Vanessa Francone

Nickname: Vaness, V Occupation: Marketing and public relations manager at FUSE Age: 25 Generation: Third Dad’s side from: Loseto, Bari, Puglia Mom’s side from: Villavallelonga, Aquila, Abruzzo Raised in: Mississauga Speaks: English

What would someone be surprised to know about you? I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I love being a mentor to young kids and chatting with them to learn about their interesting perspectives. They look at things so simply, and sometimes that’s the best way to look at things! How will Italian culture change in Canada over the next 10 years? I see more of a merging between different cultures to create interesting fusions. What do you hope never changes? I hope the unity and pride people feel about being Italian-Canadian doesn’t change. I like how everyone gets excited when we meet fellow Italians! Best thing about being Italian-Canadian: I’m proud of how far my family has come; my nonni travelled here with little and set up this great foundation for our family to be successful. I am proud of where I am today because of my parents’ sacrifices and because of the work ethic they instilled in me from a young age—a specific work ethic to Italians. We don’t complain, we get things done and we find ways to make everything work. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? When in doubt, take it out. This can relate simply to a sentence in an email or to an item of clothing. Any time I’m unsure, I take it out and do something I feel 100% comfortable with. What job would you be terrible at? I’d be a terrible nurse or doctor. I can’t stand the sight of blood or needles! What Italian stereotype do you completely live up to? I eat a lot—like a lot. I even have a snack drawer in my desk that’s filled with granola bars, S-cookies and Nutella.

Photography by Stephen Gaitan, Makeup by Camila Notari