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CCF Career Chats feature our Members, friends, and former scholars providing insights and advice about specific career paths to our current CCF Scholarship recipients. Please visit this page for updates and other resources for our CCF Scholarship recipients throughout the year.

Check out our Recent Career Chats

In January 2024, CCF Executive Director Lisa Ackerman interviewed Young Adult Auxiliary Member Cristina Carabetta, Esq., Principal Attorney at TLC, LLC and owner of the luxury bag company Betta Brand, Inc for a Career Chat.
BETTA Bag 👜 @shopbettabag BETTA Brand ✨ @bettabrandinc Attorney ⚖️ @tlcgroupinc

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Taylor is currently working on, “What’s Next?,” a documentary on a 100 year-old practicing neurologist that has been featured on People MagazineCNBCToday, and more. Keep up with Taylor on TikTok and Instagram, and visit the National Organization of Italian Americans in Film & Television (NOIAFT) official website for updates.

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CCF Career Chats Archive

Daniel Michael Sierchio

Daniel Michael Sierchio began his photographic career in his uncle' s darkroom 35 years ago. He discovered that he had a natural eye for composition and that the frame of the camera and film were a perfect media for expressing the world as he sees it.

Much of his photographic career was spent photographing dancers. This became a natural and unique collaboration of the two mediums. The dancers expressing forms and lines with their bodies while Daniel was able to capture these designs in the frame of the camera. Through this experience he began to realize that there are designs are all around us both in nature and in man's works.

For Daniel the medium of photography is in the here and now. He believes that these designs are all around us and all we have to do are see them. He would like to share his vision with everyone.

Daniel's process is to capture the design element in some of our everyday sights framed in the camera. The entire image is designed in the frame at that place at that moment as it might appear naturally but shown for its design.

Federico Foli,

Author, Advisor, Chief Strategy Officer:

Federico Foli is Chief Strategy Officer at Axians, Author of, The Mindful Leader: The Sound of Business, Advisor, and Business Partner. Federico co-founded Beat Identity, a company that uses sound to create an immersive experience for retailers and other companies. Click below to hear Federico's story and how he was able to maintain a strong connection with music while working corporate jobs he is passionate about. From meditation to seizing the moment, Federico's advice is something everyone can learn something from.

On Thursday, February 3 CCF's Career Chat series continued with CCF Career Chat with Spencer Rathkamp Marketing Strategist and Professional Cyclist.

Spencer is versed in strategic marketing, photography, directing and producing, and stunt performing. This Career Chat is sure to be of interest to anyone pursuing a career in marketing.

Spencer Rathkamp, Strategist / Cyclist:
Spencer Rathkamp is a professional cyclist and marketer that is well versed in strategic marketing, photography, directing and producing and stunt performing. Using bicycles to share stories and experiences, he connects with individuals around the world to incite positive well being and kindness. Spencer is also an ambassador of Outride, a non-profit with a mission of improving the lives of youths through cycling and exploring outside. Featured on Disney Channel, RL Grime, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dialed Health Podcast, and others, Spencer is an expert on all things two wheeled. From downhill mountain biking to dirtbikes, Spencer has impressive results in racing and across social media platforms. He began his career at Mountain Bike Action Magazine where he was an assistant editor and went on to work with eyewear company, 100%, as a marketing manager and currently holds a position at Fasthouse as the manager of human powered sports. Recently, Spencer founded the Dune Collective, a digital marketing agency that keys in on creation and implementation of digital assets into the field of action sports.

Cristina Fontanelli, Performer / Musical Artist:

Cristina Fontanelli has become an international personality through her recordings and appearances on-stage, radio and TV. Her appearances include PBS-TV host for Andrea Bocelli, Il Volo and Michael Buble TV specials. She has appeared on CBS Weekend NY, has won Best Actress in the Cutting Room International Film Festival (2018) and the Venus International Film Festival (Las Vegas, July 2019) for her role in SANTINO, a NIAF/Russo Brothers Production grantee. She is a regular at (Michael) Feinstein's 54 Below and has shared stages with Tony Bennett. She has sung title roles with the Palm Beach Opera, and internationally with the Hong Kong and Cairo Opera’s and has been featured soloist with the Boston Pops and the St. Louis Symphony performing in major concert halls throughout the U.S. and the world, including the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers, Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, Boston Symphony Hall and Guild Hall in East Hampton. She has performed at the White House as part of President Clinton’s holiday celebration, and Cristina opened the 2005 Stars and Stripes Inaugural Ball for President George W. Bush. Cristina produces and stars in “Christmas in Italy” which will be performed on Saturday, December 18.

