Speakers – New York-New Belfast Conference 2017
A veteran of the music industry and co-founder of Refugee Rescue, a humanitarian NGO providing life saving sea rescue at the refugee crossing on the island of Lesbos.A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland and a songwriter and performer, Joby Fox has been known as an authentic voice of post-conflict Ireland, but now also as a humanitarian activist, immersing himself in the refugee crisis in Greece.
In winter 2015 Joby went to Lesbos and saw the situation of refugees fleeing war becoming more and more hazardous, with the weather worsening and boats capsizing. Joby saw rescuers on the beaches and on rescue boats forced to choose who to save as there were so many people in the water. When in October 2015 a vessel containing 300 people capsize, only 250 could be saved, Joby decided that more had to be done, in the absence of large NGOs. Refugee Rescue was set up and an RNLI boat from England was donated to the organisation. It has since been operated by a voluntary crew of search and rescue professionals, and to date has saved over 4000 people’s lives.
Joby continues to dedicate time to his craft of storytelling and music. Currently recording a new album of songs, and finishing his script for a feature film. Growing up through some of the worst atrocities in contemporary Europe in the 70s and 80s, Joby’s honesty and vision creates an edge that makes him a relevant figure in the Irish music and art scene today; Always searching, always evolving artistically. His work reaches deep into the soul of humanity and is always up- front and personal, drawing from the environment around him and his Irish musical heritage.
Constance Hunter is the Chief Economist of KPMG LLP. She is an economic thought leader focusing on how economic factors impact asset prices and business performance worldwide. In her role at KPMG Constance works closely with the firm’s leadership and clients to identify inflection points, risks and opportunities that arise in the constantly evolving economic landscape. She is known for correctly calling economic indicators that presage market turning points such as the Russian currency devaluation in 1998, the Dotcom bubble in 2001, the real estate and credit crisis in 2007-08, the recovery of the housing market and concurrent low bond yields in 2012 and the continued low bond yields through 2016.
Constance has held high level positions in asset management for nearly two decades. She has held the position of Chief Investment Officer or Chief Economist for the past ten years. Prior to joining KPMG, she served as Deputy Chief Investment Officer at AXA Investment Managers where she helped manage over
$500 billion in fixed income assets. She graduated with a BA in Economics and Sociology from New York University and with a Master’s of International Affairs with a concentration on international economics from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She holds the Certified Business Economist designation from the National Association for Business Economics.
Constance is a regular speaker at conferences on a wide variety of macroeconomic topics and a frequent guest on all major financial media channels. She is also actively involved with a number of economic and financial market associations including the National Association for Business Economics, New York Association for Business Economics, Money Marketeers, Women’s Bond Club and of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. Constance can be followed on twitter at @constancehunter.
Harry Connolly is the Executive Director of Fáilte Feirste Thiar, a local tourism development agency tasked with developing West Belfast’s tourism offering and building sustainable tourism infrastructure. Harry is a board member of Tourism Ireland. Before working in tourism development, Harry worked for a number of years in youth, sport and community development across the greater Belfast area. He is the former Vice Chairperson of the West Belfast District Policing & Community Safety Partnership (DPCSP).
Harry is currently a Director of Visit Belfast, the public/private body tasked with marketing Belfast as a tourism destination. Harry has been a board member of Féile an Phobail, Irelands largest community arts festival, for a number of years and is currently its Treasurer. Under Harry’s leadership, West Belfast tourism has become known as a model of effective practice, in terms of developing tourism models which encourage job creation and sustainability at a local level, ensuring local citizens benefit from an increase in tourism football.
