Mary Pappas Coniglio
Vincent S. Dimaggio
1992 Founder & Chairman
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I worked several jobs through my high school years and met Midge Bonanno, my future wife, in the last few months of high school. After our high school graduation in 1956 I joined the army reserves and went through basic training at Fort Ord in Monterey, and was later sent to the East Coast for truck driver training and became a platoon sergeant and specialist 5th class. Midge went on to Beauty School. When I was honorably discharged and Midge graduated from college, we married in 1959 and relocated from Pittsburg to Oakland, California. I spent seven years as an electrical draftsman in Oakland and Midge worked as a hairdresser. When our first child was on its way, we purchased a fourplex where we resided for five years. We also opened our own beauty shop during those years. When our second child was on its way, we purchased our first home in Piedmont, California.
Midge and I were Godparents to Danny Lineweaver, the youngest son of our good friends, Rose and John Lineweaver. Unfortunately, at the age of 23 months, Danny was severely injured in a strangulation accident when he became entangled on an extended corner post of his baby crib. The Lineweaver’s started a non-profit organization, The Danny Foundation, in order to address this senseless problem, which killed or injured thousands of babies. Midge and I were original Board members of the Danny Foundation, and served many years between 1987 until it completed its mission and closed in 2005. During that 20-year period, new safety standards for the manufacturing of baby cribs have been established or revised, and thanks to the work of The Danny Foundation, modern cribs are now safe for infants. Check out the website www.dannyfoundation.com.
In 1970 I acquired a Real Estate Brokers license and eventually formed Di Maggio Investment Company in which formed Limited Partnerships to purchase and rehabilitate apartment buildings throughout the Bay Area. In addition, I purchased and renovated many single-family homes.
I am currently a member of the Colombo Club which is the largest and oldest Italian club this side of the Mississippi River, the Sons of Italy Foundation, the East Bay Rental Association, past membership being the local Real Estate Board, and the Elks Club of Oakland. I am also listed in the Fifteenth Edition (1985-1986) of Who’s Who in California.
In 1990 Midge and I attended my Godparents renewal of their wedding vows in Isola delle Femmine, Sicily at which time I met the then Mayor Vincenzo DiMaggio and Antonino Scala. We discussed the possibility of a Sister City relations with Pittsburg. When I returned home, I contacted Frank Bruno, who was on the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce Board and we discussed the idea of forming a Pittsburg-Isola delle Femmine Sister City Committee. In 1991 the sister city was formed and we hosted a delegation from Isola to Pittsburg. The rest is history.
We currently reside in Piedmont, California and have for over fifty years. We have been married for over 60 years. Our daughter Debbi Di Maggio Betta was born in 1964, our son Michael Vincent was born in 1968, our granddaughter Bianca Rose Betta was born in 1992, our grandson, Chase Di Maggio Betta was born in 1997. Granddaughter Alexandra Grace Di Maggio born in 1999 and Cole Michael Di Maggio was born in 2002.
Frank B. Bruno
1992 Founder & President
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I am currently a Certified Financial Planner with Alders Financial Solutions in Novato. Retired from Farmers Insurance Group in 2012.
Clubs, organizations and achievements;
• 2017-2018 President of the Rotary Club of Novato-Achieved 100% of all District and Club Goals including the President Citation.
• Co-Founder of the Isola della Femmine, Palermo, Italy-Pittsburg, California Sister City committee 1991.
• Co-founder of The Friends of Isola delle Femmine, non-profit organization for the 25th Anniversary-2017.
• 2016 to present President of the Marin 49er Booster Club-San Rafael.
• Joined Rotary Club of Pittsburg -1992 – President Elect Pittsburg Rotary Club in 1997.
• Rotary Club of Novato Director of International Services (2yrs), Endowment Investment Committee (3 yrs.), and Director of Club Services.
• Paul Harris Fellow 6x.
• Joined Rotary Club of Novato in 1999.
• Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce Ambassador & Director 1989-1992.
• President Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce-1992-1993.
• Past President-National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA).
• Trustee of the Los Medanos Community Hospital Foundation 1991-1995.
• Trustee A.J. Davi Foundation.
• Instructor for the American College LUTC and CFP classes.
• Instructor adult education Los Medanos Community College-1995-97 Comprehensive Financial planning courses.
• 2002-2010 “Goal Cultivator” professional development course series-Dan Sullivan.
• Agent for Farmers Insurance 1988-1997.
• Farmers District Manager for Marin County 1997-2012.
• President’s Council Award recipient, Agent (1), District Manager (2).
