Each year the UCIAF will name a Signore and Signora of the Year at our annual Italian Festival.

Click Here to read our Press Release about the 2020 awards.

2020 SIGNORE OF THE YEAR -Dr. John V. Ioia, MD, PhD

John was born at the Shore Road Hospital in Brooklyn, NY in 1948.  His parents Maria Milazzo Ioia and John A. Ioia were both first generation Italian-Americans, Neapolitan and Sicilian.  In fact, all of his 14 Uncles and Aunts were either first generation immigrants or actual immigrants.  As was the case for many NYC families in the ‘50s, all of his family were within walking distance.  Family was close.  Aunts and uncles were substitute parents and weekend visits to Grandparents were a must.  Traditions about Holidays and respect for Family, Community, God and Country were naturally learned.

After High School, John decided to go away to College. He left Brooklyn for Hunter College in the Bronx.  In this foreign land he continued to have many friends of Italian descent.  He met a beautiful brown-haired girl, Barbara Campisi, who as you might guess is Italian (Sicilian and Barese).  Barbara’s family was much like John’s, same traditions, same love of family, all first-generation.   John returned to Brooklyn to earn a PhD in Biochemistry at the Downstate Medical Center (1975), with Barbara as his wife.  They moved to Albany in 1974, John to start Medical School and Barbara to work as a Biology Researcher and to start their family.

John, Barbara and their children John and Samantha moved to Hurley in 1983, John starting an Orthopedic Practice and the family put down roots.  Italian holidays and traditions were just so natural as the Nona’s and Noni’s were ever-present.  Also, as the kids grew, the entire family’s involvement in community activities was natural.  John Sebastian Ioia is, an Eagle Scout, a Karate Black Belt, a Coleman graduate, a local Diner-owner is always looking to help someone.  Dr. Samantha (Ioia) DeLuzio is, a Girl Scout Gold Award (Eagle Equivalent) and a Child Psychologist is no stranger to community activities.  Barbara has had her history of volunteering, including her work for the Catskill Ballet Theater, various school organizations and the Kingston Hospital Auxiliary.

Dr. Ioia has been active in his medical practice, as a President of the County Medical Society, Secretary of the Hospital Medical Staff, Chairman of Credentials and Bylaws, Scout Master, Little League Coach, Karate Instructor, American Kennel Club Judge, AKC Delegate and Secretary of Bylaws.  So, it was just natural that when 20 Americans of Italian Descent got together on a March 2015 evening on the second floor of Frank Guido’s Little Italy, that volunteering to do anything needed seemed right.  It has been an honor and a privilege to work with all our UCIAF people. I am deeply honored to be named as 2020 Il Signore and follow the past deserving nominees.

2020 SIGNORA OF THE YEAR - Linda Saccoman

Linda Saccoman is a Kingston native, 2nd and 3rd generation hailing from Calabria, Italy.

She grew up in the family business, Saccoman’s Jewelers, and enjoyed many Friday night
pizzas at Tony’s Pizzeria. The Pizzeria was started by her grandfather many years ago and
is now a Kingston Landmark on Broadway.

She is a graduate of the College of New Rochelle and holds an associate degree in
Fashion Merchandising from The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in NYC. After
working for Gimbles department store in NYC, Linda returned home to Kingston to manage
Saccoman’s Jewelers.

She was active on the boards of the Junior League, Zonta, All Women in Business, Kingston
Area Library, and UPAC. More recently, Linda received an award from the UC United Way
Program “Raising Hope”, Celebrating Women Mentors.

Linda has a daughter, Lea and four wonderful grandchildren.

She says, “Being involved with UCIAF and particularly the Cultural Events Committee, has added a whole new dimension to my life by reacquainting me with my heritage and traditions and giving me a like minded community to share with.”