Board of Directors

Pasquale MaioFounder and Executive Director Pasquale MaioPasquale Maio was born in Orria, in the province of Salerno, Italy and received his Law degree from the University of Naples, Federico II. After practicing law in Italy he moved to NYC starting his legal career representing Italian companies and Italians living in the NYC area in several matters. Pasquale is actually Of Counsel of an International Law firm, Paterno’& Associates, with offices in Italy and US. He created New York Italians in 2009 with the intent of collaborating with Italians, Italian-Americans, and Italophiles to create a more united community and pass on to future generations the love and passion for the Italian Culture. During the past years, Pasquale has made New York Italians an integral component in supporting the Italian culture and heritage in New York by building partnerships with several businesses and cultural organizations. Pasquale is committed to keeping the mission of New York Italians alive in order to foster a stronger community.

Professor Maria J. D’Agostino, Ph.D – Associate Director Maria J. D’Agostino is an Associate Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Public Management, John Jay College, CUNY, where she teaches in the graduate and undergraduate programs and serves as the Deputy Chair of the Undergraduate Public Administration program. Maria D’Agostino’s research focuses in the areas of experiential-learning, citizen involvement and women in public administration. She received her Ph.D. from the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, Master of Arts from Padova University, Italy and Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University at Lincoln Center.

Archina D’AgostinoDirector of Operations Archina D'AgostinoArchina D’Agostino is a Brooklyn native and graduate of Brooklyn College. As a first generation Italian from the province of Salerno, she works to build relationships, partnerships and opportunities within the Italian and Italian American community. As a licensed real estate salesperson with Brown Harris Stevens she brings both professionalism and a passion for helping others to all of her projects. In collaboration with the New York Italians team, Archina is dedicated to uniting the community.


joseph perriconeProfessor Giuseppe Perricone     

The professor writes and teaches about modern Italian poetry, narrative, theater and film. He is the author of Vittorio Bodini: saggio critico (Schena, 1986). Most recently, he has edited Maria Cirignano’s poetry collection, Schegge di vita (Tracce, 2008). His publications also include a translation of Grazia Deledda’s novel La danza della collana (The Pearl Necklace, Epos International, 2007), book chapters on Ardengo Soffici and Vittorio Bodini for the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1993), and several articles which have appeared in Forum Italicum, Literature/Film Quarterly and Italian Poetry Review, among other journals. A member of the American Literary Translators Association, he is also Associate Editor of Journal of Italian Translation and a member of the Advisory Board of Italian Poetry Review.

Rosario PollicinoItalian Language Education & Programs Director


Rosario was born and raised in Palermo and traveled extensively while living in the UK, France.  He has a degree in foreign languages form the University of Palermo. As well as a M.A. in Italian foreign language pedagogy from the Foreigners University of Siena and a M.A. in Italian Literary and Cultural Studies from The University of Connecticut.

He currently works as an adjunct Lecturer at St John’s University, Fordham University, Wagner College and Borough of Manhattan Community College. Rosario is very passionate about the promotion of the Italian language and culture and has been teaching for several years Italian (language and culture) in the USA and in Europe. He is also specialized in online teaching for various platforms and private companies. He is also the first administer of the exams DITALS I and II in the U.S.A.

Stefania Licata Italian Language Education & Programs Deputy Director


Stefania Licata was born and raised in Palermo. She is very well traveled and lived in Spain and UK, now she lives in New York City.  She has an M.A. in Technologies and Pedagogy of foreign languages from the University of Palermo. She is currently in her fourth year for a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies at SUNY- Stony Brook University.

She currently teaches language and culture courses at Stony Brook University. Before coming to the USA she taught Italian and Spanish in Italy as a foreign language and managed to bring her passion with her. She is very passionate about the promotion of Italian language and culture under many different perspectives and is specialized (among others) in teaching Italian to Spanish speakers at all levels and for all kind of learners from children to adult. She has also been teaching online, Italian and Spanish, for many years.

Advisory Board

Johnpaul Crocenzi – CPA and Controller  JohnPaul CrocenziJohnpaul Crocenzi joined Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP in 2010 after his tenure at a regional firm in New York City. He has been providing accounting, auditing and consulting services to businesses and individuals for more than 10 years. He specializes on planning and compliance for high-net worth individuals and privately held companies. Johnpaul also advises clients on a wide range of compliance and consulting services, including domestic tax matters, and implementing tax strategies into their financial and business plans.  Johnpaul is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). He is currently a member of the NYSSCPA‘s Taxation of Individuals Committee. Johnpaul was educated in Avezzano (AQ), Italy from elementary school through his second year of college. He attended L’Aquila University. Johnpaul finished his degree in the United States and earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Brooklyn College.

