Posted Oct 1, 2009 9:40 PM CST
By Lynda Edwards
Few of Tina Maiolo’s colleagues suspect that her life could easily be shaped into a Harlequin romance—or a chick-lit, girl-power movie.
While recuperating from a divorce in the Turks and Caicos à la How Stella Got Her Groove Back, she met a dashing man working at her resort. They fell in love, and he is now her husband.
To top it off, Maiolo has a glamorous new assignment as the lawyer of first resort for constituent matters for the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. She will field legal questions from the embassy and six Italian consulates around the United States.
Naturally, an unusual plot twist—not some boring ad—led her to the job. Maiolo was chatting with an Italian official at a glittering embassy party when they realized they were “a great fit for one another.”
Most of the questions she fields for the embassy center on immigration. But as head of the business law practice at Carr Maloney in Washington, D.C., and the daughter of Italian-American restaurateurs, Maiolo hopes her embassy work will offer the chance to help other small business operators launch ventures much as her grandparents did when they moved to Connecticut from Italy.
Maiolo bills the embassy for legal work it requires, but she also can represent individuals referred to her through the embassy.
She believes she is the first American to hold such a job, which requires a passion for Italian culture as well as strong legal skills. Fortunately, for this leading lady, those attributes already are part of her package.