Recent Events: The Future of TV in a MultiScreen Universe

Recent Events: The Future of TV in a MultiScreen Universe

At our latest event in New York we discussed the rapidly evolving media ecosystem TV networks, streaming services, and how brands compete to provide a broad array of video content, online experiences and products directly to consumers.

If you missed it, you can still check it out via the recording below.

Live Recording

Lessons from the Top: IIBN's Panel on Career Progression

Lessons from the Top: IIBN's Panel on Career Progression


On Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, a group of senior executives across various industries participated in a panel event in New York City called Rise to the Top: A Panel on Career Progression. The event was hosted by the Irish International Business Network (IIBN), the leading business organization for professionals with Irish nationality or heritage, and welcoming remarks were given by Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Ireland's Ambassador to the United States.


Pictured above: Ambassador Dan Mulhall (speaking) with Courtney Sunna (right)

The moderator and coordinator for the evening was Courtney Sunna, Chair of IIBN's Future Leaders Board, a 17-member board of NYC-based outstanding young professionals who created and planned the event. Sponsors included Bank of Ireland and catering was generously provided by the Dessert Ladies.

Also in attendance: Ronan Dunne (President of Verizon Wireless), Tony Dunne (US Country Manager and COO, Bank of Ireland), Anna McGillicuddy (Deputy Consul General at the Consulate of Ireland, New York City), and Ragnar Almqvist (Economic & Trade Attaché for the Embassy of Ireland in Washington D.C.), along with IIBN Members, aspiring young professionals, and the current intake of the highly prestigious Washington Ireland Program, of which the current Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, is a graduate.

Meet the Panel

Donard Gaynor: Former SVP, Beam Global Spirits & Wine. Donard is is currently dedicating his time to various non-executive director roles in the global business arena with companies such as Glanbia, H&K International, Amboy Foods, and Kyro Distillery, and for charitable organizations, such as Co-operation Ireland, the Ireland-U.S. Business Council, and the Children’s Medical Research Foundation. Donard spent 15 years at PwC, and later served nearly 10 years at the Seagram Spirits & Wine Group and nine years at Beam before his retirement in 2012. 

Michelle Accardi: President & Chief Revenue Officer, Star2Star Communications. Michelle is an award-winning marketer and author of Agile Marketing. An accomplished 20-year marketing veteran, Michelle is a world-renowned technical thought leader on next-generation marketing and communications strategies. She was recently named 2018 CRN Channel Chiefs by the Channel Co.

Paul McMahon: Founder & Head of Americas, BSM Group. Following a 6 year career within Financial Services, including Bank of America and Citibank, Paul founded his own recruitment firm, BSM Group, with offices in Dublin, London, and the United States. Paul runs the US operations, and is scaling the company across the east and west coast.

Sarah-Anne Hughes: Regional Sales Manager, LinkedIn. Sarah-Anne juggles the tasks of leading a sales team and ensuring the +500 corporate customers in her business see success with LinkedIn. Previously she worked as a VP of Business Development with Invest Northern Ireland, and was also a prior Chair of the IIBN Future Leaders Board.

Lessons from the Top

1) Many young professionals expressed confusion about how to approach senior managers within their organization that they looked up to, and wanted a way to connect with them in a way that was genuine and helpful for both parties.

The advice: Connect with potential mentors or superiors by offering to help them in some way. For example, says Donard, in his earlier career years, he noticed a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers was heavily involved with a reputable Irish charitable organization. Being an Irish expat, Donard offered to help him with any administrative assistance he could offer, just to be involved and get his feet wet. It allowed him to work more closely with that person while helping a cause that was important to him, and today, Donard is on the Board of that organization, leading philanthropic efforts in Ireland and the United States. Other panelists suggested offering to update the professional bio of someone they look up to, or by gently offering to update information on their professional social media profiles such as LinkedIn if you've noticed it's outdated.


2) Demonstrate personality!

Don't be afraid to call out unique interests or experiences about yourself, both on your résumé and also during the interview. For example, if you're going heliskiing for the weekend, you may want to subtly mention it to your hiring manager. Look around their office for pictures or souvenirs of topics you can find common ground with. If you've volunteered abroad (even if it's unrelated to the position you are seeking), make sure it's present on your résumé. Competition in the job market is fierce, so education and relevant skills may no longer be the only thing standing between you and your dream job.


