Roberto Ruocco: President
Born and raised in Naples, Italy. He considered himself a “complete” Italian having lived in the North, Center, South and islands of Italy during his Air Force Officer’s long career. He is a lawyer licensed in Italy specializing in Italian immigration law. Presently is the Honorary Vice Consul of Italy in San Diego. Currently he is the President of the Italian Community Center.
Ilaria Tabusso: Vice President and Teacher
Born and raised in Rome, but with family origins from Torino, Ilaria got her University degree in Literature and Philosophy from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Before moving to San Diego she taught Italian to foreigners in Rome. In San Diego, she has taught for several years at UCSD Extension and at the Italian Cultural Center, to both adults and children. Although she loves traveling and no longer lives in Italy, her “italianità” is with her wherever she goes. She loves her culture, food and way of socializing! She feels that languages are the mirror of the culture and the society. To her, there is no better way of sharing her own culture and love for her country than teaching her own language: Italian.
Michela Di Bella: Board Member, Director of Language Programs and Teacher
Michela was born and raised in a small town in the beautiful Madonie’s park, Alimena, located in Palermo province. She studied at the University of Palermo. After she got married, she left the beloved Sicily and moved North, to Magenta. She worked in Milano for many years writing software programs. She came to San Diego for a family vacation, fell in love with the place and has now been living here with her family since 1999. She started teaching Italian for Poway Adult Education in 2000 and for the ICC in 2005 and she LOVES it! She shares with her students all the passion and love she has for Italy and for Italian Culture and Art.
Barbara Carra: Board Member, Editor and Event Coordinator
Education: School of foreign languages: English, French and German “Accademia Internazionale di Lingue”, Florence, Italy. AA “Aviation Management”, “Flight Operations” with Highest Honors, Mesa College, San Diego. BS in Aviation Management, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Summa cum Laude. She has been helping the ICC since 1995. Over the years she has acted as Secretary, Vice-President, and President. Presently, she serves as Editor of our newsletter “Piccola Italia”, as Board Member and Event Coordinator. For information on ad placement or articles submission, please leave a message for her at the ICC phone number or send an email to her attention.
Don Stadelli: Board Member and Treasurer
Born in San Diego and raised in the back country of Julian. Graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Don is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. He operates his own private practice in San Diego specializing in taxation, financial planning and investment advisory services. Don has been a regular student at ICC since 2002. He has also attended language school in Italy. In his spare time, Don is passionate about golf, tennis and the Italian language and culture.
Don Santamaria: Board Member and Facilities Coordinator
Captain of United States Navy, retired. Without him, ICC does not function. Proud of his Italian passport, he often wanders with it in the old country.
Silvia Arnone Metzger: Board Member and Teacher
Born and raised in Italy, she obtained her “Laurea” degree from the University of Genova where she worked as a researcher until she moved to California. She has traveled extensively. She has worked as an interpreter and translator and has been teaching Italian for over 20 years at all levels in institutions and Universities in the San Diego area and in Australia and Italy. Silvia has been involved with the Italian Community Center since the beginnings of the organization and has served on the Board as Vice President and President for several years. She particularly enjoys teaching at the Italian Community Center, where she finds the students very interesting and stimulating because they are motivated and eager to learn the Italian language and culture. She has been teaching Italian at ICC since 1989.
Carol Gratzke Patterson: Board Member and Teacher
Carol Gratzke-Patterson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles with a major in Italian and a minor in German. After five years working with the Internal Revenue Service, Carol returned to the University and received a second degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Accounting. She earned her Certificate of Public Accounting, passing the CPA exam and working three years for Peat Marwick Mitchell. Subsequently, Carol worked for Cherokee, Inc., for 20 years and spent the last ten as Chief Financial Officer. Carol is currently retired and spends her time as a volunteer for the San Diego Italian Film Festival, treasurer for the House of Italy San Diego, President and Chairman of the board for the Italian American Academy of San Diego, serves on several boards in the San Diego and Riverside Counties and teaches Italian. When she has time she likes to travel. Carol reconnected with her Italian roots after retiring and has taken Italian classes in San Diego and in Italy. She has spent time in Italy, traveling twice annually to fully immerse herself in the Italian Culture and has made many new friends, reunited with Italian relatives and through her Italian grandparents has received her Italian Citizenship. Carol enjoys teaching Italian and sharing her love of all things Italian.
Victor Laruccia: Board Member
Now a passionate Program Director of the well credited San Diego Italian Film Festival, Victor has been University professor & teacher—9 years, at University of California (Communications Dept., Film History & Aesthetics), Brown University (English Dept., Semiotics Program, Film History & Aesthetics), University of California (Literature Dept., French West African Novel), and telecommunications administrator—8 years (City of Pasadena, Telecommunications Administrator). He is proud of his Italian citizenship and more than often is a denizen of Conversano, Italy.
Andrea Zarattini: Board Member
Born and raised in Bologna, Andrea has an Italian Degree in Engineering Construction & Land surveying and in Public Works Management degree from Palomar College. In Italy he was a production manager for three leading fashion firms in swimwear (La Perla, Argentovivo and Parah) and currently he is working for the County of San Diego in the Department of Public Work as Assistant Resident Engineer. Teacher, former Vice President and active board member since 1999, Andrea enjoys sharing the beauty and culture of his Italian heritage. During the last fifteen years, he has developed a passion for Italian cuisine and he graduated from Grossmont College in Culinary Arts. He his a wine and food connoisseur with a special interest in extra-virgin olive oil and Italian I.G.P., D.O.P. and D.O.P.G. products especially from the Italian region of Abruzzo. He owns a farm in Notaresco (TE), Italy with about 10 acres of land where he produces Extra Virgin Olive Oil, wine and organic grains (Farro, Orzo and different type of durum wheat). In the future Andrea is planning to finish remodeling the old farm house and create a Bed and Breakfast.
Gabriella Pozzoli: Board Member and Teacher
From: Napoli, Italia
Born and raised in Italy, she obtained her Laurea degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures. In Napoli she was teaching English in High School and Elementary school.
After moving to Maryland, she started teaching Italian Language in Washington D.C.for adults and US diplomatic and Military Personnel, and she also taught Italian in adults classes in Maryland. After her daughter was born she moved with the family to San Diego. Since then she has dedicated herself to raise her daughter, but not for a second she forgot about her passion, teaching. She is currently teaching Italian to children and adults at the ICC. Her passions are reading and cooking. “I consider myself lucky to work in the friendly atmosphere of the ICC. Everytime I have classes my spirit gets happy, I meet new and interesting people who enrich my life and at the same time I help promoting my Country.”