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Business & Investment Conference – NYNB 19

Friday 14th June

The Loft, Pier A, Harbor House, Battery Place, NY


7:45am:        Registration & Breakfast

(Complimentary fresh bagels, pastries, tea, coffee and juices served)


8am:   Business BreakfastA Bridge to the Future: Rebuilding Belfast’s City Core

Chair:   Suzanne Aquino, Chain IQ, Member Invest NI Advisory Panel, East Coast, USA

Panel:   Rajesh Rana, President, Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce

Ashleen Feeney, Deal Advisory and Head of Business Development, KPMG in NI

Michael Hollingsworth, COO, Hanweck Associates, NY


8:30am: Alternate Histories of the Future: creative industries and social change in Belfast.

Chair:   Paul Moore, Head of the School of Communication and Media, Ulster University

Panel:   Donovan Wylie, Lecturer in BA/MFA Photography, Ulster University

Frank Lyons, Associate Dean of Research and Impact, Ulster University

Jennifer Stein, World Building Institute,


9am:   Official Opening

Council Member Keith Powers

New York City’s District 4 & Chair of New York City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee


9:15am: A Wider Reach: Expanding the Participation in our Universities

Chair:   Maura Kelly, Founder Purple Mountain Media

Panel:  Robert Walsh, Manhattan College

Prof Adrienne Scullion, Pro Vice Chancellor,  Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, QUB

Fr Joe Parkes, Provincial Assistant for pre-secondary & secondary Education, Maryland & USA Northeast

Billy-Jo McDowell, Graduate of QUB

Dr Karen Winter, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, QUB


9:45am:  A Manhattan Minute

David Beattie, Digital Irish, NYC


9:50am:  A Manhattan Minute

Becca Hume, Entrepreneur, Founder TapSOS


9:55am:  Investing in Belfast — Europe’s Fastest-Growing Knowledge Economy

Chair:  Mary Ann Pierce, CEO & Founder, MAP Digital

Panel:  Jayne Brady, Partner, Kernel Capital, Belfast

Johnny Hanna, Partner & Head of Tax, KPMG in NI

Jack Butler, CFO, MRP, Philadelphia and Belfast

Conor Twomey, Managing Director, Kx/First Derivatives, North America


10:25am: A Manhattan Minute:   Community Generator: A $10m Visitor Hostel

Fionntán Hargey, Director,  Market Development Association, Belfast


10:35am: In a World of Outstanding Tourist Attractions, Why Should Visitors Beat a Path to Belfast’s Door?

Presentation by Kristen Moore, CEO, Destinations of Distinction, NY on how Titanic Belfast captured the imagination of American travellers

Chair: John J. Reilly, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Panel:  Kristen Moore, CEO, Destinations of Distinction, NY

Michael Stewart, Director, House Belfast

Billy Condon,  VP Marketing USA, Tourism Ireland

Rosemarie McHugh, Director of Product Development, Tourism NI


11:05am:  Manhattan Minute:  Irish Arts Center

Pauline Turley, Vice Chair, Irish Arts Center


11:15am:  Better, Cleaner, Faster: Building Connected Cities

Chair:  Mitchell Moss, Director, Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management

Panel:  Elizabeth Crowley, Chairperson and Founder, 21 In’21

Gordon McElroy, former President of the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce

Patrick Foye, Chair & CEO, New York Metropolitan Transport Authority

Michael Sorkin, Principal, Michael Sorkin Studio NYC


11:45am:  Manhattan Minute

Nicholas Malito, Irish Business Organisation of New York


11:55am:      Boardroom Dialogues

Our 21st Century Cities – From Division to Diversity  (Patrol Room)

Chair:             Richard Cushnie, Northern Ireland Bureau

Contributors:  Rodney Dickson, Marcus Robinson, Geraldine Hughes, Bill Page, Sophie Colgan, Pauline Turley, Susan Elliott, President & CEO, National Committee on America Foreign Policy, Sarah McBride, Betaworks, NY

Boosting Irish American-Belfast business connections in a time of uncertainty: Beating the Brexit Blues  (New Yorker Room)

Chair: John Lee, Executive Director,  Goodman Media International

Contributors:  Hon. Francine A Schott, J.S.C.(ret.) Purcell, Mulcahy & Flanagan LLC, Sean Gaffey, Senior Vice President of the Gaffey Mellody Group at Merrill Lynch, Martin Mallon, South Bank Square Ltd, Matthew Dunn, Member New York Advisory Board, IIBN, New York

Be The Bridge: Lessons I Learnt While Forging a Transatlantic Partnership (Grace Room)

Chair: Jennifer Frankola, President, Brehon Law Society

Contributors: Sean O’Dowd, MD, Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC, Tony Donnelly, Managing Partner, Northern Property, Mike Breen, Cara Sloan, Member New York Advisory Board, IIBN, New York, Siobhan Dennehy, Executive Director, EIIC, Sheila Lynott, Caoimhe Forde, Co-Chair, Irish Network, NY



12:30pm-2:30pm:  Be The Bridge Awards Luncheon

Guest Speaker: Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller

Recognizing exemplary bridge builders between Belfast and NY over the past decade:

Be The Bridge Award for Investment: Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller

Be The Bridge Award for Arts: Geraldine Hughes, Actor, Producer, Playwright

Be The Bridge Award for Business: Michael George, Partner, Versant Group

Be The Bridge Award for Technology: Mary Ann Pierce, Founder & CEO, MAP Digital


6pm-8pm Farewell Finale of New York New Belfast  Conference

Venue: Pier A Harbor House, 22 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280

Hosted by Francis Schott, Honorary Chair of NYNB and includes the presentation of Irish Echo Irish American of the Year Award to Mae O’Driscoll



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