Stars Of The South – 2009 – Irish America Irish America Magazine Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 82361074 Katherine Irwin Thomas Fri, 04 May 2012 18:05:32 +0000 Read more..]]> Katherine Irwin Thomas is the founder and chairperson of The Irish Arts Foundation of Atlanta and The Atlanta Irish Music School.

The Irish Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes concerts, ceili dances, and workshops with professional Irish musicians from America and Ireland. The Atlanta Irish Music School offers classes in Irish fiddle, flute, bodhran, whistle, uilleann pipes, and ceili band to children and adults. Both organizations have been successful in promoting Irish culture in the Metro-Atlanta area. Several youth music students and the Atlanta Junior Ceili Band have qualified at The Midwest Fleadh and The Mid Atlantic Fleadh for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore.

Katherine is the orchestra teacher at Riverwood High School in Fulton County, Georgia, and has been featured in Irish Music magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and at Emory University’s Celtic Christmas Concert, among others. She has been a presenter at The American String Teachers Association National Convention, is the author of a multi-volume set of Irish music instructional books, and has written on Irish music techniques for Strings magazine. She holds both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Education degree.

The Irwin family emigrated from Co. Armagh in the early 1700’s to Pennsylvania and soon settled in the part of North Carolina that later became East Tennessee. As a child Katherine studied both classical violin and Celtic music, competing in regional and national Scottish Fiddling Championships. Her late grandfather, Frank Irwin, was a local fiddler and her mother continues to play the bagpipes in the Knoxville Pipes and Drums. In addition to classical music, she studied Scottish fiddling with Burt Murray of Aberdeen, Scotland and traditional Irish fiddle with Brian Conway of New York.

In 1999, moving from her hometown of Maryville, Tennessee to teach in Cobb County, her love of Irish fiddle increased with several trips to Ireland and New York to play, listen and study. In 2005, she received her Teastas i dTeagasc Ceolta Tire (traditional music teaching certificate) from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in Dublin, Ireland. Katherine founded The Irish Arts Foundation of Atlanta and during the same year began the first Irish music classes for children.

Since that time, both organizations have grown, giving rise to a new generation of Irish musicians and traditional music lovers in the South’s largest city.

Katherine lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with her husband Dr. Russell Thomas and daughter Lucy.

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Jack Ryan Fri, 04 May 2012 18:04:30 +0000 Read more..]]> John E. (Jack) Ryan received a phone call from Bill Isaacs early this year, with whom he worked when Bill was Chairman of the FDIC, asking Jack if he would be interested in joining a new private equity venture. Jack was intrigued by this opportunity to provide needed capital to the banking industry and he continues in this venture today.

Jack has enjoyed a long successful career in finance. He began as a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 1963 and in the mid 1970’s he became the senior analyst working with the Director to implement the Board’s “go slow” policy designed to limit future growth and bolster capital of the largest U.S. banks. He went on to became the Director of Supervision for the Federal Reserve Board in 1977.
Later Jack moved to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLB-Boston) where in l988, he became the acting President and CEO. In 1993, Jack was asked by the Undersecretary of the Treasury to serve as the statutory Deputy CEO of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) in Washington, D.C. He served as acting CEO of the RTC until it statutorily ceased to exist on December 31, 1995.

In 1996, Jack returned as Regional Director of the Southeast Region in Atlanta. Since mid-2007 the Southeast has seen the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Beginning in the fall of 2008, Jack oversaw the analysis of the proposals of a large number of Region Thrifts that made application for the TARP funds from the U.S. Treasury. He also has overseen the analysis and recommendation for the TARP funds by insurance companies that have requested the additional capital in connection with acquisition of a troubled thrift.

Born to James Thomas Ryan and Teresa Fogerty Ryan, Jack traces his Irish roots back to Tipperary on his father’s side. His paternal grandfather came over from Ireland and worked as a telegrapher on the railroad before settling on a farm in Illinois. His mother was the daughter of Molly Keating Fogerty, whose husband died and left her on a farm with four daughters, the eldest of which was 13 years. Molly sent for her father Dennis Keating, who came over from Ireland to help with the farm. “Although the reports are mixed on just how helpful he was,” Jack said,  “the one thing that is indisputable is that he certainly livened things up.”

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Michael E. Nolan Fri, 04 May 2012 18:03:49 +0000 Read more..]]> Michael E. Nolan serves as Chairman and President, Fifth District Savings Bank, New Orleans, LA, a federal mutual savings association founded in 1926.

His career in banking began in 1976 when he was elected to Fifth District’s Board of Directors. In 1982 he was elected Vice President and served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel until his election in 1992 as President. In 2002, he was elected Chairman of the Board.

