“My primary motivation is to pay respect and honor to the memory of my parents and grandparents who are no longer with me.”

About our President

Basil M. Russo was elected National President of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the ISDA Financial Life (the organization’s financial arm) at ISDA’s biennial convention held in Chicago, Illinois in 2014.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Russo’s career has been as varied as it is impressive. He was a founding and managing partner of the law firm Russo, Rosalina & Co., L.P.A. until his retirement in 2014. He served as Judge of the Ohio Court of Appeals, Judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (for which he received an Excellent Judicial Service Award from the Ohio Supreme Court) and majority leader of the Cleveland City Council. He is the executive producer of the independent film Pieces, which was written and directed by his sons Anthony and Joseph.

In April of 2016, Mr. Russo was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and serves as the national spokesperson for the 18 million Americans of Italian Descent. And, he was recently elected to the position of Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations, which seeks to unite various groups concerning issues that affect the Italian American community.

Mr. Russo has chosen to devote much of his life to preserving and promoting his heritage through various Italian American organizations and causes, stating, “my primary motivation is to pay respect and honor to the memory of my parents and grandparents who are no longer with me.” As a result, he became the driving force behind the Bishop Anthony Pilla Italian American Studies Program at his alma mater John Carroll University. He has spent 20 years serving as President of the Justinian Forum, an Italian American Bar Association that represents 375 attorneys and judges of Italian American descent. He is one of the founding members and current chairman of the Cleveland Italian Film Festival and has served as chairman of the Greater Cleveland Columbus Day Parade since 2004. Mr. Russo was also a founding member and has served as an officer of the NOIA Foundation, an Italian American organization that has raised over $3 million for charitable purposes.

Together with his wife Patricia (Gallupoli), Basil has immersed himself in his family and faith. Among other important undertakings, he and Patricia have served as chairpersons of the Advisory Committee to the Department of Marriage and Family Ministry of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. They are the proud parents of four children: Their daughter Gabriella is an attorney and the managing partner of Russo, Rosalina & Co., L.P.A. Their daughter Angela is an accomplished television writer/producer who also teaches at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art. And their two sons Anthony and Joseph are successful directors, writers and producers of film and television.

Basil and Patricia happily spend all their free time with their 13 beautiful grandchildren.

Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America

National Officers

  • Basil M. Russo, President
  • Warren J. Ciabattoni, Vice President
  • Joann Blackwell, Controller

District National Vice Presidents

  • Anthony R. Basso, Indiana/Illinois
  • Danielle M. Salasavage, Western New York
  • John Viola, New York City
  • Patricia M. Mocello, Western Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Rizzo, Central Pennsylvania
  • Marie Frank, Ohio/Michigan
  • Patrick O'Boyle, New Jersey
  • Monica M. Grossi, West Virginia
  • Leonore Williams, Florida
  • Charles Marsala, Louisiana

Italian Sons and Daughters of America Fraternal Association

Board of Directors

  • Basil M. Russo, President
  • Warren J. Ciabattoni, Vice President
  • Gino G. Baldin
  • Anthony R. Basso
  • Jo Ann Carlucci
  • Danny P. Cerrone
  • Angelo A. Ciambrone
  • Marie Frank
  • Mary F. Innamorato
  • Georgianna Kowalczyk
  • Eugene J. Mahofski
  • Edward Manfredi
  • Patrica M. Mocello
  • Danette M. Porto
  • Louise Stanzione

Honorary Board Member

  • John Bertone

Headquarters Staff

  • Joann Blackwell, National Controller
  • Debra Petrick, Policy Specialist
  • Desirae Sanders, Administrative Assistant