Courtney shared a story about leaving a job where she wasn't happy to spend time living abroad, and had close friends warn her that a gap in employment could turn-off potential employers. Instead, she proudly featured this experience at the top of her résumé as it made her unique - and related it in the interview to independence, courage, and a deeper understanding of people and cultures. She cited a spike in calls from positions she was most interested in, and it was also an easy way to 'weed out' companies that were not aligned with her values and interests.


3) Use GoogleAds to get your dream job. Let's say you applied for a role you're really excited about, and are hoping the hiring manager will get back to you for an interview. You don't want to reach out directly, as that might have the opposite effect you wanted. Here's a tip: Spend a few dollars to buy Google AdWords in your name, and in the name of the hiring manager (you can often find this person's name on LinkedIn). As employers search for prospective candidates that are relevant to the job they posted, this simple task may make your name and application appear as the first one on their list. The whole campaign may cost you just a few dollars, but could end up landing you that dream-job interview. Money well spent!

4) Seek positions in complementary roles. Donard credits his appointment as SVP of Beam, and responsible for the P&L of hundreds of millions of dollars, to his experience in a variety of roles. Although he was initially hired as an accountant at PwC, he knew he needed experience in complementary areas in order to get the dream gig. He took roles in HR, as CIO, CFO, and accountancy before he felt he was ready to apply for the SVP position at Beam. Armed with an understanding of various departments, the SVP role was a natural progression for him. Also, he notes, confidence is key; never doubt yourself when you are seeking a role with more responsibility. If you believe in yourself, others will follow suit.

5) Use the 2-year Rule of Thumb. It takes about two years before you can fully understand your new role and how it fits in with the company, so don't give up too early. The two year mark may also be a good time to seek a new position -- not necessarily to leave your current company, but rather to seek a promotion or a position in a complementary department to learn new skills and advance your career. Being stagnant in a role inhibits growth and learning, so it's important to be cognizant of these potential restraints and opportunities when you are interviewing with a new company. Remember, you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you, so making sure that there is upward potential internally is an important factor. A job with a fantastic ability to learn and grow may be a better option at the beginning, even if it means a lower initial salary than one with limited upward mobility.

6) The New Work/Life Balance. The panelists were passionate about this topic, as many of them spent years of their professional careers commuting on airplanes, juggling work and family life. "Never leave 'Work/Life balance' up to your employer - it's your own responsibility to manage," was the viewpoint shared by Michelle and Donard. If work is putting too much pressure on your home and family life, it's up to you to have a conversation with your superior and seek to find a way to shift responsibilities to other colleagues, step back from certain non-imperative initiatives, or take time off. Even companies that tout a culture of work-life balance may not always walk the walk, as some panelists noted that "unlimited vacation often means no vacation."

The bright side is that it is becoming more mainstream for companies to understand the importance of a healthy balance between work and life, as Sarah-Anne noted at companies like LinkedIn, these often blend together. It's not always necessary to separate the two, you can show your personality at work and be yourself, or go down to the company breakroom to chill out on some bean bag chairs if you just got out of a long meeting. You're human - and that's understandable! Many companies are more empathetic to the personal needs of their employees, and if you need to come in late one day, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to sit in the office until 8:00pm to make up for it, it may just mean that you check and reply to company emails when you are at home that evening. Find a healthy balance that works for you, and which allows you to be successful in your role.

7) Always Keep and Cultivate the Connections You Make. Michelle remembers entering the professional workforce and starting a new position in the typical 'first job out of college' gig, and putting in the hours of overtime doing tasks that were not always the most exciting-- but she put in the effort and was viewed as hard worker and a team player. Many years later, a recruiter called her because a position opened up as the Chief Marketing Officer at a company where, the recruiter noted, she was connected on LinkedIn with the current CEO, so the recruiter urged her to apply. That company was Star2Star communications, where she is currently President, and the CEO was a colleague of hers at that 'first job out of college' gig. Keep all the connections you make, even those early in your career, as you never know when they may reach out.

