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William D. Novelli Will Receive A NIAF Special Achievement Award in Public Advocacy

For Immediate Release

Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

William D. Novelli, CEO of AARP, will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation's (NIAF) 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Novelli will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Public Advocacy on October 13, 2007 at the Hilton Washington & Towers. The black-tie dinner begins with a 6 p.m. reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

During the gala, Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese also will be recognized for launching a new NIAF program in memory of Jack Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and a NIAF board member for more than 20 years.

Honorees joining Novelli include presidential candidate and former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Public Service; Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative Nancy Pelosi, who also will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Public Service; star of the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy" Ellen Pompeo, who will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment; and actress, singer, and entrepreneur Connie Stevens, who will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Humanitarian Services.

Notables attending the NIAF gala include actress Susan Lucci; Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty; baseball great Yogi Berra; Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil; actor Tony Lo Bianco; legendary crooner Jerry Vale, and singer Dion. They will also be joined by Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Jr. and Antonin Scalia, Italy's Ambassador to the U.S. the Hon. Giovanni Castellaneta, U.S. Ambassador to Italy Ronald P. Spogli and Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano.

As CEO of AARP, Novelli oversees an organization of more than 39 million members aged 50 and older, half of whom remain actively employed. He joined AARP in January 2000. Previously, Novelli was president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and now serves as chairman of its board. Earlier, he was executive vice president of CARE, the world's largest private relief and development organization. Novelli also co-founded and served as president of Porter Novelli, one of the world's largest public relations agencies. He holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of arts from University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. He pursued doctoral studies at New York University and has taught marketing management and health communications in the Master of Business Administration program at the University of Maryland. He has written on marketing management, marketing communications, and social marketing in journals, periodicals, and textbooks. Novelli is also the author of "50+: Igniting a Revolution to Reinvent America," a book that offers a groundbreaking look at the revolution that's going on right now among 78 million American baby boomers.

Novelli was honored in April by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation with the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Public Service. Raised in the Pittsburgh area, Novelli's paternal grandparents emigrated from Calascio, Italy in the region of Abruzzo, and his maternal grandparents also emigrated to the U.S. from Italy.

Dinner tickets begin at $400 per person. Proceeds will benefit NIAF educational programs and Gardens of Hope, a NIAF co-sponsored community garden project.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit

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