essex county commissioners celebrate italian heritage

Essex County Commissioners 2021 Italian Heritage virtual ceremony

(Newark, NJ) – On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners held its 2021 Italian Heritage Celebration via Zoom teleconference. The ceremony, which returned after a 1-year hiatus due to COVID-19, is held yearly to celebrate Italian culture and heritage – highlighting the contributions of Italian-American’s in Essex County.

Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson opened the program with greetings to the honorees and viewing audience, and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to once again celebrate Italian heritage and culture. “We did not have this celebration last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are learning to navigate the new normal and are happy to resume our traditions.”

District 4 Commissioner Leonard Luciano also offered greetings to start the ceremony. He stated, “I am honored to be here alongside my Commissioner colleagues to celebrate Italian heritage, and recognize the achievements of a few members of our Italian-American community here in Essex County.”

This year, the Board recognized four outstanding residents for their service to the community: Sergeant Joseph J. Corio of the Bloomfield Police Department; The Honorable Joseph Fiordaliso of Livingston – President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU); The Honorable William Hurlock – Deputy Mayor/First Ward Councilor of Montclair; and Dr. Frank Mazzarella – Chief Continuum Care Officer at Clara Maass Hospital.

Sergeant Joseph J. Corio, introduced by Commissioner Vice President Carlos Pomares, has been a Sergeant in the Bloomfield Police Department since June 2014 and the Traffic Division Supervisor since August of 2020. He joined the Bloomfield Police Department in 1998, and in May of 2007 he was voted President of Bloomfield PBA Local 32.  He embraced this difficult task and has worked feverishly to maintain the integrity of what is commonly referred to as the “strongest PBA local in the state”. He is a member of the Bloomfield Police Department Honor Guard, the Essex County Rapid Development Team, and is dedicated to being a positive influence on the community.

The Honorable Joseph Fiordaliso, introduced by Commissioner Patricia Sebold, is the current President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). He was initially appointed to the Board in 2005, and has served as President since 2018. He was born and raised in the Ironbound Section of Newark, New Jersey.  He is Italian/Sicilian, and a first generation American on his father’s side, as his father was born in Sicily. In addition to his leadership with respect to environmental responsibility, combatting climate change and improving energy efficiency, he has an extensive record as a public servant. He was elected to the Livingston Township Council in 1988, served for three terms, and was elected Mayor three times during his tenure.  In 2003, he was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Livingston Chapter of UNICO National.

The Honorable William Hurlock, introduced by Commissioner Brendan Gill, is a fourth generation Italian-American and currently serves as the Deputy Mayor and First Ward Councilor for Montclair Township. To recognize the longstanding Italian-American heritage present in the Montclair community, he helped establish the sister city program between Montclair and Aquilonia, Italy. He has participated in numerous events here and in Italy as part of that collaboration. He is an honorary member of the Club Aquilonese San Vito Society of Montclair and works closely with the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Community Outreach program.

Dr. Frank Mazzarella, introduced by Commissioner Robert Mercado, currently serves as the Chief Continuum Care Officer at Clara Maass Medical Center. He oversees the successful transfer of patients to services that are needed throughout their care, up to and including discharge and post-care treatment. His work was especially key during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he managed patient transfers across the state to allow for additional patient admissions at Clara Maass. Prior to his time as a medical administrator, he operated a successful private Internal Medicine practice in Nutley from 1982 to 2001.

The Board also recognized the 2021 Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade & Italian Heritage Committee for their diligent work in making sure the Columbus Day Parade is a success. They also acknowledged the 2021 Parade Honorees – Anthony Pope – Grand Marshal; Martin Giardina Lutz – Belleville Man of the Year; Elaine Perna – Belleville Woman of the Year; Paul Cafone – Nutley Man of the Year; Nella Cicchino – Nutley Woman of the Year; Dr. Mary Ellen Clyne – Community Excellence; Anthony Biondi, Jr. – Italian Business Leader; Brian Banda – Renaissance Man; Michael Chieffo – Renaissance Man; Joseph Zarra – Lifetime Achievement; and Vincent Socca, Esq. – Heritage Award

Further highlights of the program included opening and closing prayers from Rev. Father Thomas D. Nicastro, Pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Nutley, and musical selections performed by Gabrianna Boomer, cantor at St. Mary’s Church in Nutley.

Looking for more information on the Essex County Board of Commissioners? The Essex County Commissioners Mobile App is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores.

For Additional Information – Contact:
Kyalo Mulumba, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102