Maria Scordo Allen was born in New York and at the age of eight years she and her family came to Denver, which is why she considers herself a native of Colorado. After graduating from Iver C. Ranum High School Ms. Allen spent a year in Bari, Italy where she lived with her grandparents and studied Italian language and Western Civilization at the University of Bari.
After returning to Colorado Ms. Allen continued her studies, majoring in Western Civilization while beginning a ten-year career with Continental Airlines as a flight attendant. She eventually served as ALPA representative and Chair of the Denver local. During that time she met and married William “Clay” Allen.
While raising their two sons, Frank and Walter, Maria was extremely active in their schools’ activities and the Italian community while working with her mother, Mrs. Caterina Noya Scordo, now Mrs. DePalma, who was the acting Honorary Vice Consul of Italy. After many years of service she retired in 1998 where soon after Maria was appointed from a field of five candidates to serve as Honorary Vice Consul.
During her tenure over the past seven years. Ms. Scordo Allen and her Office founded the “Ente Gestore” CIAO, the acronym for Colorado Italian American Organization, approved by the Italian government to introduce Italian language instruction in Colorado schools. From that was born a collaboration between CIAO and the University of Denver in developing a budding, comprehensive language instruction initiative where schools of all levels throughout the state are involved. Their enthusiasm and participation has no bounds.
However, there were many other aspects of Italian American culture, which had never been established in the Denver metro area that simply begged for development. The list of CIAO’s energetic successes includes the creation of the very successful second annual “Festival Italiano”, as well as the development of the Rocky Mountain Italian American Chamber of Commerce. At the moment, Ms. Allen and her dynamic CIAO team are currently investigating leads for the establishment of an Italian Cultural Center.
Her goals are always to network and maintain open communication and dialogue with the Italian and the Italian American communities working together and as one. With these initiatives underway Ms. Allen works very diligently on her vision of creating reasons to ensure the pride and traditions of a rich culture that future generations will never have an excuse to ignore. Maria dreams of having Denver “on the map” as a premier city, where the Italian/Italian American community is very strong, very vibrant and highly visible.
In 2004 Ms. Scordo Allen was awarded Knighthood by the Italian government with the title of Caveliere del’Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta` Italiana, or Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.