Recently, the Amerigo Vespucci Society (AVS) of Long Branch New Jersey hosted a 129th anniversary dinner at The Breakers in Spring Lake. About one hundred and fifty people attended the event which celebrated the last history of the organization and honored one of its members, Mr. Joseph Mossa, as man of the year.
The evening began with cocktails and an hour of hors d’oeuvres, and the program included live music from Zach Alexander, one of the New York metro area’s top Sinatra-era singers. Proclamations were read and presented by various local organizations and political offices. AVS President Joseph Sirianni said the organization is “proud to say that we have been around since 1875 and have been incorporated since 1895. This year we honor another member who has led by example and illustrated what an Italian-American should be.
The event had no shortage of dignitaries from the greater Long Branch area. In attendance were Long Branch Mayor John Pallone, Councilor Dr. Mary Jane Celli, Councilor Dr. Anita Voogt, Councilor Rose Widdis, Councilor Bill Dangler, Councilor Mario Vieira, Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone, deputy director Commissioner Susan M. Kily, Commissioner Nick DiRocco, Commissioner Ross F. Licitra, Ocean Township Councilman Rob Acerra and Monsignor Sam Sirianni of St. Robert Bellarmine’s Cathedral. Proclamations received from notable dignitaries such as Congressman Frank Pallone (District 6) and State Senator Vin Gopal (District 11)
AVS Man of the Year Joseph Mossa was born on October 24, 1960 at Perth Amboy General Hospital to Carmine Anthony and Maryann (Cuccinello) Mossa, and is one of four children. His paternal and maternal families emigrated from various parts of Italy, including Rome, Naples, Bologna and Bari. Joseph graduated from Saint John Vianney High School in 1978 where he was a member of the men’s cross country and wrestling teams. In 2006, Joseph was inducted into the Saint John Vianney Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1983, he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Growing up in Holmdel, Joseph developed a passion for wrestling at the age of twelve. His passion for the sport continued into adulthood as he coached Saint John Vianney, Holmdel and Manalapan High Schools for a combined total of thirteen years. Additionally, Joseph has been an official in New Jersey Wrestling for nine years and continues to fuel his passion for the sport.
After graduating from King’s College, Joseph immediately began his professional career as a sales manager with Wallace Computer Services for twenty-two years. During his tenure, he won “Salesperson of the Year” twice as well as honor as a member of the “Outstanding Performance Club” on several occasions. For the past fifteen years, Joseph has worked in the digital payments industry. He is currently Head of ISV Sales for CardKnox, a private Fidelity Payments company based in Howell, New Jersey. His outgoing personality, love of people, as well as his natural ability to “get along with everyone”, helped him lead a successful career in sales and sales management.
Joseph is also very active in his community. He previously served as Chairman of the Sports Council of Saint Rose de Lima, President of the School Board of Saint Veronica, Member of the School Council of Mother Seton Academy and is currently a member of the Business Advisory Council of King’s College – McGowan School of Business. Joseph is also an usher at Saint Veronica Parish in Howell, New Jersey, where his family are proud parishioners.
Joseph, known to fellow society members Amerigo Vespucci as “Joe”, is an active member of the organization. Shortly after arriving some twelve years ago, Joe, named after his maternal grandfather Joseph Cuccinello, resurrected the society’s annual St. Joseph’s Dinner, dedicating it to his late father. , as it was the last time he and his two brothers John and Anthony were all together. Joseph presided over it every year thereafter with a full house. Joseph also led an effort several years ago to raise money for a perimeter fence around the building and company property. In addition, he has always been the company’s cook at general monthly meetings, attended Senator Thomas Gagliano Tripe’s annual dinner, and joined the society by participating in numerous Columbus Day parades in New York and attending many many annual events. . Joe has held various positions on the Company’s Board of Directors and currently serves as Vice President.
In 2019, Joseph and his family joined friends on a trip to Italy. Upon his return, he updated the members at a monthly meeting on his experience. He explained that he had explored and visited various regions both in the north, in the greater region of Lombardy, and in the south, in the region of Calabria, the region from which the founders of the company Amerigo Vespucci originated in 1875. He further explained that he gained a greater appreciation for his Italian and Catholic roots and encouraged his colleagues who had never been to Italy to visit and encouraged those who had already visited Italy to return.
Although Joseph is very active in his community, his church and his professional life, his priority and passion is his family. He and his wife Lindsay met in 2002 and married in November 2005. They reside in Allenwood, New Jersey and have three beautiful daughters: Angela, Gianna and Gabriella. Joseph takes an active role as husband and father, supporting each of their passions and interests. In November 2021, Joe welcomed Edward Mazariegos into the family when he and Angela got married.
AVS President Joseph Siriuanni said, “We are honored to recognize Joseph “Joe” Mossa. An individual who values family, hard work ethic, community, ethnic roots and religious faith. The Amerigo Vespucci Society is proud to call Joe Mossa its fellow member and congratulates him on being named the Amerigo Vespucci Society’s Man of the Year. A well-deserved honor!
The AVS was originally created as a mutual aid society where Italian men could come together, escape the discrimination and anti-Italianism that began during the period of large-scale Italian immigration to the end of the 19th century. Since that time, members of the society have made it a priority to help each other and their families when there was no other place to turn. Today, the AVS continues to be a self-help society as well as a 501(c)3 organization helping individuals and organizations in the community and providing scholarships. They actively fight the pervasive negative stereotypes and defamation of Italian Americans in the media and promote the history and extraordinary achievements of Italians and Italian Americans. The AVS also promotes general admiration, appreciation and love of Italy, its culture, society, arts and people.