2012 40Under40

Ailbhe MullenAilbhe-Mullen
Current company/position:
The Corcoran Group – Salesperson
Age: 39
Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
Where you live: Manhattan, NY
First Job: Working in Family Restaurant Business
What it taught me: Working in a family business teaches you that no task is too big or too small. Customer is King !
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. Was very involved in the Irish Girl Guide Movement growing up.
2. Had an unwanted advantage in Yugoslavia.
3. Enjoys Organizing Network events!
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Never be afraid to do any job and to follow your dream.
Biography: Ailbhe A native of Oldcastle Co, Meath Ireland, Ailbhe is the youngest of five children, educated in Gilson primary school Oldcastle and later Eureka Convent of Mercy Kells. Her love of food and meeting people meant the catering industry was a natural choice for her 3rd level education which lead her to study Hotel Management at Colchester University in England.

During her collage years, Ailbhe spent several summers as an intern at Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Scarsdale, NY, later upon graduation she secured a full time position as Restaurant Manager while the Club played host to the Walker Cup 1997 and Ailbhe enjoyed welcoming the many US and European Golfers. While at Quaker Ridge, Ailbhe furthered her studies with a qualification in Human Resource Management at NYU.

A move to Manhattan in 1997 brought with it exciting role in manager at the Parker Meridien Hotel, Ailbhe moved to various roles within the Hotel and after several promotions to assistant manager when in 1999 Ailbhe was honored as manager of the year. Later, as Director of Restaurants, Ailbhe was responsible for Norma’s Breakfast Restaurant and the opening and ongoing management of the popular burger joint.

In 2005 well accomplished and in pursuit of further adventure Ailbhe embarked on a new career in Real Estate when she moved to The Corcoran Group where she is currently a member of The Blumstein Team at the Village office. Ailbhe’s ease with people and her can do attitude in an industry which was facing challenges saw Ailbhe again rising to success. Ailbhe soon established herself as a trusted advisor for all property transactions and build a large client base of buyers and renters from across the globe seeking to live in New York.

Ailbhe’s love of the city and her engrained customer service will ensure that she will continue to enjoy her successful career in real estate for many years into the future. Despite the demands of her busy career Ailbhe still finds time to remain involved in the Irish network in New York. Ailbhe is presently board member of Irish International Business Network (IIBN) and IN-NYC in NYC. As a hand on member last year Ailbhe organized a series of events for IIBN in New York and assisted in introducing many new faces to the business community in New York for support.

Ailbhe is also on the committee for Self Help Africa where she is actively involved in fundraising. Ailbhe’s strong sense of fun and hardworking ethos makes her a valued member of the Irish Network in New York and her ongoing contribution to the Irish community makes her a deserving recipient of this award.

Aislinn GavinAislinn-Gavin
Current company/position:
American Irish Historical Society/ Development and Events Coordinator
Age: 22
Place of Birth: Danbury, CT
Where you live: New York, NY
First Job: Photographer’s Assistant
What it taught me: Working as an assistant in a photography and framing shop taught me a lot about organization and how to handle responsibility. It also taught me how important it is to do something you love to do.
Status: Single
Family : Daughter of James M. Gavin from Castlebar, Co. Mayo and Margaret Gallagher Gavin from Brewster, New York; Sister to Sean McDermott Gavin and Kara Sheridan Gavin
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I once ate a chocolate-covered cricket.
2. Growing up, I wanted to be on Broadway.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: I suppose I’m just starting out myself, but I would encourage my peers to be themselves. That may sound cliché but it shows that you have confidence in who you are.
Biography: Aislinn Gavin is the 22-year-old Development and Events Coordinator at the American Irish Historical Society in New York City. She was born in Danbury, CT to James M. Gavin of Castlebar, Co. Mayo and Margaret Gallagher Gavin of Brewster, NY. Aislinn graduated from Fordham University in May 2011 with a degree in International Studies. She began her post at the American Irish Historical Society two days after her graduation. So far, Aislinn’s biggest undertakings at the Society have been creating a new website, www.aihs.org, and successfully organizing the largest fundraiser of the Society’s season, The Annual Dinner.

CathalCathal--Conlon Conlon

Current company/position: Director of Marketing / New England Revolution
Age: 33
Place of Birth: Ardee, Co. Louth, Rep. of Ireland
Where you live: South Boston, MA
First Job: Caretaker / Cleaner, Lee Jeans Factory, Ardee, Co. Louth
What it taught me: First and foremost, it taught me communication and cooperation. In order for the factory to function at the required level, cleaning needed to take place throughout the workday.
Communication with the workforce on the most efficient time and system was crucial to succe

ss. It also taught me self-motivation and responsibility. There was no manager on site so it was up to me to keep myself motivated and organized throughout the workday. Now as a manager, those skills are used every day. We communicate with our target customers and current customers to make sure we understand that they want from us. Now as a manager, the motivation and organizational skills I learned then are used to lead the marketing department of the Revolution.
Status: Married
Family: Noreen Drohan
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I can sing every word of Les Miserables from start to finish. Not necessarily well, but I know them all.
2. I was on the Kop in Anfield for the second of Liverpool’s epic 4-3 wins over Newcastle.
3. I own a collection of tacky magnets from all over the world. From Thailand to Tralee and Dublin to Denver.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Work hard. Sounds simple, but its true. Whatever your role is, work hard and do it to the best of your ability every day. It helps to enjoy your job too of course. If you do not look forward to going to work in the morning, you will not give your best. Find a job you like and work hard.
Biography: Cathal Conlon is the Director of Marketing for the New England Revolution where he oversees and directs all aspects of the Revolution’s marketing initiatives. Conlon began his career in the golf industry, at Brae Burn Country Club in Newton, Mass., and Ring of Kerry Golf Club in Kenmare, Ireland. He returned to the U.S. to become the Outside Services Supervisor at Warwick Country Club in Rhode Island, before joining the Revolution. A native of Ardee, Co. Louth, Ireland, Conlon attended Liverpo

ol John Moores University and earned a degree in sports science in 1999. He and wife Noreen, live in Boston.

ChristopherChristopher-James-Ryan James Ryan

Current company/position: Michael Anthony’s Waterfront Restaurant/General Manager
Age: 28
Place of Birth: Orange, NJ
Where you live: Edison, NJ
First Job: Shop Rite
What it taught me: I learned a lot from my first job at Shop Rite because I learned to be such a hard worker. I was 16 and worked everyday whi

le my friends were out hanging around. It helped me become dedicated to what ever I do and work as hard as I can with everything in life not only at work. It was the first time that I really saw life as an adult and it mad me grow up a little faster.
Status: Single
Best advice you could give someone starting out: The best advice I could give someone is to never give up on anything if you believe in it.
Biography: Christopher James Ryan was born and raised in Edison NJ. He made numerous trips to Ireland and to the very home of his grandparents. “I remember every weekend going to Irish festivals and listening to Irish music”, says Chris, where he learned to do things the true Irish way. “it was at this place I realized that being Irish is just in my blood”. Now the General Manger of Michael Anthony’s Water Front Restaurant in Newport Jersey City he saw fit to display his love for the country by opening his own Irish Pub, PJ Ryan’s.

