2005 Champions

Champions by Year

Joseph Maselli

“I didn’t build the Piazza D’Italia — I believed in it. Preserving our past is the greatest contribution we can make to our future.”

“I didn’t build the Piazza D’Italia — I believed in it. Preserving our past is the greatest contribution we can make to our future.”


In 2004, at the age of 80 — Joseph Maselli initiated, coordinated and supervised the longawaited restoration of a beloved New Orleans landmark … the Piazza D’Italia.

Internationally recognized as an architectural triumph and once a sparkling source of civic pride, the Piazza was poorly maintained. Joe’s memory of the joy and exhilaration people experienced when visiting the Piazza drove him to bring it back to life. Relentless energy and passion enabled Joe to present the New Orleans community with a precious gift … a restored Piazza D’Italia.

Community — a word that comes to life in Joe Maselli. Joe is one of many Americans, members of immigrant families, that — in times of need — turned toward his community for acceptance and strength.Through his work, Joe
came to understand the incredible power of communities — that with the support of others we can do almost anything. His is a mission to celebrate the historical significance and contributions of his own heritage — hoping people of all cultures can appreciate and build on that strength.

Joe is actively preserving the rich heritage and vibrant culture of the Italian-American community. He co-authored a pictorial history, Italians in New Orleans, published last year. Joe heads the American-Italian Renaissance Foundation — which supports the Piazza D’Italia and the American-Italian Renaissance Museum and Library.The library holds 150 years of records and documents information on over 25,000 Italian Americans in the New Orleans area including oral and video history testimonials.

Joe understands that New Orleans is a city built on the strength of many rich and varied ethnic communities. He has shown that these communities, and these people make New Orleans the unique city we love. It is what drives people to seek him out, as a business resource, community leader and friend.

Excellence through Experience.Who can deny the excellence of the Piazza D’Italia? Or the life experience that shaped Joe’s vision?

Joseph Maselli — Tenet Choices Champion.