NYNB Conference Participants 2014
Described as “the Dean of Irish Radio in the U.S.” by the New York Daily News; “a promoter of incredible charm and energy” by New York Newsday; “an entertainer, a lobbyist and an entrepreneur” by The Irish Times and recently “an avuncular host” by The New York Times, Adrian has been a major force on the Irish cultural and political scene in the United States since 1970. He has dedicated his career as a broadcast journalist, community leader and promoter, to illuminating issues of concern to the American Irish community. Using his popular radio shows as a conduit for change, Flannelly helped reform visa lotteries and US immigration laws, legalizing thousands of undocumented Irish in the 80s and 90s. Four decades and thousands of interviews onwards, Adrian continues to broadcast live from New York City and Irish Radio™ Network USA. In 2000 the Irish Government appointed Flannelly as U.S. Representative on its Task Force on “Policy towards Emigrants”; an initiative of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Prime Minister of Ireland. He served as New York State Irish Cultural Liaison for the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City, adjacent to Ground Zero. (The recreated famine cottage and half-acre field was transported from Flannelly’s native parish of Attymass, Co. Mayo, Ireland) – a major attraction for millions of visitors to NYC since 2001. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Advisor for Irish Tourism by NYC & Company – NYC’s official tourism board.
Referring to Adrian Flannelly as his “good friend”, Mayor Bloomberg appointed him Irish Cultural Liaison to City Hall in January 2007. Adrian organized the Mayor’s 3 trips to Ireland- Ballymote, Co. Sligo for Memorial Dedication to NY’s Fighting 69th in August ’06; Knock Airport, Co. Mayo to launch 1st transatlantic direct flight to New York in January ‘07 and as a delegate to the US N. Ireland Investment Conference, Belfast in May 08, Adrian facilitated Mike Bloomberg’s 1st visit to Northern Ireland where the NY Mayor was keynote speaker.
Alastair Keith is a Corporate and M&A Partner based in A&L Goodbody’s Belfast office. He has advised on a wide range of transactions both at a national and multi-jurisdictional level, specialising in acquisitions, group reorganisations, corporate fundraisings, joint ventures and initial public offers. In addition to transaction focused work, Alastair advises on company law compliance and corporate governance. Before returning home to Belfast in 2008, Alastair spent six years working in the corporate team at Linklaters LLP.
Alison Metcalfe, Head of North America, Tourism Ireland
Based in New York, Alison was appointed Head of North America in May 2014, 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 relocating to New York she was responsible for Tourism Ireland’s operations in Canada based in Toronto.
Alison has extensive destination marketing experience. Her career has spanned strategy development; brand management, consumer marketing, communications and stakeholder and industry relations. Alison has worked in the UK, Europe and North America. She began her career with Visit Britain in London and held a number of positions including overseas management roles in Canada and Portugal. She subsequently held the position of Director Canada for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board based in Toronto and was also responsible for Business Development in Asia during her tenure.
Alison was Chair, European Travel Commission Canadian Operations Group, from 2003-2007, and was elected the first female President SKAL International Toronto. She lives in New York with her husband Brian. Spare time interests include running, squash, gardening, golf and travelling, especially back to her home in Helen’s Bay, Co. Down.
Andy Cooney, direct from his SOLD OUT appearances at Carnegie Hall, with his outstanding voice and dynamic stage presence has always been a favorite among young and old everywhere. His talent and versatility provide the ability to deliver a song directly to the hearts of his audience. Andy is surely one of the greatest singing sensations on Irish Music scene today. Christened “Irish America’s Favorite Son” by The New York Times, is a title he truly deserves. Andy Cooney is also one of “The New York Tenors”. They have been receiving high critical acclaim. Andy has recorded 18 albums to date including his latest release, “Bright Brand New Day” with Phil Coulter and his Orchestra. Andy Cooney is also known for his Cruise of Irish Stars that annually draws over 1000 Irish and Irish Americans on a Caribbean Cruise enriched with the finest Irish entertainment including the great Ronan Tynan.
Anita Daly is a key player in niche marketing and the founder and President of Daly Communications. The company thrives on its ability to pinpoint Irish American audiences and create marketing campaigns geared specifically to this consumer, utilizing press, radio and social media outlets. With over 30 years in the entertainment industry, Anita has been part of various groundbreaking trends. She launched her own marketing company in 1996 called Intercultural Niche Strategies specializing in World Music artists and the company helped launch Riverdance, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and worked with The Chieftains, King Sunny Ade and Ravi Shankar. In 2003 Anita started Daly Communications specializing in promoting Irish/Celtic and Folk Music entertainment in the US. The company provides press, radio, Internet and lifestyle marketing reaching out to consumers where they work and play. This includes direct marketing via social media, email, blogs and websites, street teams and outreach to mainstream media outlets. Daly Communication’s artist roster has included Celtic Woman, Van Morrison, The Irish Tenors, The High Kings, The Chieftains, Black 47, The Saw Doctors, The Pogues and Finbar Furey. Corporate clients include Live Nation, HBO, A&E, PBS, Sony and Universal. The company has received Gold and Platinum records for CD and DVD units sold. Daly Communications has recently partnered with music publishing company, Cosmic Trigger to further promote some of the acts the company represents. This includes getting airplay for artists in movies, TV programs and commercial advertisements. Anita is a founding member of Women in Music, a long time member of the Irish Business Organization of NY and a voting member of the Irish American Hall of Fame based in Chicago. Daly Communications has voluntarily mentored.
Bill Cox is a partner in the law firm of Gordon, Herlands, Randolph & Cox LLP. He is admitted in New York and New Jersey. His practice is primarily in the areas of corporate and commercial transactions and trademarks. He represents clients in the fields of entertainment, apparel, nutritional supplements and software consulting.
Rev Bill Shaw OBE
Director, 174 Trust Belfast www.174trust
As the trust’s director for almost 16 years, Bill has worked to raise it’s profile and credibility within the local community. North Belfast continues to suffer from sectarian violence, with tensions still high between Catholics and Protestants on the streets around the Trust’s facility. As a Presbyterian Minister working in a catholic area, he is committed to promoting reconciliation and passionate about peacemaking.
In 2005, Rev. Shaw was a recipient of the Harry McKilop Irish Spirit Award – established “to support and recognize individual efforts in community based projects which seek to promote inter community relationships and peace in Ireland”-during a ceremony at Queen’s University, Belfast. In the US he has participated in the AMBIT Community Leadership Program and the State Dept. International Visitor Program as well as being a guest of the President at the White House on St Patrick’s Day March 05 and then March 08 he organised and lead a Clergy Delegation to Washington D.C looking at faith-based intervention tackling a range of social issues.
He was recently awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen at a service in Buckingham Palace for ‘services to the community of North Belfast’. Bill currently Chairs the Churches ‘Community Work Alliance and the NI Community Faith’s Forum – both regional initiatives addressing poverty and disadvantage – and is also part of the Lord Mayor’s Chaplaincy team.
Bill Wolsey was born in Belfast on September 11 1953. As a teenager, he was scouted for Arsenal, and spent some time at Highbury. When health problems thwarted his footballing ambitions, his energy needed a new focus. After a brief, and by his own admission, unsuccessful stint as a compositor in the printing industry, Bill turned his attention to the hospitality industry. He gradually worked his way through the ranks, with a number of different companies from Pizza Hut (the first in London), to The Holiday Inn and finally the Queens Moat House chain, where he achieved a senior managerial position. This allowed him the opportunity to put some money aside, in order to achieve what was by this time, his burning ambition – to own his own public house. With some financial help from his parents, and the money he had set aside himself, Bill was able to place a deposit to secure ownership of what was then The Trident Bar in Bangor Co Down. Bill re-named the bar The Sportsman’s Inn and, thanks to a great deal of hard work and perseverance the bar became a prodigious success. A testimony to its success being, that it still exists today! Now re-named Wolsey’s, the bar and restaurant is under the ownership of Bill’s brother Martyn Wolsey. Due to the success of The Sportsman’s Inn, Bill was keen to expand the pub company that he christened Beannchor (now The Beannchor Group). Bill has always been an innovator and The Beannchor Group includes many of Northern Ireland’s best loved, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in its portfolio. These include the stunning, multi award winning Merchant Hotel and the restaurant chain Little Wing Pizzeria which has developed a cult following with its quirky style and high quality menu. Beannchor also discreetly owns a stable of 47 lease hold Pubs, Bars and Restaurants, which are acquired, strategically, thoughtfully refurbished and placed under the care of very carefully vetted tenants. Beannchor’s ongoing role in these properties is to advise at need.
Brendan Fay is a community activist and filmmaker. From Athy and Drogheda in Ireland Brendan now lives in Astoria, New York. He has been active on campaigns for immigration reform (UAFA), civil marriage, AIDS awareness, policing reform and human rights. In 1994 he founded the Irish LGBT group ‘Lavender and Green Alliance’- Muintir Aerach na hEireann. With others he formed Irish Aids Outreach (IAC) to break the silence around AIDS in the Irish Community. After years of protests and arrests he began New York City’s inclusive ‘St Pat’s for All’ parade in March 2000. Now in its 15th year the parade is known for its spirit of diversity and hospitality. Brendan and co chair Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy were honored by the New York City Council at the 2014 Celebration of Irish Heritage.
