March 22, 2014 by Italians in Chicago
Chicagoland Italian American Professionals is a unique organization designed to bring together fellow Italian Americans around the Chicago area and connect them with other Italian Americans.
Salvatore Sciacca, founder and executive director of CIAP, said the organization is designed to help the members promote their business, help enhance their career, help them find a new job, and make new friends.
“It’s an open group and is not limited in scope like all the other organizations that are much more narrow in who they are appealing to,” he said.
Sciacca decided to start the organization on January 2014, while the idea of creating a networking group for all Italian Americans in Chicago has been something he has been thinking about for several years.
“I started it for many reasons: First, I am Vapassionate about being Italian! I have a strong desire to connect with other Italians and to help others live better lives,” Sciacca said.
He said he feels that the Italian community has started to fragment over the years and he wants to reconnect the community especially around the younger generation that is just out of college or in their early 30s.
The organization benefits the members by providing a comfortable setting to connect with other like minded Italians.
“We meet in private rooms that are specifically reserved for our meetings. It’s a great forum to promote member’s business and to find new potential clients and customers because everyone is given an opportunity to spend time talking about themselves and sharing with others who they are and why they are coming to the event,” Sciacca said.
The organization is also a way to find a new job or career and it is a place to break bread and share stories about your Italian heritage, he said.
“For starters, I love my espresso first thing in the morning! I am passionate about food, about my immediate family here and extended family in Sicily, and especially about my son Vittorio,” he said. “I was raised with the concept of family first.”
Sciacca said he also blogs quite a bit on social media for his business and uses it to promote himself as an industry expert and has recently started to blog about his cooking.
“I have realized that I can take all the things that I am passionate about and weave them into my life and career. They don’t have to be separate. That has been a life changing realization,” he said. CIAP’s meetings take place monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month in an Italian restaurant around the Chicago area. The restaurants have a private room that allows the participants to meet in a quite and comfortable setting, allows them to stand and network as well as sit down and have dinner together.
Interested individuals should simply email Sciacca at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get them on the email list. In addition, CIAP has a Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/chicagolanditalianamericanprofessionals and a LinkedIn group page called Chicago Italian American Professionals.
“I am very excited about having started this organization and I encourage all Italians to join the group and help bring together other Italians so that we can reconnect our community,” he said. “There is force in numbers and I am looking forward to making a positive impact upon the lives of my fellow Italians and upon the community.”
The next event is coming up on March 27th at Sabatino’s on Irving Park. For more information, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chicagos-hottest-networking-event-in-march-ciaps-3rd-monthly-event-tickets-10943936609.