Maura is an Emmy award-winning producer and principal of Purple Mountain Media. Her career spans leadership positions in broadcast television at PBS/ WNET where she built successful media franchises and helped raise over $15 million for programs and EdTech initiatives — to working with top-tier media companies, such as The Jim Henson Co, PBS Kids, the Tribeca Film Institute — to non-profit work in Ethiopia and Peru. Through her consultancy practice, Purple Mountain Media, Maura helps creators and organizations develop and launch projects that leverage creativity, content and technology. At times, she participates as a partner and provides start-ups with creative and strategic direction, partnership development and marketing plans. Maura is a content curator and frequent speaker at industry conferences and events; and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She is on the Board of Directors of IIBN NY and Senior Advisor to LEAP. Maura holds a Masters in Media Arts from NYIT where she was also an adjunct lecturer. @MauraKellyMedia
In 2008, New York City Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley became the first Democrat and first woman elected to represent City Council District 30, covering the Queens neighborhoods of Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodside and Woodhaven. Since taking office, she has served as the Chair of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, which oversees the Fire Department, Department of Correction, Department of Probation, and the Office of Emergency Management. From March 2014 to 2016, Council Member Crowley served as co-chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus.As Chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, Council Member Crowley is a powerful voice against cuts to uniformed personnel, and led a citywide effort to save firehouses and improve the city’s 911 call-taking system. She additionally spearheaded the push on the administration to increase tours of Emergency Medical Services at a time when emergency medical calls and response times were higher than ever before.
In an effort to reform the Department of Correction, the Council Member sponsored legislation to reform the city’s criminal justice system and has worked to decrease the culture of violence in city jails. Additionally, she for years has called on the mayor’s administration to remove 16- and 17-year-olds from Rikers Island, and believes more education and job opportunities must be available for at-risk youth.
Jayne joined Kernel Capital 2013 having held a Senior Executive role in Kernel Capital portfolio company since 2007. Jayne’s investment focus is ICT, Telecoms and Engineering. Jayne is currently Chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Northern Ireland (2013/2014), and holds and has held a number of advisory and board roles with organisations focused on economic and social development.Jayne’s career has involved leadership positions with both multinationals and start-ups, across a variety of operational and executive roles. Jayne has lived and worked in culturally and politically complex environments in a variety of global locations including Europe, China, India and North America. Roles have included international sales, business development, corporate due diligence and ownership of a range of cross functional technical projects of scale.
John Kearns is the author of the short-story collection, Dreams and Dull Realities and the novel, The World and playwright of dramas including Sons of Molly Maguire, (just staged at Dublin’s Liberty Hall in May), and In the Wilderness. His novel-in-progress, Worlds, was a finalist in the 2002 New Century Writers’ Awards. John’s poems have appeared in such journals as the North American Review and the Grey Sparrow Journal. His fiction has appeared in The Medulla Review and Danse Macabre. John is the Treasurer and Salon Producer for Irish American Writers and Artists. He has Masters Degree in Irish Literature from the Catholic University of America.
John Reilly is a trial lawyer with more than 35 years’ experience. John serves as lead counsel in federal trial and appellate litigation throughout the United States involving antitrust, price-fixing conspiracies, monopoly, commercial and real estate disputes, RICO actions and class actions, as well as arbitrations in both US and global forums. In addition, John has been an arbitrator and counsel in numerous arbitrations involving commercial disputes, international disputes and New York Stock Exchange proceedings, including several FINRA arbitrations of claims relating to securities and other investments. He has also advised and counseled clients regarding joint venture arrangements in several industries, including airline and shipping, and with respect to re-sale price maintenance programs, as well as in grand jury antitrust investigations into the shipping industry. He has also served as a monitor in the New York City Integrity Monitoring Program and in the NY/NJ Port Authority Monitoring Program.
Mary Ann Pierce
Mary Ann Pierce has fused the digital to live events for over fifteen years. Our MetaMeetings™ software is one portal that manages conference apps, Webcasting, content management; and attendee registration and networking for conferences. The MAP Digital team has produced integrated digital events for J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Havas Worldwide, IPG, DRAFTFCB, CBS Interactive, The Wall Street Journal, Novartis, Pfizer, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and New York University, among others. For two years, Mary Ann was an adjunct professor at New York University where she lectured on Internet solutions for the Meetings Industry. Before embarking into digital events, Mary Ann worked in creative services and production for Jack Morton Worldwide, Caribiner, and Imero Fiorentino Associates. She was the film and video curator at The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Managing Director of the Atlantic Theater Company, Marketing Director for MoMA PS1, and copywriter at Wunderman, a direct marketing agency. MAP Digital: MetaMeetings™ has been certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (USA).
