Golden Bridges Boston 2019 Honorees
James T. Brett
James T. Brett, President and Chief Executive Officer of The New England Council, was appointed to those positions by the Council’s board of directors in October 1996.
The Council, a nationally respected and influential regional organization, was established in 1925. It is an alliance of schools, hospitals, corporations, and other private organizations throughout New England, working together to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region. It identifies and supports federal policies of importance to all six states, and advocates for its membership regionally and nationally.
Mr. Brett has been a leading voice in advocating for public policy issues such as health care, education, financial services and energy throughout New England and Washington, D.C.
The Council’s membership and financial growth have been impressive under Mr. Brett’s leadership. In the past four years, revenues have doubled and net assets have significantly exceeded historical levels. Mr. Brett is co-host of D.C. Dialogue, a monthly public affairs program broadcast on New England Cable News.
John C. Beatty
A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Mr. Beatty, retired from active military service in 2015 and brings more than 23 years of military service and experience to the Commonwealth. Since 2016, John Beatty has served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force (MASS-TF), a nationally recognized initiative to support military communities.
In this capacity, he has served as Governor Charlie Baker’s liaison to Massachusetts’ six military bases, which together generate more than $13 billion in economic activity and employ more than 57, 000 citizens and residents. The MASS-TF integrates and synchronizes the work of Massachusetts’ Congressional Delegation, particularly its members serving on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the Governor of Massachusetts, the Governor’s cabinet, the state legislature, industry, academia and our Massachusetts National Guard, to ensure our bases and their associated missions are well resourced and able to thrive in the Commonwealth.
During Mr. Beatty’s tenure, the MASS-TF has secured federal funding for our defense laboratories, advocated for new military construction, and directed state capital investments in energy resilience, workforce training, infrastructure, and innovation. A proud South Boston native, Mr. Beatty’s grandparents emigrated from Galway and Donegal in the early 1900s. He recently reconnected with his family abroad and is committed to supporting Irish – American partnerships here in Massachusetts.
Originally from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, John moved to the Philadelphia area in 1995 as a grateful recipient of the Morrison Visa program.
John lives in Havertown, PA with and his wife, [Una Porter from Raphoe, Co. Donegal] and their four children Brian, Joe, Jack and Cassie. When not driving their kids to their multiple extra-circular activities, John and Una are likely to be at their soccer, basketball, Gaelic, dance and other events. John has served as coach for many of their Gaelic and soccer teams too.
John currently serves as Vice-chair of the Irish Immigration Center of Philadelphia and has held various board roles with Gaelic Athletic Associations at local and US national level. John and Una like to be involved in many volunteer opportunities within the Irish-American community in Philadelphia. John is a long-time member of the Donegal Association of Philadelphia.
John is a strong supporter of promoting trade and tourism between Ireland and the USA and is passionate about retaining his connection to Donegal and the Northwest of Ireland. John and Una are long-time members of the Delaware County Gaels Club, where all their children play Gaelic sports. The club has brought players and many family members to Ireland since 2010 for Féile Peile na nÓg.
John currently works at AmeriHealth Administrators (AHA) as Revenue Optimization Director having served as Strategy Director at parent company Independence Health Group [IHG/IBC]. John has worked in Health Insurance industry since 1995 with much focus on Government Markets [Medicaid and Medicare]. John switched his focus to the emerging Healthcare Exchange markets and most recently on the Self-funded area with Independence’s TPA and Specialty affiliates.
John holds a B.Sc. Management Degree from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and an Executive MBA from St. Joseph’s University.
Máirín Uí Chéide
Máirín Uí Chéide was born in the Connemara Gaeltacht and emigrated to Boston with her family in 1986. Máirín is an extremely well-known sean-nós singer with an acute awareness of her duty to pass on her knowledge and talent to the next generation. She has taught the Irish language and singing for many years in Boston, maintaining the oral nature of the transmission of the culture as much as possible, and presently teaches a class for children in Dorchester. She also maintains an extremely close link with her hometown in Connemara and competes regularly in Oireachtas na Gaeilge – an annually held arts festival of Irish culture, featuring performances, demonstrations and competitions. Máirín won the premier accolade at the Oireachtas in 1986 for her sean-nós singing, Corn Uí Riada.
She hosts a radio programme in WNTN completely as Gaeilge every Saturday as part of Larry and Sean Reynolds “Sound of Erin” team.
Máírín is an important member of the Gaeltacht Diaspora in Boston and was a key team member of the “Irelands Gaeltacht Experience” event in March of this year.
Maureen K. Lenihan
Maureen was born in Boston to Irish parents, Tom & Agnes Lenihan who met and married in Boston. She grew up in Galway and returned to Boston at the age of 21 and is currently living in Norwood, MA. Maureen has worked in Human resources for the past 26 years and is currently working as a Vice President for AEW Capital Management LP.
Maureen is actively involved in her community and has served on the Irish Cultural Centre board of directors for the past 10 years. She has also served as a volunteer at the Irish Pastoral Centre and is currently the treasurer of the Galway Hurling Club, Boston. She enjoys traveling the world, watching sports, and volunteering her time for a good cause!
35 years ago this year, Connemara-born boxer, Seán Mannion, fought for the WBA light-middleweight world title in Madison Square Garden, New York. Having emigrated to Boston at the age of 17 before briefly returning home to claim the Irish national boxing title, Mannion went on to become the US light-middleweight champion during the competitive era in that weight division’s history.
Having retired in 1993, Mannion’s story has resurfaced recently in the form of a biography and an award-winning feature-length documentary, and has now attracted the attention of Hollywood, with development work currently in place on a movie featuring one of the most successful and colourful Irish boxers of all time.
A key figure in the golden era of 1980’s boxing, Mannion maintained a strong bond with his Irish heritage by having Irish spoken in his corner during fights televised in the US and famously refused sponsorship money for this 1984 world title fight so that he could have the name of his birthplace, Ros Muc, written on his waist.