Colleen Griffin


Current company/position:
The Irish Cultural Centre of New England – Administrative Assistant
Age: 23
Place of Birth: Boston, MA
Where you live: Quincy, MA
First Job: Cashier at local store
What it taught me: It taught me how important customer service is and how important it is to relate and communicate with customers in different situations.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I’ve been to Ireland 24 times…and counting!
2. I had my own radio show at my college radio station
3. My favorite place I’ve traveled to is Barcelona, Spain
Best advice you could give someone starting out: The best advice I could give someone is “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Find something you’re passionate about and dream big. Having a key interest and a passion in life is crucial when starting your career path.
Biography: Although she was born and raised in Boston, Colleen Griffin, 1989, has crossed the Atlantic every summer to visit her family in Galway. Those summer adventures with her father’s family in Connemara developed her passion for all things Irish, something she also pursued as a student at Bridgewater State University (BSU). Taking advantage of BSU’s study abroad program, Colleen studied for a semester at Griffith College in Dublin. Since graduating from BSU in 2011, she has worked at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England (ICCNE) in Canton, Massachusetts. In her position with the ICCNE, Colleen promotes all aspects of Irish culture in the region and engages with representatives of many other local Irish groups. She has also participated in the organization of major events such as the annual Irish weekend festival hosted by the ICCNE. Involved in making Irish culture stronger in New England, Colleen is a member of the next generation of Irish Americans who are ensuring that the Celtic heritage and tradition remains vibrant. In particular, with her fluency in social media and her communication background, she knows how to share the Irish message with the younger generation.

Conall DempseyConall-Dempsey
Current company/position: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP / Partner
Age: 39
Place of Birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Where you live: Philadelphia, PA
First Job: Trainee Chartered Accountant
What it taught me: Working with many international clients at a young age provided me and early and important perspective on global business that has always served me well.
Status: Married
Family: Caroline ( Spouse), Niamh (7) and Aidan Patrick (5)
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. My family members were all born in different countries
2. My favorite food is Korean BBQ beef
3. I ran a 10K race on the Great Wall of China
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Identify a mentor who can help you grow by identifying and pursuing diverse and challenging opportunities.
Biography: Conall Dempsey was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and currently is a Partner at PwC in Philadelphia, PA. He has 18 years of extensive experience serving PwC’s multi-national, technology clients in the US, Asia and in Europe. Having started his career in London, UK, Conall has been based in Philadelphia since 1997 and in 2009 returned from four year assignment in Seoul, South Korea. Conall continually seeks out challenging roles which have allowed him to develop a distinctive blend of experience. He leverages his diverse professional background to add value to his clients by providing ideas and perspectives that help solve complex and challenging issues. His energetic, collaborative and straightforward approach at getting to the heart of issues helps his teams deliver client service at the highest level. Conall lives in Wayne, PA and is married to Caroline and together they have two children, Niamh and Aidan.

Daniel James McCabeDavid-James-McCabe Current company/position: Founder/Editor of Glasschord Magazine
Age: 32
Place of Birth: Queens, NY
Where you live: Brooklyn, NY
First Job: Bar-back
What it taught me:
To read between the lines.
Status: Engaged
Family : Engaged to Emma Ishta, proud father of three year old Tierney Rose McCabe.
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. At the old Rocky Sullivan’s on Lexington Avenue Shane MacGowan sang “Danny Boy” to me and a small crowd of after-hours revelers. It was the most horrific rendition I have ever heard.
2. I have approximately 70 cousins in the New York metropolitan area.
3. Before getting my driver’s license I nearly ran over a British soldier
while driving a black taxi on
the Falls Road, accidentally
of course.Best advice you could give someone starting out: Think it through. Say only as much as is needed. Persevere. Don’t be daunted. Get there ten minutes early. Make lots of lists, then knock them out item by item. Memorize the Prayer of Saint Francis and Kipling’s “If”.
Biography: Daniel James McCabe was born in Queens, New York to a massive family who instilled in him a great love of music, cinema and storytelling. In 2010 he and a team of collaborators founded Glasschord Magazine, an online forum for international creative exchange. Since release of the first issue in January 2011 Glasschord has been viewed in 131 countries and has featured literary, visual and musical content by more than 150 different artists. Daniel also works as a photographer and cinema lighting technician. He lives in Brooklyn with his daughter Tierney Rose and fiancée Emma Ishta.

David McCormackCurrent company/position:
Westwood Partners/Owner-Partner
Age: 34Place of Birth: Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Where you live: Manhattan, NY
First Job: Institutional Equity Salestrader/Merrill Lynch
What it taught me: Hard work
Status: MarriedFamily: KateBest advice you could give someone starting out: There will always be someone smarter than you but make sure no one ever out works you.
Biography: David McCormack was born in Castlebar, Co Mayo, and educated in Ireland and at University of London.
He started his career at Merrill Lynch in London in 1998. David moved to New York in 2007 and is recognized as one of the top executive recruiters globally focusing on Financial Markets.

Deirdre Erin


LeeCurrent company/position:

Independent Filmmaker
Age: 30
Place of Birth: Brookfield, WI
Where you live: Chicago, IL
First Job: Retail Sales Clerk
What it taught me: My first job taught me the importance of interpersonal relationships.
Status: Married
Family: Joseph Boes
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I’m the only left-handed person in my family.
2. I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade.
3. My pursuit of a career in filmmaking began with radio.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Be honest, be confident, and go with your gut instinct.
Biography: Born on St. Patrick’s Day and tracing her heritage to Clare, Cork and Longford counties through her grandparents, Deirdre Erin Lee celebrates tradition and culture in her documentary films. An independent filmmaker, Deirdre has contributed to PBS productions and directed multiple films including her current documentary, “Pass Through the Fire”, and “Trip the Sod: A portrait of a Young Irish Step Dancer” (selected for Chicago’s Irish Fest “Film Shorts Program”). A former Irish step dancer herself, “Trip the Sod” draws from experience while exploring competitive Irish step dancing through her niece and namesake. “Pass Through the Fire” portrays artist Jay Strommen’s wood-fire ceramic process and is touring the festival circuit, having won “Best of Show” and “Excellence in Cinematography” awards. Deirdre earned her BA with Honors in Communications Studies and a Studio Art minor from University of Iowa and her MFA in Film & Video at Columbia College Chicago.

Elizabeth NoonanElizabeth-Noonan Current company/position: WFUV 90.7 FM/ Assistant Director of Promotions & Ceol na nGael ProducerAge: 28
Place of Birth:
New York City, NY
Where you live:
Woodlawn, NY
First Job: Cabana Girl at Sun & Surf Beach Club in Atlantic Beach, NY
What it taught me: Besides teaching me the true meaning of hard work, I learned to pack lightly when going to the beach, wear sunscreen, and be a good tipper!
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I was one of the youngest glockenspiel players in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade when I marched with St. Raymond’s Elementary School in 1995
2. I’m working on my third degree from Fordham University.. Go Rams!
3. I’m not related to Paddy Noonan
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Do what you love to do. If you don’t know what that is yet, keep an open mind and an open heart and it will come to you.
Biography: Elizabeth Noonan is the assistant director of promotions at WFUV, 90.7 FM as well as the producer of WFUV’s Irish music program, Ceol na nGael. She was born in the spring of 1983, and grew up in Long Beach, NY. Her Dad, John was born in County Longford, Ireland, and her Mom is a native of Woodside, Queens. In 2005 she received a BA from Fordham University where she co-hosted Ceol na nGael from 2002-2005. After two years of working in marketing and sales for Anheuser-Busch, she returned to Fordham and WFUV and received a Masters degree in communications in 2008. In addition to her work at WFUV Liz is a columnist with the Irish Echo, and is working towards a Masters Degree from Fordham’s Graduate School of Education.