Michael Sorkin is the principal and founder of Michael Sorkin Studio. His practice and work spans design, criticism and pedagogy.Since 2000, Sorkin has been Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at City College of New York. His previous academic engagements include Professor of Urbanism and Director of the Institute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Gensler Chair at Cornell University, Hyde Chair in Nebraska University, Saarinen Chair in the University of Michigan, Gilbert Chair in the University of Michigan, both the Davenport and Bishop Chair at Yale University, and professorships at the Architectural Association, Cooper Union, Harvard University and Columbia University.Sorkin is architecture critic for The Nation, contributing editor at Architectural Record, and author or editor of twenty books. His books include Variations on a Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, Local Code, Giving Ground (edited with Joan Copjec), Michael Sorkin Studio: Wiggle (Works in Progress), Some Assembly Required, Other Plans, The Next Jerusalem, After The Trade Center (edited with Sharon Zukin), Starting From Zero, Analyzing Ambasz, Against the Wall, Indefensible Space, New Orleans Under Reconstruction (edited with Carol Reese and Anthony Fontenot), All Over the Map, and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan.
In 2005, Sorkin founded Terreform, and is currently its president. He is editor-in-chief of its imprint, UR (Urban Research), which was launched in 2015. He is on the board of several civic and professional
organizations such as Urban Design Forum (Vice President) and the Architectural League of New York (Director). He is also a member of the International Committee of Architectural Critics.Sorkin has been the recipient of several fellowships and awards. His recent awards include “Design Mind” from the National Design Award in 2013; and Fellow in the field of architecture planning and design from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 2015.
Honesty is an ethical plane that Mike considers to be a key factor in building teams and long term business relationships. He sets the bar high for himself and leads by example; a leadership trait learned early on in his career while leading Sales and Marketing for large technical organizations such as Tata Consultancy Services, Xavient, and BBSI.
Today, Mike, heads up the next generation of technologists and market innovators along with Co-founder Mario Di Vece at Unosquare. Together they’ve forged a strong partnership built on a foundation of excellence, community, passion, trust and integrity.
The new Chairman of the Executive Council of the Society is Brian E. McCabe. Brian is a member of a large and well-known Irish American family with a distinguished tradition of service in the political, legal, educational, building trades and cultural life of New York City. Brian enjoyed a long and accomplished career in the NYPD Detective Bureau as detective and commander, and was widely recognized for his service in the Irish Peace Process. He is currently a System Director with the Bon Secours Charity Health System and a consultant in investigative and security operations, creative and educational projects. Brian is now Chairman of the Executive Council of the Society, on which he has served for a number of years.
A lifelong resident of Staten Island, Michael J. Cusick came to the New York State Assembly with valuable experience at all levels of government. Prior to his election, Cusick served as Director of Constituent Services for U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. His duties included serving as Senator Schumer’s liaison to New York State elected officials, as well as various federal agencies. In addition, he managed the day-to-day operation of the senator’s New York City office.Assemblyman Cusick has served in the State Assembly since January 2003. In 2011, he was elected Chair of the Assembly Election Law Committee. He also sits on the Transportation, Higher Education, Veterans’ Affairs, Mental Health, Steering, and Ways and Means Committees. In addition, Cusick chairs the Legislative Task Force on People with Disabilities.
Christine C. Quinn is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Win (formerly Women in Need), the largest provider of shelter, permanent supportive housing and services for homeless families and children in New York City. Under her leadership, Win is improving the lives of women and children, advocating for policies that benefit low-income New Yorkers and those living in poverty, and also challenging prevailing perceptions of homelessness. A thought leader and expert, she often appears in the media on this issue.Quinn is Vice chair of the New York State Democratic Party and is a regular, and occasionally fiery, commentator on CNN and MSNBC.
A champion of women’s and LGBT rights, she previously served as Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo, where she focused on women’s issues across New York State, and led the effort to pass legislation to stop rape and sexual assaults on college campuses. A member of the New York City Council from 1999-2013, Quinn served for seven years as the elected Speaker of the Council, making her the first woman and the first openly gay Speaker, as well as the highest-ranking LGBT official in New York City history. She was instrumental in working to see marriage equality pass in the New York State Legislature and has been a national leader in the LGBT and reproductive rights movements.
