Speakers – New York-New Belfast Conference 2017
A veteran of the music industry and co-founder of Refugee Rescue, a humanitarian NGO providing life saving sea rescue at the refugee crossing on the island of Lesbos.A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland and a songwriter and performer, Joby Fox has been known as an authentic voice of post-conflict Ireland, but now also as a humanitarian activist, immersing himself in the refugee crisis in Greece.
In winter 2015 Joby went to Lesbos and saw the situation of refugees fleeing war becoming more and more hazardous, with the weather worsening and boats capsizing. Joby saw rescuers on the beaches and on rescue boats forced to choose who to save as there were so many people in the water. When in October 2015 a vessel containing 300 people capsize, only 250 could be saved, Joby decided that more had to be done, in the absence of large NGOs. Refugee Rescue was set up and an RNLI boat from England was donated to the organisation. It has since been operated by a voluntary crew of search and rescue professionals, and to date has saved over 4000 people’s lives.
Joby continues to dedicate time to his craft of storytelling and music. Currently recording a new album of songs, and finishing his script for a feature film. Growing up through some of the worst atrocities in contemporary Europe in the 70s and 80s, Joby’s honesty and vision creates an edge that makes him a relevant figure in the Irish music and art scene today; Always searching, always evolving artistically. His work reaches deep into the soul of humanity and is always up- front and personal, drawing from the environment around him and his Irish musical heritage.
Constance Hunter is the Chief Economist of KPMG LLP. She is an economic thought leader focusing on how economic factors impact asset prices and business performance worldwide. In her role at KPMG Constance works closely with the firm’s leadership and clients to identify inflection points, risks and opportunities that arise in the constantly evolving economic landscape. She is known for correctly calling economic indicators that presage market turning points such as the Russian currency devaluation in 1998, the Dotcom bubble in 2001, the real estate and credit crisis in 2007-08, the recovery of the housing market and concurrent low bond yields in 2012 and the continued low bond yields through 2016.
Constance has held high level positions in asset management for nearly two decades. She has held the position of Chief Investment Officer or Chief Economist for the past ten years. Prior to joining KPMG, she served as Deputy Chief Investment Officer at AXA Investment Managers where she helped manage over
$500 billion in fixed income assets. She graduated with a BA in Economics and Sociology from New York University and with a Master’s of International Affairs with a concentration on international economics from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She holds the Certified Business Economist designation from the National Association for Business Economics.
Constance is a regular speaker at conferences on a wide variety of macroeconomic topics and a frequent guest on all major financial media channels. She is also actively involved with a number of economic and financial market associations including the National Association for Business Economics, New York Association for Business Economics, Money Marketeers, Women’s Bond Club and of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. Constance can be followed on twitter at @constancehunter.
Harry Connolly is the Executive Director of Fáilte Feirste Thiar, a local tourism development agency tasked with developing West Belfast’s tourism offering and building sustainable tourism infrastructure. Harry is a board member of Tourism Ireland. Before working in tourism development, Harry worked for a number of years in youth, sport and community development across the greater Belfast area. He is the former Vice Chairperson of the West Belfast District Policing & Community Safety Partnership (DPCSP).
Harry is currently a Director of Visit Belfast, the public/private body tasked with marketing Belfast as a tourism destination. Harry has been a board member of Féile an Phobail, Irelands largest community arts festival, for a number of years and is currently its Treasurer. Under Harry’s leadership, West Belfast tourism has become known as a model of effective practice, in terms of developing tourism models which encourage job creation and sustainability at a local level, ensuring local citizens benefit from an increase in tourism football.
Maura is an Emmy award-winning producer and principal of Purple Mountain Media. Her career spans leadership positions in broadcast television at PBS/ WNET where she built successful media franchises and helped raise over $15 million for programs and EdTech initiatives — to working with top-tier media companies, such as The Jim Henson Co, PBS Kids, the Tribeca Film Institute — to non-profit work in Ethiopia and Peru. Through her consultancy practice, Purple Mountain Media, Maura helps creators and organizations develop and launch projects that leverage creativity, content and technology. At times, she participates as a partner and provides start-ups with creative and strategic direction, partnership development and marketing plans. Maura is a content curator and frequent speaker at industry conferences and events; and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She is on the Board of Directors of IIBN NY and Senior Advisor to LEAP. Maura holds a Masters in Media Arts from NYIT where she was also an adjunct lecturer. @MauraKellyMedia
In 2008, New York City Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley became the first Democrat and first woman elected to represent City Council District 30, covering the Queens neighborhoods of Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodside and Woodhaven. Since taking office, she has served as the Chair of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, which oversees the Fire Department, Department of Correction, Department of Probation, and the Office of Emergency Management. From March 2014 to 2016, Council Member Crowley served as co-chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus.As Chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, Council Member Crowley is a powerful voice against cuts to uniformed personnel, and led a citywide effort to save firehouses and improve the city’s 911 call-taking system. She additionally spearheaded the push on the administration to increase tours of Emergency Medical Services at a time when emergency medical calls and response times were higher than ever before.
In an effort to reform the Department of Correction, the Council Member sponsored legislation to reform the city’s criminal justice system and has worked to decrease the culture of violence in city jails. Additionally, she for years has called on the mayor’s administration to remove 16- and 17-year-olds from Rikers Island, and believes more education and job opportunities must be available for at-risk youth.
Jayne joined Kernel Capital 2013 having held a Senior Executive role in Kernel Capital portfolio company since 2007. Jayne’s investment focus is ICT, Telecoms and Engineering. Jayne is currently Chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Northern Ireland (2013/2014), and holds and has held a number of advisory and board roles with organisations focused on economic and social development.Jayne’s career has involved leadership positions with both multinationals and start-ups, across a variety of operational and executive roles. Jayne has lived and worked in culturally and politically complex environments in a variety of global locations including Europe, China, India and North America. Roles have included international sales, business development, corporate due diligence and ownership of a range of cross functional technical projects of scale.
John Kearns is the author of the short-story collection, Dreams and Dull Realities and the novel, The World and playwright of dramas including Sons of Molly Maguire, (just staged at Dublin’s Liberty Hall in May), and In the Wilderness. His novel-in-progress, Worlds, was a finalist in the 2002 New Century Writers’ Awards. John’s poems have appeared in such journals as the North American Review and the Grey Sparrow Journal. His fiction has appeared in The Medulla Review and Danse Macabre. John is the Treasurer and Salon Producer for Irish American Writers and Artists. He has Masters Degree in Irish Literature from the Catholic University of America.