Eoin Ó hÓGÁINEoin-Ó-hÓGÁIN Current company/position: Associate Principal
Age: 32Place of Birth: Kilkenny, Ireland
Where you live: New York City, NY
First Job:
Morgan Stanley, London
What it taught me: I enjoyed the hard work and excitement of mergers and acquisitions
Status: Married
Family: Sonya
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Find something you enjoy and do it well
Biography: Eoin Ó hÓgáin is an Associate Principal at McKinsey and Company, a large management consulting firm, where he helps lead the energy and materials practice. From

Kilkenny, Ireland, Eoin moved to the US in 2004. He was previously an analyst at Morgan Stanley in London. He graduated as a Baker Scholar from the Harvard Business School, and with First Class Honors from Trinity College, Dublin. He is also an O’Reilly Foundation Scholar.
Daniel J. Halloran, III
Current company/position: Council Member, 19th District – New York City Council
Age: 39
Place of Birth: New York City, NY
Where you live: Auburndale, NY
First Job: Counselor – Boy Scouts of America
What it taught me: Scouting taught me self reliance, discipline, developing diverse skills while also the value of both individual achievement and group cooperation.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me
1. Irish step danced until high school
2. Lived in Ireland for a few months doing archaeology fieldwork in the 1990’s
3. Raises Great Danes & rebuilds 1970’s era Dodge Ramchargers as a hobby.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Always think about those who have gone before; do not repeat their mistakes, but build upon their successes.
Biography: Council Member Dan Halloran was elected to the City Council in 2009 on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Libertarian lines to represent the Queens neighborhoods of College Point, Auburndale-Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Douglaston, and Little Neck. Council Member Halloran is a lifelong resident of Northeast Queens growing up and attending local public and private schools and received an ROTC Scholarship to college. The Council Member’s family has served New York City for five generations. His great-grandfather was an NYPD police chief, his grandfather was an NYPD detective, and his two brothers are an FDNY firefighter and officer. His father served as a Deputy Director in the NYC Office of Management and Budget during the Koch Administration. Council Member Halloran served in the NYPD and in three district attorney offices, helping keep our communities safe. Prior to his election, the Council Member was in private practice as an attorney with the law firm Palmieri & Castiglione, LLP and representing New York City police officers as an of counsel attorney for the PBA. An Auburndale area homeowner and former small business owner, Dan Halloran is dedicated to cutting taxes for New York City’s working families and easing the burden on small businesses. He campaigned against overdevelopment and is committed to preserving the unique residential character of his northeast Queens neighborhoods. Council Member Halloran is a leading voice for government transparency and reform, maintaining our quality of life, and delivering services for seniors, being one of the first to agree to disclose his discretionary spending online. The Queens Examiner called Council Member Halloran an “independent thinker” who will “tackle issues on a case-by-case basis free of partisan politics” and “become a highly respected member of the City Council, one who can deliver funds and services to the district by working to build positive relationships with his fellow City Council members.” Halloran was praised by The Queens Gazette for his community roots and his “community-oriented” view of government. Council Member Halloran is a proud Eagle Scout, and remains active in scouting. He is an avid hunter and camper who raises his Great Dane dogs as part of a family tradition. He is active in numerous not-for-profit organizations and a former National Officer, State Chair and active member of the Liberty Caucus of the GOP. Council Member Halloran owns a home near the Bowne Park area of Whitestone/North Flushing, just blocks from where he was born and raised.

James ReganJames-Regan
Current company/position: Market Resource Partners, Founding Partner
Age: 39
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA
Where you live: Philadelphia, PA
First Job: Butcher
What it taught me: The importance of client service and the joy of a job done well.
Status: Married
Family: Wife-Rosario Marino
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. We started MRP with $1,000
2. I made cold calls from my bedroom for the first year in business
3. My favorite place in the world is Bogota, Colombia
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Build a team of people you trust that have skill sets that are complimentary to your own and respect their commitment to the business.
Biography: Jim is a Founding Partner of Market Resource Partners, a wholly owned technology marketing subsidiary of Newry-based, First Derivatives plc and also the 2009 recipient of the Irish Echo Irish American Business of the Year Award. Jim oversees the internal sales teams consisting of over 150 technology sales professionals in Philadelphia, Belfast and San Jose, Costa Rica. MRP has increased revenues +1000% and also expanded the firm to over 200 employees since its 2002 inception. Regan holds a bachelor of science in marketing from La Salle University in Philadelphia. Jim also volunteers with the Food Trust, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food.

James E SandsJames-E-Sands
Current company/position: FDNY Firefighter Engine Co 331
Age: 39
Place of Birth: Jackson Heights, NY
Where you live: Howard Beach, NY
First Job: Electrician
What it taught me: It taught me patience and responsibility. Electric could kill you. I have learned to read blueprints as well as troubleshoot wiring problems. You can’t rush jobs. You need to do things the right way
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I have traveled to 35 of the 50 states with the National 9/11 Flag as it was being restored to it’s original flag format after being destroyed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on my own personal time while representing the FDNY
2. I volunteer my time welcoming home our troops and wounded warriors by bringing the National 9/11 Flag to the Airports
3. I still work full time as a FDNY Firefighter
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Listen to all of the Senior Men and remember that you will never know it all. Every Day is a new day and there is always something else to learn
Biography: Jimmy Sands was born in Queens, NY. He is 39 years old and the oldest of 3. He attended Sacred Heart Grammar School in Glendale Queens and Christ the King HS in Middle Village .He has been doing Electrical and Carpentry since he was 16 years old. He attended NCC College and has volunteered in 3 Fire Departments throughout the states. He joined the FDNY E-10 in 2004 and then joined the New York Says Thank You Foundation. In 2007 he survived a fatal fire in the Deutsche Bank Building where 2 FDNY members were killed. Since then he has transferred to E331 in Queens NY and has traveled the country restoring the National 9/11 Flag before the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on his own time. To this day he still travels with the flag.

James SlevinJames-Slevin
Current company/position: Uniformed Firefighters Association/Vice President
Age: 39
Place of Birth: Bronx, NY
Where you live: Long Island City, NY
First Job: Hospital Unit Clerk
What it taught me: It taught me this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Status: Married
Family: Wife, Corinne Slevin, son Colin James Slevin born January 24, 2012
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. Attended Medical School in St. Petersburg Russia
2. Appeared as an extra in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Aida” with Placido Domingo
3. Never thought I would end up following my Father’s footsteps becoming a Firefighter.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Never be afraid to deviate from your plan. Sometimes it is better to just set short term goals rather than locking yourself in to a long term plan. I never would be where I am today if I stuck to my original plan.
Biography: Jim Slevin was born in 1972 to James and Mary Slevin. He has six older sisters. He attended Fordham Prep then Fairfield University. In 1995 he became a NYC Firefighter and was assigned to Ladder Company 7. In 2000 he received his JD from CUNY School of Law. In June of 2002 he became the youngest person ever elected to the Uniformed Firefighters Association and was recently re-elected without opposition to his fourth term. He is actively involved in lobbying for Firefighters and their families. He was previously named to The Capitol’s “40 under 40” and the “Irish Legal 100.” Jim married Corinne in 2010 and they celebrated the birth of Colin James this past January.

