Board of Ambassadors

Irish Network Boston (IN Boston) is a volunteer organization led by an active and energetic Board of Directors working to ensure that the organization represents the interests and needs of its membership by delivering quality programming and events. We cannot do this alone, however, and in addition to the on-going financial and volunteer support from our members and our sponsors, we also have generous people in the community who offer their advice, counsel and support of the mission of IN Boston. Whilst they never asked for acknowledgment or praise, we felt it appropriate to find some manner by which to recognize their efforts and generosity.Accordingly we established the IN Boston of Ambassadors – a group of leaders in the community who, for over the past 5 years, have tangibly demonstrated an unwavering support of our organization. These individuals are business leaders, elected officials, non-profit professionals, community organizers and educators who come from all different walks of life and backgrounds. We chose the word “Ambassador” because through both their personal and professional endeavors they each embody a commitment to maintain and grow the special relationship between Ireland and America. We are grateful to each and every one of them.

o flaherty

Attorney Eugene O’Flaherty

Corporation Counsel – City of Boston

Attorney Eugene L. O’Flaherty was appointed to the role of Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston in January 2014. Prior to his appointment, Attorney O’Flaherty served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for seventeen years and has been practicing law for twenty years.

Elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1996, Mr. O’Flaherty served on the Education, Arts and Humanities Committee and as Vice-Chairman of the Banks and Banking Committee before being appointed to serve as the Judiciary Chair in 2002. During his twelve-year tenure at the helm of the Judiciary Committee, Attorney O’Flaherty was responsible for the drafting, implementation, review and strategizing associated with the largest number of legislative proposals before the Massachusetts Legislature. He was the chief architect of the overhaul of impaired driving statutes, court reorganization legislation, stronger sex offender statutes, tougher penalties for violent habitual offenders, CORI reform and human trafficking while also repeatedly defeating attempts to reinstate the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Attorney O’Flaherty oversaw the legislation and led the discussions required for the implementation of the Goodridge decision, which legalized gay marriage, making Massachusetts the first state in the United States of America to do so and served as the House of Representative’s lead negotiator on a number of complex and high profile conference committee negotiations with the Senate and Executive Branch.

In addition to his position as Judiciary Chairman, Mr. O’Flaherty served as a member of the House Leadership Team for more than a decade and under three successive Speakers of the House. He played a pivotal role in the advising, advocacy and polling of the 160 member House body on a large spectrum of issues facing the Commonwealth such as transportation reform, education, revenue, economic development, health care and gaming, being honored several times for his excellence in these endeavors.
Mr. O’Flaherty graduated from Malden Catholic High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Suffolk University. He was awarded a Juris Doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1994 and the Federal bar in 1995.

Naughton_Laurence_Headshot

Attorney Larry Naughton

Partner, Choate, Hall & Stewart

Larry is a partner in the Business & Technology Group at Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP. He is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee and former co-Chair of the Business & Technology Practice. As counsel to U.S. and European-based companies ranging from early-stage start-ups to publicly-traded companies, he frequently advises on strategic business decisions, licensing arrangements, financings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.

Larry is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been listed in The Legal 500 for middle-market mergers and acquisitions work, as well as in Chambers USA on multiple occasions as a leading lawyer in the areas of corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. Larry also has been listed as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer on multiple occasions.

He has particular expertise in representing Irish-based clients, including both operating companies and invest firms, in connection with matters in the U.S. Based on this focus, Irish America magazine selected Larry for their “Top Legal 100,” a list of the most influential Irish-Americans in the legal profession.  Larry was a founding member of the board of directors of IN Boston and has been a key support the organization since its inception.

forry

Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry

Commonwealth’s 1st Suffolk District

Senator Linda Dorcena Forry is the first woman and person of color to represent the Commonwealth’s 1st Suffolk District which includes Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and South Boston. For almost two decades, Senator Forry has dedicated her professional life to a career in public service, working in both state and local government.