John Reilly is a trial lawyer with more than 35 years’ experience. John serves as lead counsel in federal trial and appellate litigation throughout the United States involving antitrust, price-fixing conspiracies, monopoly, commercial and real estate disputes, RICO actions and class actions, as well as arbitrations in both US and global forums. In addition, John has been an arbitrator and counsel in numerous arbitrations involving commercial disputes, international disputes and New York Stock Exchange proceedings, including several FINRA arbitrations of claims relating to securities and other investments. He has also advised and counseled clients regarding joint venture arrangements in several industries, including airline and shipping, and with respect to re-sale price maintenance programs, as well as in grand jury antitrust investigations into the shipping industry. He has also served as a monitor in the New York City Integrity Monitoring Program and in the NY/NJ Port Authority Monitoring Program.
Mary Ann Pierce
For 20 years Mary Ann has fused digital with events. With the MetaMeetings platform MAP Digital manages an event’s digital ecosystem from bandwidth, attendee engagement, webcasting and digitized content to data analytics. She has worked with J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, The Wall Street Journal, Novartis, Pfizer, and Havas. For two years, she was an adjunct professor at New York University and has been a speaker at industry conferences such as Evolve or Die Conference at the Belfast Waterfront, PCMA Educon, MPI Conferences, The Special Event, Corporate Travel World, and SITE and has been featured in a number of trade articles. Mary Ann Pierce was 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 for MoMA: P.S.1 , and copywriter for Wunderman. She serves on boards of New York Digital Irish, The Cuala Foundation and IIBN-NY where she is also a Senior Advisor for their Leadership & Executive Acceleration Program (LEAP™).
Michael Sorkin is the principal and founder of Michael Sorkin Studio. His practice and work spans design, criticism and pedagogy.Since 2000, Sorkin has been Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at City College of New York. His previous academic engagements include Professor of Urbanism and Director of the Institute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Gensler Chair at Cornell University, Hyde Chair in Nebraska University, Saarinen Chair in the University of Michigan, Gilbert Chair in the University of Michigan, both the Davenport and Bishop Chair at Yale University, and professorships at the Architectural Association, Cooper Union, Harvard University and Columbia University.Sorkin is architecture critic for The Nation, contributing editor at Architectural Record, and author or editor of twenty books. His books include Variations on a Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, Local Code, Giving Ground (edited with Joan Copjec), Michael Sorkin Studio: Wiggle (Works in Progress), Some Assembly Required, Other Plans, The Next Jerusalem, After The Trade Center (edited with Sharon Zukin), Starting From Zero, Analyzing Ambasz, Against the Wall, Indefensible Space, New Orleans Under Reconstruction (edited with Carol Reese and Anthony Fontenot), All Over the Map, and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan.
In 2005, Sorkin founded Terreform, and is currently its president. He is editor-in-chief of its imprint, UR (Urban Research), which was launched in 2015. He is on the board of several civic and professional
organizations such as Urban Design Forum (Vice President) and the Architectural League of New York (Director). He is also a member of the International Committee of Architectural Critics.Sorkin has been the recipient of several fellowships and awards. His recent awards include “Design Mind” from the National Design Award in 2013; and Fellow in the field of architecture planning and design from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 2015.
Nearshore Americas named Mike #15 out of the Top 50 Nearshore Leaders. This recognition comes after 20 years of ground level work in the outsourcing industry.
Mike is also the author of “Nearshoring to Latin America – An Executive Guide” available as an eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iTunes Store. He is also the author of a dozen magazine articles on the topic of faith and business.
Working with a broader team of Nearshore leaders, in 2011, Mike helped give birth to the Nearshore Executive Alliance (NEA), a non-profit organization of nearly 70 companies working throughout Latin America.
Mike is the co-founder and CEO of Unosquare, a Portland, Oregon based software engineering and software application support firm with delivery offices in Belfast, UK and Mexico. Unosquare employs nearly 320 full time software engineers and serves clients like Harvard Business Publishing, Foundation Medicine, Bank of the Internet, and Columbia Sportswear. Founded in 2009, Unosquare continues to be one of the fastest growing private companies based in the USA.
Prior to founding Unosquare with his business partner Mario Di Vece, Mike worked for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as Business Development Manager in the Pacific Northwest, was Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for BBSI based in Portland, Oregon, and served as vice president of marketing for a division of Kelly Services, a Fortune 500 company.
Mike most enjoys travelling with his family, golf, and surfing in Mexico and Nicaragua.
The new Chairman of the Executive Council of the Society is Brian E. McCabe. Brian is a member of a large and well-known Irish American family with a distinguished tradition of service in the political, legal, educational, building trades and cultural life of New York City. Brian enjoyed a long and accomplished career in the NYPD Detective Bureau as detective and commander, and was widely recognized for his service in the Irish Peace Process. He is currently a System Director with the Bon Secours Charity Health System and a consultant in investigative and security operations, creative and educational projects. Brian is now Chairman of the Executive Council of the Society, on which he has served for a number of years.
A lifelong resident of Staten Island, Michael J. Cusick came to the New York State Assembly with valuable experience at all levels of government. Prior to his election, Cusick served as Director of Constituent Services for U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. His duties included serving as Senator Schumer’s liaison to New York State elected officials, as well as various federal agencies. In addition, he managed the day-to-day operation of the senator’s New York City office.Assemblyman Cusick has served in the State Assembly since January 2003. In 2011, he was elected Chair of the Assembly Election Law Committee. He also sits on the Transportation, Higher Education, Veterans’ Affairs, Mental Health, Steering, and Ways and Means Committees. In addition, Cusick chairs the Legislative Task Force on People with Disabilities.
Christine C. Quinn is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Win (formerly Women in Need), the largest provider of shelter, permanent supportive housing and services for homeless families and children in New York City. Under her leadership, Win is improving the lives of women and children, advocating for policies that benefit low-income New Yorkers and those living in poverty, and also challenging prevailing perceptions of homelessness. A thought leader and expert, she often appears in the media on this issue.Quinn is Vice chair of the New York State Democratic Party and is a regular, and occasionally fiery, commentator on CNN and MSNBC.
