Teresa Aldisert Del Piero was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father, Caesar Octavius Aldisert was born and raised in Carnegie, Pennsylvania and his father, Giovanni Sansosti Aldisert was born in Acquaformosa in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of Italy. Teresa's grandfather came to America in 1904 at the age of 16 to "rescue" his 14-year-old sister Silvia who had immigrated a year earlier to work as a domestic with another Italian family. John S. Aldisert MERCHANT TAILOR was the sign in the window of his shop in Carnegie. He eventually bought a building on the main street of town where he lived and worked. He rented part of the building to a barber, who married his sister. John and Silvia went back to Italy one last time to say goodbye to their family and to let them know they would not return. They brought one more sister, Clementine, to join them in America. Once his sisters were both married and settled, a 28-year-old John courted Teresa's grandmother, Elizabeth, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio to Italian immigrants, Octavius and Filomena Manack (Magnacca). Although Teresa's grandparents did not approve, the couple eloped and were married in Pittsburgh and then honeymooned in Atlantic City. John and Elizabeth Aldisert raised three children, Caesar, Ruggero and Adrienne. John eventually became Deputy Coroner of Allegheny County. Both parents instilled the importance of education in their children. All graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Teresa's father also attended Medical School at Pitt and eventually became an obstetrician gynecologist after serving in the Navy as a physician on a hospital ship during World War I. Teresa was 10 when her Grandpapa John died, and her Nana moved in with her family.
Teresa was the oldest of six children horn lo Caesar and his wife Helen. She grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh. She shared a bedroom with her sister Regina and eventually with the youngest daughter, Ann. Ann went on to share a bedroom with her Nana for many years. Teresa always remembers the arae door opening under her bedroom floor as her father would po out in the middle of the night to deliver babies. Her younger brothers were Caesar, Richard and John. She attended excellent public schools and an elementary school teacher recommended that 'Teresa start art classes at Carnegie Museum. Years later, 'Teresa learned that her art teacher, Mr. Fitzpatrick, had also taught Andy Wnrhol. Art and design have always been a part of Teresa's life, but she was bit by the theatre bug in high school and eventually decided lo pursue a degree in theatre. Teresa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Acting from Boston University.
Teresa and her husband Eric met on a blind date in Washington, DC when she was a senior at Boston University and Eric was in his third year of medical school at The George Washington University. Teresa auditioned for a job with a professional children's theatre company in Sunnyvale and moved to California after graduating from BU in 1979. She remembers meeting Eric's family for the first time and how happy Eric's Nona was that he met a nice lhtllun girl.
Eric and Teresa were married in 1980 and will celebrate their 42"d wedding anniversary this November. Eric continued his medical training and after a fellowship in retina and vitreous in San Francisco, they moved to Monterey in 1985 to open his ophthalmology practice. Teresa managed his medical practice and they have worked as a team on many projects over the years.
Teresa has continued to perform locally on stage and on film and she is an active member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA). She was a founding member of the Monterey County Film Commission, appointed by her then Supervisor, Sam Karas. She served as President twice and worked tirelessly on their Oscar Night annual fundraiser and their screenwriting competition and so much more. Teresa is passionate about live theatre and served on the Board for the Monterey County Theatre Alliance. She worked to develop a scholarship program for high school students going on to study theatre in college.
Some of the attendees here tonight worked with Teresa on Art in the Adobes for two years. She also was involved with the Collectors Guild at the Monterey Museum of Art. Teresa and her husband Eric have enjoyed collecting art and have lent many of their paintings and art objects to museums for exhibits. The Carmel Art and Film Festival Board was another organization that Teresa served on and enjoyed because it combined two things that she loved, art and film. Teresa participated at all levels, screening films, presenting films and meeting film makers.
Teresa and Eric were joint recipients of a Champions of the Arts - Philanthropist award from the Arts Council for Monterey County in 2012. They currently serve on the Monterey Peninsula Theatre Trust Board, raising money for grants and scholarships for local theatres and theatre students. They also work on the Slavic American Cultural Organization's Student Ambassador and Exchange Program sending students to Croatia from Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. They have also hosted visitors from Dubrovnik in their home who have worked with Monterey and their sister city relationship.
Teresa believes in the power of prayer and is a devout Catholic. She and Eric are members of the San Carlos Cathedral parish, and she worked on the fundraiser committee for the restoration of the Church. She is honored to receive this award from the Italian Heritage Society and is proud to be an Italian American.
ITALIAN HERITAGE SOCIETY HONOREE 2022