By Matthew Skwiat, Editorial Assistant
April / May 2014
Dublin native Brian W. Stack is the managing director of CIE Tours International and president of the Ireland-U.S Council for Commerce and Industry. In both these positions, Brian is at the forefront of promoting closer connections between Ireland and the U.S.
CIE Tours vacation packages have tempted millions of Americans to visit Ireland over the years, while the Council promotes closer business links between Ireland and America and also operates a variety of scholarship and student internship programs.
Brian has led CIE Tours since 1990. After all those years he still retains a passionate devotion to the company and for Ireland and is proud of the company’s part in helping to rebuild the Irish economy. CIE is the single largest purchaser of accommodations in Ireland. In 2013, the company had its most successful year ever. “There’s a lot of comfort in traveling with a company that’s been around for 83 years,” he says.
Born in Dublin, Brian developed a knack for travel at an early age, vacationing with his family all around Europe. He joined Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national airline, in the 1960s working in every aspect from airport and cabin service to reservations. He eventually became a sales manager for Aer Lingus and relocated to England.
“At that time, there was no such thing as career guidance,” he said. “In fact, I actually was going to go to college to be a dentist, but once I started working in the airline business, I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll just continue doing this.’” Brian did continue doing just that, joining the Irish Tourist Board, moving to New York, and later becoming president of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives.
Brian stayed with the Irish Tourist board for ten years, eventually securing a job at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida for six years. Following his time in Florida he began working for CIE and has been with them ever since.
CIE is one of the largest producers of tours in Ireland, taking visitors to places like Kilmainham Jail, Giants Causeway, Belfast, and everywhere in between. Guests can choose guided or self-guided tours, from the Castle Tour to the Circle of Friends Tour, which aims to reconnect parents, grandparents, and their children. The Circle of Friends Tour is one of Brian’s favorites.
“There are a lot of Irish Americans who have done very well and rather than just dying and leaving money to your kids, to have the experience of traveling with them and spending the money while you’re alive, enjoying the company of your family, is really lovely.”
Brian has his hands full directing CIE Tours International, but has also been prolific in other areas. He was chairman of the United States Tour Operators Association, president of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives, and vice chairman of the Irish American Cultural Institute. Stack’s many awards include “Man of the Year” from the Incentive Travel Industry, “International Executive of the Year” by World Congress on Marketing and Incentive Travel, and has previously been honored as one of the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America.
Brian resides in New York with his wife, Anne-Marie. They have two grown children.