A champion of women’s and LGBT rights, she previously served as Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo, where she focused on women’s issues across New York State, and led the effort to pass legislation to stop rape and sexual assaults on college campuses. A member of the New York City Council from 1999-2013, Quinn served for seven years as the elected Speaker of the Council, making her the first woman and the first openly gay Speaker, as well as the highest-ranking LGBT official in New York City history. She was instrumental in working to see marriage equality pass in the New York State Legislature and has been a national leader in the LGBT and reproductive rights movements.
Prior to serving in elected office, she was the Chief of Staff to then-New York City Council Member Tom Duane, and Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Project, where she worked closely with the New York City Police Department to reduce hate crimes.
Christine Quinn currently serves on the Boards of Athlete Ally, an organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports, and the National Institute of Reproductive Health Action Fund (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice New York). She is a Grove Leader in the inaugural Grove Fellowship Program at the Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and a former Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow. She and her wife, Kim Catullo, live in Chelsea with their rescue dog Justin.
The Honorable Sean O’Brien is a speechwriter with service as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, Director of Speechwriting to Vice President Joseph Biden, Chief Speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chief of Staff to Congressmen Mike Quigley and Bill Foster. He has written over 300 speeches as well as multiple op-eds and articles for national publications on a wide variety of topics including national security, civil rights, children’s education and the economy. He holds a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and a Bachelors of Arts in American Culture from Northwestern University. A former improv comedy performer in Chicago’s Second City theater, he has written comic routines for the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and several Members of Congress. He has also worked as a communication professional for numerous private sector clients in the Netherlands and the United States including GE Capital, KPMG, ABN AMRO Bank, and Kraft Foods. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Erin, and his daughters Mary and Clare.
Bill McLaughlin is president of McLaughlin & Morgan, Inc., a growth strategies company, assisting firms entering EMEA via Ireland, and Irish companies entering the U.S. He is a respected authority on growing businesses with three decades of experience.
McLaughlin & Morgan has served large, mid-sized and small companies since 1987. The company focuses solely on growth strategies and business development, specializing in enabling and organizing C-level introductions using his extensive network built over decades.
In 1999 McLaughlin founded the Irish American Business Chamber & Network with over 2,000 contacts. He currently serves as chairman emeritus. He has hosted Taoiseachs and Presidents of Ireland, the Ambassadors to the U.S. and Ireland, in addition to Irish Cabinet ministers and business leaders. He orchestrated the Central Bank of Ireland governor’s visits to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Global Interdependence Center of Philadelphia, and GIC’s monetary conferences in Dublin in 2007 and 2016. He organized three trade missions to Ireland, and coordinated three Udaras na Gaeltachta’s (Irish speaking area of Ireland) trade missions to the U.S. At the invitation of the Irish government McLaughlin participated in the government’s Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The recipient of various awards, including being the co-recipient (with his wife, Natalie) of the IABCN 2016 Taoiseach Award for leadership (named for the Irish prime minister and presented by the Irish Ambassador), McLaughlin was included in Business & Finance
Raffaella Folli is a Professor of Linguistics, Head of School of Communication and Provost of the Belfast and Jordanstown Campuses at Ulster University . She studied Philosophy at the University of Milan. In 1998 she completed an MPhil in Linguistics at the University of Oxford and then in 2001 a DPhil in Linguistics, also at the University of Oxford. She joined Ulster University in 2005 having previously held research positions at the University of Arizona (2001-2001) and then the University of Cambridge (2002-2005) .
Her main research area is theoretical syntax. Her standing in linguistics is evidenced by her extensive publications in top journals in the field, various grants from different research councils and extensive collaborations with academics in the UK and the US. In 2011 she was awarded a Distinguished Research Fellowship award in recognition of her research achievements.
She is part of the linguistics team that in 2012 established the Ulster Centre on Multilingualism (UCoM), an information service for people raising or working with children growing up with more than one language. As part of UCoM, she is involved in Language Made Fun, a programme designed to support the language needs of multilingual children or migrant children in Northern Ireland. The programme is in collaboration with the Barnardo’s and is funded by a grant by Big Lottery Fund.
Based in New York, Alison was appointed Head of North America in June 2013, where she has responsibility for leading Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Strategy and Operations in the USA and Canada. She joined Tourism Ireland in 2002 and previously held the position of Vice President Marketing, USA. Prior to moving to New York, she was responsible for Tourism Ireland’s Canadian marketing operations based in Toronto.
Alison has extensive destination marketing experience and a record of achievement in building and leading high performance teams. Her career has spanned strategy development, brand management, integrated consumer marketing, communications and stakeholder management. Alison has worked in the UK, Europe and North America.
The USA is the second largest source market for Irish tourism. Since 2010 US visitors to the island of Ireland have increased by 48% and expenditure by 72%. In 2016 a record 1.4 million Americans travelled to Ireland and spent more than $1.2 billion
Alison also serves as Chair of the European Travel Commission, USA Operations Group responsible for the promotion of Europe in long haul markets
There has been 28 Victory Scholars in total since its launch in Sport Changes Life, formerly USNI Sport. The idea of bringing elite scholar athletes from America to earn a Masters and at the same time work in the local community and raise the aspirations of young people in sport, all while playing the sport they love came from Co-Founders CEO Gareth Maguire, Professor Deirdre Brennan at the University of Ulster and International business man Mark Marais.
CEO Gareth Maguire has lead the way with his vision to help develop basketball and change the lives of young people of Ireland through sport developing EHOOPS Programs and Sports Programs with his wife Deirdre. The Victory Scholarship program has gone from strength to strength in the past number of years with a rebrand of the company in early 2012 to Sport Changes Life.
Larry Kirwan was the leader of the Irish political rock band Black 47 for 25 years. A playwright and novelist, an Irish Echo columnist and host/producer of Celtic Crush on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, he has written 16 plays and musicals, three novels, a memoir, and A History of Irish Music. He is president of Irish American Writers and Artists. His play, Rebel in the Soul, finished a successful run at The Irish Repertory Theater, NYC, on May 21st and he is currently recording songs for his latest musical, IRAQ.
Tim Dwyer’s recent chapbook is Smithy Of Our Longings: Poems From The Irish Diaspora (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2015). His poems have appeared in many Irish literary journals, including Boyne Berries, Cyphers, stinging fly and Southword, and he has been a regular contributor to Northern Ireland literary journals such as A New Ulster and Honest Ulsterman. His work will soon appear in anthologies from Picaroon and Limerick Writers Centre. He was recently a featured poet at The Galway Fringe Festival. He was born in Brooklyn, where his parents emigrated from Galway, currently lives in Stamford, Connecticut and will soon be residing in Bangor, Northern Ireland.
