Trailblazing Leadership, Record Growth & Digital Unveiling Define ISDA 45


Robust financial and membership growth, trendsetting digital initiatives, and the reelection of Basil Russo were just a few highlights from ISDA's 45th National Biennial Convention.
Ninety-one years have passed since ISDA was founded, 45 National Biennial Conventions have been held, and in 2021 we’re proud to say that Italian Sons and Daughters of America is stronger and more influential than ever.
The latest ISDA National Convention was held last month in Cleveland, OH at the Downtown Hilton, and a rich slate of events took delegates and members of all ages on Rock ‘n’ Roll tours, boat cruises, Little Italy excursions, to high-rise meetings and grand ballroom dances.

The Convention Highlights:

  • National President Basil M. Russo was unanimously reelected and will lead ISDA for the next two years.
  • Joe Rosalina was elected National Vice President; Ronald DiMichele, Danielle M. Salasavage and Joe Cirillo have joined the Board of Directors; and Elise Carson is now the District National VP of West Virginia.
  • Under the leadership of Basil, Jim Laick and Joann Blackwell, ISDA Financial Life member assets have grown from $60 million in 2015 to $234 million in 2021 — a 290 percent increase!
  • More than 1,000 new members have joined ISDA over the last three years.
  • The keynote speaker, U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi, from NYC, pledged he would work closely with the ISDA community on pressing cultural initiatives, including defending Columbus Day and working to pump federal resources into Italian American history initiatives.

A Timeline: From the Old School to the New Age: 

2015: Basil and his daughter, Angela Russo-Otstot, launch the Italian Sons and Daughters of America website, a world-class digital hub that brings ISDA to the forefront of 21st-century communication.

2017: John Deike joins the ISDA community to expand the organization’s audience through content and multi-media initiatives that preserve and promote Italian American history, values, traditions and heritage.

2018: ISDA’s digital following takes off as hundreds of thousands of Italian Americans across the U.S. embrace our homespun stories, historical perspectives, authentic recipes and Columbus Day activism.

2019: Basil, ISDA District National VPs John Viola and Pat O’Boyle, and John Deike start developing a documentary-style YouTube and Facebook series, Greetings From Italian America, that would explore the Italian side of America, one city/neighborhood at a time.

2021: From 2017 to the present, 5.2 million people have visited the ISDA website, more than 1.2 million people have viewed Greetings From Italian America and more than 720,000 people have followed our social media platforms. 

Here’s to another 90 years at ISDA, salute.