Benvenuti! The Italian Cultural Center - Il Punto! promotes Italian culture and language in the Seattle area. We organize events and offer Italian language instruction in a friendly, fun environment that builds on strong bonds between Italian expatriates, the Italian-American community and all enthusiasts of Italy in the Seattle area.
Il Punto is a volunteer-run 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our programs are open to everyone, but members receive discounts. Please consider becoming a member, volunteering, and donating to support our programs. Contact us for more information. Ci vediamo presto!
Directors starting their terms January 1, 2021
Giulia Tedeschi - Giulia is Il Punto's director of NOI, the children's language program. She has worked hard to develop a high-quality, fun curriculum for children of different ages and Italian language abilities, as well as directly teach the classes. Thanks to her hard work and dedication, the NOI program has weathered the Covid-19 storm and has adapted to the new reality of virtual education. Giulia is a native of Italy from the Emilia-Romagna region and holds a Master's degree in International Relations and Affairs from the Universita` di Bologna. Giulia has experience as a tutor of children of all abilities, including special needs, and as a teacher in a classroom setting, as well as managing course enrollments, payments, and finances for local Italian language instruction outfits.
Serena Capozi - I grew up in a town close to Rome surrounded by gentle mountains and beautiful medieval villages. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an MBA from the University of Montpellier, France, where I lived for 5 years. I left Italy in 2012 and moved to Seattle. I work remotely as a business development manager for an Italian company. I've been leading Il Punto's conversation groups for the past few years. I like to share ‘niche’ information about Italian culture and I hope in this way to encourage the participants to dive into the Italian heritage and to go beyond the cultural stereotypes and misrepresentation still present in the US. When I am not working, I practice capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines movements and traditional music. I also love going for hiking adventures here and am so grateful to be surrounded by such gorgeous mountains!
Bo Salvadalena - Hi! My name is Bo Matthew Salvadalena and I have been a volunteer at Il Punto for the last year. I joined Il Punto to involve myself in the local Italian community and to reconnect with my roots. My trisnonno, Gustavo Giovanni Battista Salvadalena, emigrated to the United States with his wife Emma Anna Balabbio in 1909. From then onwards my family has resided in the Snohomish Valley and has always held on to our Italian heritage. I see my volunteer work for Il Punto as a way to kindle this tradition and to offer something back to the local Italian community at the same time. Outside of Il Punto, I am a senior at the University of Washington Bothell studying mathematics as well as a math tutor. In my free time I like to study the Italian language, exercise, and spend time with family and friends. The past year I also was a Society of Mathematics Officer for the University of Washington Bothell, a leadership position in which I managed and ran the Society of Mathematics with four other fellow Officers. In the past I have also volunteered for the Everett Firefighters Association as well as Windermere Serves. My technical skills include proficiency with computers, including some IT certifications, B2 knowledge of the Italian language, and experience with event planning.
Jeffrey Izzo - I am a first generation Italian-American (my father was born in Campania), and actually hold Italian citizenship. I have lived in Seattle for over 20 years (and for many years was an active member in the Italian-American Club of Seattle), but grew up in New Jersey just outside of New York City, surrounded by my large extended Italian family in what is surely the largest concentration of Italians in the US. I have Bachelor and Master degrees in music composition (Berklee College of Music and the University of Edinburgh, respectively), as well as JD from Seattle University School of Law. I have worked extensively with non-profits for the last 25 years, as both Board member (including a stint with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra) and legal adviser. I am also an educator — for the last 9 years I have been a full-time college professor. My current position is Assistant Professor and Head of Music Industry Studies at California State University, Northridge. I am teaching remotely from my Seattle home so am readily available for any duties I would be required to undertake. I would like nothing more than to become more involved in Seattle’s Italian-American community, including expanding its involvement with and visibility in the community. I hope my background and experience convinces you that I would make a valuable addition to the Board.
The Italian Cultural Center - Il Punto is operated and managed under the direction of its Board of Directors, comprised of 7 to 13 members elected at the annual business meeting in October each year and supplemented by Board election throughout the year.
President (pro-tempore) and Vice President: Franco Tesorieri
Born in Sardinia but growing up in Emilia-Romagna, Franco is a dual citizen of Italy and the USA. He emigated to the USA 42 years ago but then worked in the Lake Como area of Lombardia for four years beginning in 1988. Though now retired, Franco has served as Honorary Vice Consul and past president of the Italian Club of Seattle and was a founding member of the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest, as well as a founding member of Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) and Il Punto.
Secretary: Luca Cazzanti
Born in Milano with origins in Emilia-Romagna and Puglia, but also living for three years in Sarzana, a small town on the border of Liguria and Toscana, Luca is a dual citizen of Italy and the USA who 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 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.
Treasurer: Emanuele Valeriano
Born in Bari, Emanuele 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. 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.
Born in Denver, but living in Seattle from 1994-2003 and then returning 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.
Born in Oklahoma but living in the Seattle area since 1994, Margherita is now in the process of claiming her Italian citizenship, as her grandfather immigrated to the Pittsburgh area from Sicily in 1898. Margherita is a business owner and professional musician. She joined 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.
Born in Chicago and growing up in a Sicilian neighborhood, Joyce has lived in Seattle for 38 years. From 1998 to 2000, Joyce spent periods of time living in Chiavari, Liguria, Rome and Palermo 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.
Born in California and only living in Seattle for about 18 months. Marcy is a dual citizen of Italy and the USA, her grandparents having 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.
Born in New Jersey, but living in the Seattle area since 1991, Sam is a dual citizen of Italy and the USA, with origins in Abruzzo, Calabria, and Sicily. Sam and his husband own a home in Colonnella, a small hill town on the Adriatic coast just south of Le Marche, where they spend several months each year. 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.
Chair: Emanuaele Valeriano
Members: Luca Cazzanti
2) Membership Services
Chair: Marcy Nicolao
Members: Luca Cazzanti, Fio Cattaneo, Enrica Zeggio
3) Italian Library (Biblioteca Italiana Seattle or BIS)
Chair: Franco Tesorieri
Members: Luca Cazzanti
Chair: Andrew Camarda
Members: Sam Ciapanna
5) NOI – Not an Ordinary Italian School
Chair: Sara Cammeresi
Members: Giulia Tedeschi
Chair: Joyce Morinaka
Members: Sam Ciapanna
Chair: Franco Tesorieri
Members: Luca Cazzanti, Emanuele Valeriano