Jennifer FrankolaJennifer-Frankola
Current company/position: Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP/Attorney & Founder of Special Education Practice Group
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Queens, NY
Where you live: Queens, NY
First Job: Youth Minister Camp Counselor
What it taught me: Patience, compassion, creativity, leadership, and organization.
Status: Single
Family : My family including mom, dad, 2 sisters, and 5 nephews live close by on Long Island. I’m getting married this year!
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I was a competitive Irish Step Dancer and danced in Carnegie Hall
2. I sang in the Vatican with my college choir
3. I lived in Africa
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Dream big! Treat others the way you want to be treated. Listen to people, especially those older than you. Ask for help. And remember to celebrate and smile.
Biography: Jennifer Frankola is a child of farmers, but practices law in the big city. A first generation American and native New Yorker, Jennifer is the third daughter of Margaret Callaghan of County Sligo and Emil Frankola of Istria, Croatia. She attended Manhattan College, where she played Division I lacrosse and sang in the choir. Upon graduation Jennifer was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows, where she taught in the Bronx while earning her Masters degree at NYU. A growing commitment to social justice led her to CUNY Law School and into her current position as a civil rights attorney. Jennifer represents children with special needs, such as autism, Downs syndrome and dyslexia, to ensure they receive appropriate services under the law. She is a member of the New York state bar and active in the Brehon Law Society. Jennifer is getting married this year, and if you play a slip jig you may just get to see her fancy footwork.

Jennifer Keating-MillerJennifer-Keating-Miller
Current company/position: Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research and National Fellowships & Special Faculty in Department of English / Carnegie Mellon University
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Cork, Ireland
Where you live: Pittsburgh, PA
First Job: Sports Reporter: Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper Rochester, NY
What it taught me: Not everything a writer produces has to be an art form but it does need to communicate precisely, in detail, and if rendered carefully, offer a glimpse of one’s personality. I also learned the meaning of DEADLINE, in no uncertain terms.
Status: Married
Family: Bill Miller and son Liam (with another little boy on the way in April).
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I love television – CSI NY, Curb Your Enthusiasm and AMC’s Walking Dead.
2. I still remember my childhood phone number in Cobh.
3. Raising a child is the toughest but most rewarding challenge I have faced yet.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Getting to know yourself – learning your own process on how to produce your highest quality work, what makes you push past adversity, how you can achieve a balance between work and life – is work only you can undertake and will have to re-engage in each period of your life. Find the time to do so; it will yield infinite riches throughout your life.
Biography: Jennifer Keating-Miller was born in Cork to Maureen and John Keating. She lived in Cobh until 1988 when the family moved to Santa Monica, CA. At the University of Rochester, she graduated Magna cum Laude with Research Honors and Highest Distinction in English. She earned a Ph.D. in English at the University of Pittsburgh and defended her dissertation, “Labyrinths of Language” with distinction. In January 2010, Palgrave Macmillan released Language, Identity and Liberation in Contemporary Irish Literature, which was awarded the Michael Durkan Prize for Best Book on Irish Language and Culture by the American Conference for Irish Studies in 2011. Jennifer served as the Assistant Director of the Ronald E. McNair Program and David T. Kearns Center, guiding first-generation, low-income and underrepresented minority students towards research opportunities and graduate school at the University of Rochester. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research and National Fellowships at Carnegie Mellon University where she also teaches courses on literature and writing in the Department of English. Her next book project, Topographies of Peace, will focus on the proliferation of peace lines in Northern Ireland and an analysis of the manner in which the region’s theatrical movement can serve as a cultural interruption to divisions that hamper reconciliation efforts in the region. She has applied for a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship to conduct this research and teach at Queen’s University Belfast in January 2013.

John Richard DaleyJohn-Richard-Daley
Current company/position: Daley Insurance Brokerage Inc. / Vice President
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Chicago IL
Where you live: Chicago IL
First Job: Page Illinois House of Representatives.
What it taught me: No matter what job you’re doing, never get caught with your hands in your pockets, and if you’re not sure what to do, start sweeping.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I practice Eastern Medicine regularly through cupping and acupuncture.
2. At age 22 I rode an elephant in Sri Lanka for fun, and started a tea company
3. I am a member of the U.S. Electoral College, a certified open water diver, and I enjoy playing underwater hockey.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: “Non Mollare Mai” (Never give up!)
Biography: John Richard is the eldest of three children born to Mary Lou and John Patrick Daley in Chicago. John is the fourth generation of Daleys to grow up in the Bridgeport area, where he attended both Bridgeport Catholic Academy and Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy. He went on to study at St. Ignatius College Prep, John Carroll University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. Immediately after college, John accepted a position as a Minority Staff Assistant in the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. John moved back to Chicago to work for Senator Richard J. Durbin in his Illinois office, and eagerly attended as many White Sox games as he had missed while living in Washington in 2005. John eventually returned to his family business in Bridgeport where he currently works. Daley Insurance has specialized in commercial risks in the Health Care, Education, and Construction sectors for over 35 years. John manages new business development, and services their existing book of business. John is highly dedicated to economic development, non-profit fund raising, and community organizing in Chicago and the Bridgeport neighborhood. He is currently organizing a craft beer and pork festival to be held in August of this year, and is working with a group to create a new charter school. John remains active in the Irish community as a director on the board of the Irish Fellowship of Chicago, and was President of the Young Irish Fellowship of Chicago.

Kathleen McCabeKathleen-McCabe
Current company/position: Morgan Stanley – Managing Director
Age: 39
Place of Birth: New York, NY
Where you live: New York, NY
First Job: My first job was in our parish rectory
What it taught me: There’s a lot more to Church than Mass on Sunday. And….penmanship (mass cards to be filled in), math (weekly envelopes to be sorted), manners (always), punctuality and good judgment all actually matter!
Status: Married
Family: Husband is Dana LaForge and daughters are Megan (6 1/2) and Paige (5).
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I was a White House intern
2. I was voted Class Actress in high school
3. I love a well poured pint of Guiness and a great seisun
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Never underestimate yourself. We make our own luck. Stay close to your family and friends.
Biography: Kathleen McCabe is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, where she works as a senior banker in the investment banking division. Since joining Morgan Stanley in 1998, Kathleen has worked on a broad range of transactions for the firm’s largest clients, including leveraged buyouts, financings, mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings. Kathleen is the daughter of John and Bernadette McCabe, who hail from Co. Leitrim and now reside in Bergenfield, NJ. She is the second eldest of their four daughters. Kathleen attended Georgetown University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Government and worked at Bankers Trust in its investment banking division upon graduation. Kathleen serves on the Board of Trustees of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and the George F. Baker Scholar Program at Georgetown University. Kathleen was named to the Irish Voice’s “Women of Influence” in 2010 and has been a supporter of the American Ireland Fund. Kathleen resides in New York City with her husband Dana LaForge and their two daughters, Megan (6 1/2) and Paige (5).