8) Industry Downturns are Normal. Business revolves in cycles- and it's normal to have your chosen industry experience a downturn. That doesn't mean you should jump ship and seek a new career path, and abandon all the experience you've gotten thus far. Donard's experience in working for a Big4 consulting firm has taught him that lesson, and he feels it's most important. He suggests choosing an industry you are passionate about and interested in, and make a 5 year plan to achieve your goals. Don't be afraid when you watch the news or hear whispers about a negative industry outlook, as it's normal for business to move in cycles. Stick it out, and eventually you will be an expert in that field and known as someone who has persevered in the worst of times and made it out ahead.

Thank you to all our speakers and panelists who participated in the event. We hope all attendees found the information valuable, interesting, and relevant.

If you are interested in becoming an IIBN-New York Member, or joining our mailing list to hear about upcoming events, visit the IIBN Webpage.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!





Pendulum New York

Leading Business and Peak Performance Summit”

After sold-out summits in Dublin where attendance grow from 600+ executivs in 2014 to 7,000+ in 2018, Pendulum Summit is launching in New York on September 13th at the PlayStation Theater. Titled “Elevate to Excellence” the event will bring together the sharpest minds in business excellence, entrepreneurship, and leadership development. Previous speakers have included: Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Jo Malone MBE, Randi Zuckerberg, Jack Canfield and James Caan CBE. 

Themes in New York will range from the Future of Work, Digital Disruption and Finding Opportunity in Uncertainty, to Accelerating Business Growth, Building Mental Resilience and Diversity Equals Advantage. There will be Talks, Master Classes and plenty of opportunity for enhanced networking with Pendulum Connect.  

2018 Speakers :

Jack Canfield - America’s Number 1 Success Coach

Nataly Kogan - Tech Entrepreneur And Corporate Wellness Expert

Nick Santonastasso - Achievement & Peak Performance Guru

Steve Wozniak - TBC

Suzy Welch - CNBC Correspondent & Leading Business & Life Strategist

Deepak Chopra - World Authority In Mindfulness For Leadership

Steve Forbes - CEO Forbes Magazine & Business Expert

Kingsley Aikens - Global authority In Networking

Norma Murphy - Co-Founder of Pendulum NY & Diversity and Inclusiveness Advocate

More to be added…..

For corporate packages and sponsorship opportunities contact:

Check out the NY speaker line-up in this 90 second video

Click this link to watch the 2018 highlights video - For Dublin / Ireland

For ticket and speaker information:

Selection of companies that have attended: Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, JP Morgan, Barclays, Intel, Twitter, PWC, Microsoft, EY, Emirates, American Airlines, Deloitte, Boston Scientific, Coca Cola, AIG, Dell, J&J, Tyco, United Airlines, HSBC, KPMG, Novartis, Indeed, Nestle, Genentech, FedEx, Facebook, Hubspot, Pfizer, IBM, Allianz, Oracle, Hertz, GSK, Voxpro, Volvo, Mercedes, Pepsico, Toyota, Slack and Dropbox.


Recent Events: Connectivity, Inclusion and the Fourth Industrial Revolution with Ronan Dunne

Recent Events: Connectivity, Inclusion and the Fourth Industrial Revolution with Ronan Dunne

At a recent Irish International Business Network (IIBN) event in New York, Ronan Dunne, EVP and Group President of Verizon Wireless explained how next generation wireless will impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution #4IR. Connectivity and inclusion were pervasive themes in his talk with a certain onus placed upon business and technology leaders to work together to ensure that the #4IR provides opportunity for all. Dunne is passionate about connectivity in more ways than one. As an Irishman who has spent his entire career working outside of Ireland, he recognizes the crucial role organizations like the IIBN play in engaging and connecting the Irish diaspora. Dunne even managed to connect with his friend, the popular entertainer and innovator via Twitter during the evening. Here are some highlights from his keynote address.


Welcome to the revolution.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will “blur the lines between the physical and digital” according to Dunne, recognizing that “everything that can be connected will be.” Shedding light on Verizon’s own efforts in bringing about this interconnectivity, Ronan explained that the company is currently testing 5G in 11 cities across the US and has committed to rolling out 12 million miles of fiber. As improvements in wireless, the cloud, computing, data storage, and analytics reach a critical mass, the revolution will gain speed.