Michael is on the Board of Directors of both American Bankers Association and Louisiana Bankers Association. He serves on the Mutual and Government Affairs Committees for both organizations, and is the Chair of ABA’s Membership Committee. He was most recently a member of America’s Community Bankers’ (now ABA) Board of Directors, and of its Political Action Committee, COMPAC.

In May 2006, Michael testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations concerning the effectiveness of the federal bank regulators. His article on disaster recovery, “Hurricane Katrina: One Bank’s Experience,” was published in the August-September 2006 issue of Bank Accounting & Finance magazine.

He currently serves on the boards of several educational, community and civic organizations, such as the Algiers Economic Development Foundation, Fore!Kids Foundation, the Zurich Golf Classic of New Orleans (producer and former chairman), Our Lady of Holy Cross College (former chairman), Catholic Foundation of New Orleans, and Jesuit High School, New Orleans (former chairman).

He is a native of New Orleans, earned his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University and was admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 1969. He served his country with the U. S. Army’s First Aviation Brigade in Vietnam in 1970-71.

Michael’s many honors include the Presidential Medal, Our Lady of Holy Cross College, St. Louis IX Medal, Archdiocese of New Orleans, St. Elizabeth’s Guild – Volunteer Activist, and Young Leadership Council’s Role Model Award.

He is the great-great-grandson of Matthew and Ann Norris Nolan, who immigrated to America in 1863 from Tullow, County Carlow, Ireland. The Nolans settled on the west bank of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Their son John Peter Nolan became the master mechanic for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Michael is married to Cynthia Finley Nolan. They have three children and six grandchildren.

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Ciaran Morris Fri, 04 May 2012 18:03:00 +0000 Read more..]]> Born in Dublin, Ciaran Morris is a Director of Client Relationship Management in the Atlanta office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He joined PwC in July of this year following a distinguished 20 year career with IDA Ireland, the Irish government’s international economic development agency. Founded in 1969, IDA is one of the longest established and most successful development organizations in the world with an enviable track record of attracting investment to Ireland.  Ciaran joined IDA direct from Dublin City University’s Business School in 1989. In the early part of his career, he marketed Ireland’s International Financial Services Center to U.S. and European corporations. In 1995, he was assigned to IDA’s Los Angeles office where he focused on winning investments from the enterprise software, financial services and Internet-related sectors. In 2003, Ciaran was appointed to IDA’s Atlanta office where he led marketing and relationship-building activities in a nine-state territory comprising many of the Irish government’s most important client companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, UNUM and Elavon. His successful tenure underpinned IDA’s decision last year to establish a new office and expand its presence in Atlanta.
Ciaran remains very active in Atlanta’s Irish community and looks forward to continuing to strengthen the economic ties that bind Ireland and Atlanta. In this regard, he is especially delighted that the Irish government decided to establish a new consular office in Atlanta, its first new U.S.-based consular office since 1933. In his view, the decision is concrete evidence of the faith that the government has in the economic future of the South and the city of Atlanta in particular. He is married to Melanie and they live in Buckhead with their two young daughters Abigail and Emily.

Ciaran is the eldest son of Martin and Sadie Morris, who were born in counties Meath and Wicklow, respectively. He can recall many long and happy summer days on a variety of Irish golf courses with his father and two brothers Ronan and Damien. Based in Cork, his sister Alex Barclay is a bestselling crime novelist, and Ciaran’s older sister Lorraine is the principal of a Dublin-based law practice that specializes in derivatives.

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Maeve McPhail Fri, 04 May 2012 18:02:20 +0000 Read more..]]> For the past six years, Maeve McPhail, a native of Drogheda, County Louth, has worked as the southeast region district sales manager for JCB North America, the third largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, she is responsible for seven dealerships, from North Carolina to southern Georgia, assisting in driving JCB sales and market share.

“I am proud to say I am the first woman to have this position in JCB North America,” Maeve, a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey, says. Prior to joining JCB, she was the New York sales manager for Guinness UDV.

She’s also proud to boast of her Irishness: her mother’s family came from County Offaly and her father’s from County Fermanagh. “Being Irish is an integral part of who I am,” Maeve says. “I believe my sense of humor, drive to succeed and zest for living can be attributed to my Irish heritage. Although I call Savannah my home, I will always have a soft place in my heart for my first home, Ireland!”