Kevin GroganKevin-Grogan
Current company/position: Head coach of Lansdowne Bhoys FC, Director of coaching Western Lehigh Utd
Age: 30
Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
Where you live: Sunnyside, NY
First Job: Playing for Manchester United
What it taught me: Aside from the knowledge i gained on the pitch in terms of tactical and technical information. I learned that discipline and work rate in life are both very important.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me
1. I won the European Championship with Ireland in 1998
2. I’m a big Elvis Presley fan
3. I supported Liverpool as a kid
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Work hard, Sacrifice and be disciplined so you can achieve as much as possible in your career. You will always get set backs in every career. Learn from the bad times – it will make you stronger.
Biography: Kevin Grogan was born in Dublin. Sir Alex Ferguson signed Kevin to Manchester United in 1998. In the same year Kevin played a major role on the Ireland Under 16 team, on their way to becoming European Champions in Scotland. Grogan played a pivotal role in the success of the Irish team. Unfortunately Kevin retired from playing due to a series of injuries. After retiring Kevin became a coach. After moving to New York Kevin became Director of coaching at Western Lehigh Utd and also became the head coach of Lansdowne Bhoys FC along with being the head coach of the New York Irish team. Kevin recently signed a double book deal with Sterling and Ross publishing company.

Louis Crescitelli IIILouis-Crescitelli-III
Current company/position: Office of New Jersey Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose/Chief of Staff
Age: 36
Place of Birth: Vineland, NJ
Where you live: Franklin, NJ
First Job: Warehouse laborer, Vineland Glass Co.
What it taught me: Hard work, balancing high school and working, and deadlines and responsibilities in the real world. After college, it turned into a life-long friendship with the owner.
Status: Single
Family: Linda – Mother, Louis Jr. – Father, Rebecca – sister
Three things people would be surprised to know about me
1. My parents and all four grandparents (deceased) were proud members of labor unions.
2. When I was in the 6th grade, I performed in the school’s production of the musical Oliver!
3. I sported a pony-tail my sophomore year of college.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Be prepared to arrive to work early and leave late. Dress well, show respect, and at work and through life, always learn and take in knowledge from others.
Biography: Louis Crescitelli III is a life-long resident of New Jersey, who has been politically active since his teens. A graduate of St. Francis of Assisi School and Sacred Heart High School both in Vineland, Lou holds a BA in Political Science from Rowan University in Glassboro. Prior to his current employment, Lou held various positions in politics and government. These included Congressman Frank LoBiondo’s 1996 campaign, Congressman LoBiondo’s staff (1997 and 2001-2004), Governor Christie Whitman’s staff (2000-2001), and the Assembly Republican Office (2004-2006). Crescitelli is a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church in Franklin (Sussex County), a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, the Secretary of the Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, a life member of the National Rifle Association, and a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 132 in Franklin.
Biography: Louis Crescitelli III is a life-long resident of New Jersey, who has been politically active since his teens. A graduate of St. Francis of Assisi School and Sacred Heart High School both in Vineland, Lou holds a BA in Political Science from Rowan University in Glassboro. Prior to his current employment, Lou held various positions in politics and government. These included Congressman Frank LoBiondo’s 1996 campaign, Congressman LoBiondo’s staff (1997 and 2001-2004), Governor Christie Whitman’s staff (2000-2001), and the Assembly Republican Office (2004-2006). Crescitelli is a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church in Franklin (Sussex County), a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, the Secretary of the Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, a life member of the National Rifle Association, and a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 132 in Franklin.

Louise Conroy-CallagyLouise-Conroy-Callagy
Current company/position: Senior Director, Global External Affairs, Gap Inc.
Age: 38
Place of Birth: Galway, Ireland
Where you live: San Francisco, CA
First Job: PR Account Executive, Text 100 Ireland
What it taught me: There’s nothing like being part of a great and winning team during a growth phase in an industry. Having fun and delivering excellent work is a powerful combination, and fuels creativity. Attention to detail is critical.
Status: Married
Family: Married to Ted and have a daughter, Charlotte, age 4.5
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. My husband proposed the first night we met
2. I met Bill Gates on my first day of my first job (but didn’t quite get who he was until I spent a weekend pasting a book of newspaper clippings together)
3. I have been to 35 countries and 28 states in the US
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Invest time in learning what it is you love doing – you spend a lot of time at work, so it’s worth it. Balance creativity with discipline. Listen intently. Be curious. Know what you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong or take risks, especially early in your career. Building trust is imperative up, down, sideways in any organization or job. Bring integrity to your work, in quality, honesty and being the best you can be. Have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Biography: Louise Conroy-Callagy was born in Galway and attended school at St. Raphael’s, Loughrea. In 1995, after gaining a B.BS from Trinity College, Dublin, she began her career in communications with Text 100 Ireland. In 1998, she moved to London and took on a role as Microsoft’s EMEA press officer. Her husband, a California native, persuaded her to move to San Francisco in 2002 after a year of travel. Since then she has held positions at firms in the Bay Area including SparkPR and Fleishman-Hillard. Currently, she leads external affairs for Gap Inc, acting as the primary spokesperson for the company.

Mary Conroy-AdamsMary-Conroy-Adams
Current company/position: Irish Dance Teacher, Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance
Age: 38
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA
Where you live: Pittsburgh, PA
First Job: Babysitting
What it taught me: Patience with children!
Status: Married
Family: Husband, Jay Adams; expecting first child in April!
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I began studying Irish Dance at age 6 and danced competitively for 14 years having received numerous awards regionally and nationally, and competed 5 times at the World Championships, in Ireland.
2. My grandparents emigrated from the west of Ireland, and I am very proud to be passing on their traditions and culture thru Irish Dance.
3. I used to be legally blind before having Lasik surgery – thick bottle glasses!
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Work harder than everyone else.
Biography: Mary Conroy Adams is registered to teach competitive Irish Stepdance through An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland. Mary began teaching with world-renown Theresa Burke in 1992. The Burke organization is the one of the most respected Irish dance schools in the US. In 2006, the Pittsburgh location was renamed “Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance” in recognition of Mary, and her sister Laura’s, dedication to teaching, and commitment to preserving the legacy founded by Theresa Burke in 1958. Mary has performed throughout the eastern US, and was a founding member of traditional groups “Road to the Isles”, and “Wind that Shakes the Barley” (an outreach program that teaches elementary school children the music and dance traditions of Ireland and Scotland). Mary is a graduate of Duquesne University.

Matt GallagherMatt-Gallagher
Current company/position Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America/Senior Fellow
Age: 28
Place of Birth: Reno, NV
Where you live: New York City, NY
First Job: Cavalry Officer, U.S. Army
What it taught me: It taught me that leadership is more art than science, and that treating people with respect is the foundation for progress.
Status: Married
Family: Wife – Annie Gallagher
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I’m an avid basketball fan, both pro and college.
2. Like most writers, I value my time alone immensely.
3. I’m a grown man that still hates vegetables.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Advice to a young writer – write, write, and write some more. If it’s bad, you’re doing something right.
Biography: Matt Gallagher is a former Army Captain who left service in 2009. He spent fifteen months in Iraq with the 25th Infantry Division as a cavalry scout platoon leader and a targeting officer, and was awarded the Combat Action Badge. His war memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War was published in April 2010 by Da Capo Press. He’s also written for The New York Times, The Atlantic and Boston Review. Matt graduated Wake Forest University in 2005 with a BA in History, and is currently pursuing his MFA graduate degree at Columbia University in fiction writing. He also works at the nonprofit organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America as a Senior Fellow.