The promise of 5G.

Dunne asserts “5G is a game changer” and will likely have as large an impact as other general-purpose technologies such as electricity and the Internet. By 2035, 5G stands to add $12.3 trillion of incremental global economic revenue, helping add an additional 22 million jobs worldwide, Dunne said. He added this will be driven by the digitization of industries such as transportation, agriculture and manufacturing. 

Dunne envisages three ways in which the new technology will impact the economy.

1.      5G will put broadband in the hands of more people, expanding mobile capabilities beyond data and video into such areas as 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality.

2.      It will help facilitate Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. Today there are approximately 7.5 billion connected devices and within four to five years, this figure will rise to 25 billion.

3.      5G will become the backbone of many mission critical departments (emergency services etc.) that serve to protect the wider society. 

The industrial digital divide.

While wireless technology has a track record of rising to engineering challenges and facilitating innovation, it must be interspersed with what’s actually going on in society. “Every generational shift in technology brings new challenges” asserts Dunne, commenting that for 5G to be fully appreciated in the context of social problems, we need to address both the “human and the social impediments to realizing the promise of the digital world.” The US stands at only 18% of its digital capacity, with a massive disparity between early adopters of technology and the rest of the workforce. Ronan quoted a study which found that for every $1 spent per worker in traditional industries, digital industries spent $8, highlighting what he termed the “industrial-digital divide,” a plight that leaves billions of dollars in economic output on the table.

The educational digital divide. 

Education is probably the most critical challenge of all. While many have benefited from digital trends, too many communities and young people in the US are left behind, Dunne said. In attempting to redress the balance, Ronan drew attention to the work of his own company in helping to bridge the digital divide among America’s disadvantaged youth. Dunne stresses that the untapped talent is there and waiting, with Verizon doing their part to close the gap by delivering high quality technology to underserved areas, developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education solutions and committing $400 million to help some 1 million children to date. 

Data and data privacy.

On the ‘topic du jour’ of data, Ronan propounded that “if connectivity is the oxygen of modern life, then data is the fuel that will power our economy in the 21st Century.” Data, the safe storage and appropriate use of, is now being thrust to the fore of conversations given such recent high-profile examples of how it can be manipulated. Dunne feels people want to make informed choices about their data and privacy, and this demands companies to be more transparent. “There are benefits to developing trust and “digital confidence” between company and consumer.” Dunne said.   

Vision of the future.

In his closing remarks, Ronan called for technology and business leaders to come together around a shared set of values, “using technology as a force for good.” Deploying the infrastructure is “only half the battle” and that must be coupled with viable ecosystems which underpin social goals. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Ronan emphasized the need to build “public trust in technological solutions” and that in achieving this “we can do well and do good.”

After the keynote, Dunne was joined by IIBN Board member Maura Kelly for a Fireside Chat to explore the topics in more detail. VIDEOS: To watch the VIDEO click on The Keynote address . To watch VIDEO click on Fireside Chat both on the IIBN YouTube channel.

Special thanks to our keynote speaker: Ronan Dunne, IIBN Global Sponsor, Grant Thornton LLC and Cara Sloan. This article was prepared by Brett Zych, Jeffries andMaura Kelly, Purple Mountain Media.

About Irish International Business Network

IIBN facilitates connectivity between Irish businesses worldwide to identify and expand new business opportunities throughout the Irish Diaspora. IIBN achieves its objectives by fostering networking among our global members, by collaborating with Government agencies and business organizations, and by mentoring the next generation of Irish and Irish-American entrepreneurs and business leaders. New York IIBN @NewYorkIIBN, @IIBN @RonanDunneVZW @MauraKellyMedia @CaraSloan @GrantThorntonIE @GrantThorntonUS.


Member Spotlight: Dave Evans


IIBN Board Member Dave Evans, is based in the New York office of Canyon CTS and is focused primarily on assisting US companies in connection with the implementation of their international expansion plans.  He has assisted various US private equity groups, venture capital firms, technology corporations, life science companies, beverage distribution groups, medical device companies and software groups in relation to their European expansion projects.  