As a first generation Haitian-American, Senator Forry gained from her parents a strong work ethic and recognized the value of civic engagement from an early age. Elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2005 for the Commonwealth’s 12th Suffolk District, Senator Forry chaired the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, where she quickly became an authority on the concerns facing small businesses.

Currently, Senator Forry chairs the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, the Joint Committee on Housing and the Special Senate Committee on Housing. She serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Transportation; Joint Committee on Education; Joint Committee on Mental Health & Substance Abuse; and Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. Additionally, she serves as the Senate Vice-Chair of Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators. Senator Forry continues to play a leadership role on immigration issues at both state and federal level. In her capacity as State Senator representing South Boston, she produces the traditional St Patrick’s political breakfast each year, a legendary Boston tradition that toasts and roasts Senator, Members of Congress, Boston Mayors and other state and local government electeds. In 2014, Senator Forry welcomed to the breakfast Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the first time a sitting Irish government leader has attended the historic event. Reporting on the breakfast, the Irish Times described her as the “New star of Irish America.”

Senator Forry holds a bachelor;s degree from Boston College Carroll School of Management and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Senator Forry and her husband, Bill, live in Dorchester Lower Mills with their four children.

Muilleoir

Mairtin O’ Muilleor

MLA for South Belfast, Publisher, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is a Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast, publisher, entrepreneur and civic leader. A tireless advocate for the new and resurgent Belfast, he has launched a series of initiatives designed to showcase the very best of the city including the Aisling Awards and the Belfast Homecoming. He is Chairman of the Belfast Media Group (www.belfastmediagroup.com) and publisher of the Irish Echo in New York.
He became a partner in the Andersonstown News in 1997 and subsequently founded the North Belfast News, South Belfast News and Daily Ireland. He was a major shareholder in the Gazette Group of newspapers in Dublin which was bought over by the Irish Times in 2008. An Irish speaker, he believes strongly in the promotion of culture as the bedrock of successful and diverse communities. He first entered Belfast City Hall in 1987. He left the Council in 1997 to develop what became the Belfast Media Group, building new offices and commissioning a printing press. In 2005, he developed the Aisling Business Park in West Belfast. Among his books in Irish and English are ‘Belfast’s Dome of Delight’ and ‘Holy Cow, Sin Ceann Mór’.
He returned to political life in 2011 as the first ever Sinn Féin councillor for the Balmoral area of South Belfast. He served as Lord Mayor of Belfast from June 2013-June 2014 and topped the poll in the Balmoral Electoral Area in May 2014.

As Lord Mayor of Belfast, Mairtin worked closely with the administration of Boston’s current Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and with much support and effort by Boston’s Corporation Counsel Eugene O’Flaherty helped to establish Mayor Walsh’s first formal sister city relationship.  The partnership has already yielded significant returns for both communities, not the least of which has been the “Belpot” in the Fall of 2015.  The Belpot or Friendship Four tournament brought 4 NCAA collegiate hockey teams to Belfast for a friendly but real competition between Northeastern, UMass Lowell, Brown University and Colgate University.

In November 2014, he was co-opted to the Assembly. Among his awards in 2014 were the Community Relations Council Award for Civic Leadership, the PRIDE Festival Award for Best Political Contribution to the LGBT Community and the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America JFK Medal. He was co-opted to the Stormont Assembly for South Belfast in November 2014 and stood unsuccessfully for the South Belfast Westminster seat in May 2015. He has received the ‘Northern Ireland Tolerentia Laureate’, to be presented in Berlin in October, from the LGBT community of the North of Ireland. He is married to Helen O’Hare and they have four children. A keen runner, he is a strong advocate of running and cycling as engines of civic uplift and cohesion.

hanley

Gary Hanley

Head of American Operations, Invest Northern Ireland

Gary is the Head of American Operations for Invest Northern Ireland, a branch of the UK government responsible for growing the economy of Northern Ireland. Under Gary’s leadership, Northern Ireland has seen recent first time investments from dynamic and fast growing North American companies including CyberSource/Visa, 3Par now HP, ByteMobile now Citrix, BTI Systems, NaviNet, The New York Stock Exchange, CVS, Cowen, Dow and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

