May 1949 – November 2020
A first-generation Italian American, Anna Maria Pierini always felt her most fulfilling blessing was to be an Italian born in America. She was born in 1949, in Reno Nevada, to Pete and Maria Pierini, natives of Lucca, Italy who kept the Italian language and cultures strong in the home.
Anna Maria’s youth was spent between Carson City, NV, Lake Tahoe, CA and Italy. At age 4, she flew on Pan Am airlines for her first trip to Italy. She attended St. Theresa of Avila Catholic School (’63) and Carson City High School (’67). She moved to San Rafael, CA, to attend Dominican College (BA ’71), where she resided until her death at home, from a complex cancer complicated by a stroke, surrounded by her life-long friends on November 19, 2020.
After graduating from Dominican College, she began her first career of 19 years with Irwin Memorial Blood Banks in Marin and San Francisco, and the Alameda Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA) in the East Bay. During her tenue at ACCMA, she was invited to speak, in Russia, Poland and Hungary, by the Dwight Eisenhower Ambassadorship Program, as an expert in non-clinical organization development in allied health fields. She earned her MS in Human Resources and Organizational Development (MS HROD) at University of San Francisco in 1989.
In 1996 she became the tenth Executive Director of the Italian Community Services (ICS), dedicated to the Italian Community since 1916. It was to this position that she brought her organizational skills, management style, and Italian heritage. She felt deep pride in her work there. Under Anna Maria’s leadership, ICS became a national model for Italian non-profits.
Anna Maria was recognized as Citizen of the Yearby UNICO (the largest Italian American Services Agency in the USA) National California District II in 2004. In 2010 she was awarded, in Lucca, Italy, the Medaglia d’Oro (Gold Medal) by the City of Lucca, for being an Italian who has distinguished herself abroad. Of the fifteen honorees from around the world, she was the sole woman.
In 2014, she was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the City and County of San Francisco, recognizing her dedication and commitment to serving the older populations and those with disabilities. Additionally, Il Cenacolo, an Italian Cultural Club founded in 1928, recognized Anna Maria as the 2017 Woman of the Year. It is said that she “broke the glass ceiling” by becoming one of the first women to be accepted as a member.
She participated on many boards over the years including the California Blood Bank Society, On Lok, and the Advisory Council to the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services where she served two terms as Council President. She was a polished media spokesperson, well-known and beloved in her San Francisco Italian communities.
In addition to her many professional activities, she enjoyed tennis, walking, volunteer service, and gathering with friends for an Italian repast. Anna Maria will always be remembered for her signature red lips, quick quips, wonderful phone calls, a phenomenal memory, exciting world adventures, her genuinely caring service to others, a love of everything Italian and babies, and her effervescent spirit.
She is survived by a loving circle of extended family and friends throughout the Bay Area, Nevada and Italy.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic no services are planned. Donations may be made to: Dominican University dominican.edu/makeagift Choose "Other" and enter "LAE Scholarship."
or The Santa Venetia Marsh Preserve, www.marincountyparks.org/about-us/donations
Fino a quando ci incontriamo di nuovo!