Activist for Marriage Equality: Brendan, with close friend and fellow Jesus Lebron has been involved in the grassroots movement for marriage equality since 1996. In 2003 they co founded ‘The Civil Marriage Trail Project’ bringing couples across borders for legal marriage. Among the couples were Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer famous now as the US Supreme Court case (2013) that overturned DOMA. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-l-manson/catholics-doma-dignity-usa_b_3504077.html
Marriage: Brendan met his spouse Tom Moulton in 1996. Tom works as a pediatric hematologist-oncologist in the South Bronx. They were among the first bi-national couples to legally marry in Canada in July 2003. Poland: Brendan has been involved in Polish LGBT politics and activism as a result of President Lech Kaczynski’s 2008 national address denouncing same-sex marriage using images of his wedding with Tom in Canada. They have visited Poland a number of times since including EuroPride, 2010. Film maker: Brendan produced the ‘Silence to Speech’ documentary series on being “Irish and gay” in America. He is director of ‘Remembering Mychal’ (2014) and co- producer of ‘Saint of 9/11’ (2006) documentaries about Fr. Mychal Judge, the FDNY Franciscan chaplain who died in the WTC tragedy on Sept 11 2001. He is associate producer of the award winning “Edie and Thea- A Very Long Engagement”. His film about gay pioneer priest John McNeill, ‘Taking a Chance on God’has just completed its international film festival run acclaimed by audiences around the world including in Rio, Warsaw, Buenos Aires, Florence and London. A highlight was being part of the Belfast Arts Festival. He is currently working with director Ed Moran on a film about West Papuan human rights leader John Rumbiak.
Breandán Mac Suibhne is a historian of society and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ireland. A graduate of University College Dublin and Carnegie Mellon University, he has taught at various institutions in Ireland, Scotland and the United States, where he is currently associate professor of History at Centenary College, New Jersey. He is editor of Society and Manners in Early-Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Dublin: Field Day, 2011), an annotated edition of the travel writing of John Gamble, medical doctor and man of letters, and co-editor, with David Dickson, of Hugh Dorian, The Outer Edge of Ulster: A Memoir of Social Life in Nineteenth-Century Donegal (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2000, 2001; South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001), which is the most extensive lower-class account of Ireland’s Great Famine. In 2005, he was one of the founding editors, with the critic Seamus Deane, of Field Day Review, a journal of political and literary culture, and, with Enda Delaney, he is editing a collection of essays on the Great Famine and popular politics, for publication, by Routledge, in 2014. Mac Suibhne is also completing The End of Outrage; or, The Informer and the Historian, a micro-history of the politics of post-Famine adjustment in south-west Donegal.
Brian O’Dwyer is a native New Yorker and was educated in the New York City public school system. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art, now known as LaGuardia High School, and is married to the former Marianna Page MacWilliam. They have two children, Brendan Keith O’Dwyer and Kathleen O’Dwyer, and they have four grandchildren: Paul Ellis O’Dwyer, Patrick Trescott O’Dwyer, Reilly Page O’Dwyer, and Hailey Grace O’Dwyer.
Mr. O’Dwyer received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University in Spanish-American Literature and his Masters of Arts degree in Spanish-Language Literature from Middlebury College in Madrid. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University and his Masters in Law from The George Washington University.
He has spent virtually his entire legal career at O’Dwyer & Bernstein, LLP, a law firm founded by his late father, Paul, which concentrates on personal injury, immigration rights, labor relations and general commercial litigation. Presently, Brian serves as the firm’s senior partner. His outstanding achievements have been recognized by his peers, and he has been cited as a New York Super Lawyer since its inception, which a peer ranking is given to only the top 5% of the profession as surveyed by the Bar of New York City. He has also been awarded a rating for 25 years that puts him at the very top of his profession. He presently serves as General Counsel of the US Airline Pilots Association, and represents pilots throughout the United States.
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín, is a fluent Irish Speaker with an academic background in Estate Management. Whilst he has worked on many community development projects over the past twenty years, his current post of Director of Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, an Irish language Capital Investment Fund, has enabled him to couple his professional background with his passion and love for the Irish language.
As Director of this Irish Language Capital Investment Fund, he is responsible for an £8 million budget secured by Gerry Adams in the Peace negotiations, with a remit of strategically developing Irish language resources and facilities across the North of Ireland. This fund to date has been able to leverage substantial funding not only from a range of central and local government sources but also from European funding initiatives to build state of the art community facilities in cities, towns and villages around the North. Among his key roles in a range of local Community Initiatives, he has worked for republican ex-prisoners’ group, Coiste na nIarchimí and was responsible for Developing its hugely successful Political Tourism initiative. He worked on a number of Economic Development Projects, including the West Belfast Partnership Board, central to developing the West Belfast Traders Forum and later as an official in Belfast City Council. Caoimhín has been a Sinn Féin Councillor since 2009 in Belfast City Council, representing the Andersonstown area of West Belfast. Caoimhín currently is Deputy Chairperson of Parks and Leisure Committee and he sits on Strategic Policy & Resources and Development Committees. He also represents Sinn Féin on the Good Relations Forum, involving political and civic representation in Belfast.
CM Daniel Dromm
District 25, Council Member Democrat. Chair of Committee on Education. Daniel Dromm was elected to the New York City Council in 2010 as the representative for District 25, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.
DARRAH CARR holds an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan
University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Dance through Texas Woman’s University. Carr is active in both the modern and Irish dance communities as a choreographer, dancer, educator, and writer. She is the Artistic Director of Darrah Carr Dance, a Bessie Award nominated company, whose trademark choreographic style is known as ModERIN: a unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance.The companyrecently celebrated its 15th Anniversary Season at the Irish Arts Center featuring the release of a retrospective artist catalogue entitled “ModERIN: Contemporary Irish Dance Works: Darrah Carr Dance” published by Macater Press. Additional New York City performance highlights include: NBC’s “The Today Show,” a performance with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, The Duke Theater on 42nd Street, Celebrate Brooklyn, and “The Yeats Project” at the Irish Repertory Theatre. Darrah Carr Dance has performed at venues throughout the United States including Jacob’s Pillow and The Yard. The company has toured internationally throughout Ireland and Canada. Carr is a Professor of Dance at Hofstra University and has been a Guest Choreographer at Adelphi University, Manhattanville College, and Queensborough Community College.
Carr is a respected scholar and has presented her research at the Congress on Research in Dance, the World Dance Alliance, and Dance Research Forum Ireland. Carr has contributed numerous articles to Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Dance Studio Life, Dancer and The Dance Insider. She recently contributed a chapter to “Close to the Floor: Irish Dance from the Boreen to Broadway” published by Macater Press. Carr was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by The Irish Echo and one of the “Most Influential Women of 2010” by The Irish Voice. www.darrahcarrdance.com
Minister David Ford
David Ford was elected Minister for the Department of Justice on 12 April 2010, having secured the necessary cross-community support within the NI Assembly and re-elected on 16 May 2011. Before embarking on a full-time political career he was a Social Worker with the Northern Health and Social Services Board in Antrim, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus.
Political Career: Alliance Leader since October 2001, Alliance Chief Whip, 1998-2001, Elected to Northern Ireland Assembly, 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2011 (South Antrim), Elected to Antrim Borough Council (Antrim SE) 1993 and 1997 (Antrim Town) 2005, Resigned on election as Minister and Alliance Party General Secretary 1990 – 1998.
Northern Ireland Assembly: Member of Statutory Committees on Agriculture & Rural Development, and the Environment in 1998 mandate, and the Environment Committee from 2007 to 2010, Member of the Business Committee 1998-2001and Member of Assembly All-Party Group on International Development.
David has been Chief Executive of Titanic Quarter Limited since June 2012. Titanic Quarter is located in the heart of a new, thriving Belfast – with the potential to become one of the most strategic and exciting developments across the islands of Ireland and Britain. The ambition is to return the area in a modern day context to what it was a century ago – a hive of industry, creativity and wealth formation.
Previously he was the Executive Director of Quintain Estates and Development plc, responsible for the specialist fund management business which focussed on residential healthcare, student accommodation, science parks and niche secondary property. Prior to that, David was Chief Executive of Strategic Investment Board Limited for six years, advising Ministers in Northern Ireland on the infrastructure programme across the region. He has extensive experience in project and tax based finance and was a Director of Hambros Bank in the City of London.
David has a degree in Economics and Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin having had his secondary education at Blackrock College, Co Dublin. David is married to Helen O’Malley and together they have 8 children (four boys, four girls) ranging in ages from 22 years old to 1! He lives in Killinchy, Co Down and keeps fit by running, with the occasional half-marathon when he is not chasing kids!
