Cork Chamber of Commerce Sponsors INUSA16

As Irish Network USA counts down the weeks to our National Conference in San Francisco, we are delighted to announce that the Cork Chamber of Commerce will be supporting INUSA ’16. The Chamber is part of a delegation of business and government leaders from Cork that will be in San Francisco the same week, and INUSA ’16 attendees will have an opportunity to meet and network with the group at the conference.

Commenting on their participation, Cork Chamber President Barrie O’Connell said, “Cork Chamber is delighted to be participating in the INUSA conference in San Francisco this year. The conference is timely for us as we were recently successful in securing support from the Department of the Taoiseach’s Local Diaspora Engagement Fund for a project called ‘Connecting Cork’, which aims to proactively engage our international business diaspora through a series of activities that will ultimately result in more effective long-term engagement. This initiative will not only create a greater awareness among our diaspora of the business environment and investment opportunities that exist in the Cork region, but also allow us to better understand the needs and interests of our international diaspora, so that we might be responsive to their queries and assist them in identifying strategic business contacts in Cork.”

CEO of Cork Chamber Conor Healy, added, “Cork and San Francisco have been twinned since 1984 and the sister-city relationship is extremely important to both cities. The Chamber is keen to support and drive further business connections between the two cities in the coming years.  During our week in San Francisco we will be working to improve the communication channels with our global business diaspora, and looking for opportunities to develop ideas around collaborative projects.  As part of our Connecting Cork project we hope to make our Irish communities abroad feel more engaged with the Cork business community and promote initiatives that will result in the positive economic development of the Cork region.”

“Cork has become a hub for innovative companies, is working hard to engage with its Diaspora around the globe, and, through their Sister City relationship, already have long- standing bonds with the Global Irish that call San Francisco home,” stated Steve Lenox, President, Irish Network USA. “We are thrilled to welcome this delegation, including the Cork Chamber of Commerce, to INUSA16!”

“As proud as I am to tell people I am from Ireland, I am just as proud to tell people that my roots are in Cork,” stated Ashlinn Marron, Board Member, IN Bay Area. “While Tony Bennett crooned about leaving his heart in San Francisco, my heart will always be in Cork, and I am excited that INUSA16 will give me an opportunity to celebrate that and recommit to strengthening the bonds that exist between these two great cities.”


Who You’ll Meet at INUSA ’16

We are excited about the great response we have received for INUSA16 in San Francisco, September 15-18.

Those in attendance will have the chance to interact with high level speakers from every segment of the “Global Irish” community, including business, government, education and the arts, and experience the very best of  San Francisco through the hospitality of our hosts IN Bay Area.

Most importantly, INUSA will have an even greater focus than ever before on peer to peer networking. However, we don’t want to wait until September to start the introductions!

We are pleased to introduce you to just a few of the attendees that will be joining us in San Francisco:

Aly Gardner-Shelby


Aly Gardner-Shelby is from Phibsborough, Dublin, and moved to the Seattle area about 20 years ago. Although she holds an M.A. in Ancient History & Archaeology, Aly is a long-time Program Manager in Microsoft engineering. She has also helped build start-ups and has served in the non-profit sector – mostly while taking a career break that ended up being very active! She got involved with the Irish Network when looking for more ways to connect, and to give back, and found IN a great way to do both. Aly recently became President of Irish Network-Seattle.

Mark Owens


Mark Owens is the Director of Marketing for the Skylight Financial Group. Originally from Derry City, Mark relocated to Cleveland in 1998 where he was offered a Business Studies scholarship. Mark is a founding member of IN Cleveland and has been instrumental in the success of our chapter there.  He continuously encourages efforts to engage the “Global Irish” in the Northeast.

Ciara Hickey



Ciara Hickey is the global commercialization manager for Simplify Commerce by MasterCard. Ciara recently relocated from MasterCard’s operations and technology headquarters in St Louis to San Francisco. Originally from Cork, Ciara is a chartered accountant and has worked across the globe in Europe, Asia and North America. Ciara is looking forward to meeting the Irish community in the Bay Area!

Dr. Rory Murphy


Rory Murphy is a functional neurosurgeon from Cork pursuing basic and clinical research to aid diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and spinal cord injuries. He completed his residency in Washington University in St Louis and is now in UCSF. His main focus are wireless bioelectronics including bioresorbable wireless sensors and wireless implants that can aid spine healing.

