Age 35 Place of Birth Tipperary, Ireland Where you live Morningside Heights First Job Handing out After Eight mints on an Aer Lingus flight, at 6 years old. What it taught me Always be nice to flight attendants, and anyone with After Eight mints. Status Married Family Mark Guma, spouse. Son Max Charles, almost 2. Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I’m a Mets fan by birth, and New Orleans Saints fan by marriage – they even featured in my wedding vows! 2. I count New York City as my first real love. My heart still skips a beat when flying into the city and seeing all this. 3. A big Harry Potter fan, I went to those midnight book release parties (but I never dressed up!) Best advice you could give someone starting out Do something you believe in, and that makes you happy.
Maura Keaney was born in Tipperary town, and came to the states at eight years old. Since attending Barnard College, Keaney has been active in New York democratic campaigns and progressive causes, including the effort to allow gays and lesbians to march openly in the St Patrick’s Day Parade. From 2002 to 2006, Keaney was state political director for the garment and laundry workers union. From 2006 to 2009, she served as deputy chief of staff to Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Keaney helped run voter contact efforts for Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s successful re-election campaign, and has recently joined the Department of Education.
Age 38 Place of Birth Lubbock, TX Where you live Westerville, OH First Job Paper Boy What it taught me Responsibility Status Married Family Wife, Laura, daughter, Julia Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I brew beer and grow hops at home. 2. I have ridden a bicycle across the USA. I have also cycled around Ireland, and in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Sweden. 3. I have many relatives in Ireland. Best advice you could give someone starting out Working hard at any task always gets noticed.
John Knipfer was born in Lubbock, TX to Ron and Mary (Kelly) Knipfer. He has two older sisters, Maureen and Ann. Knipfer grew up travelling around the U.S. and parts of Europe in a military family. He received his undergraduate and medical education in Dayton, OH, then completed advanced training in anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. He has settled with his beautiful wife Laura, and lovely daughter Julia, in central Ohio.
Age 30 Place of Birth Camarillo, California Where you live Brooklyn, NY First Job Counselor, summer camp What it taught me While working at summer camp, I remember realizing that it didn’t matter if I wasn’t feeling well or wasn’t feeling into my job that day – those kids were there to have the best two weeks of their summers. It was my job to make that happen. I try to bring that same attitude to work every day. Status Single Family Engaged to Adam Bunderson – to be married in October, 2010 Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I lived in a real castle in The Netherlands for three months. 2. I was once a temp at JetBlue. I screened Aircraft Technicians. 3. In the 9th grade I was paid to act in the play, “Wait Until Dark.” Best advice you could give someone starting out Be kind and pleasant, and always do your homework. Whatever career you are persuing, become an expert of sorts on some aspect, no matter how small.
Amanda Lydon grew up in an Irish family in Massachusetts and moved to New York in 2002 to begin a career in publishing after receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emerson College. She joined the Tenement Museum in 2007. She built Tenement Talks, a public event series. In 2009, she curated 75 events and worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, New York Times journalists, and National Book Award novelists. Lydon thrives on the program’s diversity but makes no secret of her pride in the Irish events, including those with Mick Moloney, Colm Toibin, Peter Quinn and Colum McCann.
Age 36 Place of Birth Dublin Where you live Philadelphia First Job Selling gold-plated chains by the inch at the Ideal Home Show. What it taught me That I want my work to have meaning. I love the Immigration Center because I get to help people directly and see the impact of my daily actions, while also promoting broader long-term discussions about the importance of citizenship and what it means to be Irish in a global context. Status Single Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I started trapeze lessons a year ago. I’m terrible, but I can climb up a rope and hang upside down by my knees – very ungracefully. 2. I had a baby goat called Stampy in Kenya. I won him in an auction and convinced my Dad to let me keep him. 3. I finally got my driver’s licence last year at age 35. But don’t ask me to drive anywhere; I’m dreadful (but not bad at parallel parking). Best advice you could give someone starting out Follow your folly. The world changes so fast, you can’t predict where your career will take you. But you can make sure you have fun along the way. My CV is quite eclectic and, for a long time, I worried that I appeared unfocused. Now I think that my varied experience helps me do a better job – and the customer service skills that are such a focus of working in retail never go out of fashion.
Siobh_n Lyons is the executive director of the Irish Immigration Center, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting immigrants and promoting citizenship. Born in Dublin, Lyons moved to Philadelphia in 2006 to work for the World Affairs Council. Prior to moving to the United States, she served as a diplomat in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. She is involved in several nonprofit organizations, including International House Philadelphia, Quest for Tech, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and Philadelphia Young Nonprofit Leaders. Lyons is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where she specialized in Arabic literature.
