Diane is a second generation Italian American and born and raised in New Jersey. Her father’s family is from Calabritto, Italy and her mother’s family is from Gesso, Sicily. Diane relocated to California to go to USC for her master’s in industrial Hygiene. Diane worked as an industrial hygienist/safety professional for many years in aerospace and eventually made her way to San Diego where she worked for SDG&E as a safety and health manager.  Diane is waiting patiently for Italian citizenship recognition for herself and her children.  Diane has been a student at the Italian Cultural Center for several years.  Diane has a strong tie to Italy through family, culture and cooking.  In her spare time, Diane loves spending time with her family and friends, painting, travelling to Europe,  volunteering, and cooking and studying anything Italian.


Maria Romano de León is the chief curator at the San Diego Automotive Museum with experience in many aspects of museum/nonprofit work, including data systems, development, curatorial practice/exhibits, publications, writing, editing, member services, museum education, and higher education. Before moving back to San Diego, she curated at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and worked at several other nonprofits. She has also created and taught college-level art history courses. Maria has a BA in Art History, Theory & Criticism from UCSD, spending one year studying in Rome and at the Università degli Studi di Padova, and an MA in Arts and Heritage Policy, Management & Education from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where she wrote her thesis in and about Istanbul, Türkiye. Her parents are of Italian descent and she was raised in San Diego’s Sicilian-American community. 


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.


Born and raised in Ohio, Robin is a second-generation Italian-American whose family is from Colobraro, a small hilltop village in Basilicata. Robin received her degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Although her career path has taken her to book editing and wildlife rehabilitation, she has never lost touch with her love of international relations and culture, especially her own. She has been fortunate to receive her Italian citizenship and to pass it on to her children. Robin is grateful to the dedicated staff at the ICC for teaching her Italian, thus enabling her to maintain family ties with her people in Basilicata. She is passionate about learning the language, embracing the culture, making l’arancello, and dancing, particularly swing, Lindy Hop, and cha-cha.


Born and raised in New York to the parents of Italian immigrants from the Madonie region of Sicily, Paul has always felt a strong connection to Italy. He graduated from Boston University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology, with a focus in Classical civilizations, and moved to San Diego where he obtained his juris doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2005. Paul has been a licensed attorney in California since 2006, specializing in real estate, real property, construction, land use and land development. Paul became a student at ICC so he could finally learn his family’s native language. In his spare time, Paul is passionate about calcio, cooking and traveling to Sicily to spend time with his parents harvesting their oranges and olives.


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.


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.


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.


Angela is a long time Real Estate Broker and Certified Escrow Officer. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a Minor in Economics. 
Her grandfather was born in Tricarico, in the region of Matera in Italy. Angela joined the Italian Cultural Center in 2012 to brush up on her rusty Italian in the hopes of being able to communicate with her family for the 3 week trip. It was a success!  The family harvests olives and bottles olio d’oliva under the family name, as well as several, natural, olive oil based beauty products like soap and lotion. 
Angela serves on several Boards, including the San Diego Escrow Association, the California Escrow Association, the American Escrow Association, as well as ICC and two condo association boards. 
She is very interested in serving her communities. 


Barbara was born and raised in Florence, where she studied languages (English, French, German and Spanish) and obtained a Diploma of Specialized Translator. She started her career in tourism by working for a prestigious line of hotels in Florence and Sardinia.
Her love for travel took her pretty much to every continent; but her favorite experience was in South America, Venezuela, where she worked as a guide for international tourists, spent some time living with the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon rainforest and consolidated her love for flying small airplanes. She arrived in San Diego in 1995 and obtained her private pilot license and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. degree from Embry Riddle University in Technical Operations. After working for many years selling Italian single-engine airplanes, she completely changed her career, obtained a Master and a Doctorate in Traditional Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture and opened her own acupuncture clinic.
She is one of the longest serving Board Members of the ICC having covered every aspect of this organization from Event Coordinator, Vice-President, President, Secretary, and Class coordinator.