Dave has over 17 years’ experience working with US based multinational organizations in relation to their European operations.   He sits on the board of New York based charity, Camp Herrlich.  Dave also sits on he board of CMRF (Children’s Medical & Research Foundation, Inc.), a pediatric cancer research charity connected to Crumlin Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.  He is a founding member and past chairman of the Emerging Leaders’ Board of the CMRF in New York.  David is also a board member of the Ireland-US Council in New York.

How did the IIBN help you to establish relationships in New York? 

When I first moved to New York in 2006 I felt the networking opportunities offered by the IIBN were impressive and allowed me access to the Irish- American business community in New York. I had known a few of the IIBN Board Members for the past few years and have always been impressed by the group and what they achieve as a group. 

Where is your favourite place to go both during the day and at night in New York? 

That is a tough question as there is so much choice in this city, During the day I would have to say a stroll through Central Park is always welcome during the better weather. At night time I would say a walk around Soho, dinner on Spring St, followed by a night-cap one of the fantastic bars in the area. 

Member Spotlight: Cara Sloan


Cara Sloan -IIBN NY Treasurer, Head of U.S Irish Business Group New York, Grant Thornton LLP

Cara joined Grant Thornton Ireland in 2009 and progressed to Associate Director in the Financial Services Advisory department. She has eight years’ experience in advising corporate clients and financial institutions, regarding complex restructuring and recovery transactions, with extensive strategic experience in the financial sector.

Cara relocated to New York in November 2017 to Grant Thornton U.S. where she joined the Transaction Services team focussing on Diligence projects. Cara leads the U.S Irish Business Group New York desk, a collaborative initiative between the U.S. and Irish member firms, whose primary purpose is to provide clients, who have operations in both the U.S. and Ireland, with fully integrated services.

Cara is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ACA) and a member of the Institute of Project Management, Ireland. Cara has a MBs in Management Consultancy from Michael Smurfit Business School and a first class honours degree in International Commerce from University College Dublin (UCD).  

What attracted you to initially joining the IIBN? 
Grant Thornton have a long history with the IIBN, both the Dublin and New York Chapter. Both my predecessors in the U.S. Irish Business Group, Dara Kelly and Frankie Cronin, sat on the New York Board and really benefitted from the experience. Since 2013 we have been able to make so many connections with the Irish diaspora in the States, and vice versa, and have built a strong client base through the IIBN. In my opinion the IIBN is an established and highly regarded network that everyone recognises. As above it has opened up so much communication and opportunities for our firm, with like-minded professionals.
How long have you been in NY?/ how much of a role has the network played in ensuring you are settled & allowing you to meet new people? 
I’m a newbie! I arrived in New York in November past (having visited briefly in July, on honeymoon, on my own, as my new husband lost his passport in Portugal at our wedding but that’s another story…) The IIBN has played a massive part in both my, and my husband’s, settling in. We have met so many inspirational Irish and Irish American people in a similar situation to us. The IIBN has unlocked a massive network to help me fulfil my role in promoting GT as a multi-service international professional firm.  
And Finally, where are you favourite places in New York both during the day and at night?
Tough question given the masses of places in NYC, and the limited time I’ve been here! During the day, apart from my desk of course (!), I really loved the walk over Brooklyn bridge, the views are incredible. My ice skating skills have greatly improved also! At night, we love to eat (and have the odd beverage) around the West Village/Soho. Too many cool bars and restaurants to have a favourite!

Recent Events: Paradigm Shift: All-Ireland Brexit Discussion

Recent Events: Paradigm Shift: All-Ireland Brexit Discussion

Irish International Business Network – NY (IIBN) presented on February 28, 2018 at the Bank of Ireland startup lab in New York an encompassing “All-Ireland Brexit Discussion.” Lead by Cork native Susan Hayes Culleton, Managing Director of the Hayes Culleton Group, who gave rapid-fire, up-to-date overview. She was joined by Tony Dunne, US Country Manager at Bank of Ireland and Peter Legge of Grant Thornton, Northern Ireland. As British PM Theresa May moves to extricate the UK from Europe, all the while attempting to maintain the benefits of membership, our IIBN panel comprised of an economist, banker and a tax partner took a holistic look at the impact of Brexit from an All-Ireland perspective. Video

Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Brexit, a situation largely forced onto Ireland, now faces up to the possibility of a myriad of new risks and opportunities. The threats of Brexit for All-Ireland were examined not least of which are a hard border, massively inflated tariffs and even too myopic a view on the issue of Brexit, possibly to the detriment of Ireland’s wider role in Europe. On the brighter side Hayes Culleton commented that “Ireland has the solidarity of the 26 states”, a claim reinforced by comments from Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, who had previously asserted that “the future of the UK’s relationship with Europe…lies in Dublin.” Further positives noted for Ireland were the shared culture and language with the UK as well possessing the UK's only land border with Europe.