Matthew Jude BarkerMatthew-Jude-Barker
Current company/position: Maine Irish Heritage Center, archivist, historian
Age: 38
Place of Birth: Portland, ME
Where you live: Portland, ME
First Job: Busboy
What it taught me: It taught me the value of hard work and the value of working with and cooperating with fellow employees. It also taught me how to deal directly with customers.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I memorized the US Presidents in order, together with birth, death dates, by the age of 7
2. I began my study of family history and genealogy at age 8 and have continued ever since
3. I turned 20 years old in Cork City on one of my trips to Ireland.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: To try and always be persistent, dedicated and ambitious with all your endeavors. And find something or a vocation you love and success will follow.
Biography: Matthew was born in Portland and graduated from South Portland High School in 1992. He attended Franklin Pierce College. He has been a writer for Portland magazine (since 1996), GALWAY ROOTS journal, and DISCOVER MAINE (since 2010). Matt is the editor/compiler of the DOWNEAST SHAMROCK, a monthly journal of Irish heritage in New England, and the Maine Irish Heritage Trail (www.maineirishheritagetrail.org.) He has contributed for four books on Maine history, including THEY CHANGE THEIR SKY, THE IRISH IN MAINE (2004) and JOHN FORD IN FOCUS (2008). Matt was recently elected president of the local Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Maureen IngramMaureen-ingram
Current company/position: The New York City Department of Education/ Principal Assigned Talent Coach
Age: 38
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, NY
Where you live: Brooklyn, NY
First Job: Grade 2 Teacher
What it taught me: Just because you are teaching, it doesn’t mean students are learning. If students are not learning the way you are teaching them, then you need to find a way to teach them so they will learn.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I collect nutcrackers
2. My photo is on a 2012 Cayman Island desk calendar
3. I was a National Park Ranger
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Listen and observe before making any changes.
Biography: Maureen is extremely honored to be the recipient of this award and very proud of her Irish heritage. Her great grandparents came from the Emerald Isle. Maureen is a lifelong resident of Bay Ridge and Breezy Point. She is a graduate of The University of Delaware and has Masters Degrees in Education and Administration. She has served in the public and private school systems as teacher, administrator and talent coach. Maureen has been active in many Irish organizations. She is a member of The New York City Department of Education Emerald Society and was recently awarded Irish Principal of The Year. She also chaired The Irish American Heritage Culture Committee Art Contest and City Hall Event.

Michael D. ByrneMicheal-D.-Byrne
Current company/position: St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, Inc. / General Chairman
Age: 32
Place of Birth: Morristown, NJ
Where you live: Montclair, NJ
First Job: Self-employed window-washer
What it taught me: Beginning at 10 years of age, responsibility, time management, and competitiveness became evident. Expansion into other sectors soon followed and a respected business was built before graduation from high school.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. My entire college was smaller than my high school class
2. I wrote my senior thesis on Hegel’s “The Philosophy of History”
3. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 13 BSA, Montclair
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Answer the phone if you can, call back if you can’t, and never fail to follow-up.
Biography: Byrne was raised in Montclair, NJ where he has been active in local and state politics, Irish-American organizations, and other volunteer activities since a young age. He attended Seton Hall Prep, graduated Montclair High School, and went on to Thomas Aquinas College in California where he earned a liberal arts degree and was manager of the school’s Irish-Catholic band. Byrne has been employed on political campaigns in New Jersey, New Mexico, and California and has also consulted in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Professionally, he now also spends some of his time managing the Business Improvement District in Historic Downtown Gallup – The Indian Capital of the World and Adventure Capital of New Mexico. Byrne traces his Irish ancestry to the Knock area in County Mayo as well as to Counties Fermanagh, Tipperary, and Galway. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Michael L. Delahunty Division 9 and the Knights of Columbus Council 1277, both in Montclair. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the new Irish Network NJ chapter. Among his other affiliations, he serves as Chairman of Montclair Township’s Shared Services Task Force, as a Trustee of The One Hundred Club of Montclair, and as a member of the Board of the Land of Enchantment Opera in Gallup, NM. At 14, Byrne was named chairman of the Vigilance Committee of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, Inc. and became the youngest committee chairman in Parade history. As Vigilance Chairman, he aggressively held accountable all who would defame, stereotype, or caricature the Irish. Now entering his second year as General Chairman of the Newark Parade, he leads a Committee proud of its role as the organizer and sponsor of New Jersey’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade and which looks forward to another great year on the streets of Newark – Friday afternoon, March 16, 2012.

Michael HanleyMicheal-Hanley
Current company/position: Managing Partner at Merl & Hanley, LLP
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, NY
Where you live: Kings Park, NY
First Job: Basketball Camp Counselor
What it taught me: Growing up an only child with no pets, it was the first time in my life that I was responsible for anyone other than myself. I learned how to deal with different personalities and I learned to make money doing the things that I enjoy.
Status: Married
Family: Wife – Michele, Two Sons – James & Alex
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I compete in Duathlons, Mud Runs, and Gladiator Challenges in order to have fun while staying fit.
2. Before I found accounting, I started off as a Math Major and was planning to become a statistician
3. My wife and I met while we were both working at Old Navy during college.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Make sure you love what you’re doing, figure out where you want to ultimately end up, and take the path that gets you there the quickest.
Biography: Michael Hanley is a CPA and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor with extensive knowledge of small business taxation. He is the author of three small business accounting books and his expert opinions are frequently published throughout the country in publications such as BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. Michael is one of the foremost experts in the field of entity selection, successfully counseling several hundred small business owners as to which type of business structure best fits their business and tax needs. When not practicing or writing about accounting, Michael spends time with his family, reads suspense novels, and serves the Kings Park Community where he was named the 2010 Person of the Year.

Michael McLaughlinMichael-McLaughlin
Current company/position: Chesapeake Energy / Landman
Age: 35
Place of Birth: Oklahoma City, OK
Where you live: Oklahoma City, OK
First Job: warehouse
What it taught me: Working in a warehouse over the hot summer taught me the value of manual labor. The discipline, patience and endurance necessary to make it to the end of the day is a priceless lesson.
Status: Married
Family: Ryan Elizabeth (wife), Conner, Ellie Kate, Henry and Lucy (children)
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. Though an asthmatic, I love cigars
2. I’ve never owned a new car
3. I rub my wife’s feet every night.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Persistence is an under-valued commodity. That doesn’t mean being oblivious to criticism. It means learn how to sift through the valuable criticism and learn from the good and shrug off the worthless.
Biography: Michael McLaughlin was born in Oklahoma. He went to college and law school in Oklahoma and currently resides there as well. Michael McLaughlin has a beautiful wife with 4 wonderful children; two rambunctiousness boys and two special-needs little girls. Ellie Kate and Lucy both have a terminal genetic disorder. Despite the struggles, life is enjoyed at the McLaughlin house.

