News

Firm Leaders Interact with Key Lawmakers at Italian American Foundation Event

News / August 15, 2019

Former Congressman Mike Ferguson, who leads the firm’s Federal Policy team in Washington, serves on the board of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) – in fact, he’s the only board member out of 19 whose last name doesn’t end in a vowel. Despite the consonant and his fair complexion – both thanks to his Irish father, Tom – Ferguson is welcomed in NIAF’s leadership because of his late mother, Roberta Chiaviello, who traced her family’s roots to the Italian region of Campania.

Because of his position on the board, Ferguson regularly participates in NIAF events in Washington at which members of Congress of Italian heritage attend, speak and are honored. In July, BakerHostetler sponsored a NIAF dinner that featured House Speaker Nancy Pelsoi, D-Calif., and several dozen other lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans. Jeff Paravano, Managing Partner of the Washington office, also attended the dinner.

NIAF’s regular events throughout the year create the opportunity for Ferguson to engage with clients of Italian heritage. Ralph Izzo, the CEO of longtime Ferguson client Public Service Electric and Gas, was recently honored at one of NIAF’s annual gala events. This year’s gala will honor Vince Forlenza, the CEO of Ferguson client Becton, Dickinson and Company, a leading medical device manufacturer.

“NIAF events are a great way to stay connected with leading members of Congress,” Ferguson said. “It helps our Federal Policy team to maintain close relationships with elected officials, which is important for our clients. It’s also a great celebration of Italian American heritage and culture, with BakerHostetler branding featured prominently throughout the evening.

“These events also allow us to partner with NIAF to recognize and honor the career achievements of some of our important clients. That’s a real benefit and value-add for our client engagements, and I’m grateful for the firm’s continued support of these important business opportunities.”