Susan Hayes Culleton addressed the weaknesses that Ireland now potentially faces. €1bn of trade crosses the Irish Sea every week, trade which is now under threat but something that she described as “shocking” was the fact that 80% of imports and exports from Ireland must pass through the UK for customs, administrative and tariff purposes. Foreign currency issues have also plagued businesses who now face a weaker sterling paired with an appreciation in the price of Euro-sourced goods. 

Known as the #PositiveEconomist, Hays Culleton tipped her hat to The All-Island Civil Dialogue, formed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, brings together various political, economic and social bodies in helping put forward solutions in these uncertain times. Hays Culleton also highlighted Enterprise Ireland, who have launched a Brexit scorecard to help businesses gauge how they will be affected, InterTradeIreland, who have created a 'start-to-prepare' grant and the efforts of Tourism Ireland where the numbers speak for themselves; Ireland has enjoyed a 16% rise in the number of visitors from North America in the last year and a 13% increase in developing markets and Australia. Watch Susan Hayes Culleton's Summation

Bank of Ireland: Agriculture will be greatly affected by Brexit.

Tony Dunne, of the Bank of Ireland gave insights into what he’s currently seeing from his own customer base. “In general, there’s a sense of negativity but also fatigue with Brexit. It’s quietened down. I think some costumers are really getting ahead of it, but there’s a huge amount out there who are putting their head the sand. I think that’s a combination of they’re not experienced enough to make the investment and they also don’t know what that investment entails. It’s very hard to make that investment when you don’t know what’s going to happen.” This lack of action leaves businesses exposed to various black swan events but there are certain businesses that need to act urgently. Tony used the Agricultural industry, “the bread and butter of Ireland,” as an example which could be hit particularly hard from a tariff standpoint. “Historically Irish companies have expanded in Ireland and that the natural thing for them to do was to go across the water and expand in the UK. Now Irish companies are going to have to find different markets.” Watch Tony Dunne's

Grant Thornton, Northern Ireland: Call for more in-depth planning for Brexit.

Peter Legge, a UK tax partner from Grant Thornton, Northern Ireland and fresh off a plane from Belfast, gave insights from his unique position on cross border trade. Citing an internal survey, he noted that “only 9% of businesses with cross border trade have actual plans in place to deal with Brexit.” He puts this down to uncertainty and general fatigue around Brexit headlines. That said, he is seeing some tangible plans put in place especially in financial services; such as those reliant upon such mission critical functions as passporting. All in all, Peter Legge believes a sense of complacency has largely set in amongst SMEs. This dovetails with InterTradeIreland, statistics which point to the fact that 86% of Northern Irish businesses believe Brexit will have a “neutral” impact upon them. On the border issue, Peter Legge stated that people are talking about it: “300 miles, 30,000 people cross the border every day to commute to and from work and €3.5bn of goods transacted across it every year.” To Peter Legge, this is both a political and economic challenge.  Watch Peter Legge's Summation

In Conclusion

The panel also looked at a possible worst-case scenario if no agreement would be reached by March 29, 2019 when the World Trade Organization tariffs would be enacted. Citing analysis by InterTradeIreland, it was found that Meat & Fish products, the most heavily exported sector from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, would be subject to a staggering 73.4% tariff under WTO rules. Coming back across the border, Dairy Products moving from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland would also be subject to a 64.1% tariff. This would then be compounded by VAT due on the products, putting significant pressure on working capital requirements. 

Opportunities for All-Ireland: Northern Ireland possesses the UK’s only land border with Europe. Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the European Union and with the Corporation Tax NI Act, the region can dictate its own rate of tax, set to move to 12.5% in line with the Republic of Ireland. This rate of tax throughout the North and South offers an “island-wide opportunity” and helps put the country in a unique position as a gateway into Europe and the UK.