Prior to serving in elected office, she was the Chief of Staff to then-New York City Council Member Tom Duane, and Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Project, where she worked closely with the New York City Police Department to reduce hate crimes.
Christine Quinn currently serves on the Boards of Athlete Ally, an organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports, and the National Institute of Reproductive Health Action Fund (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice New York). She is a Grove Leader in the inaugural Grove Fellowship Program at the Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and a former Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow. She and her wife, Kim Catullo, live in Chelsea with their rescue dog Justin.
The Honorable Sean O’Brien is a speechwriter with service as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, Director of Speechwriting to Vice President Joseph Biden, Chief Speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chief of Staff to Congressmen Mike Quigley and Bill Foster. He has written over 300 speeches as well as multiple op-eds and articles for national publications on a wide variety of topics including national security, civil rights, children’s education and the economy. He holds a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and a Bachelors of Arts in American Culture from Northwestern University. A former improv comedy performer in Chicago’s Second City theater, he has written comic routines for the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and several Members of Congress. He has also worked as a communication professional for numerous private sector clients in the Netherlands and the United States including GE Capital, KPMG, ABN AMRO Bank, and Kraft Foods. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Erin, and his daughters Mary and Clare.
McLaughlin & Morgan works with American companies that wish to expand to Ireland, as well as Irish companies looking to expand to the United States. We address their relevant concerns regarding international opportunities and ease the transition into these new markets.
Raffaella Folli is a Professor of Linguistics, Head of School of Communication and Provost of the Belfast and Jordanstown Campuses at Ulster University . She studied Philosophy at the University of Milan. In 1998 she completed an MPhil in Linguistics at the University of Oxford and then in 2001 a DPhil in Linguistics, also at the University of Oxford. She joined Ulster University in 2005 having previously held research positions at the University of Arizona (2001-2001) and then the University of Cambridge (2002-2005) .
Her main research area is theoretical syntax. Her standing in linguistics is evidenced by her extensive publications in top journals in the field, various grants from different research councils and extensive collaborations with academics in the UK and the US. In 2011 she was awarded a Distinguished Research Fellowship award in recognition of her research achievements.
She is part of the linguistics team that in 2012 established the Ulster Centre on Multilingualism (UCoM), an information service for people raising or working with children growing up with more than one language. As part of UCoM, she is involved in Language Made Fun, a programme designed to support the language needs of multilingual children or migrant children in Northern Ireland. The programme is in collaboration with the Barnardo’s and is funded by a grant by Big Lottery Fund.
Based in New York, Alison was appointed Head of North America in June 2013, where she has responsibility for leading Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Strategy and Operations in the USA and Canada. She joined Tourism Ireland in 2002 and previously held the position of Vice President Marketing, USA. Prior to moving to New York, she was responsible for Tourism Ireland’s Canadian marketing operations based in Toronto.
Alison has extensive destination marketing experience and a record of achievement in building and leading high performance teams. Her career has spanned strategy development, brand management, integrated consumer marketing, communications and stakeholder management. Alison has worked in the UK, Europe and North America.
The USA is the second largest source market for Irish tourism. Since 2010 US visitors to the island of Ireland have increased by 48% and expenditure by 72%. In 2016 a record 1.4 million Americans travelled to Ireland and spent more than $1.2 billion
Alison also serves as Chair of the European Travel Commission, USA Operations Group responsible for the promotion of Europe in long haul markets
There has been 28 Victory Scholars in total since its launch in Sport Changes Life, formerly USNI Sport. The idea of bringing elite scholar athletes from America to earn a Masters and at the same time work in the local community and raise the aspirations of young people in sport, all while playing the sport they love came from Co-Founders CEO Gareth Maguire, Professor Deirdre Brennan at the University of Ulster and International business man Mark Marais.
CEO Gareth Maguire has lead the way with his vision to help develop basketball and change the lives of young people of Ireland through sport developing EHOOPS Programs and Sports Programs with his wife Deirdre. The Victory Scholarship program has gone from strength to strength in the past number of years with a rebrand of the company in early 2012 to Sport Changes Life.