Getting to Know Angela Colella
Like a diamond, the Federation of Italian American Organizations has many facets each working hard to make the community brilliantly shine with its potential. One of the vital people making the goals of FIAO possible, is Assistant Executive Director Angela Colella who has had close ties with the organization since 1996.
Angela fondly remembers how her grandmother would frequent the Federation for social services offered by Rita and Sara, always speaking highly of all who worked there and all the help they provided. Little did Angela know, every visit that her grandmother had made to the Federation, included speaking to the executive director Nancy Sottile about how exceptional her granddaughter was and that she was currently graduating college. Intrigued to meet Angela, Nancy requested for her to visit for a possible job opening. In May of 1996 as Angela was about to graduate St. John’s University and while completing an internship at the NYC Department of Probation Headquarters, Angela’s grandmother asked her to join her at the FIAO office. Unknowingly, this first meeting with Nancy was Angela’s formal introduction to the Federation and a job interview all wrapped into one! That very day she was offered a position at the Federation which she excitedly accepted.
The following month in June, Angela started as the Program Director for the SAPP afterschool program. Her tasks included payroll and some accounting, always working closely along-side Nancy. Every day created additional opportunities for Angela to become more immersed within every aspect of the federation which she dove into, eager to learn and grow with each chance presented to her. She has assisted in many aspects of the organization from social service applications, contract procurement, client screening, renewal of green cards and citizenship applications, cultural events, as well as neighborhood street and graffiti cleaning drives. All this hard work quickly made her rise as the first Beacon Program Director and the Human Resources Department for the entire Federation. Over the years she has worked hard in acquiring the different funding the Federation has needed to continue to grow and give back to the community through its multitude of programs.
As the current Assistant Executive Director of the Federation of Italian American Organizations, Angela focuses on all aspects of payroll, end-of-the-year computations, compliance with NYC/NYS contract filing, as well as contract preparations and procurement. These tasks are key in assisting her overall goal: making sure the Federation continues to grow and flourish with IL Centro as a haven for programs and services for the community. She is proud to have been part of the journey and utterly amazed to witness IL Centro start out as a simple dream, to finally materialize as the first Italian American Community center in New York City.
Angela’s entire experience and feelings toward the Federation is best expressed in her own words: “The Federation has always been home to me. When you are home you are your most comfortable. It is a place where you can be yourself, working hard to keep it safe and well. That has always been my goal and my feeling when at FIAO.” She hopes all the love and dedication brought together by all those that have worked together to make this organization what it is today, resounds within all who step foot into FIAO’s IL Centro, gather at our events, and participate in our programs.