2011 Irish Small Biz 50 Honorees, I-L

Name: James Needham

Age: 37

Place of birth: New York, New York

Business: Auto repair

Where you live: New City, New York

First job: I was a bus boy at Cornyn Coach’n Four Restaurant

What it taught me: It taught me responsibility, teamwork and that in order to earn you had to hustle! No matter what you are doing; do it the best you can

Family: My wife Stephanie and our three-year-old daughter Grace mean everything to me

Best advice anyone ever gave you: You can accomplish anything you set out to do, as long as you work hard

Best advice you could give someone starting out: Nothing will be easy, but if you stay focused and dedicated it will be worth it in the end

The most important thing for business success is: To work hard and to love what you do

Name: Jennifer DiPasquale

Biography: Clann Na Cara Irish Dance, pronounced is Gaelic for “A Family of Friends” and was founded in 2006 in Buffalo, NY by four champion dancers and lifelong friends, Mary Kate Conrad, Jennifer DiPasquale, Erin Holzerland and Kathleen Cunningham.  The school quickly gained a reputation for providing a quality experience for children interested in Irish dance lessons and became sought after in other areas of the state. These four young ladies currently host six locations for lessons across Western and Central NY. To date, nearly 200 students are enrolled. Dancers have the option of competitive dancing, performance teams, or dancing just for fun. The right combination of passion for the art of Irish dancing, patience for teaching children, and a business savvy outlook has set the school up for a very bright future.  The owners attribute their success to smart marketing combined with a genuine excitement the world of Irish dancing. In just four short years, Clann Na Cara has already played a major role in events in and around the community including St Patrick’s Day Parades, Irish festivals, TV performances, concerts, and weddings.  Students learn the importance of giving back to their community by performing at nursing homes, schools, and charity events. Competitively, the owners of the school have trained dancers for prestigious championships with much success including five world soloists to date, a sixth place team finish at the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney, IRL., and a top 10 world finish. Clann Na Cara’s unique culture of instilling self-motivation and fun into each student’s experience has further set them apart from the crowd. The students there have come to understand the school’s motto well… “A family of Friends, Proud to be, C-N-C.”

Name: James McQueeny

Biography: Since its debut, Winning Strategies has set new industry standards for performance in one of the most crowded and competitive markets on the planet. Winning Strategies has gained a reputation for taking on difficult challenges in the most stringent and unforgiving market conditions. In every case, the results have met and exceeded the expectations of clients. Specialties include corporate communications, issues management, grassroots mobilization, healthcare PR, and niche messaging. Whether it involves enhancing an image, promoting an issue, or positioning a brand, Winning Strategies offers every element required to develop, manage, and deliver communications campaigns.



Name: Jim Smith

Biography: Smyth Media Group was founded by Jim Smyth in 1998 as a consumer magazine publisher’s representative specializing in direct response marketing. The company was launched with one magazine title and now has over 40 magazine brands. The list includes The New York Times Company, National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Newsweek, Time Inc Magazines, and several other publications. In 2005, the parent company launched a full service advertising agency to service the advertisers who were clients of the magazines represented. This company, White Star Media, currently provides media servicing across all print and digital advertising channels. Both companies together include another five family members making Smyth Media very much a family business. In this spirit, all employees are considered part of the family and the biggest reason for the company’s success. In 2010, Smyth Media Group generated over 40 million in sales.



Name: Joan Moody

Biography: The land was purchased in 1895 and was run by my great-grandfather until his death in 1956 when his daughter – my grandmother – inherited the land and formed M&M Farms, Inc with her husband. Since then the company was run by her sons and, on their passing, the fourth generation – my generation – took over and we have seen a strong commitment to attempt green technology. We grow various crops as well as cotton in North Texas.





Name: Joe Kiernan

Biography: Frontdesk Anywhere is a web based Hotel Management Platform that enables small to mid-sized inns; hotels and hotel groups better manage the sales and guest interaction processes. The company has combined the key functions from Property Management, Central Reservations Management, Online Booking and Distribution Management into an all-in-one web based platform that’s accessible from any computer and many mobile devices (Android, iPhone, iPad and more) to provide true anywhere access. Properties using Frontdesk Anywhere have increased revenues while reducing costs with direct connections to top online booking sites like Expedia and hotels.com. Properties can also sell their inventory through 600,000+ travel agents using seamless integration with the Global Distribution System (GDS). Because Frontdesk Anywhere is web based and utilizes a software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model, there are no upfront costs, just a monthly subscription fee based on a property’s size. Training and 24/7 support is complimentary.

Name: John McBride

Biography: Actapon Consulting Services is focused on assisting businesses source and hire the best talent available, then maximize workforce retention, morale, and most importantly, productivity and profits. Through three operating units, Executive Search and Recruiting; Human Resource Consulting; and Voluntary Employee Vacation Club Benefits, Actapon provides a complete range of services focused on maximizing clients’ return on their investment in people. Actapon’s Executive Search partner, Consentium Search, is the county’s leading Search and Recruiting firm for companies seeking to enhance their environmental, health and safety (EHS), risk management, insurance and human resource teams. Actapon’s founder and Managing Director, John McBride, SPHR, began his career working in several family owned businesses, providing him with his first exposure to several entrepreneurs. After spending over 25 years in corporate human resource and risk management roles, John established Actapon in 2006. John currently volunteers with the American Diabetes Association where he serves as Advocacy Chairperson for the New Jersey Community Leadership Board and Tour de Cure Committee Member. He has been a featured speaker for national and local chapters of ASSE, RIMS and SHRM on career development and recruiting for occupational health, safety and environmental professionals as well as human resource and risk management. He is also Past President of SHRM of Central New Jersey. His Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification is held by less than four per cent of HR professionals.