Robert W. Walsh
Rob Walsh serves as the Executive Director of the HELP USA Fund, an organization that has grown to become one of the nation’s largest homeless service providers and low income housing developers. HELP serves at-risk populations, including families, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. From January 2002 to December 2013, he served in the Bloomberg Administration as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS). During his twelve year tenure, he reshaped SBS to become one of the city’s most innovative agencies in serving the needs of its 200,000 small businesses. Walsh re-energized the City’s 73 business improvement districts and created an award-winning commercial revitalization and neighborhood leadership program. Under his leadership, NYC Business Solutions Centers were established throughout the City and he introduced NYC Business Express an online tool for the license, permit, tax, and incentive information businesses need to operate. He created a wide array of entrepreneurial courses and built a new business-focused approach to the workforce system that placed nearly 200,000 people during his tenure.
Prior to his service with the city, Walsh served as President of Charlotte Center City Partners in North Carolina, an organization dedicated to improving and growing Charlotte’s central business district. He led the Charlotte Center City 2010 Master Plan that laid the groundwork for significant private and public investments in the city. He initiated the recruitment efforts that attracted Johnson & Wales University to the City.
From 1989 to April 1997, he led the Union Square Partnership, where he played an instrumental role in the neighborhood’s revitalization. During the 1980’s, he worked in the administration of Mayor Ed Koch. He began his career in public service as a New York City Urban Fellow, a program he later directed. Walsh holds a Bachelors in Political Science and Masters in Public Affairs from Fordham University. He participated in the Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. He currently teaches in the Baruch School of Public Affairs where he directed the Executive Masters in Public Administration Program for two years. In addition, he is an on-air personality for 1010 WINS Radio and does a segment called “The Bottom Line for Small Business” which airs every Monday and Friday. He is also the host of the 1010 WINS Small Business Challenge.
Tony is Bank of Ireland’s US Country Manager; he joined the Bank in 2011 after moving to New York.
As US Country Manager, Tony has responsibility for all of Bank of Ireland’s activities in the US. Bank of Ireland operates in the US through its Branch in Stamford, CT and Representative Offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Bank of Ireland recently announced the opening of startlab NYC, an incubation space that supports the Bank’s customers as they seek to grow their business and enter the US market.
Tony holds a Bachelor of Commerce from University College Dublin, is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and CFA charter holder, with over 20 years’ experience of working in the financial services industry. Tony has previously worked for DZ Bank, Merrill Lynch and Halifax Bank of Scotland in both Ireland and the UK.
In addition, Tony is a member of the Institute of International Bankers Board of Trustees and chairs their Medium Sized Banks committee.
Tony lives in Manhattan with his wife Andrea and their two young children.
Laura Leonard is the European and International Relations Manager for Belfast City Council’s Development Department.
Laura has held this post since the establishment of Northern Ireland Local Government’s only dedicated European unit in September 2003. Since then, the European team has secured over £29 million in competitive European Structural funds and delivered over 30 transnational projects.
Since November 2012, Laura has been responsible for the development and delivery of Belfast City Council’s first ever International Relations Framework and Action Plan and is currently delivering projects with respect to China, India, North America markets on promoting education, investment and tourism opportunities in Belfast.
Mike has more than 20 years in digital as a Brand Builder at the Intersection of Media and Technology with proven business results leading organizations to the #1 positions in their categories. Mike has led global business, editorial, product and audience development teams.
Mike Rich currently serves as the CEO of Irish Central and is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Studio.VC who is the owner of Irish Central.
Prior to Irish Central Mike was the General Manager and Group Vice President of Digital at Time Inc Lifestyle division. Overseeing brands such as, Food&Wine, Real Simple, Health and Cooking Light.
Prior to Time Inc, Mike was the Chief Product and Operating Officer of Interactive One, a division of Radio One Inc. the #1 Digital Media company serving the African American audience.
Prior to Interactive One, Mike spent almost a decade AOL, serving at the SVP and General Manager of AOL Entertainment and Video Studios. Overseeing and building brands such as Moviefone, AOL Music, Spinner, AOL Video, Black Voices, AOL Latino.
Mike has spoken at industry events such as CES, Digital Music West/East, and Digital Hollywood and was recognized by the Hollywood Reporter as part of their Digital Power 50, a list of Digital Executives leading the digital media industry.
John O’Donoghue joined OTR Global in 2013 as Director of equities. He joined OTR from Cowen and Company, where he served as Head of Equities for seven years. Prior to Cowen and Company, O’Donoghue was the Head of U.S. cash trading at Credit Suisse for five years and managing director at Schroders PLC for 17 years. He has an Honors Degree in Economics from Queen’s University Belfast.
John is the President of The Friend’s of Queen’s in the US and also sits on The Foundation Board of the University. He serves as a board member and Board advisor to 3 private companies in the Fin Tech space. John is also actively engaged with Catalyst-Inc in Belfast, helping to connect companies coming out of Northern Ireland with Board level introductions in the US.
Erin is currently the Coordinator of Community Relations and the Political Action Committee for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825. In her role with the Operating Engineers, Erin works to track projects and economic development throughout Local 825’s territory, which covers all of New Jersey and five counties of New York State, as well as coordinating the Union’s Political Action Committees.
Previously she worked at Lenox Consulting, a US and Ireland based strategic communications firm. Prior to entering the private sector, Erin served as an aide in the office of Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. In addition to her governmental role, Erin also worked on the Congressman’s re-elections efforts, serving as Campaign Manager, and has worked on countless campaigns in various other capacities.
Erin is a founding Member of the Board of the Irish Network’s New Jersey Chapter, and was named 2016 Irish American Youth Ambassador by the Irish Echo. She is a member of the non-partisan Women’s Political Caucus, NJ SEED, and has been honored for her dedication to New Jersey’s Labor community. She was elected to serve as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Journalism Concentration from Montclair State University. A lifelong New Jersey girl, Erin now lives in Montclair.
Mary B. O’Connor is a niece and goddaughter of Padraic Fiacc. She is the daughter of his brother, Brian, and sister-in-law, Mary. Her father was born in Belfast and her mother in Middletown, County Armagh.
Ms. O’Connor worked throughout Connecticut in human services, insurance compliance, and anti-poverty organizations. She practiced law primarily in government related fields and is retired from the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. She volunteers as a tour guide at the Connecticut State Capitol and as a Medicare Choices counselor.
