Claudia Grace Perchinelli
This daughter of 1st generation Italian immigrants, this wonderful little girl who grew up in Brooklyn, this vivacious, smart and accomplished woman and engineer, embodies the spirit and will that moved her grandparents and a generation of immigrants from the old country to America.
Strength of and pride in family run deep in Claudia. She has successfully built a career in engineering and founded the highly successful and award-winning bridge engineering firm of Structural Grace, Inc., named for her grandmother, Grace li Pomi DiFranco. The words of a paisano ring very true - once overheard saying to Claudia in recognition of her efforts... "Remember, Claud, always remember, you are breaking down the wall, do not relent..."
In the heart of this beautiful, sensitive and fun-loving woman lie a remarkable resilience and a fierce dedication to the struggle for equality for women in the traditionally male-dominated field of engineering. This determination has not led her down the path of ease or that of the status quo. Simply, through extremely hard work and fortitude in the face of seemingly crushing odds, Claudia has earned the respect and high regard of even those to whom she brings this struggle.
The origin of the tenacity of purpose in her family's legacy can be found not far below the surface of Claudia Grace Perchinelli. Perhaps she has not loaded her belongings on a ship and cast her gaze and her fate to a far unknown horizon, yet her journey has and will cross the deep water, be tested by storm, taste the fair wind and will ultimately lay the foundation for the next generation of those who will have the head and the heart to go after what they want with all they've got.
When Claud smiles at those times after the fair wind has played about her, if you look, look closely at her smile, you will also see the smile of grandma Grace.