In May 2008, Gary was instrumental in the success of the historic US-Northern Ireland Economic Conference which took place in Belfast. The conference, supported by the Bush administration, was attended by Fortune 500 executives to meet with senior political figures including Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen (UK and Irish Prime Ministers). Keynote speakers included representatives from companies such as Allstate, Citi and Bombardier who are major investors in the region.
In 2009, he was honored in New York by Belfast Media Group’s US publication The Irish Echo as one of its Top 40 under 40. In addition, he has been named to the Irish-American Magazine Top 100 Business Leaders as well Business and Finance Most Influential US-Irish Business Leaders in 2008. Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors’ of the Irish Education Foundation and the American Ireland Fund – Dinner Committee.
With over eighteen years of experience in the ICT industry in the US, Gary has held positions of leadership in software development, IT, sales and marketing for companies such as Sun Microsystems, GTE (now Verizon) and EMC. Gary holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Limerick as well as a Master of Business Studies from the National University of Ireland at Galway. He resides in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters and a son.

dawn3

Dawn Morrissey, Director

Boston Irish Film Festival

Originally from Co. Kildare, Dawn graduated from Emerson College, Boston with a BA in Film and has a Masters Degree in Administrative Studies from Boston College. Dawn produced the Irish film festival in Boston since 2003 and co-founded the non- profit BIFF Productions, with Peter Flynn, in 2008. She has been the festival director since 2009. Under Dawn’s directorship the festival was included in Moviemaker Magazine’s list of top 20 Coolest Film festivals in the World. The Mayor of Somerville, MA also awarded an official citation for her work as the director of the Irish Film Festival in 2012. As a film producer, Dawn has worked on several feature films in both Ireland and the USA; she has worked on local Boston Indies (one of which was a Sundance Finalist) and was awarded both the regional and national awards from the Alliance for Community Media for her short films. Dawn has worked with the Discovery Channel as a consultant and co- produced the short film Green Grass, about illegal immigration, which screened at the LA Film Fest in August 2009. Dawn executively produced the documentary Blazing the Trail; The O’Kalem’s in Ireland 2011 which screened at over 20 film festivals world wide and was commission for broadcast by RTE in 2013.  Dawn is also the Director of Research Operations at McLean Hospital, a Harvard affiliate and has been in that position since 2015, prior to that she worked in Grants Management at McLean. She is an advocate for mental health and champions Horizons for Homeless Children here in Boston.   Dawn is a founding member of IN Boston. She lives in Waltham with her husband and two children.

 

AMO head shot

Austin O’Connor

President, The Briar Group

Austin currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Briar Group, a leading restaurant group in Greater Boston which includes The Harp, Ned Devine’s, Anthem Kitchen + Bar, City Table, City Bar Back Bay, City Bar Westin Waterfront, Parris, MJ O’Connor’s Park Plaza, MJ O’Connor’s Westin Waterfront, Solas, The Green Briar, and most recently, Gather and Brew at Boston’s Innovation Center, District Hall. During his 25 year tenure with the company, Austin has grown the business from one restaurant to a multi-million dollar company, simultaneously growing the events and real estate segments of the group. His family remains active in the business as Austin’s father founded the company in the 1974.

Austin is a well-known and regarded leader in the restaurant industry in Massachusetts. He became Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association in 2006 and in 2010 became an Honorary Lifetime Member. The National Restaurant Association honoredAustin with a Hall of Fame induction in 2010 as well. He continues to assume the lead in several important committees, focusing on issues relating to the growth and welfare of the entire food service community in Massachusetts.