Age 39 Place of Birth Chicago, Illinois Where you live Chicago First Job Working on my grandfather’s farm in Mayo, Ireland. What it taught me To eat everything on my plate because it took hard work to get it there. Status Married Family Wife, Kelly Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. My favorite summer vacation spot is Tourmakaedy; hearing sheep for miles is a nice break from the City. 2. I have a 22 lb Jack Russell named Bruiser. 3. My favorite sport is skiing. Best advice you could give someone starting out Build a diverse network, keep your word and never forget where you came from.
Patrick Heneghan was born in Chicago, Illinois, a son of Irish immigrants Hugh and Joan (Murphy) of County Mayo. He received his B.S. from DePaul University in Chicago and married Kelly O’Connor from Chicago. Right out of college, he worked for his family building demolition business, Heneghan Wrecking Co., and is currently the president of the company. He is an active member of the Irish community in Chicago, N.Y. and Boston. He’s on the Board of Directors of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago, and is a member of The Irish American Partnership.
Age 39 Place of Birth Binghamton, N.Y. Where you live Boston, MA First Job Front desk at the Binghamton Tennis Center. What it taught me If you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t always seem like work. Status Married Family My husband, Riccardo Fantini Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I was named after my great-grandmother, Bridget O’Malley Hester, who is from Louisburgh, Mayo. 2. I met my Italian husband in Dublin while we were studying at Trinity College. 3. During Six Nations, I root for Ireland and my husband roots for Italy. Best advice you could give someone starting out Find a mentor early on in your career. Learning from a seasoned professional whom you respect and trust will open your eyes and can broaden your horizons.
Bridget Hester is a Leadership Giving Officer in MIT’s Philanthropic division where she focuses on individual fundraising for Institute-wide initiatives. Prior to joining MIT, Hester served as the Regional Director at The American Ireland Fund in Boston where she oversaw fundraising and development for the New England region. While at the AIF, much of her efforts were concentrated on raising funds for integrated schooling in Northern Ireland. Hester began her career in financial services with Putnam Investments where she spent a number of years working in consultant relations and marketing before moving onto the start-up, WorldStreet Corporation, managing their strategic account with Deutsche Bank. Hester is active in the Irish-American business community and sits on the boards of BIBA and The Irish Pastoral Center. She holds a B.S. from Colby-Sawyer College and received her M.B.A from Trinity College in Dublin. Bridget and her husband Riccardo Fantini currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts.
Age 39 Place of Birth Huntingdon Valley, PA Where you live Arlington, MA First Job Part-time secretary to my mom, administrator of a 129-bed assisted living facility in Chalfont, PA What it taught me My mom was a serious business woman as the boss. However, at home, she showed her softer side as fun, loving mom. I too now display these same qualities. Status Married Family Husband, David; sons Benjamin, 6 and Bobby, 2. My deceased mother, Elizabeth (Lillian) O’Sullivan Hill, born and raised in Rathgar, Dublin Ireland; my father, Joseph Edward Hill, a retired Philadelphia school teacher. Brothers: John, Brian and Denis. Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I won the title of Miss Mayo 1992 at the Mayo Association of Philadelphia annual ball. I won a round trip visit to Charlestown, County Mayo Ireland to participate in the Western Rose Contest. I also received a horse and buggy ride in the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s day parade. 2. My maternal grandfather, Colonel Sean O’Sullivan, a Rhodes Scholar, was aide-de-camp to President Sean T. O’Kelly (1945-59). I regret that I never met him and will never know the stories associated with the pictures I have of him with dignitaries around the world, including among others FDR, Pope Pius XII, Mahatma Gandhi, President Dwight Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon. 3. I chose to marry on my parents’ wedding anniversary in order to honor my deceased mom and my parents’ love for each other. Their relationship has always been one of love, honor and respect. I hope to live that way as well.
Best advice you could give someone starting out Ask many questions at work but propose as many recommendations and solutions. Be a problem solver!
Maureen Hill Nigro was raised in Warminster, PA. As one of four children, she grew up playing sports with her three brothers, John, Brian and Denis. She enjoyed Irish step dancing with the Timoney Irish Dancers. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s degree from Villanova in Human Resource Development, she moved to Boston. She resides in Arlington, MA with her husband, David and sons Ben and Bobby. She is a Human Resources professional with 16 years experience in compensation, training, recruiting and HR business partner responsibilities. Nigro is currently a Compensation Consultant with State Street Corporation.