Niall MacGiollabhuíNiall-MacGiollabhuí
Current company/position: Law Offices of Michael G Dowd / Attorney
Age: 35
Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
Where you live: Manhattan, NY
First Job: Stacking supermarket shelves
What it taught me: Not to discount the possibility of a third replay when the roster is being drawn up (it was the summer of the Dublin Meath saga in 1991).
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I love film noir.
2. I don’t drink Guinness outside of Ireland.
3. My all-time sporting hero is Diego Armando Maradona
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Ní uasal aon uasal ach sinne bheith íseal. Stand up for yourself.
Biography: Niall Mac Giollabhuí has practiced law in New York since 2007, focusing on criminal defense work and civil litigation. Recent notable court cases include that of Barbara Sheehan, the Queens woman who was acquitted last year of murdering her husband after suffering decades of domestic abuse. He also represented Seán Garland, formerly a leading figure within the Official IRA, whose extradition from Ireland was unsuccessfully sought by US federal authorities based on allegations that he masterminded a counterfeit currency ring in Europe with “superdollars” supplied by the North Korean government. He is active in a number of Irish-American organizations and is Vice-President of the Brehon Law Society.

Nicola ParishNicola-Parish
Current company/position: President, Parish Public Relations
Age: 36
Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
Where you live: Brooklyn, NY
First Job: Marketing Assistant, Pemberton Marking Dublin Ireland
What it taught me: My first real job was a pretty extraordinary experience. I worked for a start up accessories design firm. We worked long hours and were paid little, but over the course of 9 months, we grew the business into a 5 million dollar enterprise. I learned everything from sales and marketing, to PR and promotions. I learned how to manage a staff, how to cultivate valuable relationships in the industry and how to deal with clients. I also learned that fashion trends come-and-go. With all that success came failure, and after 2 years the business closed. But I would never trade that experience for anything.
Status: Married
Family: Scot Parish (Husband) Keeley Parish (daughter, age 8) Teagan Parish (daughter, age 5)
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. Doesn’t know how to drive, but has driven 2 tractors!
2. Never went to college.
3. Pretty good shot with a handgun!
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Do your homework on the field you’re interested in. Find out who the players are. Get involved, intern and be persistent.
Biography: Nicola Parish was born in Dublin, Ireland. She moved to NY at 18. She founded Parish Public Relations in 2003, two months after her first daughter was born. Her company has grown exponentially over the last few years with offices in NY and LA. Her clients include fashion and lifestyle brands, as well as major motion pictures studios: Warner Bros., Sony, Disney, Paramount, Lionsgate etc. Nicola has worked on premieres in NY and LA for films such as: Wedding Crashers, Elf, Sex and the City, Harry Potter, The King’s Speech, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and many more.

Oorlagh GeorgeOOrlagh-George
Current company/position: Enough Dynamite Productions, President
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Where you live: Los Angeles, CA
First Job: Deli clerk
What it taught me: Don’t be afraid to speak up. I was so nervous during the interview I just kept nodding without listening to what the manager was asking me- including “Are you left handed?” I spent a summer trying not to slice my fingers off because they set up a special left-handed deli slicer for me, I was too embarrassed to correct them. Not a mistake I’d repeat.
Family: Neil Winterlich, partner
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I’m right handed.
2. My favorite films? Cool Hand Luke and Jaws are a tie.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Choose a field that you can still imagine you’ll be devoted to when you’re 50. Then start doing it immediately, even if you have to begin it as a hobby rather than your day job. And don’t be afraid to keep switching it up until you find that real thing. Finding your vocation, as opposed to a career, is 90% of the battle.
Biography: Oorlagh George is the president of Enough Dynamite Productions, a new independent film and TV company based in Northern Ireland. She was born in Belfast and raised in Pleasantville, NY. She studied International Relations at Kenyon College. She was the Creative Executive at Northwood Productions, the LA production company of the acclaimed independent films ADAM (starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne) and BEGINNERS (starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer). Oorlagh returned home to Northern Ireland to produce the short film THE SHORE (starring Kieran Hinds and Kerry Condon), which has been short listed for an Academy Award. Oorlagh is currently writing and producing a new television series set in Belfast with Ed Burns (THE WIRE).

Patrick BenchPatrick-Bench
Current company/position: Vice President, Public Affairs, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications
Age: 32
Place of Birth: Boston, MA
Where you live: Boston MA
First Job: Mowing lawns in my neighborhood
What it taught me: Client service above all else.
Status: Single
Best advice you could give someone starting out: If you are the youngest person in the room make sure that you are the most prepared.
Biography: Patrick Bench is a Vice President of Public Affairs at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications. In this role he provides public affairs and lobbying counsel to clients in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and across the country and internationally. Bench specializes in economic development and procurement advisory services. Patrick is an American Council of Young Political Leaders Fellow and is involved in a number of organizations. Bench serves as the President of the Boston Irish Business Association, a Board member of WorldBoston, and as a Connector with Boston World Partnerships. Patrick earned a MA in Public Administration from Suffolk University and BA from Providence College.

Rachael W. GilkeyRachel-W-Gilkey
Current company/position: Irish Arts Center/Director of Communication, Education and Outreach
Age: 30
Place of Birth: Palo Alto, CA
Where you live: Brooklyn, NY
First Job: Counselor at a Parks and Recreation Dept Youth Program in Salinas
What it taught me: First and foremost: that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to work creatively and interact with a large community of people, of all ages and backgrounds. Second: patience.
Status: Engaged
Family: Engaged to Logan Rappaport
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I have also lived in Ireland and Ecuador, and continue to work on fluency in both Irish and Spanish.
2. I played college basketball.
3. My favorite flavor ice cream is mint chocolate chip (all right, that’s not so surprising)..
Best advice you could give someone starting out: While in school or out, take classes and internships in any and all fields that interest you, then pursue the things that resonant with you the most. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the “right” job immediately, and try to maintain an ability to laugh at yourself even in the most difficult of times.

Biography: Rachael is Director of Communications, Education and Outreach at Irish Arts Center, where she enjoys creatively marketing the Center’s diverse array of cultural programming, directed the inaugural IAC Book Day 2011, distributing thousands of books by Irish and Irish American authors to New York City residents and project managed the New York and New England chapters of John Minihan’s photographic exhibit To Love Two Countries. Rachael grew up in Salinas, CA and graduated cum laude from Occidental College. She earned her Masters with Honors in Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Previous work experience includes serving as Development Manager at The Battery Conservancy, and she frequently contributes articles on cultural issues to a variety of publications.

Ryan P. McDermottRyan-P-McDermott

Current company/position: McDermott & Thomas Associates/Managing Director
Age: 32
Place of Birth: Staten Island, NY
Where you live: Dedham, MA
First Job: Customer Service Specialist, McDonald’s
What it taught me: Regret (for not becoming a life guard like my Sister)
Status: Married
Family: Wife – Kara; Children – Aidan – 6, Nolan – 4, Stella – 6 months
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I’ve run under 10 minutes for 2 miles.
2. My favorite book is Exodus (by Leon Uris)
3. I never voluntarily turn off a Seinfeld episode.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Make time to network.
Biography: Ryan McDermott is a Managing Director for McDermott & Thomas Associates, an Employee Benefits Consulting firm with locations in Massachusetts, New York and New
Jersey. Ryan launched the firms Massachusetts office in 2006 and primarily works with employers in developing and maintaining strong employee benefits packages that meet their needs and budget.