Austin has continuously placed importance on The Briar Group being involved in charitable pursuits. He has generously placed Briar Group company resources behind Friends of Boston’s Homeless, The Jimmy Fund, West End House, Community Work Services and numerous Irish and worthwhile local causes. Austin is on the Board of Directors for Friends of Boston’s Homeless, which has been a major beneficiary of the Briar Group’s Annual Golf Tournament, the Irish Open. Over the past 23 years, the tournament has raised over $500,000 for the organization.

Austin graduated for the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Civil Engineering.  He lives in Hingham with his wife and five children, where he is active in church and community activities.  He is also active in skiing, hiking, golf and basketball.

Dave Greany

David Greaney

President, Synergy Investments

David Greaney is the President of Synergy Investments, a Boston based real estate investment firm that owns and operates 31 Boston area buildings comprising of approximately 3,500,000 square feet. Over 400 companies, retailers and organizations occupy space in their portfolio and Synergy is recognized as one of the most active and successful building owners and managers in the region.
David relocated from Ireland to the United States in 1995, is a graduate of University College Dublin and a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Synergy, David has held positions in the investment management groups of Harvard University and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
He has received numerous awards from various Irish business organizations and publications including the Boston Irish Business Association, the Irish Chamber of Commerce, Irish America magazine and Business & Finance magazine.

2010, David became the founding Chairman of IN Boston and assumed the role for over 2 years.  He effectively utilized his leadership skills and strategic vision to build a solid foundation for the young organization which has in tangible ways led to IN Boston’s success.  David was also recognized as one of Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40. David is a board member of the MA chapter of the NAIOP, the Downtown Business Improvement District and Downtown North Association. He actively supports a number of charitable causes, including the American Ireland Fund and the Claddagh Fund, the charitable foundation of the Dropkick Murphys.

mauro

Dr. Robert Mauro

Director, Irish Institute, Boston College

Dr. Robert Mauro (Bob) is director of the Irish Institute at Boston College, and originally from Massachusetts. He completed his PhD in Political Science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York in Albany. Before coming to Boston College he undertook a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) at University College Dublin (UCD). While there he worked on a project, titled Breaking the Patterns of Conflict: The Irish State, the British Dimension, and the Northern Ireland Conflict, that involved building an archive of interviews with over 100 key contributors to the Northern Ireland peace process in addition to completing the monograph: The Concept of Ideology.  Bob held leadership positions on the IN Boston board including Treasurer and in 2013 he was selected to lead the organization as Chairman.  Bob believes that IN Boston is an ideal tool to connect people interested in Ireland both here in Massachusetts and across the Atlantic with the goal of promoting collaboration and development.

FullSizeRender

John Cunningham

Chairman, Gaelic Athletic Association North America

John Cunningham was born and raised in Donegal before emigrating to Boston in February 2000, where he worked in the construction industry.  In 2009 after retiring from playing Gaelic football, he was elected on to the Northeast Divisional board as Vice Chairperson and in 2013 was elected as Chairman of the Northeast Divisional board.  John has provided incredible leadership as Chairman and notes in particular that the position gives him a unique opportunity to promote Irish Culture through sport.  He has been a long time supporter of IN Boston and believes that the organization offers an effective path for members to meet new people by providing fun yet effective network opportunities.

R. Millar

Ronnie Miller

Executive Director, Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC)

Ronnie Millar leads the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston – a Welcome Center for immigrants from Ireland and from 120 other countries. The IIIC works towards a society where all are welcomed and valued, and enjoy equal opportunities and protections.  Ronnie has worked in social justice and community development for the past 15 years, as the Director of the Corrymeela Center in County Antrim – Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation center – and with the South Boston Boys and Girls Club.  Ronnie immigrated to the United States in 1993 with Digital Equipment Corporation, where he worked as an engineer and manager for 14 years.

As a graduate of the College of Public and Community Service at UMASS Boston, Ronnie has extensive experience in community work as a mediator and facilitator.  He serves on the boards of several community projects and is married to Kelly Matthews, a professor of English and Education at Framingham State University. They have two sons, Rory and Andrew, who are both Tottenham Hotspur supporters.