She holds Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path College, now University, in Massachusetts.
Mary has been a recreational Irish Dancer for most of her life. She trained with her mother, Peter Smith, Ann Sullivan, and Jack McArdle.
She and her husband, Phil Muisener, live in Connecticut and are supporters and fans of the University of Connecticut basketball teams.
Johnny is Partner and Head of Tax for KPMG in Northern Ireland. He has over 20 years of experience advising on Irish, UK and international tax issues for indigenous and multinational businesses across a wide range of sectors. He has significant experience within the mergers & acquisitions area, governance and tax risk management and foreign direct investment. Johnny is currently a Council member of the Irish Tax Institute.
Nicholas Malito is an attorney at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP where he concentrates his practice in retail leasing, corporate bankruptcy, and related litigation disputes, as well as general business advice to emergent companies. Nick represents national and regional clients in commercial leasing and retail property development, from the inception of lease negotiation to retail store launch. His bankruptcy and litigation experience includes representing clients in federal and state courts, administrative hearings, mediations, and arbitration proceedings. He is known for his calm demeanor, focus on long-term strategy to achieve objectives, and ability to resolve disputes.
Nick is also President of the Irish Business Organization of New York, Inc. (“IBO”). The IBO is a nonprofit business networking organization, in existence since 1973, which seeks to promote, foster, and advance the business interests of Irish and Irish American businesses and individuals. The IBO holds three to four regular and special events each month.
Nick was recently honored as one of the top 40 under 40 Irish Americans nationwide by the Irish Echo Newspaper and has been selected to be a part of 2017 Irish Legal 100: Irish Rising Stars.
Geraldine Hughes received the Los Angeles Ovation, Garland and Drama Critics Circle Awards and a Drama League Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance for her solo play Belfast Blues, which she also wrote. Stage credits include Jerusalem opposite Mark Rylance after (Broadway & West End productions.) Other theatre credits include: Particle Of Dread (opposite Stephen Rea), Cyrano De Bergerac (Broadway), Translations (Broadway), Molly Sweeney (Irish Repertory Theatre), Pumpgirl (MTC), ), Orson’s Shadow, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Weir, The Architect. Television credits include: The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Nurse Jackie, Mercy, The Good Wife, Law and Order CI, Law & Order SVU, Law & Order, Murder, She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle, ER. She has starred in several features including Warner Bros’ Gran Torino, MGM’s Rocky Balboa, Time Out Of Mind with Richard Gere and National Geographic’s Killing Lincoln. Geraldine received an honorary doctorate from Queens University, Belfast for her contribution to the arts. She will next be seen in the film, The Book Of Henry, in June 2017.
Giancarlo Di Vece
Before joining Unosquare in 2013, Giancarlo was buying and growing businesses in Mexico. After working in the family business as a teenager, he purchased a small craft company dedicated to the North American market when he was only 22 years old. He grew that into a 100 person operation which sold specialty products to large US retailers. He later joined Unosquare as a sales executive where he helped bring technical teams and solutions to some of our biggest and best customers. Those who know him well say his intellect is matched only by his charm and humor.
His seemingly intemptestive decision to move into the technology industry has proved successful. Today, he leads a team of US and Mexico based sales and marketing executives that drive the presales and marketing aspects of our business.
John L. Lahey
John L. Lahey is president of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. President for the past 30 years, Lahey has distinguished himself as an innovative and dynamic leader who has spearheaded Quinnipiac’s emergence as a national university.
As 1997 grand marshal of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Lahey devoted much of his time that year to educating the public about the historic implications of Ireland’s Great Hunger. He has been at the forefront of a movement to require schools to include the Irish Famine in school curricula as a human rights violation.
In September 2012 under Lahey’s leadership, Quinnipiac opened Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Músaem an Ghorta Mhóir which contains the world’s largest collection of visual art, artifacts and ephemera dedicated to this tragic period in Irish history. “The museum will preserve, build and present its art collection in order to stimulate reflection, inspire imagination and advance awareness of Ireland’s Great Hunger and its long aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Lahey.
He also received the Ambassador of Ireland Award for the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2010. He was named the 2011 Irish American of the Year by Irish America as a leading educator and keeper of Irish heritage. In 2000 he also was named one of the ten outstanding grand marshals of the 20th century.
Lahey, a native of Bronx, NY, received undergraduate and master’s degrees in philosophy from the University of Dayton, a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Miami, and a second master’s degree in higher education administration from Columbia University.
Lahey also is a leader in the community, serving as a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 4, New York County; director and chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc.; a member of the Knights of St. Patrick; and on the board of directors for Yale-New Haven Hospital, Avangrid,Inc., and the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.
He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut, with his wife Judy, and has two sons, Brent and Robert.
Lahey’s paternal grandfather hails from Knockglossmore, Co. Kerry. His paternal grandmother hails from Co. Cork and his maternal grandmother from Co. Clare.
Graham Keddie is a graduate of Aberdeen University and holds a LLB and Dip LP. Following graduation Graham was appointed as a Management Trainee with the Swire Group and was assigned to the Aviation Division. Since then Graham has held senior executive roles at several airlines and airports and in 2014 was appointed to the role of Managing Director at Belfast International Airport. Graham is a highly experienced commercial leader with a proven track record of success in the field of aviation. A change-agent, with the ability to deliver both improved profitability and customer service. Able to deal with all levels within an organisation and to network effectively externally with stakeholders, government, regulators and the media.
Francis Schott and his partners own Stage Left and Catherine Lombardi Restaurants in New Brunswick, NJ for 25 and 11 years respectively. With numerous awards, each has been considered among the best in the state since it’s opening. He also consults on food and beverage to the industry. He had a hand in helping Belfast organize its successful Restaurant Week promotions. He is a professional wine and spirits judge.
Francis took an active role in the redevelopment of New Brunswick, and sat on the board of The Special Improvement District of that town. He is an advocate for redeveloping communities, for the arts and for the role one can play in the other. He has regularly testified before the NJ State Senate and Assembly. He holds a leadership role on the board of The New Jersey Restaurant Association and has represented the NJRA in the media and in front of government on issues concerning small business.
He is a noted public speaker and consultant on food, wine, beverage and community. For 5 years, he was co-host of The Restaurant Guys radio program
Irish author and poet John Anthony Brennan is a native of Crossmaglen, a small, tough town in County Armagh, a town, like Ireland herself, which has survived much pain and hardship through the centuries beneath the invaders harsh heel.
