By RosaLyn Queen
The Progressive Women’s Association has announced that the following women will be honored as Women of Distinction at the annual Italian Heritage luncheon to be held at the Uptown Event Center on October 27 at noon. These women are being honored for their achievements but most importantly for their contributions through volunteering, giving back to their community with their time, profession or monetarily. The projects these women are involved in make a big difference in our community. If you want to attend this celebration of these dynamic women RSVP by October 25. Call at 304-624-6881 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, our most sincere thank you to Davis Funeral Home for sponsoring this program to help the PWA make this event special for these wonderful women.
Constance Belle Scolapio Buffey, born in 1961 at Saint Mary's Hospital in Clarksburg, is one of four daughters born Emilio R. Scolapio and Sara Gallo Scolapio. She is the wife of John Patrick (Patch) Buffey and together, they have six children, Micheal Buffey, Toni Colson, Robert Buffey, Samantha Buffey, Emilio Buffey, Adriana Buffey, and four grandchildren. Robert and Samantha have served in the Army, and their other children have traveled the world for sports, work, and various other activities. While her children and grandchildren have active and busy lives, Connie continues to keep their family roots in Clarksburg where she and Patch always have homemade canned peppers and pepperoni rolls ready for the family when they come to visit. Connie and Patch also own a local business, ACTS 9 storage units and RV park. In addition to taking care of her family and business, Connie has a passion for taking care of the community through education. She was an educator in Harrison County for 26 years at Robert C. Byrd High School where she played an active role in supporting the student body government, planned countless homecoming dances, and ensured the graduation of many students. All four of her grandparents were born in Italy. Her maternal grandparents were John Gallo Sr and Constanzia Audia Gallo from St Juan. Her paternal grandparents were Salvatore Scolapio from Naples Italy and his wife Maria Iquanito Scolapio from St Juan. Her rich heritage has been a big part of her up bringing and she continues today to pass along family traditions. Connie, and her sisters, strive to keep family traditions alive by getting together every year to bake pita piatas and Christmas cookies. Constance is a faithful believer in Jesus Christ and remembers her grandmother’s strong faith. Whether it was going to mass daily for the stations of the cross, reciting the rosary, ironing the priest garments, or trying to read the Bible in Italian, her Grandma Gallo is always carried with her. Connie is honored to receive this recognition.
Jeovanna (Lacaria) Comer has spent her personal and professional career experiences in education. She holds both an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education Multi-Subjects K-8 and a Master’s in Education degree from Fairmont State University. Additionally, she holds endorsements in Supervisor General Instruction, Principal, and Superintendent, PK-Adult. Mrs. Comer is currently a Principal at Simpson Elementary School. She was instrumental in securing funding to continue after school programming in schools and counties of need. Born to Kimberly (Costa) and John Battista Lacaria, she is the granddaughter of Pauline (Salerno) and John Costa and Teresa (Oliverio) and Frank Lacaria. Her great-grandparents came to America from San Giovanni in the Calabrian Region of Italy. Her 91-year-old Nunny (Pauline Costa) is her only living grandparent. Jeovanna has always been immersed in Italian American traditions and has a true love for her heritage. To this day, her family continues the tradition of Pasta Sunday at Nunny’s. Jeovanna currently resides in Bridgeport with her husband, Doug, and their 7-year-old son, Costa. Costa is a second grader at Simpson Elementary and loves seeing his mommy each day at school. Jeovanna spends her free time with family, being a taxi service for her son’s sports activities and spending time loving on her three-year-old dog, Roxy.
Amy D’Anselmi Cunningham was born and raised in Clarksburg, WV, the daughter of Patricia D’Anselmi and the late Lawrence D’Anselmi. Amy is a graduate of Liberty High School and Fairmont State University majoring in Health Information Technology. She later attended Wheeling Jesuit University obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Education from Fairmont State University. Amy is the proud mother of two sons; Benjamin, age 24, who resides in Bridgeport, and the late Michael Cunningham, who died in a tragic accident in 2010 at the age of 15. Out of this tragedy, Amy became involved in the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association. She was instrumental in getting the “Michael Cunningham Act” signed and passed into law in 2013. This law addresses boat dock and marina safety in the State of West Virginia. Amy serves as the Dean for the School of Health Sciences. In her role as Dean, Amy works extensively with community outreach to the institution’s 13 county service regions. She volunteers with student registration events and loves the opportunity to engage with the students! She also served as the Advisory Council for Faculty representative for the institution working with legislative issues relating to higher education. Amy proudly served as the first mascot for Pierpont as Montgomery the Lion “Monty”. In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time at her camp near Audra with her dog Shelby. She also enjoys the outdoors and off-roading on her side-by-side. She resides in Bridgeport.
