A new Italian American of the Year was named Sunday during the Guiseppe Mazzinni Civic Association's annual Columbus Day commemoration dinner.

Erie's Italian Americans gathered at the Ambasssador Hotel and Conference Center where they honored City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember.

The society pays to tribute to Erie people of Italian descent who have contributed to Erie's history and future.

A member of the society explained why Mayor Schember was the ideal honoree.

"I think it was a unanimous choice," said Ron DiNicola, master of ceremony. "We thought it was a good time, and we felt he would be an excellent example of humility, hard work [and] determination. These a e the values that we think are important."

This was the 46th year for the Columbus Day commemoration dinner.