He once lived on another island called Manhattan, which he calls “the largest open air asylum on the planet” and has been island hopping ever since. His first book, a memoir titled Don’t Die with Regrets: Ireland and the Lessons my Father Taught Me was the winner of the ‘Next Generation Indie Book Awards’ in 2015. It was also chosen as a finalist in the ‘Worldwide Book Excellence Awards’ in 2016.
His second book titled, The Journey: A Nomad Reflects is his first poetry collection and continues his life story in a series of free verse and rhythmic narrative. The Journey: A Nomad Reflects was a finalist in the ‘Worldwide Book Excellence Awards’ for 2016.
His third book, published in June 2017 and titled Turn Out the Light is a selection of tributes to the musicians who died while still young, many of whom the author met briefly, during the heady days of the music revolution in the late sixties-early seventies in “swinging London.”
Marianne was born and raised in Bangor, County Down on the shores of Belfast Lough. As a child she was fascinated by the tales and folklore of her native land, and so she grew up to become a storyteller. She is known for her expressive interpretation of Irish legends and Wonder Tales. Her lyrical storytelling will draw you into a Celtic Otherworld of spells and enchantments.
Marianne writes stories besides telling them. Her debut picture book, inspired by the legend of the Irish Mermaid Saint cast adrift in Loch Lao (today’s Belfast Lough), is to be published by Candlewick Press.
Marianne lives in Stamford, CT and is librarian at Brunswick School in Greenwich.
Joyce Sullivan is the Founder and CEO of SocMediaFin, Inc.
SocMediaFin, Inc. works across a number of industries to design and establish the right social media approach.
As the online world continues to evolve, SocMediaFin, Inc. stays in the know for trends that touch many industries and businesses.
Our work with traditional and evolving industries, non-profits and creative arts businesses, continues to grow.
Ciaran Mackel is an architect and senior lecturer in architecture at Belfast School of Architecture, Ulster University, and is also an architectural critic and occasional broadcaster.
Ciaran Mackel founded the design and research oriented practice – ARdMackel Architects – with offices in Belfast and is currently developing a portfolio of commercial, cultural and residential projects. As an architect in private practice, with over 35 years experience in the profession, he has been involved with, and design architect for, a number of successful award-winning projects.
He is a regular contributor to architectural periodicals and has been architect-assessor on a number of architectural competitions in recent years following his role as Northern Ireland Arts Council Lottery panel member and Architectural Policy panel member.
Ciaran was president of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) from 2002 -2004 and co-founded PLACE (of which he remains a board member) which was developed in co-operation with Belfast City Council to provide a city centre venue as an Architecture and Built Environment Centre. He is also an advisor to the Department of Communities Ministerial Advisory Group on architecture and the built environment.
Ciaran also serves on a number of Boards including, An Ceathrú Ghaeltachta; Forbairt Feirste, and the MazeLongKesh Development Corporation.
Maria Deasy has appeared Off-Broadway and in several films and television shows. Favorite performances include Tennessee Williams’ Something Cloudy, Something Clear at The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival and Nevrika in an adaptation of the short story, A Recluse And His Guest for The Drama League. Other New York credits include The Crucible at The Roundabout Theatre Company and The Importance of Marrying Wells at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Among her film appearances are Aimy In A Cage starring Crispin Glover, Barry Levinson’s Sleepers, and starring roles in the award-winning short films Contact Zone and The Anniversary. She is the author of the play, Mine, which will premiere this summer at the Broadway Bound Festival (www.broadwayboundfestival.com ). While her parents harken from beautiful County Mayo, Maria is both a native New Yorker and a Jersey Girl. www.mariadeasy.com
Sheila Lynott Hourican
Sheila Lynott Hourican, from Crossmolina, Co. Mayo has resided in New York since 1993. Married to Colm Hourican (Longford), they founded Fostra Design & Build Inc. a general construction company in 2010, where she currently serves as President.
Associated with Century Business Solutions from 1999 – 2015, Sheila is now an independent contractor with LDI Color Toolbox since 2016, one of today’s fastest growing document solution providers and a leader in the supply, sale and service of digital office technology.
Sheila served as President of the Irish Business Organization from 2011-2012, where she’s been a member since 1999. Playing an integral role in the rebuilding of the 40-year old organization, which seeks to promote, foster and advance the business interests of Irish and Irish American business people in the tri- state area and beyond. She also served as 1nd VP in 2009-2010 and 2nd VP back in 2003-2004
In 2009, Sheila has been awarded one of the Top 50 Most Influential Woman in New York by the Irish Voice, was named as the Irish Examiner’s Woman of the Year in 2010, was an honoree of Speaker Quinn’s and New York City Council in 2011 and the Honorary Grand Marshall of the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2013
With over 20 years’ experience in creating and delivering strategies in leisure, sport and retail, Enda has constantly been at the forefront of this industry.
Velocity’s latest offering, Darius, is a testament to Enda’s ability to predict the market and to ensure the company has first mover advantage.
Enda was a pioneer in introducing the ‘Leisure, Retail’ way of thinking into the UK.
Previously at Spirit Marketing, Enda launched and managed the marketing for some of the UK’s and Ireland’s most significant retail-led regeneration projects including Bluewater, Bullring, Manchester Arndale, Liverpool One, Mahon Point, Liffey Valley and Victoria Square.
A proven expert in this sector, Enda has developed Velocity Worldwide as the natural extension to what Spirit Marketing and The James Group previously provided for clients and what marketing needs to now do in order to continue to truly resonate with customers.
Enda’s role is to continue to build the team and the partnerships around Velocity Worldwide to take the company onto a global stage and dominate in its chosen sector.
Norman Houston is the Director/Counsellor at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C. Norman has over 38 years experience as a senior official in the Northern Ireland Civil Service including 13 years working in a diplomatic role.
Norman’s early career included spells with the Industrial Development Board (i.e. the predecessor to InvestNI) where he managed the organization’s public relations campaigns in Asia Pacific and its trade development activities in Continental Europe. Later posts included policy responsibility for senior civil service development and Tourism Ireland, the cross-border publically-owned tourism company that markets the island of Ireland overseas. This is his second posting to Washington, D.C.; he was the First Secretary at the Bureau from 1998 to 2002.