Deirdre Woodbyrne is a media consultant, and Principal of Dolmen Strategies, LLC. In November 2013, she became Executive Director of Irish Network USA. She has managed political campaigns and has served in County Government in Bergen County. Prior to moving to New Jersey, she was a television producer for the U.S. Senate Republican Conference. She served as Deputy Press Secretary/Speechwriter for then U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) where she worked with national media covering the Foreign Relations and Banking Committees.
While completing a Masters Degree in Irish Studies, Deirdre worked in Dail Eireann for Eoin Ryan, T.D. Prior to her time in Ireland, she worked for WJLA News 7 in Washington, D.C. and spent several years working in the news room for Radio Marti, Voice of America, the US Agency broadcasting to Cuba. She was a founding member of the National Assembly of Irish-American Republicans on Capitol Hill. She participated in the International Visitors Programme of the European Union. As one of only 24 individuals chosen from the US, Deirdre studied the impact of the media on foreign affairs and culture of various EU member states.
Deirdre graduated from The Catholic University of America with Masters Degree in Irish Studies and a BA in Political, Science and Spanish. She also trained at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in Washington, D.C. and does voiceover and television work. She is a Member of the Ramsey Planning Board, and Board Member of Mary’s Gift Irish Language Foundation.
Elana Loewenthal is Director of International Marketing at HBO. She has served in this role at HBO for 2.5 years, where she implements global marketing strategies for HBO’s internationally owned and operated broadcasters. Elana founded the Game of Thrones touring exhibition, which has visited 9 markets since 2013. Prior her current role, Elana held the position of Director of Sales & Marketing for HBO’s Licensing and Retail division and Director of Retail Development at Nickelodeon. Elana holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
Elinor Tatum is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of the New York Amsterdam News, the oldest and largest black newspaper in the City of New York, and one of the oldest ethnic papers in the United States.
Ms. Tatum was appointed to Editor In Chief in 1997, becoming one of the youngest publishers in the history of the black press. She began at the newspaper as a journalist, covering local and national issues affecting Harlem and the Black community. Under her watch, the Amsterdam News has evolved from typewriters to total computerization and undergone several new layouts with refocused content relevant to a wider African American community in New York and across the nation and the creation of Amsterdamnews.com, the paper’s online edition. Ms. Tatum has positioned the newspaper as a critical part of the national political discourse concerning African Americans. In addition to publishing the Amsterdam News, Ms. Tatum produces and co-hosts a weekly segment of Al Sharpton’s daily radio show “Keepin’ It Real” – a nationally syndicated talk show that airs in over forty markets. Ms. Tatum’s political insight is increasingly sought-after – she appears regularly on WNBC evening news, and on NY1. She has guest hosted on the new international network ARISE. She has also appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, 20/20, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Fox 5, and CUNY TV. In addition she has been been heard on WBLS and WWRL as a guest host.
Ms. Tatum was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in Government Studies in 1993. She continued her education at Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden, studying International relations and the Swedish model of government. Ms. Tatum holds a Master’s degree in Journalism in Mass Communications from New York University.
Francis Schott and his partners have owned and operated Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ since 1992 and Catherine Lombardi Restaurant since 2006. They have won many awards for their cuisine and hospitality.
Francis has served on the boards of New Brunswick’s Citymarket Development District, The New Jersey Restaurant Association and has been an integral part of the successful redevelopment of New Brunswick. He has worked to bring New Brunswick’s business and arts communities together to their mutual benefit. He is a noted public speaker and consultant on food, wine, beverage and community. He is co-host of The Restaurant Guys radio program (www.restaurantguysradio.com). He was appointed an official Ambassador of Belfast in 2013.
Dr. Gabrielle NigUidhir
As Senior Tutor for Development, I contribute to strategic planning in St Mary’s university College Belfast. I lead and consolidate developments in College. I provide leadership in areas such as Work Related Learning Staff Development, Professional Development of Teachers, International development, Schools, Careers and Research, Irish-medium education. My specialist teaching area is Irish-medium education and I contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in teacher education for the Irish-medium sector.
Gary Hanley, Senior Vice President – Americas Invest Northern Ireland
Gary is the head of American operations for Invest Northern Ireland, a branch of the UK government responsible for growing the economy of Northern Ireland.
Under Gary’s leadership, Northern Ireland has seen recent first time investments from dynamic and fast growing North American companies including CyberSource/Visa, 3Par now HP, ByteMobile now Citrix, BTI Systems, NaviNet, The New York Stock Exchange, CVS, Cowen, Dow and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
In May 2008, Gary was instrumental in the success of the historic US-Northern Ireland Economic Conference which took place in Belfast. The conference, supported by the Bush administration, was attended by Fortune 500 executives to meet with senior political figures including Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen (UK and Irish Prime Ministers). Keynote speakers included representatives from companies such as Allstate, Citi and Bombardier who are major investors in the region.
In 2009, he was honored in New York by Belfast Media Group’s US publication The Irish Echo as one of its Top 40 under 40. In addition, he has been named to the Irish-American Magazine Top 100 Business Leaders as well Business and Finance Most Influential US-Irish Business Leaders in 2008. Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors’ of the Irish Education Foundation and the American Ireland Fund – Dinner Committee.
With over eighteen years experience in the ICT industry in the US, Gary has held positions of leadership in software development, IT, sales and marketing for companies such as Sun Microsystems, GTE (now Verizon) and EMC. Gary holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Limerick as well as a Master of Business Studies from the National University of Ireland at Galway. He resides in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters and a son.
Gerry Carlile is a successful Irish sports agent and entrepreneur. He studied at Rathmore Grammar School before graduating from the University of Ulster, in 2001, with a BA Honours degree in European Business Studies with French and German. After a period working in management and finance, he became Northern Ireland’s first ever football agent, acquiring the mandatory ‘FIFA agent’s licence’ in 2007. Now representing a host of professional football players from leagues in England and Scotland, Gerry is established as Ireland’s premier sports agent. His firm, Evolve Football Consultancy represents almost one hundred professional athletes.
Four years ago Gerry diversified into hospitality and opened his first restaurant in Belfast, ‘Fáilte Restaurant.’ In 2011 he bought one of Belfast’s most iconic bars, ‘The Rock Bar.’ Later the same year he added ‘The Whitefort Inn’ to his list of businesses. He has continued to expand his interests, most recently in Scotland, where he opened ‘Light Nightclub’ in Glasgow in November 2013.
Gerry now has a burgeoning portfolio within the hospitality trade, ranging from restaurants and bars to nightclubs. This success gained Gerry the award of Belfast’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2013,’ at the Belfast Media Group’s Top 50 Business Awards. He is presently developing a new brand of Irish themed restaurants and has stated his desire to develop his business interests in the United States in the coming period. He currently resides in Belfast with his wife, Louise and three children Emmet, Barra and Paddy.
Cllr Guy Spence
Cllr Guy Spence is one of the youngest elected Members of Belfast City Council and is passionate about serving his community in the Shore Road area. He serves on a number of committees in the council and is Deputy Chair of the Development Committee.
He is also a member of a number of external bodies including Belfast City Centre Management Board, NI Local Government Association and NI Rural Development Programme to name but a few. Cllr Spence is an avid sports fan particularly boxing.
Harry Connolly is from Ballymurphy in West Belfast. He attended St Aidan’s Primary School, CBS Glen Road and George Williams University College in London. Harry worked for a number of years in youth and community development across the greater Belfast area and continues to maintain links with youth organisations such as Challenge for Youth and he sits on the board of the Terry Enright Foundation.
In recent years, Harry has been to the fore in raising the profile of West Belfast as a must see tourist destination. He is the Tourism Development Coordinator at Fáilte Feirste Thiar with the responsibility for developing West Belfast’s Tourism offering and building sustainable tourism infrastructure. He works closely with key stakeholders in the local tourism and hospitality industry such as Féile an Phobail, Coiste, An Chultúrlann etc. 2014 is an exciting year for Harry as he introduces World Host to West Belfast and beyond.
Harry has travelled to Europe and the USA promoting and showcasing West Belfast to the rest of the world! Under his leadership new dynamic partnerships have been established with international tour operators, industry experts and national tourism bodies. Harry will marry his fiancé Louise this June and are proud parents to one son Harry Óg.
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 Big Data. 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 including Digital NI 2020, Momentum and the NSPCC. 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.Jayne holds a 1st Class Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (M.Eng) from Queen’s University Belfast and is a Fellow of the IET.
- 1997 – 2005: Worked as an R&D software engineer for APiON (acquired in 1999 by Phone.com, now Openwave) and then AePONA until 2005.
- 2005 – 2009: Joined Swan Labs (2005) which was acquired by F5 Networks (2005). Managed the integration of Web Accelerator into the F5 BIG-IP.
- Product Manager in Replify (2007), to build the world’s first virtualized WAN optimization solution.
- 2009 – 2011: Moved to California in 2009 and spent 2 years in Blue Coat systems as Senior Product Manager for WAN Optimization.