Jo Carol (Mancuso) Farmer is Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations for Hope Utilities, headquartered in Morgantown, WV. Hope Utilities owns and operates natural gas and water utilities in West Virginia (Hope Gas), Ohio, Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, Montana, Texas, Arizona, and Michigan. Jo Carol has over 20 years’ experience in utility rate regulation. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and began her professional employment at the Pentagon working for the Department of Defense. She joined Consolidated Natural Gas Transmission Corporation (now Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage) in the Computer Services group before moving to their Rate and Regulatory group. When her son was born, Jo Carol exited the workforce and took on the role of stay-at-home mom for several years. She returned to rate regulation work at Hope Gas in 2001 and was appointed to her current position in September 2022. All four of Jo Carol’s grandparents, Jim and Antoinette (Milano) Guzzi and Frank and Mary (Brunetti) Mancuso, were born in San Giovanni in Fiore. Even though Jo Carol only knew her maternal grandmother, Jo Carol’s parents, Joe and Virginia (Guzzi) Mancuso, made sure to pass along to her their memories (and some cherished pictures) of all of her grandparents. Jo Carol’s son, Isaac, was recently recognized as a dual citizen with Italy. He lives abroad and provides exciting places for Jo Carol and John to visit. Jo Carol has served her community in a variety of ways over the years. Most recently, she served on the Board of Directors of The Harrison Chamber and The Education Alliance. Jo Carol and her husband, John, attend Jewel City Church in Meadowbrook. They reside in Bridgeport with their beagle, Enzo.
Aimee (Zippilli) Goddard grew up in the North View area of Clarksburg, WV. Her parents are Patrick “Zip” and Marlene Zippilli. Aimee’s grandparents were Raymond “Zip” Zippilli and Raffaella (Folly) Romano Zippilli and Harold and Eva McGary. Aimee’s Italian heritage traces back to the province of Teramo in the Abruzzi region of eastern Italy and San Giovanni in Fiore in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Aimee graduated from Liberty High School in 1996, Fairmont State College in 2000, and WVU College of Law in 2003. She has handled cases across the state of West Virginia involving a wide variety of legal issues, including family court matters, medical malpractice, faulty construction, motor vehicle accidents, nursing home abuse and neglect, boundary disputes and property rights. In 2020, Aimee joined Legal Aid of West Virginia as the Aetna Legal Program Attorney. Through her position she provides legal services to foster children and caregivers across the state. Through God’s leading, Aimee and her husband, David became adoptive parents in 2017 and foster parents in 2018. Also in 2018, Aimee created Hands of Hope Foster Care Ministry with the purpose of surrounding foster families with love and security through various forms of resources and support. The ministry runs a “foster closet” that is kept stocked with clothing, diapers, beds, cribs, car seats, and various other items to help equip prospective and existing foster families. Aimee and other volunteers work directly with foster parents and relative caregivers to provide anything they may need to care for the children in their homes. Hands of Hope regularly partners with local organizations and foster care agencies to help raise awareness of the need for more foster families and other ways people can help children in foster care. Hands of Hope’s motto is EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING. Aimee’s biggest joy in life is her big, blended family. She resides in Bridgeport with her husband, David, and their children, Joseph, Annabel, Joey, Kaleb and Deacon.