Norman has spearheaded the Executive’s international strategy in the US and Canada since 2007, during NI’s longest period of continuous devolved government in over 40 years. Norman was the first NI diplomat to escort the First Minister and deputy First Minister into the Oval Office to meet President George W. Bush in December 2007. Since that historic meeting Norman has facilitated similar meeting with President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He has built up the Bureau’s profile on Capitol Hill and with various branches of the US Administration including the White House, State Department and the Department of Commerce. Norman has also developed the Bureau’s footprint in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto and in New York.
He was also responsible for organizing the first official visit to Brazil by the First Minister and deputy First Minister in March 2013.
Norman was born and raised in Larne, County Antrim. He has an adult daughter and son. He has a First Class Honors Degree in Modern History from the Open University.
Daniel Dromm has been a progressive leader in Queens for over 20 years. An award-winning public school teacher, Dromm was elected to the New York City Council in 2009 and represents District 25 (Jackson Heights & Elmhurst). He serves as the Chair of the Education Committee.
Prior to his election, Dromm was an award-winning New York City public school teacher at PS 199Q in Queens from 1984 to 2009. In 2006, Dromm was chosen as “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” by his school’s principal and in 2009, he was chosen as “Educator of the Year” by the Kiwanis Club of Sunnyside. He has also received the Marsho-Raimo Award from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
Dromm is the founder of the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee and has organized the first Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival, which he still puts on the first Sunday in June in Jackson Heights. Dromm co-founded the Queens Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG), as well as the Generation Q Youth Services Program in Astoria. He also helped found the Queens Pride House.
A fluent Spanish-speaker, Daniel has been honored by the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Queens. He is a member of the NAACP – Corona/East Elmhurst branch and has also been honored by the Korean-American Association of Central Queens. In October of 2006, Dromm received a Community Leadership Award from the TimesLedger newspapers.
Daniel Dromm graduated from Marist College and earned his master’s degree at City College. He lives in Jackson Heights.
Jennifer recently completed her Masters in Business Administration from Queen’s University, Belfast. During her time at Queen’s, Jennifer was heavily involved in the University’s Enterprise Department where she participated in InnovateHer, a program aimed at developing the skills of female entrepreneurs. She was runner up in the ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ competition in reference to her business plan for a global business leadership development program aimed at integrating young people with mental health issues into the work force.
Before starting at Queen’s, Jennifer worked with the National Campaigns Team at the Irish Cancer Society in Dublin, coordinating all fundraising efforts for Daffodil Day in Dublin City Center. Jennifer received her B.A. in International Affairs from Northeastern University in Boston. Jennifer’s first experience with Belfast was during a summer internship at the U.S. Consulate where she worked with the public affairs and political/economic departments. Loving the city and people so much she came back to help with cross community work and interned at 174 Trust.
In her free time Jennifer enjoys traveling, astronomy, and maintaining links with Ireland. She is also an avid Everton supporter.
Scott M. Stringer
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has spent his career in public service fighting to ensure that every New Yorker has an equal opportunity to make it in our City. Over the last two decades, Mr. Stringer has been a champion for policies like a $15 minimum wage, has advocated for affordable housing, worked to strengthen the City’s fiscal health, and promoted open, transparent government.
Born and raised in Washington Heights, Mr. Stringer was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992, where he represented Manhattan’s West Side for 13 years. In 2006 he became Manhattan Borough President, and was elected Comptroller in 2013.
Representing 130,000 residents of the 74th Assembly District on Manhattan’s East Side, Brian Kavanagh has fought to reform State government and make it more responsive to the needs of ordinary New Yorkers. He has focused on legislation and policy changes to create a fairer and more open political process, support affordable housing, protect the environment, promote economic and social justice and a more humane society, prevent gun violence, and provide for greater accountability in the ways government provides services and spends our tax dollars.Brian has introduced well over 200 bills in the Assembly. Dozens of these bills have passed the Assembly, with as many as 27 passed in a single legislative session. He Chairs American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention , the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators, the Assembly Commission on Government Administration, and is co-Chair of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns – New York .
He has sponsored and helped enact legislation to extend and strengthen tenant protections; increase New York’s commitment to energy efficiency, green energy and alternatives to fossil fuels; ensure equality in civil marriage laws; and improve ethical standards applicable to public officials and other government employees. He also passed legislation and negotiated a deal between the State and the City to create $200 million worth of new parkland and open space on Manhattan’s East Side, including a mile-long esplanade that will close the last major gap in the greenway circling the island, with no new City or State tax dollars. He sits on the Eastside Greenway and Parkland Board, which will oversee implementation of these projects. He is the co-author of the East River Blueway Plan for water access and rehabilitation, with then Borough President and current NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Brian’s work has earned him the League of Conservation Voters Eco-Star Award, among the highest ratings of any legislator each year from Environmental Advocates of New York, the City University of New York’s Baruch College Legislator of the Year Award, and a perfect rating from the League of Humane Voters of New York City. He has been elected by his colleagues to co-chair State Legislators Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan organization. He was reelected to his fifth term in the Assembly in November 2014.
How do you get to be International Bartender of the Year? You make two things: good decisions – and your own luck.
Jack’s background in the hospitality trade covers every aspect of running a bar. He started young, bussing tables back in Belfast, graduating to tending bar and discovering the city’s nascent cocktail scene. Along the way, he accumulated an encyclopedic knowledge of mixed drinks.
He and Sean worked together briefly at a fashionable Belfast bar called The Northern Whig. They were later reunited at the city’s stylish Merchant Hotel, where their combined forces soon garnered a World’s Best Cocktail Bar title in 2010.
After that, New York came calling.
Daniel McCabe’s first play The Flood won the award for Excellence in Playwrighting at the 2014 NY Fringe Festival, and went on to a successful run in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre. Since then he’s developed a miniseries set in 1960’s NY entitled Salt of the Earth, and recently directed The Separatists, a dystopian short film based on his feature script of the same name. His newest full length play Charlatan, a story about the human desire for deception, is scheduled for its first reading at the end of this month.
Jim Frawley is a certified Executive Coach and Business Consultant, working with individuals and teams who are looking to reach higher levels of accomplishment through improved leadership, presence and performance.
Prior to coaching, Jim spent 15 years in a variety of roles within the financial industry, which included the implementation of numerous marketing, public relation and investor relation strategies, the development of operational and product strategic initiatives, and launching executive communications programs at Fortune 500 firms. Before the financial industry, he led operations, training and communications at a top-tier consultative sales and coaching firm.