• Farmers Insurance “John Hutton” Award for teaching professional development
• Bit Actor from 1987-1997. Filmed in 12 major movies, including Tucker: The Man and his Dream, Getting Even with Dad, Copy Cat, A Walk in The Clouds, Down Periscope as well as several commercials.
• Current member of the Colombo Club, Oakland, Ca.
• 2019 member of the SIRS club (Seniors In Retirement) Chapter 134
Securities Series 7 & 66 and 6 & 63
Property & Casualty-California # 0692312
Life & Disability-California
Long Term Care-California
CFP-Certified Financial Planning designation since 1987
LUTCF-Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow designation
Ham Radio license in 2019-KM6ZEA
Making his residence in Novato since 1997 I am married to Robin for 38 years. Children are daughter Nicole Bruno (from another marriage), grandson Devante, great grandchildren Jerimiah, Calob, and Jade. And daughter Sara Bruno (together with Robin) who traveled with the Sister city group to Isola in 1994 and 1997 at the age of 5 and 7 and who is now married to Ryan Meier.
Mary Pappas Coniglio
1992 Vice President & Secretary
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My parents James Pappas, who served in WWII, US Marine Corp, and Leonore Lombardo were born in Pittsburg as were both of their mothers. All of my great grandparents immigrated from Isola delle Femmine at the same time, at the end of the 1880’s.
My paternal grandmother Mary Aiello Pappas, born in 1903. Her parents my great grandparents Francesco Aiello, a fisherman and Rose Flores (Cardinale family name).
My grandmother Mary was an original, way ahead of her time. She married my grandfather George Pappas who was born in Zakynthos (Zante) Greece and served for the United States in WWI and was wounded in Germany. To feed her family she became an entrepreneur during the depression and excelled at business during WWII. She owned and operated 2 neighborhood grocery stores, 3 restaurants and 2 bars, and had many rental properties, all in Pittsburg and all at the same time, while all four of her sons served in the war. She did it all with only a middle school education, she graduated in 1915.
My maternal grandmother Virginia Cataldo Lombardo was born in 1904. Her parents were Angelina DiMaggio and Arasimo Cataldo, from Isola. She married Paul Lombardo who was born in Isola delle Femmine, Sicily and came to Pittsburg as infant (family name Lucido).
In 1968, I married Salvatore N. Coniglio. Sal came to Pittsburg in 1964 at age 18 and was born and raised in Isola delle Femmine. We have three sons Joseph J. (Planner, Garaventa Ent.). James S. (Environmental Biologist for Jacobs). Jim has and is currently serving as a City of Pittsburg Planning Commissioner. Our youngest son is Salvatore M Coniglio (Vice President for Recology). We raised all three boys in Pittsburg and they graduated from Pittsburg High School.
Our boys have always been very active in the community. Their success led me to become involved and I quickly become the President of the Pittsburg High School Athletic Booster and the creation of the first 24 Hour Relay to raise funds for Pittsburg High School Athletics.
In 2010 I retired from the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Vice President/CEO. During my time at the Chamber 1993-2010 I created programs and events for the City of Pittsburg to promote the Old Town/Downtown area. I kept Chamber members informed on local governmental issues that could effected their businesses and together we developed solutions and worked successfully, side by side with the City of Pittsburg, for everyone’s benefit.
I am also very proud to have been able to have produced the Pittsburg Seafood Festival and created the first Air Shows, Power Boat Races, California Zinfandel Championship Competitions, Splash Dogs competition, and Celebrity Chefs Shows with Joey Altman and Joanne Weir. I am especially proud that we were successful and we were able to donate thousands of dollars to many local non-profit organizations to continue their dedication to our community and local students.
I am a past member of Pittsburg Rotary, where my son Sal and I were the first mother and son members, at the same time. I was a member of Kiwanis, as well as a member of Soroptimist International of Pittsburg and I was an honored recipient of the Women’s Achievement Award.
Currently I am a member of the Pittsburg Historical Society, former secretary, and have served as a chef for many large dinner events to help create awareness, promoted and raise funds for the local Pittsburg Elks Lodge. My husband I are members of the Italian American Club, in Pittsburg.
In addition, I am active participant in the Pittsburg Arts & Community Foundation. I assisted in the production of the ZinDin/California Zinfandel Championship Competition event. I am also an active, working Artist and promote Art classes and exhibits for the Pittsburg Foundation. I have exhibited paintings in art shows ever since I was in junior high school and have won awards.