- 2011 – present: Co–Founder of a tech incubator (MissionIQ) in Belfast focusing on mobility, cloud and security solutions with scalability and multi-tenancy as key areas of expertise. www.saltdna.com www.experiormedical.com www.auditcomply.com www.solovpn.com www.sixdegreelabs.com
Joanne O’Hagan is Marketing and Campaigns Manager at Visit Belfast, the official tourism marketing organisation for the city, responsible for promoting Belfast as a conference, city break and cruise destination globally. With almost 20 years professional marketing experience Joanne joined Visit Belfast in early 2013 managing the award winning Backin’ Belfast campaign and subsequent campaign, Lovin’ Belfast. Joanne’s career in marketing started in the drink’s industry in Ireland, where she has marketed premium, world class brands such as Beck’s, Guinness, Smirnoff, and Caffrey’s. She has extensive brand, event and category management experience in strategic and implementation capacities.
As well as working for the private sector Joanne has also worked in agency and consultancy roles and specialised in working with independent businesses, using her marketing expertise to help grow sales. Joanne’s current role within Visit Belfast involves partner liaison, campaign strategy, creative development, delivery of multi-tiered advertising and promotional activity and working with key city stakeholders supporting both the day and evening economy, and increasing visitor numbers and spend to the city.
Joanne has over 20 years experience working in the IT industry including nine years with the Oracle Corporation where she held various senior management roles in Sales and Operations. Joanne is currently working with Northern Ireland Science Park Trust as Director of Development. Whilst serving for three years as the locally elected Chairman of the Institute of Directors, (from 2008 to 2011) Joanne chaired an independent review on University fees, at the request of the Minister of Employment & Learning which led to a published report in February 2011.
In May 2011, at the request of the Ministers for Education and Employment and Learning, Joanne took on the role of Northern Ireland Champion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to oversee the implementation ‘Success through STEM’ government strategy, and to facilitate better engagement between industry and the education sector. This dovetails with her position on Matrix, the NI Science Panel.
Joanne was part of the NI working group formed by Declan Kelly when he was the US Economic Envoy for Northern Ireland, and she led on the development of the US-NI Mentorship Programme, which is a partnership between Teneo, American Ireland Funds and NISP CONNECT. As NI Chair of the program, Joanne manages the selection process and growing alumni network working closely with the other partners. The program, which is now in its fifth year, provides the opportunity for recent Northern Ireland graduates to develop their skills and gain valuable experience through a twelve month paid placement with a US Corporation in the States including senior executive mentoring.
Joanne is a member of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal panel in London. Joanne is a regular commentator on Education, STEM and the Northern Ireland Economy and holds a number of voluntary roles: Chair Arts & Business NI, Trustee of the Integrated Education Fund, Vice Chair of NI Assembly & Business Trust, Ambassador for the Women’s Fund NI and Non-executive director and Treasurer of Tides Training. Joanne was included in the 2010 Belfast Media Group Belfast Top 50 awards and was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Years Honours List in recognition for her ‘Services to Business and the Community’. In July 2012 Queens University conferred an honorary doctorate on Joanne for her services to Business and Commerce.
Joan Burney Keatings
Joan Burney Keatings, MBE, Cinemagic Chief Executive. Joan was awarded an MBE for Services to Arts and Media in Northern Ireland in 2011. Having worked in Cinemagic for 12 years Joan has strategically developed the organisation locally, nationally and internationally. She is responsible for the overall development and financial sustainability of the organisation. Joan has an MSC in Communications, Advertising and Marketing, BA (Hons) in Business Studies and Certificate in Management Practice. In 2005, Joan won Professional Fundraiser of The Year awarded by the Institute of Fundraising. Prior to working at Cinemagic Joan worked for BBC Northern Ireland.
Jason Richelson is the CEO and Founder of ShopKeep POS, a provider of cloud-based point of sale software for managing retail shops and restaurants. A former technology consultant and trader, Jason opened a specialty food and wine store in 2004, which he grew to employ more than 70 people in the Brooklyn and lower Manhattan branches. As a retailer, Jason had many problems with his PC-based POS system and while on vacation his store servers crashed, crippling the business. This was the turning point for Jason, inspiring him to build a more reliable, cloud-based point of sale system for small businesses just like him. Now, ShopKeep POS employees more than 100 people who all work toward the goal of empowering store owners nationwide to build and grow their businesses.
John Ahearn was born in Binghamton, New York in 1951 and lives and works in New York City. He was a founding member of Collaborative Projects, Inc. and co-organizer of the “Times Square Show,” 1980. John Ahearn’s work alongside that of his long-time collaborator, Rigoberto Torres was the subject of a survey exhibition, “South Bronx Hall of Fame,” organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, Houston in 1991 which traveled to museums in Europe and North America. In the 1980s and 1990s the artists executed several outdoor murals in the Bronx, New York and collaborated on public projects and exhibitions in Europe and North America. Between 2000 and 2002 John Ahearn completed a public project in Pan Chiao, Taiwan and between 2005 and 2006, Ahearn and Torres collaborated on two large scale wall murals at the Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporânea in Brazil. In the fall of 2010, their work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. In May 2012, John Ahearn participated in the special projects section of the Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island, where he presented a reconstruction of the 1979 exhibition at Fashion Moda, “South Bronx Hall of Fame.”
John Ferguson, Founder/CEO Venubooker
Entrepreneur – Advocate for Irish charm in business – Believer in global change through creative thinking – Everything’s an Ecosystem
“Currently spending 90hours a week developing and implementing Venuebooker as a brand to the global hospitality industry and loving every minute of it…. This is coupled with generally fighting the good fight for a Northern Ireland’s business while screaming about this little corner of Europe that has now so much to offer the world”.
John has worked within the hospitality Industry for many years, covering everything from managing many types of venues, to business development roles involving the total rebranding and marketing of new venues throughout Ireland. Not only that, he has a strong background in project management and finding creative solutions from several years spent working in particularly specialised roles within the M.O.D. This experience has given him the managerial, leadership, communication and creative skills and abilities needed to achieve success in whatever roles or tasks that he undertakes and it will become crucial experience necessary for taking on all the challenges ahead. Venuebooker is the booking.com for the events and functions industry, with an AirBnB approach to customer choice and comparison while delivering 21st Century hospitality solution toboth venues and customers.
Venuebooker has identified a clear opportunity to bring the events and function industry online. This is driven by a hunger within the industry to go digital with securing bookings and revenue, customer engagement and indeed event management from leads through to customer bookings and payments.
John P. Harrington
John P. Harrington is Professor of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University in New York City. The 350 full-time faculty in twenty departments provide bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees for 7,000 students on the three Fordham campuses in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Westchester, New York. In addition to the 20 departments, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers 20 interdisciplinary programs and a distinctive core curriculum for all undergraduates at Fordham, the Jesuit University of New York.
At Fordham, Harrington has taken on additional roles including Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Academic Director of the Fordham London Centre in Kensington Square, and Interim Director of the Office of International Initiatives.
From 2002 to 2009, Harrington was Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and Professor of Humanities at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological university in America. The school offers eight M.S. programs, one M.F.A. program, and five Ph.D. programs: a total of six new degree programs were developed in his tenure of seven years, and in 2008 the name was expanded from School of Humanities and Social Sciences to recognize its greater roles.
Harrington was educated at Columbia University, University College, Dublin, and he earned his Ph.D. in literature from Rutgers University. He has written extensively on Irish literature and culture, including The Irish Beckett (1991), The Irish Play on the New York Stage (1997), and The Life of the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street (2007). He edited W. W. Norton’s anthology Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama (1991; new edition 2008) and Irish Theater in America (2009). While continuing to teach and to attend academic conferences, Harrington also lectures frequently on theater and Irish culture in non-academic settings such as the Guggenheim Museum, Lincoln Center Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Manhattan Theatre Club, and others. He is a former Chairman of the Board of WMHT Educational Telecommunications and a current member of the Board of Mint Theater, a professional company in New York City.
Head of the Equities division at Cowen Group LLC. 2005-2012. Co-head of US Equity trading Credit-Suisse 2000-2005. Partner/Managing Director Schroders PLC, 1983-2000 Mesirow and Co. 1981-1983. Queen’s University 1981, BSc. (Hons) Economics and Business Administration.
John is Married with 2 Sons. Wife, Debbie. John P, Brendan M. John is a Native of Newcastle, Co. Down. John’s Interests include, Golf, Rugby, F1, Travel.
The Reverend Joseph M. McShane, S.J.
A native of New York, Fr. McShane is the President of Fordham University, the Jesuit university of New York from 20o3. Fr McShane’s grandparents were immigrants who came to the United States from counties Armagh, Louth and Tipperary.
From fine art at the National Gallery of Art to fast horses at Belmont Park, Lee’s diverse career always has had communications at its core.