Special thanks: to our speakers: Susan Hayes Culleton, Tony Dunne and Peter Legge. IIBN Global Sponsor: Grant Thornton. Bank of Ireland startup lab for their hospitality. This article was prepared by Brett Zych, Jeffries and Mary Ann Pierce, MAP Digital.

About Irish International Business Network:

IIBN facilitates #Connectivity between Irish businesses worldwide with a view to identifying and expanding new business opportunities within the Irish Diaspora. IIBN achieves its objectives by fostering networking among our global members, by collaborating with Government agencies and business organizations, and by mentoring the next generation of Irish and Irish-American entrepreneurs and business leaders. @NewYorkIIBN, @IIBN  @SusanHayes_, #PositiveEconomist @BOIstartups, @talktoBOI, @dunneton , @bankofireland ‏ @GrantThorntonNI, @GrantThorntonIE, @peterlegge3, #IrelandandBrexit

Member Spotlight: Elaine English

Elaine English.png

This month's member spotlight is on Tipperary native, Elaine English.

Elaine works as Service Delivery Manager for Brandon Global IT. Brandon delivers enterprise-level IT planning, security and support to businesses of all sizes. Elaine has held a number of positions in IT over the years, ranging from technical engineer, project manager and technical consultant. She moved to New York two years ago to assist in the setup Brandon’s US office and now manages a team of technical engineers across New York, Dublin, Galway and London.

Tell us about why you decided to pursue a career in the IT industry?

The IT industry is an ever-changing environment – it’s rewarding being faced with new challenges and ability to learn something new every day. I have always been a keen problem solver, and the IT industry has certainly kept me on my toes. More importantly, I see value in work that we do, partnering with businesses to help streamline their IT environment, allowing them to focus on what they do best – running their business. Over the years at Brandon, I have been fortunate enough to work with a team of people who share the same passion and commitment, which makes for an invigorating work environment.

How has the IIBN helped your career and network, personally and professionally?

As a member of the IIBN, I was privileged to be part of the inaugural Leadership & Executive Acceleration Program (LEAP) last year. This was a high impact development program for women. During the program, I attended networking events, professional workshops and listened to a wide range of exceptional speakers. Not only have I gained valuable experience, I have also made some good friends along the way.

What other networks are you member of in NYC?

In my spare time, I train with the New York/New Jersey Liberty Gaels Camogie team. I joined the team when I moved to New York as a way to meet new people.  For someone who hadn’t played competitively since I was a teenager, being part of this team has been a huge motivational influence.
We have just come back from San Francisco where over two thousand GAA players took part in the North American Finals. It’s great to see this commitment to Irish sport abroad.

What does success mean to you?

My parents started a family haulage business over 40 years ago. Growing up in that business, we were instilled with an unwavering work ethic which has stood to me throughout my life. So, success for me means being part of an organization where I have an integral part in developing a lasting business. Brandon Global IT has provided me with that opportunity, especially since I moved to New York to help set up Brandon’s first US office. We have made great strides over the last few years and have set some challenging goals. I can only see us going from strength to strength.

What advice would you offer your 21-year-old self?

 Work outside of your comfort zone, it’s the only way to grow. Making small changes can lead to achieving big goals.

Do you any insider tips for someone who’s recently moved to NYC?

Get out and network, whether it be business events or meetups, it’s the best way to start building up lasting relationships. This city has so much to offer, so if you are here for 6 months, a year or even longer, keep exploring it and you will never be bored.

Member Spotlight: Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly.jpg

Brian is Director of Global Sales Strategy & Programs at AdRoll, an advertising and marketing technology company. Brian started his career in management consulting, spending 5 years working with Accenture in London before returning to Dublin to spend just under 2 years with EY in a similar capacity. Brian moved over to the start-up technology space in 2013 as AdRoll's 1st European employee, scaling the team in Dublin to over 100 people in less than 18 months. Brian moved to NYC in 2016 to take on a global role with AdRoll leading a global sales strategy and programs team based across AdRoll's New York, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Sydney and Tokyo offices. A passionate reader, Brian is also a co-founder of a technology start-up with a vision of creating engaging reading experiences for children via personalization (see: Rascal Reads). A Cavan native, Brian studied Digital Media Engineering at Dublin City University and is currently a Columbia University and London Business School executive MBA candidate (Global EMBA).