Formerly a syndicated radio talk show host and award-winning public speaker, he holds his Executive Coaching designation credentials from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from the Catholic University of America. Jim is certified to administer multiple neuroscience, behavioral and personality assessments, most notably the Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI) and the Hogan Leadership Development and Lead Forecast Series.
Erin Doyle is an Emmy Award-winning producer of “Saturday Night Live.” “SNL” is the longest-running, most Emmy-nominated and highest-rated weekly late-night television program in TV history, currently in its 42nd season. Doyle won an Emmy for her work on “Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special.” Doyle is a producer of Comedy Central’s “Deroiters”, which is beginning production of Season 2 in Detroit this summer.
Doyle’s previous credits include Paramount films “Staten Island Summer” written by Colin Jost and “Brother Nature” starring Bobby Moynihan and Taran Killam, as well as stand-up comedy special, “Michael Che Matters” for Netflix.
Doyle is the daughter of Bernadette (nee McMahon) and Mike Doyle (of Castlerea Co, Roscommon). Raised in Philadelphia, she grew up making annual trips to Ireland. She is a graduate of New York University with a B.S. in Mass Media Communications. She currently resides in the West Village.
Mark Weir is the US Group Financial Controller for The Almac Group. Mark is Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and holds a Master’s degree from Dublin City University in IT & Accounting and a Bachelor’s Degree from Queens University, Belfast, in Economics. Originally from Northern Ireland Mark moved to the USA in 2012 to take up his current position with The Almac Group. Prior to joining The Almac Group Mark trained as a Chartered Accountant with PWC and worked in a number of international organizations, during his time with one he led the international expansion of a family owned firm from Northern Ireland in establishing their first foreign facility in Kansas.
The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organization that provides an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS® technology(IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.
The international company is a privately owned organization that has organically grown over 30 years and now employs in excess of 4,000 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).
Mac Premo, b. 1973, American artist and stuffmaker, graduate of RISD ’95. Exhibited art in NYC, LA, Miami, DC and Belfast, Northern Ireland; represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery in NYC. Mac has won 7 New York Emmy® Awards, including awards for best commercial, best photography, best set design and best PSA. A 2008 NYFA fellow in video, he currently makes art, illustration, commercials and dinner, most nights. Mac lives in Brooklyn with his wife and totally radical daughters. Also, he made The Dumpster Project (with a lot of help from some really good folks).
Michael K. Breen
Michael K. Breen concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial real estate, corporate law matters, commercial transactions, and land use. Mr. Breen has represented landlords and tenants for office, retail, and industrial lease transactions, and numerous other clients for corporate and commercial matters, and frequently lectures on topics related to commercial transactions. He also serves as General Counsel for an international manufacturing trade association.
Mr. Breen joined the firm after working for SJP Properties, a prominent real estate developer based in Parsippany, New Jersey. While at SJP, Mr. Breen was responsible for the leasing and sale of large office and other commercial properties, both build-to-suit and speculative projects, including the negotiation and preparation of leases and related agreements.
In addition to his experience as a transactional and real estate lawyer, Mr. Breen began his career as a personal injury litigator with a leading New Jersey law firm. He also served as law clerk for the Honorable Nicholas J. Mandak, A.J.S.C., Assignment Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey (Passaic County). Mr. Breen is a member of the Hudson-Bergen Inn of Transactional Counsel, and a licensed commercial real estate broker in New Jersey.
Mr. Breen is a member of the Board of Trustees for Dominican College, a four-year private college in Orangeburg, New York. A citizen of both the United States and Ireland, Mr. Breen is active in many Irish-American organizations, and volunteers as director of Mary’s Gift Irish Language Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity supporting Irish language schools in northern Ireland (www.marysgift.org).
David Beck is the creator of the new mystery-romance Spring Street. Season One is now available to watch online for free. He is the founder of The Great Griffon, a new media, film, and theatre company dedicated to shattering gender and LGBTQI stereotypes. At the 13th Street Repertory Theatre, he produces the monthly series Seeking the Queer Voice. He wrote, co-produced, and acted in the short film For Francis. On stage, David has appeared at 59e59, Cherry Lane, Symphony Space, La Mama, SoHo Playhouse, Walkerspace, and regional theatres. He is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College’s acting program. www.davidGbeck.com
Executive Director, Goodman Media International
John Lee is a communications and media relations professional, representing professional services and B2B clients as Executive Director with Goodman Media International. Previously he was with TallGrass Public Relations and earlier ran his own PR consultancy, John Lee MEDIA. He also enjoyed a long run at the New York Racing Association, where he served as Director of Communications & Media Relations for America’s premier thoroughbred racing circuit.
Lee was First Vice President and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Irish Business Organization of New York and was a board member of the Irish American Writers & Artists. He regularly serves as a panelist and moderator at the annual Ireland Day at the New York Stock Exchange and at the New York New Belfast Conference.
Brendan Ryan Walsh
Brendan Ryan Walsh was honorably discharged from the U.S.M.C. and came home to N.Y. to pursue his love for theatre. He is a graduate of Esper Studio’s two year conservatory and continues to study at the renowned HB Studio under the tutelage of Austin Pendleton. He is obtaining his degree in Dramatic Studies from Columbia University. Brendan has performed in theatre regionally and nationally winning awards in acting and ensemble work as well as for his work in Irish Theatre. He also has multiple Film, T.V. and Commercial credits.He is a proud member of Equity and SAG-AFTRA.
Kathleen M. Cronin
NJSBDC Bergen County / Bergen Community College-Hackensack / K Cronin & Associates
Kathleen is a former Montessori teacher and college English as a second language (“ESL”) instructor. She presently works as Regional Outreach and Social Media Coordinator for NJSBDC Rutgers University School of Business-Newark, NJSBDC Bergen County-Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Bergen Community College-Hackensack.
She is first generation Irish-American from Bergen County, New Jersey. Her father was a hurler for the South Liberties, Co. Limerick and her mom is from Coulagh, Co. Cork. She has been a member of the IBO for several years and is honored to serve on the executive board. She is very proud of her #IRISH heritage and promotes it via various organizations and events, and likes to practice her Irish language skills when possible.
Kathleen is owner of K Cronin & Associates – Facilitating Small Business/Social Media/Outreach Services, Bergen County Workforce Development Board; Business/Job Development Committees, Intern for the Bergen County Division of Economic Development, Bergen County O.E.M./Paramus C.E.R.T., Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County.