Member Spotlight–Chris Gulli

headshot chris gulli
Chris Gulli–Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight highlights the stories, interests, and larger community engagement of Il Cenacolo’s members throughout the Bay Area.

I’m actually a (crooked-line) 3rd generation Cenacolista, my mom’s dad (my dad’s father-in-law) was Julian Pardini, who was a member from who knows when until his death. Ron and Dave would remember him. Some of my clearest memories of him are of him standing up at the meetings and dinners and berating the members about whatever was irritating him that day. His son, my uncle, was also a member and also named Julian Pardini, but not a “junior.” Fred Campagnoli was my neighbor and driver of the neighborhood carpool who drove me to school every morning, and who, legend has it, was a waiter at the first lunches at the Fairmont. My other neighbor was Renzo Turco, yes, the one on the Opera Scholarship. So I have a little history with the Club. 

l’ve been a member of the Club since 2001 when I moved back to California, but I’ve known about Il Cenacolo my entire life. Dad (Rocco) was a member before I was born, though not by much. I can remember going to events my whole life, and still have a poster from La Lanterna where we used to do our annual dinners, “Everyone should try being Italian at least once a week.” I was happy to step up to be on the Board in 2022, and look forward to making the Club a stronger organization going forward. 

When working on the Board, I also spend my time making wine, which keeps me busy throughout the year, but mainly in the fall. I enjoy the work, challenges and rewards that come with making something I can enjoy and share with friends. It’s also a strong part of my Italian heritage—I can remember making wine with my dad and uncle and friends growing up as a boy. I also try to dabble in other Italian culinary crafts, with limited to middling success. 

I’m a new member of Museo Italo-Americano and the official liaison between our Club and their organization. I’m looking forward to building a stronger relationship between our two groups. 

In other news, I live in Oakland and have two daughters in college. 

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