Name: Kevin Mahon

Biography: Kevin is the President of Kemp Technologies and began his career in Information Technology (IT) 47 years ago with the United States Air Force, serving in the United Kingdom – Prestwick, Scotland and High Wycombe between 1964-1968. He has worked with data network technology including paper tape torn relay networks, circuit switched data networks, X.25 networks and, today’s TCIP Internet network. As an entrepreneur he has founded companies such as KEMP Technologies, and worked as an intra-entrepreneur with companies such as TRT Communications, GTE Telenet, Sesa-Honeywell, NEC America and Siemens.

KEMP Technologies was founded with the dream of globally providing every small and medium business (SMB) with affordable applications delivery load balancers, which would allow them to compete on an equal playing field with any competitor regardless of size. KEMP has played a vital, role in the positive cycle of technology, price innovation and “value add” that has given rise to incredible new ways for SMBs to manage their online businesses. KEMP’s headquarters is located on Long Island, New York, USA. KEMP’s EMEA headquarters is located in Limerick, Ireland.

Name: Kevin Kent

Biography: Founded over 25 years ago by three prominent litigation attorneys from a major Philadelphia law firm, Conrad O’Brien has established itself as one of the leading litigation practices in Pennsylvania and around the country. Attorneys at Conrad O’Brien understand what it takes to succeed because the entire firm is dedicated to one purpose: providing first-rate litigation services to the country’s leading businesses. The firm achieves that mission by drawing on the extraordinary credentials and experience of its lawyers. Widely recognized for their skills as trial lawyers, one-quarter of the firm’s shareholders are Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The firm’s roster includes the Chief Judge Emeritus of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; the former US Attorney and First Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; faculty members of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy; two former presidents of the Philadelphia Association of Defense Lawyers; a former Chief Assistant Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia; four shareholders are selected in The Best Lawyers in America; and numerous lawyers with decades of combined experience in some of the largest law firms in the country. The firm’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies to new entrepreneurial businesses, which value Conrad O’Brien’s cost-effective litigation and dedication to client interests.

Name: Kevin J. Mulqueen

Biography: Kevin J. Mulqueen serves as Vice President of Colocation for Sidera Networks. Prior to this role, Kevin served as partner and Chief Executive Officer for Cross Connect Solutions from 2007 to 2010, where he played a lead role in starting and executing the company’s strategy, driving revenue growth and significant expansion in the company’s core business of Carrier Neutral Colocation Services and positioning the company to generate substantial free cash flow year after year. In addition, Kevin Mulqueen led the transaction to sell the company to Sidera Networks in late 2010. Prior to Starting Cross Connect Solutions, Kevin spent over 13 years at ATX Telecommunications Services, where he held a number of positions of increasing authority within the company’s sales organization, including his most recent position of Sr Vice President Network Services, which he held beginning in 2003. From 1991 to 2005, Kevin was instrumental in ATX’s direction for Network and Colocation Services and successfully increasing sales growth and New Products to support margin expansion. Kevin also worked as Director of Sales for ArcSoft for two years in Fremont CA where he was responsible for the East Coast Sales Operation.

Kevin Mulqueen holds a BS in Marketing from The Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. He resides in West Chester PA and has been married for 16 years to Cathy Whalen Mulqueen. They have three children Caitlin (12) Annie (10) and Jack (7).

Name: Larry O’Toole

Biography: A native of Ireland and 1973 engineering graduate of Northeastern University, O’Toole was a rising executive when he quit his job to “escape corporate slavery.” On a quest for start-up cash for a business of his own, the six foot six inch O’Toole – the original Gentle Giant – was urged by his friends to add moving to his list of odd jobs. In 1980, O’Toole founded Gentle Giant Moving Company with a friend’s borrowed truck and a $17 investment: a one-time ad in the Boston Phoenix. Gentle Giant Moving Company has thrived in the 30 years since then, winning dozens of awards for quality of service and its workplace practices and employing hundreds of workers who are proud to be called “Giants.” O’Toole’s leadership has earned him recognition by The United States Small Business Administration as its 2004 Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year and other accolades and recognition by business and civic organizations. He is competitive, disciplined, and persistent, priding himself on solving challenging situations with enthusiasm. O’Toole regularly leads new crew members in the famous Gentle Giant tradition of “running the stadium,” which involves scaling 37 seating sections at Harvard University’s roman-style coliseum. O’Toole is also a gifted public speaker. He creatively draws upon his experience leading the award winning Gentle Giant Moving Company for the past 30 years, as well as stories from his upbringing in Ireland and competitive rowing career. He has a multitude of experiences addressing a variety of groups, from high school students interested in entrepreneurship, to employees seeking direction and vision, to business owners and leaders looking to improve and enhance their own organizations.

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