Interesting Fact: Brian previously played drums in a band that had a top 30 hit in Ireland and toured, playing several large music festivals including Glastonbury! 

Member Spotlight: Nicole Sullivan - Partner, White & Williams LLP

Nicole Sullivan.jpg

Nicole represents national and international clients in litigation, mediation and arbitration of complex commercial and business disputes. Nicole advises clients on pre-litigation and early resolution of actions as well as e-discovery issues. She assists foreign and domestic companies with opening and operating their businesses in the United States. Nicole routinely acts as outside general counsel for these entities assisting with transactional, intellectual property, contracts, employment and other related legal issues. Her practice also includes multi-jurisdictional trust and estate litigation.

Why did you choose to focus on commercial litigation as opposed to another practice area? 

Since I was young girl, I wanted to be a trial attorney.  I had a sign on my door that said, “Attorney at Law” and I loved watching Perry Mason and Matlock with my parents.  I also remember being inspired when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.  I never imagined being anything other than a litigator and can say it has served me well over the years.  I am even more blessed in the last few years as my practice has expanded beyond litigation and I work with many companies as their outside general counsel advising them on their North American operations.

It must be exciting to work with startups! What advice would you give to companies looking to break into the US market for the first time?

I love working with foreign companies entering the U.S. market.  It is so rewarding advising and assisting entrepreneurs make their vision a reality.  The key piece of advice I give to all my clients is have proper business and legal advisors in place sooner than later.  It is important to make sure that your business complies with U.S. regulations as well as the individual laws in each of the states where you will be conducting business.  A lot of companies do not want to invest the money in these advisors early on, which is usually a mistake.  One company we represented set up their U.S. operations through LegalZoom and it took us a year and a large legal bill to unwind their corporate structure and set it up properly.  Had they had the proper legal counsel at the start, it would have been a small fraction in legal fees.  

How has the IIBN helped your career and network, personally or professionally? 

The IIBN has been a fantastic organization and it has been a very fulfilling partnership over the last three years.  Through the IIBN, we have been able to make so many connections with the Irish diaspora in the States and UK as well as some amazing Irish companies and professionals in Ireland.  Professionally, we have built a strong client base through the IIBN and personally, I have met many people who I now consider my friends.  I truly feel blessed to have partnered with the IIBN and look forward to many more fruitful years together.  

What has been your most challenging professional experience? 

I have found it challenging working in firms where there has been an eat what you kill mentality creating an unnecessary environment of competition among peers.  I have always believed that the more successful one is, the more successful we all will be and we should focus on boosting each other up instead of tearing each other down. I have been lucky though to have had many wonderful mentors who have both advised me on how to walk through that minefield and have protected me. Thankfully, the firm I recently partnered with is much more in line with my values and mindset and I am excited about all the collaboration with my new colleagues.  

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

During my free time, I love to spend time with my husband and four kids, watching them grow and flourish.  I am also very close to my extended family and love spending time with them whether it's playing cards or board games.  In addition, I am an avid crossfitter and runner.  I love to do road races of all distances and obstacle course races like Spartans.    

Has a case ever affected you on deeper level where it ended up changing your views/outlook? 
Early in my career, we represented a young man who had allegedly violated an order of protection. In fact, he had not violated the order of protection as he was allowed to be on the University’s property as he was student.  Because his attorney did not properly advocate for him, he was found guilty and spent six months on Riker's Island where he was repeatedly abused physically and sexually.  We assisted him in suing his attorney for malpractice, which is not something we like to do but was necessary in this case to right a terrible wrong.  This case taught me the importance of checking all the boxes, doing your homework, focusing on the details and making sure that every client, no matter what the issues are, receives your best 100% of the time. 

How do you define success and what advice would you give to a young professional on “making it in New York”?

Success is an amorphous term with no all-encompassing definition. What success means is a very individualized concept.  For me, success means being happy more days than I am not happy doing what I do.  Advice I would give to a young professional looking to make it in New York is to network and create genuine connections with as many people as you can both in and outside your industry.