He’s written for national magazines, hosted TV programming, directed media relations and broadcasting for the New York Racing Association and now heads the public relations and media projects consultancy John Lee MEDIA, which is currently collaborating on projects with Jeffrey Hayzlett’s TallGrass Public Relations Lee has worked with several Irish businesses and organizations including the Lyric Theatre of Belfast on their successful Off-Broadway run last fall of “Brendan at the Chelsea.” A frequent speaker, moderator and panelist at media and Irish events, Lee is on the board of the Irish American Writers & Artists, is first vice president on the Irish Business Organization of New York and blogs at IrishCentral and The Huffington Post.
Graduated QUB – BSc Mathematics MSc Computational Science, Phd Aeronautics
Career 1998 – 2011: Started my career with WPDS in San Diego as a software engineer focused on the Equipment Configuration Management systems for global air forces, to running multiple teams for Spirent communications in Ireland and USA. My next big challenge was as a founder of Swan Labs (2004) specialising in WAN optimisation, which was acquired by F5 Networks (2005). Next on the horizon was Replify (2007), which we founded in 2007 and focused on mobility optimisation and virtualisation. Other key areas of interest where Blue Coat systems and consulting on multiple projects from mobility, security to social platforms
2011 – present: Founder of a tech incubator (MissionIQ) in Belfast focusing on mobility, cloud and security solutions with scalability and multi-tenancy as key areas of expertise. We have partnered with key seed fund Stone Hammer Capital and have developed several great projects:
SaltDNA – The world’s first secure mobile communications system embedded within a complete managed mobile environment.
Experior Medical – Test and measurement focused on developing and measuring core competencies within specialised medical subjects.
AuditComply – A totally mobilised and automated quality assessment and auditing system.
SoloVPN – A consumer mobile VPN network with a global user base
Six Degree Labs – A social and mobile media measurement platform for global brands and agencies.
Kevin Kent represents corporations and professionals in a broad range of complex commercial litigation focusing on class actions, civil fraud, director and officer liability, legal malpractice, fiduciary, trademark, copyright, and employment litigation. A substantial portion of Kevin’s practice involves internal investigations and white collar criminal defense, including grand jury investigations overseen by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the defense of clients in parallel civil litigations. Kevin is the President of the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (IABCN) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a member and honors many associations including American Ireland Fund, American Bar Association and Law Society of Ireland.
Kevin Gamble is the Director of Féile an Phobail, Ireland’s Biggest Community Arts Festival. Kevin was educated firstly through the medium of Irish at Bunscoil Phobail Feirste, then went on to St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School and then to the University of Ulster at Jordanstown. Kevin began his career as a Sports Development Officer and spent 10 years working in a variety of sports development posts, including with Sport NI and Upper Springfield Development Trust. Kevin took up his current post as Director of Féile an Phobail in 2011
Kevin is an avid GAA and Irish Language enthusiast and has represented his club and county in hurling and handball. Kevin continues to play for his local club Naomh Pól and also coaches a variety of underage teams in Naomh Pól. Kevin’s family has three young sons, Jude, Ben and Oscar occupying most of his spare time, something he wouldn’t change for the world!
Kevin McCann is a writer and filmmaker born in Northern Ireland and raised in the south of Ireland. Since graduating university, he has made drama and documentary for television and radio including RTE, BBC and TG4. After working in production for Roger Corman Film Studios, his half-hour border drama called “Testing Time, Teddy Boy’ won critical acclaim at film festivals and multiple television screenings. Among his latest work, is a non-fiction film based in Mexico funded by the Irish Film Board/Arts Council of Ireland and a radio drama series for RTE.
In 2013, he produced a half-hour drama called ‘Volkswagen Joe’ based on an Irish border play written by his father. It stars Stuart Graham (Hunger) in the central role. It has screened in a dozen festivals and has won 4 international awards to date including best short film at the Celtic Media Awards. Based in Belfast, Kevin is currently developing the first motion picture on the Easter Rising rebellion of 1916. ‘The Rising’ will be released in the centenary year 2016.
The acclaimed writer Colin Broderick is co-writing the screenplay which is based on the life of Seán MacDiarmada, mastermind of the rebellion and hero of Michael Collins. The $6 million film has secured over $100,000 development finance from institutes and investors in the US and is supported by Northern Ireland Screen, the film board based in Belfast.
Dr. Kris Erskine, Pastor Bethany Baptist Church NY
Dr. Kris Erskine is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and has served as the St. Pastor of the Bethany Baptist Church in the village of Harlem since February 2nd, 2008. He began preaching and teaching 24 & pastoring 19 years. Dr. Erskine has matriculated & received degrees from Tuskegee University, Birmingham Baptist Bible College, and University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr Erskine oversees the multifarious ministry at Bethany that hightlights community involvement; Bethany Seniors Minstry, Bethany Housing with three (3) facilities providing accomodations to Seniors and Low Income residents with partnership with HUD, Community Preservation Corp., Housing Preservation & Development of NYC. He serves as a Chairman/Board member & spokesman of Push Coalition, 1000 Churches Connected, Birmingham Police Community Chaplin, Bryan College Station, TX Police Chaplain, United States Service Academy Board and Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement to name a few.
Dr Erskine is co-author of a book “The Dilemmas of Being and African American Male in the New Millennium” he married the lovely Loretta Gaines-Erskine on October 12, 1996. They are proud parents of two wonderful children, a son-Kristian Gabriel and daughter-Alayna Gabrielle.
Mac Premo, b. 1973, American stuffmaker, graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, BFA. Mac’s art has exhibited in NYC, LA, Washington DC, Miami and PS1 MOMA in Queens, and he has initiated and participated in several public art projects in Belfast, Northern Ireland; his fine art sculptural and collage work is represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City. Mac has won 7 New York Emmy® Awards for his video and animation work, including awards for best commercial, photography, set design and best public service announcement.
Using objects collected over the past 20 years as the raw material, Mac created a collage environment inside a 30 cubic yard dumpster. It is called The Dumpster Project (www.thedumpsterproject.com). Most recently, he wrote, performed and designed the set for his first one-man play called The Luckiest Arab in Belfast.
He currently makes art and video and illustration and wooden things and noises and dinner, most nights. Mac lives in Brooklyn with his wife and totally radical daughters. Please visit www.macpremo.com
Mandy Patrick MBE
Mandy Patrick, Predient, NIHF and is a Director of the Park Avenue Hotel, a family business started by her grandparents over 50 years ago. She has previously represented the hotel sector on the Board of the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau and in 2003 she was appointed to the Board of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board where she served two terms; she then served three years on the Board of Tourism Ireland. Mandy was asked to join the Board of East Belfast Partnership in 2005 and is a member of the Executive Committee and chairs the Tourism Sub Group. Mandy is a DENI appointed Governor of Glendu Nursery School and the Deputy Chair of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. In 2010 Mandy was honoured in the Queen’s Birthday List with an MBE for her contribution to tourism. In October 2013, Mandy was elected President of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation.
Marcus Robinson is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied modern languages at Cambridge University and then lived in Paris for 16 years where he specialised in architectural and industrial photography. His work was recognized for its unconventional and painterly qualities. His large format photographs were shown in exhibitions in Paris and featured in many books and on magazine covers.
In search of new creative challenges, he moved to London in 1998. He worked with Revolution Films shooting stills of their feature films, and inspired by this experience, bought a 16mm film camera and began experimenting with time-lapse filmmaking. The short piece he made while photographing the creation of the London Eye was commissioned by Channel 4, and the film ‘Millennium Wheel’ was broadcast on the eve of the year 2000 and later screened at the London Film Festival. He has filmed and photographed many aspects of urban transformation including ‘The Wellington Arch’ and ‘The Thames Gateway’ for English Heritage, the construction of the new Home Office for Bouygues Construction, many demolition projects for Brown and Mason Demolition, including the former Ministry of the Environment in Marsham Street (the three ugly sisters) and the construction by Bouygues Construction of the new international airports on the island of Cyprus. His work has been used by BBC Panorama and Channel 4 documentaries. His book of photography about the London Eye has been sold around the world.
He lives in New York where he is creating a major work about the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. This is a time-lapse film and a large collection of drawings, lithographic prints and oil paintings which are mostly drawn and painted from life directly on site. A first version of the film was broadcast on Channel 4 in September 2013 and its US Premiere will happen this year when it is broadcast on History on September 11th.
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir
The current Lord Mayor of Belfast is Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. Councillor Ó Muilleoir was elected to office on 3 June 2013 and will serve asLord Mayor until June 2014. He was elected to represent the Balmoral area of South Belfast in May 2011. He previously served on Belfast City Council from 1987 to 1997. His theme for his year in office will be Building the future Belfast – together. The 53-year-old politician is the Managing Director of the Belfast Media Group and the Publisher of the Irish Echo in New York. He has stepped down from his business interests for the duration of his term as Lord Mayor. Councillor Ó Muilleoir is a graduate of Queen’s University. He is married to Helen O’Hare and the couple has four children.