He credits much of his success to his involvement in the Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA) where he serves as a board member and is the organization’s Vice President. He’s traveled as a delegate with BIBA to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on 3 trade missions with the goal of building and strengthening trade relationships and diplomacy between Massachusetts, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Originally from Staten Island, NY, Ryan currently resides in Dedham, MA with his wife Kara and three children. In Dedham, he is a Town Meeting Member and also serves as the Vice Chair for the Town’s Master Plan Implementation Committee. Ryan is also actively involved with the Catholic University Alumni Association (his alma mater) as well as several non-profits and trade organizations related to his industry, technology entrepreneurship and international business.

Sean CarlsonSean-_Carlson
Current company/position: Google, Manager of Global Communications & Public Affairs
Age: 29
Place of Birth: New York, NY
Where you live: New York, NY
First Job: Wild Harvest grocery store
What it taught me: The importance of treating each customer with interest and respect; the flexibility to do any job asked; the art of pushing shopping carts through snowstorms
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. First visited Ireland when eight weeks old; has since traveled to more than 35 countries
2. Still in awe over having attended the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm with family when his uncle was honored with the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
3. Has written a non-fictional book about the changes in Ireland and its communities by following the stories of his mother and her family from the rural southwest across to London and America.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: It’s never too early to support the organizations that are important to you (e.g., your schools, your church, non-profits, etc.). Even small annual donations benefit their participation rates, and by showing your continued appreciation you will help build even stronger relationships into the years ahead.
Biography: Sean Carlson is manager of global communications and public affairs at Google. Born in Manhattan to Nuala Sheehan (from Moyvane, Co. Kerry) and John Carlson, Sean grew up in Andover, Massachusetts with a sister, Tara. Awarded the four-year full-tuition Cardinal Humberto Medeiros Scholarship, he graduated from Boston University with a B.A. summa cum laude with distinction in political science, a B.S. summa cum laude in communication, and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He also studied Northern Irish politics at Boston College and comparative politics at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating, Sean lived in Ireland and traveled widely; spending nearly a year and a half conducting interviews and archival research for a book he began writing at the time. He joined Google in 2006 at its San Francisco Bay Area headquarters and led initiatives in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia before moving to New York in 2008. Sean previously held internships with the Consulate-General of Ireland in Sydney and Fleishman-Hillard in Boston. He sits on the leadership council of the Committee to Protect Journalists and an advisory council for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Sean GavinSean-Gavin
Current company/position: Gillibrand for Senate/Political Director
Age: 29
Place of Birth: Albany, NY
Where you live: New York City, NY
First Job: Director of Scheduling on Gillibrand for Congress
What it taught me: I learned the value of hard work and the importance of organization.
Status: Engaged
Family: Engaged to Maeve Erin Kelly
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I love Notre Dame football.
2. I have a puppy named Jack.
3. I drink way too much coffee.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: I would advise someone just starting out to remain humble, work extremely hard, and keep a positive attitude.
Biography: Sean Gavin was born in Albany, NY. His grandparents were born and raised in County Leitrim and County Mayo. His mother Mary emigrated to the United States at age 12. Sean’s political interest came from his father, Tom, a government teacher. Gavin graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2005 and had an internship in Senator Clinton’s Washington office. He has been working with Senator Gillibrand since 2005 and currently serves as Political Director for Gillibrand for Senate. He is engaged to Maeve Kelly and lives in New York City.

Sean HughesSean-Hughes
Current company/position: The PR Consulting Group. Senior Account Supervisor
Age: 34
Place of Birth: New Jersey
Where you live: Clifton, NJ
First Job: Summer Club Assistant
What it taught me: The value of having a good work ethic, independence, and self reliance.
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. How seriously I take on my responsibilities
2. That I enjoy cooking
3. That I can dance
Best advice you could give someone starting out: If you see the obstacles in life, or job, you have lost sight of the goal.
Biography: Sean Hughes is a Senior Account Supervisor at PRCG with specialties in media relations, legal communications and public affairs. For more than a decade, Sean has worked with a broad range of corporate and nonprofit clients — including some of the largest product liability cases, environmental cases and the largest antitrust settlement in US history. He has been active in some leading public policy debates such as, medical liability reform, financial literacy, election reform and anti-tobacco campaigns. He has advised multiple clients as they prepare to present their issues before all three branches of government Sean is the New Jersey AOH State Treasurer and appointed to Public Affairs Director and elected President of Fr. Solanus Division 32 in Bergen County. He is an advisor to the National AOH Freedom for All Ireland and Political Education Committees. He serves as a Board Member to Mary’s Gift and active with Project Children. Additionally, he is public relations director for the Knights of Columbus Tank Pull for the Wounded Warrior Project. He is active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), American Cancer Society and Irish Network New Jersey. Sean has won numerous awards in the public relations industry and for his community service.

Shane NaughtonShane-Naughton
Current company/position: CEO, Inundata Innovations
Age: 38
Place of Birth: Co. Roscommon, Ireland
Where you live: Greenwich Village, NY
First Job: Summer intern at an accounting firm
What it taught me: It taught me that the best path to job security is to figure out how make your boss need you. Find a task or area your boss values and become an expert in it, that way they will have to keep you around!
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I breed Kerry Bog Ponies in Ireland.
2. I mountain biked across the Alps in 7 days.
3. I once saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Find your passion and follow it; it’s not work if you love what you do. And don’t be afraid of failure.
Biography: Shane Naughton is an Irish-born technology entrepreneur based in New York City. He is currently working on a number of start-ups, and also serves as advisor to and investor in select NYC and European technology businesses. Shane is very active within the Irish community in New York, serving on the boards of the University of Dublin Fund and the Irish Arts Center, and actively supports the American Ireland Fund and Concern Worldwide. Shane grew up in Co. Roscommon, Ireland. He earned his M.A and M.Sc from Trinity College Dublin, and is currently a TRIUM Global Executive MBA candidate.

Victoria DenoonVictoria-Denoon
Current company/position: University of Massachusetts Lowell/Associate Director of the Center for Irish Partnerships
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Holywood, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
Where you live: Lowell, MA
First Job: Banquet Staff at the Culloden Hotel
What it taught me: This job taught me that the level of commitment you put into your work reflects not only on you, but also on the organization you are working for. If you strive for excellence in your professional career, it will be recognized by those around you and rewarded
Status: Single
Three things people would be surprised to know about me:
1. I love to learn languages. Any time I go on holiday, I have to spend several weeks learning the language before I go
2. I am a member of the USGA
3. I am an avid equestrian
Best advice you could give someone starting out: How you approach your work speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. If you give 100 per cent at work, it will show and people will know they can rely on you.
Biography: Victoria Denoon was born in Holywood, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. At the age of three, her family moved to Gibraltar. Then it was on to Scotland, and then Germany. She returned to Northern Ireland in 1991 where she attended high school and then went on to study Law at Queen’s University. Now, after having lived for a year in Pakistan; after having earned a law degree and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice; after having visited places like Brazil, Bangladesh, Thailand, Dubai, Zambia and Turkey; and learning to speak a few phrases in several languages, she has settled in Lowell, Massachusetts. Victoria has worked at the University of Massachusetts Lowell for the last 8 years. She is currently the Senior Assistant to Chancellor Marty Meehan and Associate Director of the Center for Irish Partnerships at the University.

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