Age 38 Place of Birth Brooklyn, New York Where you live New York, N.Y. First Job Paper Route What it taught me Taught me responsibility – and the importance of being on time. Status Married Family Jennifer Ingram (spouse), Ava Reilly Ingram (daughter). Best advice you could give someone starting out When making a career decision, think long term and what is best for your career as opposed to making decisions based on short term goals.
Brian Ingram was born in Brooklyn to John and Maureen Ingram. He was the third of four children, joining sister Mary Allison and brother Sean – sister Maureen followed two years later in 1973. Ingram attended St.Patricks School in Brooklyn from Kindergarden through eighth grade and went on to Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, NY where he played basketball team and was captain of the Xaverian Swim team where he still holds certain team records. Graduating in 1989, he attended Loyola College in Baltimore, where he was a member of the Varsity Swim team and worked at American Maritime Cases, a law journal. Ingram is a Vice President for Goldman Sachs and has worked in the New York, London and Tokyo Offices. He is a member of the Big Brother organization and has worked with his little brother for 6 years now, and helped him through the high school application process and has helped his little brother thrive as a student at Xaverian HS, his alma mater. Ingram is Chair of the Investment Committee at Xaverian High School, an Honorary Usher at St. Patricks Cathedral in NYC and a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. On the weekends, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jen and daughter Ava, and training for triathlons and marathons. Ingram is set to compete in the 2010 Boston Marathon, which will be his eighth marathon. He completed the Lake Placid Ironman in 2007 and 2008.
Age 38 Place of Birth Chicago, IL Where you live Chicago, IL First Job Scooping ice cream at the mall. What it taught me The customer is always right. Status Married Family Spouse, Krista, and 7 children: Cameron (14), Kaila (9), Jessica (8), Michael (7), Kristen (6), Kevin (4) and Brendan (2). Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I love country music. When I met my wife she was singing country music. 2. My dream job is to be a head football coach at a Catholic University. 3. My first job in corporate America was throwing garbage for Waste Management Inc. Best advice you could give someone starting out In politics and government always call everyone back. Your constituents don’t mind if you disagree with them but they will never forgive you for ignoring them.
Born and raised on the Southwest side of Chicago, Kevin Joyce still lives in the Saint Cajetan Parish Community where he and his three brothers attended grade school. He graduated from Marist High School in 1989 and John Carroll University in 1993 where he was an All-Conference football player and a member of the wrestling team. Prior to being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2002, Joyce worked for Waste Management Inc. and coached high school and college football. He had also served on the boards of directors for the Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago and the Keep Chicago Beautiful Foundation. His wife Krista and he are raising their seven children three blocks from his childhood home. In the legislature, Joyce authored the “Truth in Tuition” law which freezes college tuition at state universities for all four years of a student’s education. Some of his many legislative awards include most recently the 2009 Rerum Novarum Award from Saint Joseph’s Seminary and Francis Cardinal George, the 2009 Illinois Press Association Award for dedication to the principles of open government and to the rights of all Illinois citizens to have access to public information, the 2008 Illinois Victims.Org Legislator Hero Award for dedication to the rights of victims of violent crime and the 2007 National Multiple Sclerosis Society Legislative Champion Award.
Age 38 Place of Birth Lurgan, Co Armagh Where you live Manhattan First Job Collegio Irlandese – Rome What it taught me The importance of good customer service Status Single Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. Former competitive Irish dancer. 2. Played camogie for St Peter’s GAC, Lurgan and St Michael’s Grammar School. 3. Once chased by a marauding elephant in South Africa! Best advice you could give someone starting out Get some international experience. It broadens the mind, enhances a resume and is great fun!
Andrea Haughian hails from Lurgan, Co Armagh and is Vice President of Business Development for Invest Northern Ireland. Haughian has extensive experience in the Financial Services sector and specializes in assisting U.S. companies establish successful near shore operations in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining Invest Northern Ireland’s New York office, she worked in the Financial Services sector in Belfast with BDO Stoy Hayward, the award winning member firm of BDO International. Her extensive project management experience includes: AIM flotations, PFI, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, wealth management and business restructuring. Andrea also has considerable knowledge of Northern Ireland’s commercial property market and has undertaken a number of economic appraisals and strategic reviews on behalf of leading NI companies. Prior to joining BDO Andrea worked for many years in international trade, marketing and business development in Europe, the US and Asia. Andrea is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, has undertaken post-graduate programs in both San Francisco and Chicago and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Fellow of Young Enterprise and Member of the Institute of Directors.