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!
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: Sam Ciapanna
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.
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. 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.
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.
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: Sam Ciapanna
Members: Franco Tesorieri, Luca Cazzanti, Emanuele Valeriano