Preserving Our  Italian Heritage


Biographies of the Board of Trustees Candidates November Election


Executive Committee

Prof./Cav. Philip J. DiNovo - President/Executive Director

Degrees: AAS, BS, MBA

Professor DiNovo taught at Morrisville College (SUNY) for 32 years and was the founder of the Business Administration Department. Students choose him twice as Professor of the Year. The Professor founded the American Italian Heritage Association in 1979 and the American Italian Heritage Museum in 1985. He has served as President since 1979 and the Executive Director of our Museum since 1985. He was knighted by the Italian government for his many years of outstanding service to Italy and the Italian American community.

Vacant Position - Vice -President

Olivia Beltrani - Secretary

Olivia is a 4th generation Italian, and in 2018 obtained her Italian citizenship. She studied Italian at Tufts University, where she completed an immersive semester at L'universita' di Bologna. She currently lives and works in Troy, where she and her dog can often be found running.

Donna Severino DiNovo – Treasurer

Donna has been a member of the American Italian Heritage Association and Museum for four years, volunteering at its Thrift Shop for three. For the past two years, she has helped at the annual Christmas Market and last year served as the  bake sale chairperson. Donna was employed at St. Peter's Health Partners for 27 years. The last 17 of those as Cash Posting/Reconciliation Manager.

Board of Trustees Candidates

Rosanna Aiuppa - Rosanna has been a Real Estate Broker and an entrepreneur in the Albany area for more than 40 years. She has been active in numerous Italian American organizations in the Albany area including as past President, Treasurer, Board of Trustee for the Italian American Community Center and as a Board Trustee for the American Italian Heritage Association. Rosanna chaired the Association's Building Acquisition and Planning Committee during the first phase of renovations to the 1227 Central Avenue building complex.

C. Thomas Barletta, Esq. - Tom is a first-generation Italian-American and a lifelong resident of the Capital District. He is a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Boston College and the Albany Law School. He also completed a year of study at the University of Florence, Italy concentrating on Italian language, history and culture. Professionally, Tom has served as Counsel to the NYS Assembly Majority Leader, Director of Governmental Relations to the NYS Bar Association and Legislative Counsel to the NYS Department of Financial Services. He is also Past-President of the Roma Intangible Lodge #215 of the Sons of Italy in America.

Ralph DiMarino – Ralph received his BA in History Education and MS in Education Administration from the SUNY Albany. He taught high school Social Studies, was a HS Dean of Students and a Middle School Assistant Principal before becoming Principal of Maple Hill High School in Castleton, NY, a position that he held for 20 years. In 2002, Ralph was recognized by the Greater Capital Region Principals’ Center as High School Principal of the Year and in 2003 by WTEN-TV as Educator of the Week. After retiring from public education in 2005, Ralph worked at Siena College as the Director of Field Experiences coordinating the college’s student teacher placements and teaching education courses. Ralph held this position for 12 years retiring for a second time in 2018. Ralph is an active member who volunteers at the American Italian Heritage Museum and the Thrift Shop. He is a member of the security team, serves on the Christmas Market Committee and assists with the mailing of the newsletter and the Museum’s presence at the Pruyn House’s Family Fun Day in September. He is seeking his third term on the Board.

Brandon F. Goodrich – Brandon grew up in Columbia County and his maternal grandparents hail from Calabria, Italy. Brandon received his degree in Government and Psychology from Georgetown University and earned a JD from Loyola University. Brandon lives in Albany's Hudson/Park neighborhood.

Jim Held – Jim is an economist and the former Research Director of the State Economic Development Agency, Empire State Development. He is Italian-American on his mother’s side. Jim has volunteered at the AIHA&M since 2020 on the Grounds Committee, as pizza and movie night host and grants writer ($17,500 secured to date). He and his wife, Pam, have attended many AIHA&M social and cultural events and have enjoyed meeting many fellow members. They have two adult sons who look forward to the Feast of the Seven Fishes each Christmas.

Philip Maiello - Before retirement, Phil was a Tax Processing Specialist for 25 years at the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. He heads the Grounds Committee and has volunteered at many of the Association’s events. He has served on the Board for eight years and, with others, has made a number of improvements in and around our campus and its buildings.

Catherine DiCocco McGuire - Cathy has been an active member of the American Italian Heritage Museum and Association for twelve years. For the past ten years, she has chaired the Fundraising Committee, which has successfully raised thousands of dollars. She holds a Business degree from the College of Saint Rose and was employed by General Electric Company for 13 years before owning her own business for the past 22 years.

Dominic A. Paratore - Currently entering his eleventh year as keyboard player for the country music pop group, Skeeter Creek, Dominic has served as a board member since the opening of the Museum at its current location in Albany, NY. He is our webmaster ( and routinely sends an e-newsletter to Association members. He retired from a 35 year career with Albany County with 17 years in the Social Services field and finishing his career there in Information Technology.

Stephen Woodard - Steve graduated from SUNY at Albany. He worked for 15 years as an administrator for the NYS Department of Transportation. At 42, he left State service to pursue his lifelong dream as a pilot. After various private sector aviation positions, he was fortunate enough to return to State service and fly helicopters for NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the NYS Police. After 20 years, he retired from flying. In addition to aviation, Steve has always had a strong interest in woodworking and home repair projects. These skills are what drew him to the American Italian Heritage Museum as a regular volunteer. Steve serves as Museum volunteer working on the Maintenance and Repairs and Special Projects Committees. He continues to visit Italy and works to improve his proficiency in the Italian language.




 In honor of the Italian immigrants who came to the United States of America, we are committed to record and preserve the contributions of our Italian Heritage and culture to our society through our newsletter, cultural programs, activities, exhibits, and outreach programs.