Jessica Houghton


Originally from County Down, Jessica Houghton graduated from Queen’s University Belfast before she moved to Atlanta GA in 2012. She is currently a successful real estate agent with Coldwell Banker where she sells property in the Atlanta Metro area. Jessica was involved early on in the formation of Irish Network Atlanta working alongside President Brian Boland. She is Vice President of IN-ATL and coordinates communications and social media for the network since their official launch earlier this year. Jessica is also a recipient of the Irish Echo’s Irish Top 40 Under 40 award for 2016.

Rory O’Connor

Rory O’Connor came to Kansas City in 1978 on a J1 visa. After getting married in CA in 1986 he convinced his 5th generation Californian and Marin County wife to move to Kansas City in 1986 and they have lived there since. They have 4 children ages 20 to 27 who are scattered around the states. Rory has an undergraduate Civil Engineering degree from UMKC, a Masters in Civil Engineering from Stanford University started his own Construction Company in 2011. He was on the Board of the Kansas City Irish Fest for 5 years retiring as its then President in 2010. He continues to be very active in the Irish community and is helping lead efforts to launch an Irish Network in Kansas City
Irish Network USA continues to play a leading role in engaging the “Global Irish” in cities across the US, helping our members “invest” in Ireland through business, culture, education and sports.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of what is sure to be the best “Global Irish” networking opportunity of 2016! Register today for INUSA16!

For information sponsorship opportunities and packages please contact:

Join in the discussion now on Facebook and Twitter at #INUSA16

Announcing Keynote Speaker Minister of State Joe McHugh, T.D.

The Board of INUSA has announced that Minister of State Joe McHugh, T.D. will attend and deliver a keynote address at INUSA16 to be held September 15-18 in San Francisco.

This will be Minister McHugh’s first official visit to the United States since assuming the role of Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, and will be an opportunity for him to hear from and interact with leaders and members of Irish Network USA. INUSA has been widely praised for its efforts to grow an inclusive and diverse membership made up of Irish, Irish Americans and ‘friends’ of Ireland. With 21 chapters across the United States, and efforts underway to launch in ten additional cities, INUSA encourages members to ‘invest’ in Ireland through business, culture and arts, education and sport.
“For Irish Network USA’s efforts to engage the ‘Global Irish’ across the US to remain relevant, it is critical that our mission remains closely aligned and in tune with Ireland’s Diaspora Policy,” stated Steve Lenox, President, Irish Network USA. “The support and encouragement we have received from the Irish Government has been a critical part of our success, and we look forward to not only sharing our progress with Minster McHugh, but also hearing from him on how we can continue to make sure the links between the US and Ireland continue to grow.”

Hosted this year by Irish Network Bay Area, INUSA16 will be Irish Network USA’s fourth annual national conference. Previous conferences have been held in Boston, Austin and Washington, D.C. and have offered attendees the opportunity to hear from high level speakers from both the US and Ireland, celebrate Irish culture and sport, share best practices for chapter development and develop meaningful relationships with members from across the US.

“I am very much looking forward to attending the 4th Irish Network USA conference this September,” stated Minster McHugh. “It will be an opportunity for me to recognize the great work INUSA is doing to engage and network the Irish community in the US and to discuss with them how best to continue our work together in advancing the interests and addressing the concerns of our Diaspora.”

In addition to hearing from Minister McHugh, INUSA16 will also feature a number of other relevant speakers, and will also expand on opportunities for attendees to interact with each other through a number of workshops and networking opportunities. Registration will open soon, and sponsorship packages are available.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Irish Network USA chapters and members to the West Coast for the first time, and to show them the very best of the Irish community in San Francisco,” stated Ivan Harrow, President, IN Bay Area. “Building off of the success of past conferences, we have no doubt that attendees will leave our city more equipped to achieve the multi-faceted mission of INUSA and to play an even greater role in building ties within the Irish community here in the US and with home.”

Announcing INUSA ’16

We are gearing up for this year’s 4th INUSA Annual Conference which will take place September 15th-September 18th in San Francisco. We look forward to visiting the West Coast for the first time, and thank IN Bay Area for all they are doing to roll out the green carpet for us!

Registration will open soon, but we wanted to give you an inside look into INUSA16!

This year we are excited to bring our participants a high-impact agenda featuring keynote speakers and dignitaries at the PCH innovation hub and afternoon breakout sessions at Google, followed by a happy hour networking reception.

Attendees will also have a chance to tour Irish influenced wineries in Napa Valley and a chance to see San Francisco from the water aboard a harbor cruise.

We’re working hard to make it the best “Global Irishnetworking opportunity of 2016 and we look forward to presenting the best San Francisco has to offer!

Please feel free to share this message with friends and join into the INUSA ’16 conversation by checking out #INUSA16 on Twitter and following IrishNetworkUSA on Facebook here.