Jim Clerkin Receives Spirit of the Diaspora Award in Northern Ireland
By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
December / January 2017
Jim Clerkin, an Irish America Business 100 keynote speaker and one of Northern Ireland’s most successful overseas businessmen, was honored with a special diaspora award by Northern Irish Connections ahead of the Belfast International Homecoming conference in October.
Rostrevor-born Clerkin (right), president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America, was presented with the award at Stormont in recognition of his ongoing commitment to helping promote Northern Irish business and cultural links around the world.
Now based in New York, Clerkin began his career in the drinks industry with Guinness. He was one of the first supporters of Northern Irish Connections, the non-profit organization, which helps facilitate business, tourism and cultural opportunities by connecting people at home with a network of people overseas who have links to Northern Ireland.
“I hope that the award will inspire others to get involved in helping Northern Ireland live up to its potential, whether they are living at home or abroad. It is now essential that the diaspora plays a role in informing Northern Ireland’s future ambitions,” Clerkin said.
Praising Clerkin’s “proven track record over many years of supporting the peace and our political, social and economic progress,” Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said. “Through his personal dedication and determination promoting business opportunities and investment in the north of Ireland many lives have been improved. Jim has been a real champion of reconciliation who never forgot his roots.” ♦