Rosalee Jordan was born on May 29, 1940. She is one of four children of the late Pete and Anna Iquinto. She is the sister of Louis and Pete Iquinto and the late Theresa Iquinto. On October 31, 1965, she married John J. “Butch” Jordan Jr. They shared 50 years of marriage together before his death on November 17, 2014. Rosalee and Butch have two children. Their son, John J. Jordan III, and his wife Melissa live in Weston, WV. Their daughter, Leanna Jordan Lewis, and her husband Christopher live in Clarksburg. Rosalee has five grandchildren: Hayden Lewis, Caroline Lewis, Anna Grace Lewis, Brady Jordan and Conner Jordan. Both of Rosalee's children attended St. Mary’s Grade School and Notre Dame High School where she actively volunteered for both schools from 1979 through 1993 and beyond. Former students often run into Rosalee and recount her many years of tirelessly organizing and decorating for countless school activities. She served on the school board for both schools and, in 1990, she was recognized for her time and dedication toward NDHS Athletic Programs. In 1993, she received the Principal’s Service Award from NDHS for her many years of service. Rosalee is an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She was a member of the parish choir for over 25 years, and she also served as chairperson of the Parish Social Committee for several years. Rosalee has been the Chairperson of the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival (WVIHF) Minor Court for over 40 years. She has also volunteered in many other areas to help with the festival throughout those years. In 2003 she received the Volunteer of the Year Award for the WVIHF. Anyone who knows Rosalee knows she is always busy helping others. Whether its helping family and friends or gardening in the community, she is always going above and beyond to support others.
Angela Papa Leipold grew up in Clarksburg and is a graduate of Notre Dame High School. She received her B.A. from The George Washington University and a Master’s in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. For over 25 years she worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, where she led, among other things, the public launch of the National Museum of the American Indian. Returning to Clarksburg in 2019, and with a lifetime of learning from her family to appreciate all things vintage, she launched two new businesses: Allora Vintage, and The Morris, one of the largest event spaces in north central West Virginia. She serves on the boards of the Clarksburg Visitors Bureau, the Clarksburg History Museum, and Clarksburg Uptown, and is working to help increase investment and involvement in the historic center of Clarksburg, particularly the Glen Elk district. Olivia Scott is a Clarksburg native born to Richard and Janet Sprout. For the past 10 years, she has been a nurse with Harrison County Schools. Cultural heritage is close to her heart, and she continues to learn from her grandmother, Rebecca Buffey Sprout, whose parents immigrated from Calabria. Olivia’s great-grandfather, Mike Baffi (Buffey) was from San Nicola dell’Alto, and her great-grandmother, Vittoria Parise was from San Giovanni in Fiore. Through this lineage, she and her family are pursuing Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent. Olivia is a member of The Sons and Daughters of Italy as well as The Ellis Island Foundation. She is an avid enthusiast of genealogy and loves helping people of Italian ancestry connect to their roots through extensive family history research. Olivia married Sam Scott in 2013, and they have four wonderful children—Oliver, Silas, Samuel and Indie.
Theresa Oliverio Westfall Theresa was born October 1945 and raised in Park View section of Clarksburg. And the oldest of 4 siblings. Her parents were John and Mildred Oliverio of Park View, Clarksburg. Her paternal grandparents were Antonio andTheresa Oliverio, who immigrated to Ellis Island from St John’s in Fiore, Calabria, Italy and her maternal grandparents were John and Mary Drumpus, immigrants from Austria and France. She attended public schools: East View Grade School, Broadway Jr High and a proud 1963 graduate of RW High School. She married Danny Westfall in 1967. They are the parents of two wonderful sons. Brian & Chris. Brian is a civil engineer with WVDOH and Chris is Director of NorthStar Technologies, Bridgeport, WV. She also has three grandsons. Theresa is retired from JCPenney with 22 years of service. Since her retirement she get calls to look after and help others in need, whether if be family, friends, or neighbors. This seemed to be her mission along with my husband by my side. She cared for her father in her home who passed away at 97 yrs old. Along with her sister Patty, they cared for their mother while she was in a nursing facility for three years. She is a member of Bridgeport United Methodist Church and the Simpson Creek Baptist. She has hosted small intercessors prayer groups and Bible studies. Growing up celebrating Christmas was her favorite holiday, celebrating the birth of Christ along with the traditional meal of the seven fishes, fried fretti and making Italian favorite Pita Piata.