WisItalia Officers and Area Representatives
Executive Committee Elected Officers of the WisItalia Board of Directors took effect on January 1, 2011. (In March 2012, Rita Workman volunteered to complete the Treasurer's term, as Elizabeth Mitchell was not able to continue in that role due to personal comittments.) All terms expire on December 31, 2012.
Note: All four elected officer positions will be up for elections for the next 2-year term. Elections will be held at the September 15th Annual WisItalia meeting. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, or know someone else who would like to be considered, please contact Tony Bruno at email@example.com or (608) 837-5427.
View the Contacts page for Board contact information. View the Governance and Committee page for the organizational structure of WisItalia.
PresidentTony Bruno retired from Wisconsin State Service in 1995. A Wisconsin licensed teacher and nationally certified therapeutic recreation specialist, he served as Director of Resident Program Services at Central Wisconsin Center for Persons with Developmental Disabilities from 1982-1995. He served on several state-wide committees and was the recipient of an Exceptional Performance Award from Governor Thompson. He has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UW-Madison. He was born in Madison and grew up in the old Greenbush neighborhood. As President of the Italian Workmen's Club of Madison in 1999 and 2000, he was instrumental in the creation of WisItalia, and served as its first Vice President. He is the President of the Greenbush Heritage Foundation, which he and Frank Alfano created in 2000 to facilitate the development of a Sister City agreement between Madison and the city of Mantova in the province of Lombardy, Italy. Tony is a member of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association and served as its President in 1978 and was awarded its Professional Award of Merit in 1991. He has published several articles in State and National professional journals. Tony was one of the founders of the Wisconsin Therapeutic Recreation Society and the Wisconsin Youth Sports Coaches Association. He currently serves as Benefits Chairman for the Italian Workmen's Club of Madison, Wisconsin.
Vice-PresidentRaffaele Annina teaches Italian at Mary D. Bradford High School, Kenosha, Wisconsin as well as the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Ralph was born in Genova, Italy and was raised in Brooklyn, New York from the age of six. He holds a BA in Political Science and Italian from Brooklyn College; a Masters in Public Administration, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York; and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Organizational Development from New York University. He has received grants and scholarships from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities and Università di Roma-Tor Vergata. He has taught in Siena, Italy through Carthage College. While in the technology field, he presented at the Hebrew University-Jerusalem, University of Delaware, Apple Conferences and PC Expo.
SecretaryRita Prigioni is the Director of the Bureau of Communications, Facilities and Operations at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. She has a Masters of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has dual citizenship in the Unitied States and Italy. Rita joined WisItalia in the Fall of 2007, and took over the responsibilities of the website in early 2008. Self-taught, she redesigned the entire website that Spring, expanding the content to include information for Italian educators and students, as well as the general public. Web topics include curricula materials, conferences, licensure information, directories of educators and schools in Wisconsin offering Italian language programs, grant opportunities and scholarships, listings of Italian-related events, activities, Italy trips, Italian organizations, Italian-American clubs, photography of Italy, books by Italian-American authors, links to Italian language websites, Italian radio and TV, and schedules of Italian language classes and programs. She regularly sends out the "WisItalia web updates" e-newsletter to keep people informed and posts the updates on the WisItalia Facebook page www.facebook.com/wisitalia. In May 2010, Rita received an Outstanding Service award for her work developing and maintaining the WisItalia website, the public image of the organization.
TreasurerRita Workman - bio and photo coming soon!
Green Bay RepresentativePete Feira has been a member of WisItalia from the very early stages of its being, along with Al Rolandi, Tony Bruno, Peter Barca, Giovanna Miceli Jeffries and Ralph Annina. That was how and when they began to dream about offering Italian in the Green Bay Schools, a dream that came true this fall of 2008. Both Pete and his wife, Marlene are Past Presidents of Club Italo/Americano of Greater Green Bay, a position they held for 11 years. Pete has memberships in the Italian Workmen's Club of Madison, the Italian Community Center of Milwaukee, the Paesano Club of Iron Mountain, Michigan and he is a past member of the Italian Men's Club of Wausau. His Italian roots are from the region of Piemonte and he couldn't be prouder of his heritage. Pete is married to the former Marlene Sparapani. Her roots stem from the same town as his, Pont Canavese, as well as Preghena in Trentino and Pergola in Le Marche.
Kenosha RepresentativePeter F. Pingitore, Sr. retired from the Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 in 2007. A Wisconsin licensed Teacher and School Administrator, he served as both a Teacher and School Administrator from 1977-2007. He served on numerous district committees and was recognized as the Kenosha Unified School District Administrator of the Year in 1993, and received the District's Distinguished Service Award in 2007. He has a Bachelor's Degree in History from U.W. Parkside, and a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership and Supervision in Education from U.W. Milwaukee. He has completed post-graduate work as a Director of Instruction through Marian College of Fond du Lac. He is a life-long Kenosha native, is married, with three adult children, and four grandchildren. He has served as President, Secretary, and Executive Board Member of the Kenosha School Administrator's Association, on the Board of Directors of the Lakeshore Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Board of the Regional CareNet Pregnancy Center. He is also a member of the Italian American Society of Kenosha. Presently, he is working as a Mentor to new School Administrators, and in a number of part-time roles within the Kenosha Schools. He is active in leadership and in teaching as a member of Kenosha's Immanuel Baptist Church.
Madison RepresentativeFrank Alfano retired in 2002 as a Dane County Facilities Manager. He has been involved with WisItalia since its inception. Frank has been, and still is, actively involved with the Italian Workmen's Club of Madison since 1987. Since 2006, he is the current Club President. He is a member of the Italian Community Center (ICC) in Milwaukee. Frank is also the Treasurer of the Greenbush Heritage Foundation and Co-coordinator of the Madison-Mantova Italy Sister City Program. He is married, has two adult children, three grandchildren and five great-grand children. Frank served as the Treasurer of WisItalia from April 14, 2008 to June 30, 2010.
Milwaukee RepresentativeGina Jorgensen bio and photo coming soon!
Racine RepresentativeDon Cicero retired in 1996 from Twin Disc Inc., a Racine-based and family-owned maker of off-highway power shift transmissions. He retired as a production manager after 30 years of service. His father came to America with his grandfather from a little town in Sicily called Cefalu. That was in 1896. His father was 7 years old at the time. Don is a life-long resident of Racine, growing up on both the North side and the South side. In 1960, he joined Roma Lodge and has been a member for 49 continuous years. It was a great experience to watch the club grow and prosper, helping out wherever he could. Since their first festival in 1979, he has always worked the various food booths. Two years later, they added a beef product and he has been in charge of that ever since. As a club member, Don has been responsible for and active on many different committees. One that he is most proud of is the Cares committee, which donates towards the many worthy and charitable organizations within the Racine area. In the year 2000, Don was elected vice president of Roma Lodge and served until 2005. He was then elected President, and served in that role until March 2009. Don is proud of what the club has accomplished, but they still have goals in front of them. Since he has been involved with WisItalia, he has met so many other wonderful Italians. Before that, he thought he had met them all! We share a common goal. Don will be working towards that goal to get Italian taught in the Racine schools.