On Saturday, March 31, the Pirandello Lyceum held its 27th annual “Migliori in Mens et Gesta” awards at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in East Boston.
Eight honorees in different fields of interest received the organization’s prestigious award, which identifies outstanding men and women of Italian birth or descent who have made important contributions to American society.
This year’s honorees were Alexander A. Bove, Jr. Esq. (Law), Rep. Paul J. Donato (Public Service), Frank Fredella (Business Entrepreneur), Michael Gaetano (Executive Management), Rita Sorrento (Education), Domenico Susi (Business and Philanthropy) Rodolfo Viscomi (Community Service) and President’s Award recipient Simon Ho (Education).For the field of law, Alexander Bove, Jr. Esq. was recognized for his many years as lecturer, author and a principal in the Boston law firm of Bove & Langa, P.C. Named one of Suffolk University’s law school’s most outstanding graduates, Bove has held many positions throughout his career, including chair of the American Bar Association’s Asset Protection Planning Committee. For over 18 years Bove was an adjunct professor of law at Boston University Law School in the Graduate Tax Program, and is currently a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and an Academician of The International Academy of Estate & Trust Law. Rep. Paul J. Donato was awarded for his public service, representing for a sixth term the 35th Middlesex District. After a 30-year experience of public service in Medford (where he went from serving on the city’s School Committee to mayor), Donato joined the State legislature in January 2001, and currently serves as Division Leader.
Donato has been appointed to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and is also a member of the Massachusetts Network of Foster Care Alumni Board and an ex-officio member of the Children Youth and Families Advisory Committee. He is also active in numerous local organizations.Business entrepreneur Frank Fredella was awarded for the many successes obtained by his company, Sterlingwear of Boston, Inc. A Purple Heart veteran of the Korean War, Fredella decided to start his own manufacturing company in 1965. Alongside his father Lorenzo, Fredella started Viking Clothing, and then formed Sterlingwear in 1982, as market demand for raincoats and outerwear increased. Based in East Boston, the company prides itself for producing Made in U.S.A. clothing. Car enthusiast Michael Gaetano was awarded the Executive Management award. As president of a search and contract services company based in Wellesley, Gaetano has been an information technology and legal recruiter for 30 years. His firm works with senior level consultants, technical and management professionals to the CIO level. He was previously the Northeast Area Manager for TAC Worldwide.
Gaetano serves as Secretary and Executive Committee Member for the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, where the annual “Tutto Italiano” car festival takes place.Rita Sorrentino received an award for Education. A retired principal of the Dante Alighieri School in East Boston, she currently serves as Board Chair of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.
As teacher and later as the Dante Alighieri School’s principal, Sorrentino’s experience of over 40 years led her to partner with the East Boston Neighborhood Center, and from there pursued connections with other local boards. Through her expanded work at the state level, Sorrentino became involved with the National Association of Community Health Centers, where she has recently been elected as Board Representative.The Business and Philanthropy award went to Domenico Susi, owner of Sulmona Meat Market in the North End. The day after the 2009 earthquake that struck L’Aquila and the surrounding areas in Abruzzo, Susi began collecting funds to help the people of his native region. The funds have made it possible to a Social Center in the city of Goriano Sicoli. Susi is involved in numerous local organizations, including the Federazione Associazioni Abruzzesi/USA and COMITES. Rodolfo Viscomi was awarded for his community service. A former president of OSIA’s “Piave Fiume” in Watertown, Viscomi has been active for over 25 years with the Massachusetts Chapter of Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, one of the leading foundations in combating thalassemia. After battling the illness for 25 years, Viscomi lost his son Michael in late 2011. “We have lost a battle but we have not lost the war,” said Viscomi during the Pirandello ceremony, vowing to continue his efforts in helping find a cure for the disease.
Viscomi is also well known in the community for his passion for Italian Folklore. A member of “I Paesani” and “Ricordi d’Italia” folk groups, Viscomi is also a dance instructor.Simon Ho was awarded the President’s Award for Education. A native of Hong Kong, Ho has been instrumental in forming strong bonds in the East Boston community while serving as educational administrator at the Curtis Guild School. He is now principal at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School.