Maurice Kinkead has 30 years’ experience of developing and managing non-profit organisations, most recently as Chief Executive of the East Belfast Partnership, where he has overall responsibility for management and strategic development. Maurice also manages two social enterprises– Avec Solutions, an internet solutions company, and Landmark East, a property development company.
Currently Maurice is driving forward the exciting tourism led EastSide initiative, focusing on the artists, sporting heroes and indistrial giants who have achieved so much on the world stage. At the core of EastSide is the £30 million Connswater Community Greenway project, around which new investment oppportunities are arising for residential, commercial, bar, restaurant and arts devlopment.
Through EastSide Arts, Maurice is leading a rennaisance of arts in the east of the city, having established an annual summer festival, initiating the CS Lewis Festival, and strengthening an exisiting grass roots based R&B festival. Maurice is also chairing an initiative to transform Belfast’s oldest surving independant cinema into an arts centre which is already delivering an exciting programme of film, music, theatre and comedy.
Mary Ann Pierce
Mary Ann Pierce, Founder & CEO, MAP Digital: MetaMeetings™ has fused the Internet to live events for over fifteen years. Our MetaMeetings™ enterprise portal manages a company’s internal and external events within one app. We have produced integrated digital events for J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Havas Worldwide, IPG, FCB, CBS Interactive, The Wall Street Journal, Novartis, Pfizer, and New York University, among others. 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, She worked in creative services and production for Jack Morton Worldwide, Caribiner, and Imero Fiorentino Associates. She was the Managing Director of the Atlantic Theater Company, Marketing Director MoMA PS1, and copywriter at Wunderman, a direct marketing agency
Michael Graham MRICS is Director of Corporate Real Estate at Titanic Quarter Ltd. He took up his current role with Titanic Quarter in October 2006 after leaving the Northern Ireland Science Park Foundation (NISP) where he was Director of Corporate Real Estate & Facilities for just over five years. Prior to joining NISP he was a Principal Valuation Surveyor within the Northern Ireland Government’s Department of Finance and Personnel where he worked on a wide range of major real estate, regeneration and economic development projects across Northern Ireland.
Michael Graham is a Chartered Surveyor by profession and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) He is a former member of the boards of the United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA) and the European Connected Health Campus respectively.
Currently he is a board member of Connswater Homes Ltd, a ‘not for profit’ organisation, that develops and procures affordable housing for renting. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Digital Northern Ireland 2020 (DNI2020) and serves as a member of the East Belfast Partnership Board’s Tourism Committee.
Having completed a BA(Hons) degree in Business Management and a postgraduate diploma in personnel management, Michelle has been working at a senior level in HR for over 15 years across a number of industries including telecoms, manufacturing, retail and over recent years in the aviation industry. In her current position as Director of HR and Corporate Responsibility at Belfast City Airport Michelle holds an executive position on the main Board alongside the other members of the executive team. As well as overseeing people management matters Michelle manages corporate responsibility at the airport. She is particularly proud of the airport’s community engagement programme as well as launching the airports community fund back in 2009. To date the fund has donated over £160,000 to various projects across the city.
In 2012 Michelle was awarded the Institute of Director’s Young Director of the Year award and in December 2013 won the IOD (NI) Leader in Corporate Responsibility. Alongside her team at the Belfast City Airport, Michelle has been successful in winning three major business awards in 2013 including, Business in the Community’s `Community Impact Award’, Employer of the Year 2013 in the workforce Training’s annual awards and runner up in the Irish News Workplace Awards 2013. Outside of her role at the airport Michelle holds a number of Non-Executive Director positions. (Michelle lives in east Belfast and is married with 2 children.)
Mr. George is a Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group in New York City . Prior to joining Fortress in October 2009, Mr. George spent ten years at Deutsche Bank in New York , where he was a Managing Director focusing on the Structured Products and Special Situations. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank Mr. George spent thirteen years at Lehman Brothers in New York and London where he started his career. During his time at Lehman Brothers Mr. George held senior positions in both the Sales and Trading businesses in both the USA and Europe and the Middle East. In his last position at Lehman Brothers he ran the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Trading business. Mr. George received an M.A. in Economics, Statistics and Operations Research from St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge University from which he also received a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science and was awarded an Academic Entrance Scholarship to St. Catherine’s College and played Rugby Union Football for the Cambridge University 1st XV, Michael attended Belfast Royal Academy in Northern Ireland and now Mr. George resides in Manhattan, New York City with his wife and three children. He is a member of the Racquet and Tennis Club, the Mashomack Preserve Club and the Metropolitan Opera Club.
Cllr Niall Ó Donnghaile
Niall Ó Donnghaile is a community activist and politics graduate from the Short Strand area of East Belfast. He was elected as a Sinn Féin Councillor in 2011. That year he made history, when at the age of 25, he was appointed the youngest ever Lord Mayor of Belfast. He held that office during a series of global events for the city, including the Titanic Centenary Celebrations and the hosting of the MTV European Music Awards. Niall put a particular focus on young people and brought forward a dedicated strategy in the city of Belfast to help tackle the scourge of suicide and encourage positive mental health and wellbeing amongst the city’s young people. He travelled to New York and Washington DC on several occasions during his tenure as Mayor, building on the longstanding cultural and economic links between both great cities.
A fluent Irish speaker, Niall’s education was delivered entirely through the medium of the Irish language. He remains a committed activist on behalf of investment, human rights, equality and economic development in his native Belfast
Patrick F.N. Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Dalradian Resources Inc.
Mr. Anderson is an exploration geologist, entrepreneur and business executive with 20 years of experience working in the resource sector. After graduating with a geology degree from the University of Toronto, he moved to Venezuela to work as the resident project geologist on a successful kimberlite exploration program. Since then, he has been a consulting geologist on gold, base metals and diamond projects for junior explorers, major producers and mineral industry consulting firms in South America, North America and Europe. Mr. Anderson was a director, President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Aurelian Resources Inc., which discovered a 13.7 million ounce gold deposit in 2006 and was acquired by Kinross Gold in 2008. He was named Mining Man of the Year by The Northern Miner in 2009 and received the PDAC’s Thayer Lindsley award for an international mineral discovery in 2008.
Paul Carson, Entrepreneur and Investor
Paul Carson is a skilled and seasoned Northern Ireland entrepreneur with a strong track record in high growth start-up businesses from renewable energy, telecoms and planning through to seafood and leisure.
His core expertise includes raising capital finance, increasing shareholder value through innovative business planning and in building high performing companies. His current strategy of identifying and investing in early and mid-stage companies, and then driving these businesses, based in NI, provides him with a broad perspective, including highlighting all that is good and bad in the local economy. Still Waters Fishing exports Shellfish throughout Europe and additional thriving NI businesses he founded include Strategic Planning, Simple Power (Renewable Energy) and Jyrobike, an innovative Cycling business which he brought to NI recently.
Paul Graham is founder and CEO of Phlok.com the social incentive network that makes ‘Shop Local’ make sense. Previous to Phlok, Paul founded the successful Irish IP telephone company, Clarity Telecom a multi million pound business which he exited from in 2011. Married with 3 children, Paul loves most sport and in earlier days was regularly selected for the Irish waterski team.
After 32 years as engineer and executive in Asia, Africa and Europe, including fifteen years driving the transformation of major Russian oil companies, Paul left the energy industry in 2012 to lead one of his native Northern Ireland’s most iconic firms.
Crosslé Car Company is the world’s oldest constructor of racing cars for customers. Since 1957 Crosslé has built some 1,000 competition cars, won countless championships, and launched the careers of many famous drivers. Success on tracks from Sebring to Lime Rock established the USA as its major market for decades. From the original factory near Belfast, Crosslé today creates sports racing cars in small quantity for individuals who appreciate craftsmanship and exclusivity, as well as stunning performance.
Paul’s responsibilities as Managing Director focus on leading this remarkable company to new export opportunities in specific countries, and on building the capability to deliver its unique products to a wider clientele. A collector and active competitor, he has raced Crosslé cars to several European championships.
Paul holds a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh (with third year on exchange at the University of Pennsylvania), a Master’s from INSEAD business school in Coaching and Consulting for Change, and professional qualifications in engineering and HR. He speaks French and Russian, and enjoys opera.
Born in Co. Down, Pauline graduated with a B.A. Honors degree in Drama and Theater Studies from Trinity College, Dublin. Pauline was appointed Executive Director of the Irish Arts Center in New York in 1998, a position she held until April 2006 when she was appointed Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. Founded in 1972, the Irish Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to promoting Irish arts and culture, which is currently working with the City of New York, the Irish Government, private donors and the American Ireland Fund on the development of a new Irish Arts Center in New York, to highlight Ireland’s rich cultural history while promoting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America for the 21st Century.
