Colorado's first Italian American settlers arrived in the 1850s. Since that time efforts have occurred to document their presence in the area. Little however, has been done to highlight and honor the significant contributions made individually or collectively by Italians in Colorado. Colorado's Italian American Hall of Fame is working to change that.
In 2004, Joe Aiello—founder and former publisher of Andiamo! Colorado's Italian community newspaper—instituted two initiatives to recognize Colorado's noteworthy Italian Americans and their contributions...The Primo Awards—an annual event to recognize the best in Colorado's contemporary Italian American community and Colorado's Italian American Hall of Fame—individuals selected annually for their contributions (both past and present) to Colorado's Italian American community. Mr. Aiello assumed the role as Executive Director of Colorado's Italian American Hall of Fame and on April 29, 2004 recruited two other individuals willing to be on the Board of Directors; Ms. Alisa DiGiacomo (History Colorado Senior Curator of Artifacts and author of Italy in Colorado: Family Histories from Denver and Beyond) and James LoPresti, PhD. (CohereUs Consulting, Int'l. Senior instructor at Univ. of Colo. Denver; adjunct at Colo. State Univ. College of Business.).