Adrienne SforzaStrategic Planning and Marketing Coordinator


Adrienne Sforza is an Italian-American, Brooklyn-born market research professional. Her interest in learning and immersing herself in the Italian culture began with her grandparents’ roots in Napoli and Bari, and the words, food and culture of family that she had picked up from them as a child. She has studied the Italian language extensively as an adult and has visited Italy a number of times, most recently to attend the Biennale in Venezia. Her hope, as a board member of New York Italians, is twofold: to convey a positive image of the Italian American community as well as work with Italian-Americans who would like to learn more about their roots and culture through this group.


Massimiliano Vasquenza‏New Jersey Area Coordinator max7 Massimiliano Vasquenza, also known as Massimo or Max, was born in Abruzzo and came to the US at 2 years old. He makes annual trips to Italy to visit friends and family and to enjoy the authentic Italian culture. He joined New York Italians in 2011. Massimo is an IT Manager for the NYC Department of Finance. He graduated from Adelphi University with a Business Degree and spent 10 years on Wall St. before becoming a computer programmer and eventually a manager.

Diego Faldetta- Fashion and Media Events Coordinator

A proud Italian, born and raised in one of the most beautiful islands in the world: Sicily.  Diego is a fashion and graphic designer as well as a business man.  He studied Art Direction & Graphic Design in Rome. He has worked for Rendez Vous de la Mode, an international fashion magazine of haute couture and pret a porter. While at the magazine he was involved in design and graphic development. Additionally, as a  graphic freelance artist,  he has created AD campaigns for fashion magazines such as ELLE.  All the while he maintains  a strong hand as a wine lover and proud owner of his family winery: Parnassum srl.

He arrived to New York City with two suitcases. One small suitcase for some bare necessities and a larger one for his Italian sound and culture! He enjoys being in a constant development with his mind and ideas. His Italian spirit follows him in all he does in life! “Only good vibes” and “never give up” are his mottos!
Ylenia Tripodi- Art and Culture Coordinator

Ylenia Tripodi was born in Genova, Italy. She received her B.A. in Art History and Preservation of the Cultural Heritage and her M.A. in Contemporary Art at the Universitá degli Studi di Genova. After coming to New York to do research for her dissertation on the methodology and history of Dia Art Foundation, she fell in love in New York City and decided to stay. She currently works for Artforum Magazine as the Assistant Business Manager.

Ylenia is very passionate for the Italian art and architecture history. As an Italian, her goal is to share and maintain traditions and spread the beautiful history of her native country.

DE-MAIO-e1455708578551Mimì De Maio – “The world bridge” project and NYI Italian desk coordinator

Mimì De Maio was born in Naples (Italy). He is a songwriter and lawyer expert in copyright and digital innovation. He is among the pioneers in Italy of the Flash Mob Strategy. He directed mobilizations for Unicef ​​Italy. He collaborates with the Università Cattolica of Milan and the Federico II University in Naples. Author of “Amplifichiamoci” volume (Ed. Unicopli) written with Prof. Massimo Bartoccioli. He is winner of the Premio Lauzi in 2009, the Premio Civicrazia in 2010 with the Medal of the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano and received from the World Food Program the Premio Creatività. He has collaborated and produced work with national and internationally renowned artists. He has been applauded by Lucio Dalla and Jovanotti. Since June 2014 he has been president of Spazio Cultura Italia.He is the director of “The World Bridge” festival organized by Spazio Cultura Italia in partnership with “New York Italians” with the goal of building a bridge between the Italian and American culture.

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-6-00-01-pmPeter Curto –Sports Director

Peter Curto is currently a juris doctor candidate at Brooklyn Law School, and has his Bachelors of Science in Business Management and Finance from Brooklyn College. Although being born and raised in Brooklyn, Peter is very proud of his Italian roots. With his mother, Vittoria from Monte Di Procida, provincia di Napoli, and father, Luigi from Canicatti, provincia di Agrigento, he has the best of both worlds as a New York Italian. Peter has always felt connected to Italy through “calcio”. His love of soccer gave him a platform to connect to his Italian culture, and through time learned to appreciate the finer things of Italian culture and food.

Peter would often go to his mother’s hometown for vacation, playing soccer with the local boys and creating lasting friendships thanks to soccer.  Peter’s love for sports has led him to be active in the sports community. He is the General Manager for LIAC NY, a primavera level soccer team that participates in the Viareggio Cup in Italy. He has worked with CONI’s Italian youth basketball team that went to Matera to play in the MiniBasket Tournament. As well as coaching the FIAO under-6 soccer team.  Sports has been a central part of Peter’s life and hopes that he can continue to work in the sports in the future.

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