I became a part of the original Pittsburg Isola delle Femmine Sister City Committee in 1992. Frank B Bruno invited me to join him and Vincent S. DiMaggio at the first official Sister City Committee meeting and asked me to assist them with fundraisers and Sister City trips to visit Isola delle Femmine. Together, we have worked with other community leaders and committee members to promote, educate, and encourage Pittsburg’s citizens to visit Isola delle Femmine and the surrounding area, of Sicily and Italy. This effort has become extremely satisfying. We have opened the minds of our citizens and students. Together we have enhanced cultural differences and awareness, promoted business and exchanged cultural ideas on both sides.
I have been honored to have produce most of the official Sister City visits from Pittsburg to some of Pittsburg’s Sister Cities and to have been able to have created event for all of the official visiting dignitaries who have come to visit our city. Some of which were executed while I was the Executive VP/CEO of the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce. I worked closely with City of Pittsburg staff and elected officials as well as gaining sponsorship for the many of the Sister City events for our community. These events promoted heritage that help to shape Pittsburg and helped to create the community we live in today.
Vincent M. Malfitano D.M.D.
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I was born in 1956 at The Pittsburg Community Hospital to Luciano Malfitano and Rose Grillo. My Father, Luciano, was born in Licata Sicily and immigrated to America is 1950 and met and married my mother Rose Grillo from Pittsburg. Ca. Roses’ parents, Joe Grillo who was born in Terrasini. (Isola Della Femmine) and Roses Mother Frances Chippara was born in Sperra Cavallo, Isola Delle Femmine and both immigrated to Pittsburg, Ca.
I attended Pittsburg and Antioch schools, graduating in 1974. I went on to Los Medanos College transferring to The University of San Francisco and graduating from USF with a B.S. in Biology/Physiology/Pre-Medical degree. I was then admitted to Washington School of Dental Medicine, in St. Louis Missouri, graduating in 1985 with a D.M.D/ Doctor of Dental Medicine.
After graduation I built a family Dental Practice in Antioch and retired in 1998 with an active patient practice of over 10,000 patients.
In honor of my parents, I designed, built and operated the First Market Rate Senior Assisted Facility in Eastern Contra Costa County in 1998. The facility housed 110 apartments, licensed to house 125 residents. I Held a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly certificate from the California Department of Social Services.
We operated this facility where in caring for well Seniors, Dementia Care residents as well as managed Hospice Care within the Facility. I then went on to entitle, Permit and developed a second Assisted Living Facility in Monterey Ca. in 2005. 115-unit facility housing 125 residents.
Currently I sit and serve on the Board of Directors of Suisun Reclamation District 2127 as a land owner and I serve as the Secretary Treasurer. This District maintains the largest managed wetlands in North America, The historic Suisun Marsh.
I served as The Los Medanos Community Hospital Foundation as President for two years and I also served on The Vincent A. Davi Scholarship Foundation as an Associate Member. In addition, I had the distinguished privilege of the being the youngest Member to serve on the Contra Costa Dental Society. I am a member of both The American Dental Association and California Dental Association.
In October 2014, I purchased two Historic properties in Virginia City Nevada, The Delta Saloon and the Historic Bonanza Saloon. Both properties are listed as National Historic properties. I own and operate both properties.
I am a long-time member of the Colombo Club, an Italian Men’s club in Oakland, California, the largest Italian Men’s club west of the Mississippi with over 1000 members.
I was asked to serve as Treasurer, on Board Member of The Friends of Isola delle Femmine, organization. This is a 501 C3 nonprofit for the benefit of enhancing educational and business relationships by and between California and Sicily, Italy. I was honored to have been asked and will proudly serve. And I am fervently proud of my Sicilian Ancestry.
I have been married to Roselyn Favaloro for the past 26 years and we have four children, Angelina, Daniella, Gianna, and Vince. Vince and Rose make their residence in Monterey, California.
Salvatore N. Coniglio
Liaison to Isola delle Femmine
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I was born in Isola delle Femmine and graduated from the Machinist Academy in Palermo, Sicily. In my youth I was an avid soccer player and was lucky enough to become a member of the 1964 Olympic Soccer Team, for Italy, when suddenly my father called and I was expected to immigrate to the United States. The economy and employment opportunities, in Italy, was very bad, at that time and the only option for me would be to join the Merchant Marines. My mother and three younger brothers and my sister were depending on me to help support the family. We were a total of nine kids 8 boys one girl, all of my older brothers were married with families to support, so as the oldest single boy, I left Isola to join my father and other family members in Pittsburg. My mother and siblings followed a year later.
While adjusting to life in a new country and making new friends I played semi-pro soccer for the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club and was voted MVP during many seasons.