In 2008 Pauline was selected as one of the Irish Echo Newspaper’s Top 40 Under 40, the Irish American Magazine’s Top 100 Irish Americans, and one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Irish America by the Irish Voice Newspaper. In 2009 Pauline received the Michael Smurfit Leadership Award, presented by the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA (ICCUSA), and was one of the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her work in preserving and promoting Irish culture in the U.S.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald is the founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories. Randox (founded in 1982) has grown to more than 1300 staff, including 300 R&D scientists. Randox develop, manufacture and market a wide range of clinical and veterinary diagnostic reagents and systems. Dr FitzGerald and Randox have won numerous awards over the years including five Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the UTV Business Eye Business Personality of the Year.
Dr FitzGerald was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011 for services to business in Northern Ireland. Dr FitzGerald was also made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in September 2012. The most recent award received by Dr FitzGerald in September 2013 was the Innovation Founder of the Year from the Northern Ireland Science Park. Randox is the most innovative diagnostics company in the world having developed revolutionary Biochip Array Testing platforms that enable the measurement of a wide range of routine, novel, forensic, molecular and food markers.
Peter Quinn joined Time Inc. as the chief speechwriter in 1985 and retired as corporate editorial director for Time Warner at the end of 2007. He received a B.A. from Manhattan College in 1969, an M.A. in history from Fordham University in 1974 and completed all the requirements for a doctorate except the dissertation. He was awarded a Ph.D., honoris causa, by Manhattan College in 2002. In 1979, Quinn was appointed to the staff of Governor Hugh Carey as chief speechwriter. He continued in that role under Governor Mario Cuomo, helping craft the Governor’s 1984 Democratic Convention speech and his address on religion and politics at Notre Dame University. His 1994 novel Banished Children of Eve won a 1995 American Book Award.Looking for Jimmy: In Search of Irish America, a collection of non-fiction pieces, was published in 2007. National Book Award-winner Colum McCann has summed up Quinn’s trilogy of historical detective novels — Hour of the Cat (2005), The Man Who Never Returned (2010), and Dry Bones (2013) — as “generous and agile and profound.” Quinn co-wrote the script for the 1987 television documentary “McSorley’s New York,” which was awarded a New York-area Emmy for “Outstanding Historical Programming.” He has participated as a guest commentator in several PBS documentaries, including “The Irish in America;” “New York: A Documentary Film;” “The Life and Times of Stephen Foster,” as well as the Academy Award-nominated film, “The Passion of Sister Rose.” He was an advisor on Martin Scorcese’s film “Gangs of New York.” He helped conceive and script the six-part documentary “The Road to the White House,” which aired on TG4, in Ireland, in 2009. Along with his book writing, Quinn was the editor of The Recorder: The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society from 1986 to 1993. He has published articles and reviews in The New York Times, Commonweal, America, American Heritage, The Catholic Historical Review, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The L.A. Times, Eiré-Ireland, and in numerous other newspapers and journals. At present Quinn is on the advisory boards of the American Irish Historical Society, NYU’s Gluckman Ireland House, and the Tenement Museum. He is a co-founder of Irish American Writers & Artists. Married to Kathleen Burbank Quinn, he and his wife (a fellow native of the Bronx) reside in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. They are the parents of two grown children.
Philip leads the Concentrix technology platforms and asset lab development group as well as global pricing and global solutions teams. He is one of Northern Ireland’s best known entrepreneurs. As the founder of gem, which was acquired by Concentrix in 2011, he led the company into one of his country’s most successful business ventures. Philip is the driving force behind the development of Concentrix’ Social Media Center of Excellence, the hub of our suite of Social Media products. He is a true visionary in developing systems and technology innovations for Concentrix.
Philip is a leader in his community and serves as non-executive Director of Young Enterprise Northern reland, which provides business education to young people through a collaboration with businesses and students. He is a certified accountant with a master’s degree in computer science and applications as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics from Queen’s University Belfast. Philip was a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Robert W. Walsh
Distinguished Lecturer, City University of New York, Baruch School of Public Affairs
Robert W. Walsh serves as a Distinguished Lecturer at the Baruch School of Public Affairs in January 2014. He teaches Urban Economic Development at the graduate and undergraduate level. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Walsh as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) in January 2002. During his twelve year tenure, Walsh reshaped the Agency to directly focus on and respond to the needs of the City’s nearly 200,000 small businesses.
In doing so, SBS has invigorated the City’s 69 Business Improvement Districts and created 24 new BIDs that now deliver more than $100 million in supplemental services. He also created a Neighborhood Leadership Program in partnership with the Coro Foundation to train leaders of local non-profit organizations in the skills needed to lead change in their communities.
Under Walsh’s leadership, SBS established seven NYC Business Solution Centers that focus on entrepreneurial courses and access to capital. SBS helped secure more than $200 million in capital access for small businesses between 2008 and 2013. He also created 17 workforce centers and a demand-driven, business-focused approach to connect more than 200,000 New Yorkers to jobs during his tenure. Prior to his appointment, Walsh spent five years in North Carolina as President of Charlotte Center City Partners, where he initiated a Center City Master Plan that led to significant private and public sector investment in the core of the City. He also initiated recruitment efforts that attracted Johnson & Wales University and secured more than $25 million dollars to expand the Historic Charlotte Trolley and create a free bus shuttle system to serve office workers, residents, and visitors
From 1989 to April 1997, he led the Union Square Partnership in New York City, where he played a key role in the neighborhood’s revitalization. During the eighties, he worked in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. He began his career in public service as a New York City Urban Fellow, a program he later directed. Walsh holds a bachelor’s degree and a Masters degree from Fordham University.
Born in 1956 in Northern Ireland, I grew up during the troubled years of civil disorder that engulfed that country. Having drawn and painted since a child, I have reacted to my early expiring by considering the futility and hypocrisy of war through art. As time went by I developed an interest in Vitenam and Cambodia where I have researched extensively and completed a number of art projects since 1992. There I witnessed the aftermath of conflict in it’s indiscriminately brutal form and it is from this point that my work proceeds.
A Columbia Law School graduate and former partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Russell Smith has over 28 years of experience in counseling and representing corporate and individual clients, especially in the film and television industry. In addition to helping manage SmithDehn LLP, Russell is CEO of Social Construct Media, overseeing international film and television development, financing, production and sales.
In his capacity as a lawyer, Russell has been among the counsel of choice for countless feature films and television series, performing transactional, compliance, and other problem-solving work for broadcast networks, motion picture studios, and television/film production companies, from Hollywood to New York, London, Dublin, and Mumbai. Russell also has handled trials and/or appeals in dozens of federal and state courts across the United States, including cases in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Ohio.
Most recently, Russell has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster Law School in Northern Ireland, where he has been teaching an innovative course in the business and law of film and television, together with the heads of the legal departments of his clients HBO and Channel 4. In his “time off,” Russell has enjoyed hiking in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and trekking in the Himalayas.
Sean Gaffey is a Senior Financial Advisor / First Vice President within Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. At Merrill Lynch, Sean heads the Gaffey Mellody Group, a seasoned team of professionals that caters to the wealth management and financing needs of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, non-profit organizations, foundations and endowments. Sean and his team pride themselves in working with like minded people to finance their goals one connection at a time.
Within the community, Sean is the current Chairman & President of the NYC Chapter of the Irish International Business Network (IIBN NY), a global not for profit organization which brings together the cream of the Irish business community. Headquartered in London, the IIBN also has an All-Ireland Chapter and strategic relationships with like minded business networks throughout the world.
In addition to his current role as Chair of the IIBN NY, Sean has acted as a mentor within the US-NI Mentorship program from its inception, was a founding member of the Young Leaders of the American Ireland Fund and spearheaded the Irish Executive Mentorship Program(IEMP), a joint initiative between IN-NYC and IIBN NY. He also serves of the President’s Business Council of the University of Scranton and is a proud supporter of their alumni network. Currently Sean and his wife Allison reside in Rockville Centre, NY with their two sons Aiden and Liam.
President 2014, Irish Business Organization of New York. New York’s Oldest Premier Irish Business Networking Organization. www.IBONewYork.org Broker/ Owner: McNeill Real Estate, 2001 to present. Full Service New York Real Estate Brokerage www.mcneillnewyork.com Owner of Easyshopnyc.com Your #1 US Online Shopping and Shipping Partner. We ship your shopping to anywhere in the world. www.easyshopnyc.com Manager of ACC Bank 1984. Notary Public New York 2012 to present. Member Real Estate Board of New York. 1998 to present.
Co-Owner and General Manager The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog
International barman Sean Muldoon is co-owner and general manager of The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, located at 30 Water St. in historic Lower Manhattan. Named after a street gang of the era, The Dead Rabbit is the culmination of Muldoon’s lifelong dream that was made possible with longtime Belfast colleague Jack McGarry. Muldoon came up with its concept, service hallmarks and adjusted its landmarked 1828 structure. He also conceptualized and oversaw the creation of The Dead Rabbit’s voluminous 19 century-inspired drinks menu by McGarry that includes 72 cocktails, bottled and communal punches, beer “pop-ins” and the largest selection of Irish whiskeys in New York. Having been open a mere five months, The Dead Rabbit won three coveted Spirited Awards at 2013 Tales of the Cocktail, including World’s Best New Cocktail Bar, World’s Best Cocktail Menu.