Evelyn C. Granieri, M.D, MPH, MSEd
Emerita Professor of Medicine
Columbia University Vagelos College of Medicine

Evelyn C. Granieri, M.D., MPH, MSEd, is Emerita Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Medicine.
She received her BS in Human Nutrition from Syracuse University. She began her professional career as a Registered Dietitian at Northwestern University Medical Center. She subsequently attended Northwestern University Medical School and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and was the first fellow in Geriatric Medicine at Northwestern and served as the first geriatrics trained faculty member there. She later became a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh where she directed geriatric education for the School of Medicine and for the postgraduate medical education and other healthcare profession programs and as Associate Director of the VA Geriatric program. She developed innovative curricula and received numerous awards for her teaching and her mentorship. For 10 years she was the medical director of the teaching nursing home and of the geriatric medicine fellowship where she forged interdisciplinary training in geriatrics. Dr. Granieri was the recipient of the Arnold Gold Award for Humanism in Medicine and also the Dennis Jahnigen Award from the American Geriatrics Society in recognition of her national contributions to geriatric education. She received her Master in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh and the Master of Medical Education from The University of Southern California, where she also taught medical education. Dr. Granieri became Chief of Geriatrics at the Bronx VA Hospital and Deputy Chair for Education at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She then became Chief of the new Division of Geriatric Medicine at Columbia in 2006, where she was instrumental in developing the goals and vision of geriatrics within the school and the hospital system. She is a consultant to academic geriatrics programs nationally and internationally and teaches locally, nationally, and internationally. She has served on the Board of national geriatrics and academic societies, and has been on numerous national councils and committees. Dr. Granieri also holds leadership positions within the Association of American Medical Colleges and spearheads much of their geriatric initiative. She continues to receive awards for her leadership and service. Dr. Granieri is a resource in geriatric medicine for a number of national lay and professional publications and organizations. She considers the two greatest honors of her professional life to be caring for the frail and vulnerable older persons and the training and to the mentoring of others to do the same. Dr. Granieri is dedicated to assuring that clinicians in all professions become informed, thoughtful and compassionate practitioners.

Vincent J. Amoia,
Tax Accountant & International Education Consultant,
Pereira and Azevedo:

Vincent J. Amoia is a CCF high school and college scholarship recipient, a St. John’s alumnus, and a Tax Accountant & International Education Consultant, Pereira and Azevedo. He also founded an international education consulting and student recruitment business. Vincent designs agreements between Western and Eastern universities and recruits students from various countries in Asia to the US and UK primarily. He also advises students and their families through the admissions process and recruits teachers and tutors for in-person and online ESL programs.

Alyssa D'Elia,
School Psychology Intern, Great Neck Public Schools:

Alyssa D’Elia is a School Psychology Intern within the Great Neck Public Schools and a Graduate Student at Teachers College, Columbia University. In her role as a School Psychology Intern, Alyssa conducts psycho-educational evaluations of students to aid in their educational outcomes, provides counseling services, and consults with faculty, parents and service providers. She is also a graduate of Wagner College, where she studied Psychology and Childhood Education.

Kristie Pellecchia, Principal 

Kristie Pellecchia is Principal at Pellecchia International, which advises businesses on financial strategy, capital markets, policy, sustainability, and partnerships. She is the Former Senior Advisor for Western Hemisphere at the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution. In this role, Ms. Pellecchia served as a key advisor to the agency’s President and Chief Executive Officer, providing guidance and leadership on policy and transactional matters for the USD 8.5Bn Western Hemisphere portfolio.

Prior to joining DFC, Ms. Pellecchia spent five years at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), where she led the build out of the Loan Syndications platform and considerably increased the bank’s presence in Latin America. Before SMBC, Ms. Pellecchia spent ten years at BNP Paribas in capital markets roles throughout the Americas, generating new business and restructuring the bank’s balance sheet during the financial crisis. Previously, Ms. Pellecchia served in engineering and product management roles at Lucent Technologies.

Ms. Pellecchia’s foreign transactional experience includes working with clients and governmental bodies throughout the hemisphere, and ranges in scope from small project financing to multibillion-dollar corporate securities. She has worked with diverse investors throughout the Americas, such as local banks, regional funds, and large financial institutions.

Ms. Pellecchia serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Strategic Infrastructure Performance Council and as a Non-Resident Affiliate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), both in Washington, DC. She is a member of the Boards of Directors for the nonprofit organizations Waterkeeper and FundaHigado. She is a member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York and has served on the Business Leadership Council of the New York Public Library. In 2018, Ms. Pellecchia was recognized on Crain’s list of
“Notable Women in Finance.” Ms. Pellecchia has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University. She is fluent in Spanish and has working knowledge of Portuguese.