In 1968 I married Mary Pappas and we have three sons. All who were good athletes. All three of our boys were very active in PHS school activities (2 were home coming Mr. Uglyman) and active in sports. PHS Football and Baseball programs and one played on the 1991 Championship football team who was victorious over De La Salle.
After learning English and working for Bishop-Wisecarver, in Pittsburg, I attended Laney College in Oakland studied general machinery and soon after was hired as a machinist at US Steel I followed that by completing mechanical inspector program form Texas Tech, retiring from Shell Oil as a Planner and Mechanical Inspector in 2004.
My new claim to fame along with my three sons is, in 2013, they were victorious when we appeared on the television show the Family Feud.
Forty years ago I was one of the founders of the Delta Youth Soccer League, in Antioch, coached the very successful Sharks team, was an official FIFA referee, and played many seasons on the over 30 league.
I have been a very active member of the Pittsburg Bocce Federation and won many championships. I am a member of the Pittsburg Elks Lodge, the Pittsburg Historical Society and the Italian American Club. I have served as the Liaison for the Friends of Isola delle Femmine Committee and enjoy talking to our community who have ties to Sicily as well as communicating with friends and family in Isola and bringing our two worlds together.
Vincent S. Ferrante
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My maternal ancestors were pioneer ranching, farming settlers in the boarder region around Presidio, Texas since the 1700’s. My paternal ancestors that emigrated to America are all descended from Isola delle Femmine, Sicily and were part of a centuries old fishing culture that crossed the ocean from the old world to the new to continue their trade.
My great grandfather, Vincenzo Ferrante, was brought to America in 1899 by his older brother Pietro. The elder Ferrante brothers began settling in the Sicilian fishing village of New York Landing in Black Diamond (present day Pittsburg) as commercial fishermen in 1888. By 1905 Vincenzo relocated to Monterey, California let by brother Pietro along with several Sicilian Pittsburg fishermen families to work with F.E. Booth Canners to establish the Monterey sardine fishing industry on a grand scale. Monterey would be the birthplace of my nano Oratzio (who continued the fishing tradition in Monterey, Alaska, and Mexico) as well as my father Vincent. My father’s maternal ancestors settled in Martinez in the Italian fishing village around Grangers Wharf working as a commercial fisherman themselves in the Sacramento Delta and Alaska. My second great grandfather Giovanni Billeci arrived in 1898 followed by my great grandfather Vincenzo Di Maggio in 1901 and their families. My nanna Marion Di Maggio was born in Martinez.
I am currently a Field Foreman for Contra Costa Electric and have been a member of Electrical Workers Local Union #302 in Martinez for 34 years. I have served my community in various capacities including 12 years on the Pittsburg Board of Education with three terms as Board President. I’m currently the President of the Pittsburg Italian American Club; Historian for the Pittsburg Historical Society; Board member for the Future Leaders of American Latino Youth Leadership Program-East Bay Area; Historian Advisor for the Italian Heritage Society of Monterey Peninsula; Member of Sons of Italy, C. Columbo Lodge #1315; Member Italian American Studies Association, Western Region; Member of the Martinez Historical Society.
I am serving on The Friends of Isola delle Femmine, non-profit corporation in an effort to keep the history and cultural traditions of our ancestors alive; to strengthen the ties of our friends and relatives in our ancestral homeland of Isola delle Femmine, Sicily; to provide educational and cultural opportunities for our youth; and to share in common historical and cultural activities with like minded communities around us and abroad. I hope that you consider joining us in this great endeavor.
Albert D. Seeno, Jr.
Advisor & Business Consultant
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As Chief Executive Officer and President of Albert D. Seeno Construction Co. and its associated companies, Albert D. Seeno, Jr. oversees a multifaceted real estate acquisition and development organization with substantial residential and commercial holdings. With more than a half-century of experience in the construction business, Mr. Seeno brings an outstanding professional record to his work, along with recognition as one of the premier homebuilders in America.
