member born in Washington state. He is a full-time student at Seattle University and expects to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communication with a Minor in Italian Language by the end of this year. His maternal grandfather’s origins are in Molise. After visiting Italy for the first time in August 2018, he decided to commit himself fully to exploring Italian culture and learning the language to conversational fluency. In furtherance of this goal, he spent four months in Rome at the Leonardo DaVinci Language School. Grayson will be serving his two-year term concentrating on membership communications and website maintenance.
Joyce Morinaka was born in Chicago and grew up in a Sicilian neighborhood. She has lived in Seattle for 38 years. From 1998 to 2000, Joyce spent periods of time living in Chiavari, Liguria, Rome, and Palermo, Sicily developing friendships that remain strong today. From 2007 to 2017, Joyce led many tours to Naples for the management team of Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria. A past counselor for the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington, Joyce is a veteran board member at Il Punto currently serving a one-year term. She is committed to the goal of raising funds to build our permanent Italian Cultural Center.
Marcy Nicolao was born in California and has only lived in Seattle for about 18 months. A dual citizen of Italy and the USA, Marcy’s grandparents immigrated to Utah from San Giovanni in Fiore, a little town in the Sila mountains of the Cosenza province of Calabria. Now semi-retired, she looks forward to utilizing her skills from a career in human services and her experience as a past president of the San Jose Ballet to promote Italian culture throughout Seattle during her one-year term on the board.
Luca Cazzanti is serving on the board as Secretary this year. He was born in Milano with origins in Emilia-Romagna and Puglia but also lived for three years in Sarzana, a small town on the border of Liguria and Toscana. A dual citizen of Italy and the USA, Luca has lived in the Seattle area for 21 years. He is a veteran board member, joining the board in 2017 and just completed a term as Il Punto’s Treasurer. Luca has also been very active in working with our library (BIS). He plans to focus his one-year term on building community as we work toward our goal of acquiring a physical gathering space of our own.
Emanuele Valeriano is our new Treasurer. He was born in Bari and has only lived in the Seattle area for 18 months. A dual citizen of Italy and the USA, he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and works for Microsoft as a Senior Program Manager who lives in Seattle. Emanuele joined Il Punto in order to further connections within the Italian community and plans to work on restructuring our organization and working toward realizing our dream of acquiring a physical building to further our goals.
Franco Tesorieri is serving on the board as Vice President this year. He was born in Sardinia but grew up in Emilia-Romagna. A dual citizen of Italy and the USA, Franco immigrated to the USA 42 years ago but also lived in the Lake Como area of Lombardia for four years beginning in 1988. Though now retired, Franco has served as Honorary Consul of Italy and past president of the Italian Club of Seattle. He was a founding member of the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest, as well as a founding member of BIS and Il Punto.
Sam Ciapanna is our new President. He was born in New Jersey but has been living in the Seattle area since 1991. Sam is a dual citizen of Italy and the USA, with origins in Abruzzo, Calabria, and Sicily, and the proud owner of a home in Colonnella, a small hill town on the Adriatic coast just south of Le Marche. A past president of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington, Sam is very well connected with the Italo-American community in Seattle. Last year he wrote the revised our By-Laws and currently chairs the Carnevale Committee. He plans to devote his one-year term of office to further reorganizing Il Punto and building community through various recurring events and programs throughout the year.