Carla Truncellito-Mastropierro honors Dr. Louis Iozzi
December 17, 2023 at Casa Colombo
Welcome to all,
IECC is turning another page on its leadership. Dr. Louis Iozzi, President and Chairman of the Board is about to step down after 10 years of stewardship. I met Lou when he was going through the process for his Italian citizenship and noticed his pride in acquiring his Italian citizenship, I made him aware of IECC at Casa Colombo. He immediately showed a keen interest in it, became a member, and shortly after joined the Board with his wife, Fran. From day 1 he has been a fervent advocate and supporter of IECC programming, so when our previous President, Tony Franciosa stepped down, Lou was voted unanimously President and Chairman of the Board.
During his leadership IECC/Casa Colombo underwent many changes reflecting the changes of the community. He worked eagerly with me and the Board planning a diversified and rich Calendar of events aimed at keeping alive the Italian culture and the Italian traditions. Every month this gallery was full of people participating and enjoying the event of the month.
As time went by, Lou realized that IECC had to move on, due to the demographic changes and the fact that more and more artists relocated in the neighborhood, we had to explore other fields. He proposed to the Board expanding the arts component with art exhibits, coming up with the addition of a Center for the Arts at Casa Colombo. Since then, Lou worked actively and diligently with the Executive Director and the Board to devise a more balanced program, adding monthly art exhibits to the monthly culture events.
Lou and I, as Executive Director, worked very well together, constantly communicating with each other. Of course sometimes we had disagreements, as all leaders do, but we worked through them in a constructive way because we both had in mind IECC's continuous visibility, cultural success and sound financial status.
I remember when we were holding in-person meetings, just driving from Caldwell to Jersey City was a nightmare. Finding a parking space was another nightmare, and Lou did it grudgingly at times but, always happily because he enjoyed very much being with all the Trustees, having a bite to eat, enjoying a glass of wine and at the same time, working together to plan programs focused at continuing all of the Italian Immigration culture and traditions, as well as to find the financial means for the management and administration of IECC.
Even during Covid Lou, I, and the Board didn’t stop. On the contrary, that was the time of many accomplishments; the publication of 2 books, and production of 3 videos. We couldn’t meet in person but still held our meetings via zoom, and also via zoom we continued to offer cultural and art events. Lou was eager to do all this because he was and he is proud to foster and leave a permanent imprint of the Italian immigration culture and traditions of his parents and of the Italian American community at large. He and the Trustees did just that. At present, people can admire, at Casa Colombo, a beautiful exhibit of the Italian Immigration history on the 3rd floor as well as the exhibit of the Italian Village which celebrates the history of Italian immigrants living in the area.
Mr. President, myself and all the trustees, present and past, are very grateful to you for leading IECC/Casa Colombo, through all these years, with hard work, diligence, responsibility and most of all, with your pride of Italian Americans.
From all of us, Grazie di Cuore.