A real estate developer and builder with more than five decades of experience in his field, Mr. Seeno has sold more than 45,000 dwelling units in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, as well as launched a number of successful residential, commercial and industrial construction and property acquisition ventures. Among these, he and his family own and operate an underground construction company, A-S Pipelines, as well as an asset management firm, Sierra Pacific Properties, which maintains a portfolio of commercial, office high-rise, multifamily residential and industrial properties in excess of 5 million total square feet. He and his family also own Wingfield Nevada Group Holding Company, a Nevada limited liability company through which he maintains a broad array of resort, gaming, golfing, residential, commercial and undeveloped properties including the 43,000-acre Coyote Springs project in southern Nevada which is entitled for over 159,000 residential units as well as commercial and
industrial uses. He is an owner/operator of multiple hotel casino properties in NV and has multiple cattle operations in both CA and NV. He holds both California and Nevada contractor’s licenses and currently maintains an inventory of over 10,000 approved lots throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Outside of his professional obligations, Mr. Seeno belongs to several organizations and has traveled the world extensively. He an outdoorsman and enjoys fishing and hunting. Married to his wife, Sandra, for 49 years, he is a lifelong resident of Contra Costa County. Dedicated to leveraging his skills to support the community, Mr. Seeno strives to ensure that his enterprises’ construction portfolio includes affordable, accessible family homes. In addition, he and his wife contribute to a vast array of charitable organizations and encourage their children and grandchildren to remain active in their communities.
Alexander A. Grillo, PhD
Historian & Researcher
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I was born to parents Andrew A. Grillo and Santina M. Bennetti (Her original family name was Benetti but the second “n” was added by a forceful teacher of one of her siblings, I was told.) My paternal grandparents were from Isola delle Femmine and Terrasini in Sicily. My maternal grandparents were from another small village in the Veneto region of Italy. Following typical Sicilian naming conventions, my first name is after my paternal grandfather but my middle name Angelo is also after my maternal grandfather. I am careful to include my middle initial in any formal correspondence since I have three cousins with the same first name. Both my parents were educated in Pittsburg and spoke English. My father also spoke Sicilian and my mother spoke Venetian. Those two Romance languages are so different from each other that they could only understand each other in English, therefore, English is what I grew up speaking. This, however, engendered in me a great desire to learn more about the country of my ancestors, including its language, in order to fully claim my family heritage.
Pittsburg, of course, even in the 1950s and 60s still included many derivatives of that Sicilian heritage through its many descendants. Growing up there gave me many opportunities to appreciate its customs. My mother, along with her close high school friend, had purchased the Pittsburg Florists during the World War II years. I worked at the store after school and on special occasions from age 12 through high school. Living and working in the Sicilian derived society of Pittsburg certainly gave me an opening view of my ancestry.
I attended St. Peter Martyr school and then Pittsburg High School. While my primary interests were Mathematics and science, I was able to include three years of Italian study at PHS. After high school graduation, I attended Stanford University graduating with Distinction and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. While a student at Stanford, I was able to attend their campus in Firenze, Italy. This not only afforded me the opportunity to become much more fluent with the Italian language but to experience the culture of Italy for six months. While my interest and knowledge of that culture has not waned, my fluency with the language has certainly suffered from the lack of opportunity to use it. My last educational step was to complete a doctorate program at the University of California Santa Cruz with a thesis on Elementary Particle Physics.
I worked in the electronics industry of Silicon Valley for 13 years before the opportunity became available to return to UCSC and to my first interest in sub-atomic particle physics. I then spent 25 years as part of an international collaboration designing, building and operating a very large experimental facility at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. I am now retired but spend some time with my research group providing support for their continued research.
My wife Jean, also a Pittsburg native, and I live in Santa Cruz County. Our three children have started their own families, each having two children.
I have visited Isola delle Femmine twice so far, once while I was a student in Firenze and once just this past year while on vacation with my wife. I look forward to helping to provide better ties back to our ancestry and educating our descendants of their roots.
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I was born and raised in Pittsburg California and left to attend college when I was 20. I was born to second generation Sicilians, Salvatore and Cathryn Bonanno. I attended San Francisco State University graduating with a B.A in History and a Masters in Counseling. I also received my teaching credential and worked with high and middle school at risk students. I worked as a High school counselor, Vice Principal and appointed to High school Principal at the age of 34. I was promoted to the district office working in Pupil Services and with Special needs children. I ended my career as a school Superintendent. During my last 15 years I was actively involved with an organization that evaluated and accredited high schools throughout California, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In the community I was active in my local Rotary serving on the wheel chair committee. As a school administrator I was very active in the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) serving at the state level representing the largest region in the state.
I have one son and 3 grandchildren. Unfortunately, I lost my wife after 41 years of marriage about 4 years ago. I currently reside in Pleasanton California.
In retirement I serve on a credit union board and I am active with my Catholic church serving the needs of the homeless and the needy in the community. I belong to the Colombo club of Oakland for over 30 years. I am actively involved in the club serving as Chairman of the Board for the last 5 years.
Recently visited Sicily and working on my Italian Citizenship. I am Interested in keeping out Italian heritage strong and the family values that are so important to the success of this Country.