Board of Directors


Andrea Zarattini:  President

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.

Ilaria Tabusso: Vice President

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: Language Program CoordinatorMichela Di Bella

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 CarraBarbara Carra: 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.

Don Stadelli

Don Stadelli: 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.


Carol Gratzke Patterson: Secretary, Budget and Finance

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.

GabriellaGabriella Pozzoli: Education and Programs 

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.”

Antonio Iannotta: Education and Programs

Born in Desenzano del Garda in the North of Italy, raised in Sant’Agata de’ Goti in the South, Antonio got his University Master’s degree and his Ph.D. (Dottorato di ricerca) in Communication and Media Studies from University of Salerno. He has published essays on cinema, TV series, comics, theory of media, and two books: “Lo sguardo sottratto. Samuel Beckett e i media”, and “Il cinema audiotattile. Suono e immagine nell’esperienza filmica”. He moved to San Diego from Napoli, where he lived for six years and where he worked as Communications Director for International Festivals. He also lived and worked in Milano and Roma. He thinks language is the most important aspect of a culture and he feels honored to be able to teach Italian at the ICC and to be part of the Board of Directors. He is also the Artistic Director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival.

Patrick Nardulli: PR, Sponsorship and Fundraising

Born and raised in the village of Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He is proud to be a third-generation Italian-American, with family origins between the coastal towns of Napoli and Bari, Italy.  He is a 20-year Navy veteran with extensive experience in leadership, administration, and organizational development with the ability to liaison and build relationships. Patrick has his Bachelor’s in Science, Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University. He currently serves as a Military Liaison and a Project Management Analyst for the Naval Health Research Center in Point Loma. Patrick finds great pleasure enriching his life and others through volunteerism and service to the Italian community here in San Diego.

Diana Aizenstein: Events and Memberships

Proud to be a fifth-generation Italian-American, whose roots go back to Lucca, Tuscany.  Born and raised in Chicago, Diana began working in Chicago’s Little Italy as a registered diagnostic medical sonographer at the University of Illinois Medical Center.  Diana enjoyed teaching sonography to resident physicians and medical students and soon began teaching sonography at Triton College.  She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Italian, Summa cum Laude, from Arizona State University, as well as to obtain C2 certification, while attending school in Le Marche, Italy.  Diana has a creative flair and passion for the arts, and has immensely enjoyed her recent work as  a stylist, model, and fashion merchandiser for Azzurra Capri Boutique, right here in San Diego’s Little Italy, as well as a hostess at Piazza 1909 Restaurant in La Jolla.

Antonella Castaldo: Marketing

Antonella was born and raised in Pistoia, a small town in Tuscany. She is a mom, a professional photographer and graphic designer. Her passion for traveling brought her to Kolding in Denmark, where she lived for three years and where she obtained her graphic design degree. She has worked as an art director, photography instructor and graphic designer for various projects around Europe, including an year long one in Vienna, which ended with a photography exhibition of her students in the beautiful Stephansplatz. Antonella came to live in San Diego in 2002 and fell in love with the city. 

Silvia Arnone MetzgerSilvia Arnone Metzger

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.

Victor Laruccia

Victor Laruccia

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.