Muldoon is most recently of The Merchant Hotel, which was declared “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” in 2010 at Tales of the Cocktail. Tapped as their Bar and Potation Manager in 2006, he soon established himself as Ireland’s pre-eminent cocktail authority by elevating the excellence of drinks to unprecedented levels using artisanal ingredients and handcrafted techniques. Muldoon helped create The Connoisseurs Club at The Merchant Hotel, which shook up the U.K.’s hospitality industry by offering in-depth seminars by luminaries such as Dale DeGroff, Sasha Petraske, Audrey Saunders, Gary Regan, Dave Wondrich, Simon Difford, Wayne Curtis, Robert Hess, Tony Conigliaro, Jeff Berry and many others.
From 2002 to 2006, Muldoon had his own business venture, The Perfect Drinks Company, a one-stop consultancy and event bartending service—the first of its kind in Ireland—and contributed considerably to various establishments of that time receiving major bar awards. Prior to The Perfect Drinks Company, Muldoon worked at Botanic Inns, which he joined in 1998. It was here that he was first introduced to cocktails and mixed drinks and he made the decision to make bartending his career path. Muldoon first began his life behind the stick in 1992 at a hotel near Aberdeen, Scotland. It was a means to support himself while pursuing his passion for music and the production of his own CD. Muldoon is married and has two stepdaughters. In his spare time, he enjoys trekking, traveling and reading the works of Ernest Hemingway.
Shane Naughton CEO, Inundata LLC
Shane Naughton is an Irish-born technology entrepreneur based in New York City. He is a Co-Founder of ARTech LLC, focused on building technology solutions for the arts industries. He is a Co-Founder of ArmTech LLC, focused on selling equity compensation software to publicly traded companies. He is a Partner in TLD Assets LLC focused on acquiring and operating Top-Level Domain internet licenses. He serves as advisor to and investor in select other US and Irish-based businesses and sits on a number of entrepreneurship and innovation boards
Previously, Shane was Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of TaxStream LLC, focused on tax reporting software for publicly traded companies, which, from 1999 to 2007, grew to be the 51st fastest growing private company in the US in 2007, and was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2008.
Shane is actively involved in the Irish Community both at home and in the US. He serves on the board and steering committee of the Irish Arts Center in New York, the board of The American Ireland Fund, and chairs the board of the University of Dublin Fund in the US. Shane grew up in Co. Roscommon, Ireland where in his spare time he breeds endangered Kerry Bog ponies. He earned his M.A in Computer Science and M.Sc in Artificial Intelligence from Trinity College Dublin and earned his MBA from TRIUM, jointly awarded by NYU Stern, London School of Economics, and HEC Paris.
Shaun Kelly is Vice Chair – Operations for KPMG LLP. In that role he is responsible for forecasting and planning and monitoring the execution of the firm’s financial plan. He also has responsibility for oversight and execution of key KPMG shared services including finance and accounting, information technology, operations services and internal audit. He serves as a member of the Firm’s Management committee.
In October 2010 Shaun was also appointed to serve as Chief Operating Officer, Americas. In this position, he works with the leaders of the KPMG International member firms in the region to align their respective strategies, structure and plans. He is also a member of KPMG’s Global Executive Team. Shaun was previously the Vice Chair in charge of KPMG’s U.S. Tax practice and Regional Head of the Americas Tax practice. Prior to assuming the Vice Chair role in 2005, Shaun served as the leader for KPMG’s Global Transaction Services practice and Regional Coordinating Partner for the Transaction Services practice in the Americas.
Shaun grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and joined KPMG International’s Irish member firm in Dublin in 1980 and transferred to the U.S. firm’s San Francisco office in 1984. He was admitted to the U.S. partnership in 1999.
Stephen is a former VP of the NYSE Euronext trading technology segment, NYSE Technologies. As Head of Accounts for its Exchange Solutions division, he managed the commercial and strategic direction for NYSE’s major exchange accounts across the US, Europe and AisaPac. Prior to joining NYSE in 2008, Mr Morrow served as Director of Business for Exchange Platforms within the Belfast-based trading technology start-up Wombat Financial Software. Wombat was acquired by NYSE Euronext in March 2008. Before joining Wombat, Stephen worked with Belfast-based start-up AePONA Ltd (recently acquired by Intel). In late 2010, Stephen joined the investment firm Lough Shore Investments as Managing Director.
Suzanne Aquino has recently joined Chain IQ as a Global Commodity Manager for Professional Service. In this position she is responsible for delivering strategic sourcing services across Accounting Services, Legal and Audit, Consulting, Contractors and Human Resources. Chain IQ offers comprehensive end-to-end procurement solutions for Swiss and international companies in the financial sector and other areas. Prior to joining Chain IQ, Suzanne spent 15 years at UBS where she led strategic sourcing teams responsible for establishing and executing on the bank’s sourcing strategy, identifying opportunities for spend reduction and process improvement and ensuring the effective transition, execution and sustainable performance of the bank’s outsourced portfolios. Suzanne was born in Belfast and currently resides with her husband in Manhattan. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is an active member of the Irish Business Organization.
Thomas P. DiNapoli
Thomas P. DiNapoli is the 54th Comptroller of the State of New York who’s known for his integrity, independence and steadfast leadership. Since taking office in 2007, Tom DiNapoli has aggressively fought misuse of resources strengthened one of the nation’s top public pension funds and consistently spoken out against fiscal gimmicks imprudent actions and government inefficiency.
His life of public service started when he was elected as a trustee of the Mineola Board of Education, becoming the first 18 year old in New York State to hold public office. He’s been making government more accountable and transparent to the people for more than 35 years.
Thomas A. Dunne
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y. Thomas A. Dunne graduated from St. Francis College in 1968 and went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree from Brooklyn Law School. He began his career as head of the Middle School at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights, a progressive school for intellectually gifted students.
Following his stint as an educational administrator and teacher, he moved into the area of public service. He served successively as an administrative law judge for the New York State Department of Social Services, and was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Tom has over 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sector on legislative and policy issues, and has served as vice president of public policy and external affairs for Verizon-New York, where he was responsible for the corporation’s interaction with various government agencies and officials. While at the company, he oversaw a multi-billion dollar franchise agreement between Verizon and New York City that brought the company’s fiber-optic cable network to all five boroughs. The process involved negotiating with, and gaining multiple approvals from, numerous city and state agencies and officials. In 2008, he joined Fordham University and is as Vice President for Administration. Dunne has been active in civic affairs throughout his entire career, including service to the Citizens’ Crime Commission; New York City Police Foundation; New York City Parks Foundation; Mayor’s Mid-Town Task Force; Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Government Affairs Committee of the New York State Business Council; the Harlem School of Music – Opus 118; a founder of the Miniature Theatre in Chester, MA.; and the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy.
Tim Cooke is Director of National Museums Northern Ireland – the organisation includes the Ulster Museum in Belfast, the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum at Holywood, the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh and www.nmni.com
He led the project to transform the Ulster Museum in Belfast as a centre for widespread public engagement with art, history and science. Since re-opening just over four years ago the Museum has welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors and has won the UK’s Museum of the Year award. Major art exhibitions staged recently include retrospectives of Sean Scully and Wiliam Scott, and “300 Years of Irish Landscape Painting”. The Ulster Museum is currently staging “Art of the Troubles”, the largest-ever public display of painting, sculpture, video and installation work related to the conflict. It is also playing a central role in the current Decade of Centenaries programme, exploring the pivotal events 100 years ago which shaped Irish and British history. Tim Cooke was previously Head of Broadcasting with BBC Northern Ireland and is a former Fellow at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government.
Tom Gray, CTO and Head of Innovation at Kainos (Belfast) a 25 year Tech veteran and is the driving force behind HealthHackEU, Kainos AppCamp, Code4Derry and other initiatives aimed at developing awareness of, and skills in the Tech Industry.
McLaughlin is president of McLaughlin & Morgan, Inc., a growth strategies company assisting American firms entering Europe via Ireland, and Irish companies entering the U.S. He is an authority on growing businesses with nearly 4 decades of experience. McLaughlin & Morgan has served both large and small companies. Today the company focuses solely on growth strategies and business development.
McLaughlin founded the Irish American Business Chamber & Network in 1999. He serves as chairman. He has hosted the Prime Minister and President of Ireland, the current Ambassadors to the U.S. and Ireland, in addition to several Irish Cabinet ministers and business leaders. McLaughlin was selected by Business & Finance Magazine, Dublin, Ireland as “One of the 100 most Influential Business Leaders in Ireland and the USA”. In the local community, as co-founder of the Main Line Girls Basketball Association, he has overseen its growth from 75 to 750+ girls in its 20-year history. McLaughlin is active on several boards in addition to the Irish American Business Chamber, including Neumann University, Global Interdependence Center, SMART States, MLGBA, and the Merion Community Association.