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Mike McGuire Fri, 04 May 2012 18:01:30 +0000 Read more..]]> When Mike McGuire was 10 years old, his family moved to a small town in northwest Ohio where they owned and operated a family-owned grocery store. It was in that store, working under the watchful eye of his parents, where work ethic and small town values were instilled. Mike says that everything he needed to know in life was learned there. He learned compassion from observing his parents in their day-to-day dealings with customers, some of whom had fallen on hard times, providing free groceries and forgiving amounts owed. He also learned the importance of giving back to the community, which he has carried on through his life.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University, Mike began his career in Charlotte. He was serving as the Carolinas’ audit division head when the firm collapsed in 2002, leaving 250 employees in the Carolinas unemployed. Mike, along with his partners, led the Carolinas team to Grant Thornton, a global six accounting firm, where all employees were hired to build a Grant Thornton presence in the Carolinas. Today, seven years later, Grant Thornton is one of the largest accounting firms in the Carolinas, and the Carolinas practice is one of the top performing practices in the firm. Mike is currently the Carolinas’ managing partner for Grant Thornton, and was elected to serve on the firm’s Partnership Board in 2008.
Mike continues his active community involvement and was selected for Bowling Green State University’s Accomplished Graduate Award for the College of Business Administration in 2004, as well as the university’s 2007 Alumni Community Award. He serves on numerous boards, including the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Bowling Green State University Foundation Board, The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and Charlotte City Club. He was recently named as one of “The 50 Most Powerful People in Town” by Charlotte Magazine, which said, “McGuire is ambitious and talented, and he is well networked through serving in leadership positions on a number of different boards. He is high on the list of people you want on your side if you’re trying to get something big done.”

Mike and his wife Melissa live in Charlotte, where Melissa is a founder and director for Sherpa, LLC, a financial recruiting firm that she formed in 2001.

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Monsignor Edward J. Dillon Fri, 04 May 2012 18:00:50 +0000 Read more..]]> Applying his passion for law and education and his undeniably strong faith, Monsignor Edward J. Dillon has worked to revitalize church law, educate countless students and shepherd a diverse parish of over 2,000 families. He has served at Holy Spirit parish in Atlanta, Georgia since his appointment in 1987, becoming its full-time pastor in 1997.

Since Edward was first ordained a priest in 1967 in his hometown of Carlow, Ireland, his service to the Archdiocese of Atlanta has been invaluable. After nearly two decades working in various offices in the Archdiocese, he served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Atlanta (1988-1997), and as Administrator of the Archdiocese following the death of Archbishop Lyke until the appointment of Archbishop Donoghue.
Edward has been actively involved in canon law, reflected by his membership in the Canon Law Society of America. The Society is active in the promotion of canonical and pastoral approaches to significant issues within the Roman Catholic Church and has been involved in the United States with the revitalization of church law. He has served in various capacities in the Society since he joined in 1968, including president. Nationally recognized for his expertise in canon law, Edward was a consultant for the Canonical Affairs Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (1974–1977).

A graduate of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Edward has published writings on his academic degree dissertations and edited a book on jurisprudence for the Canon Law Society of America. His articles on procedural law, marriage jurisprudence and Church administration have appeared in The Jurist, the Proceedings of the Canon Law Society of America and the Proceedings of the National Conference of Diocesan Attorneys.

Never forgetting his Hibernian roots, Edward has also been a staple in the Irish community in Atlanta.  He has been a developer and promoter of the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation (currently called the Shamrock Society), a group of Irish-American leaders in Atlanta who support Irish-related charities and charitable organizations. Also reflecting his passion for law, Edward is the co-founder, developer and promoter for the past 12 years of The Gold Shield Foundation, which raises money for the families of police officers and firefighters killed or injured in the line of duty. He is also Chaplain of the Metropolitan Atlanta Police Emerald Society (MAPES), a society composed of policemen who trace their roots back to the Emerald Isle.

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Dr. James W. Curran Fri, 04 May 2012 17:59:50 +0000 Read more..]]> James W. Curran, M.D., MPH, has made contributions to the medical world not only as an author and teacher but as a highly respected research director. Since 1995, he has served as Dean and Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. He also holds joint appointments in the Emory School of Medicine, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His leadership has been invaluable to the medical community particularly in the areas of public health and research.

The author of more than 250 articles for scientific publications, James is on the Executive Committee of the Association of Schools of Public Health and is Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Council of the National Institutes of Health. He also serves on numerous non-profit boards and committees locally, nationally and internationally.

He is principal investigator and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, funded by the National Institutes of Health. James came to Emory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he served for over two decades, most recently in leadership of that agency’s HIV research and prevention activities.

Included in James’s numerous honors and awards is his election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993 of which he currently serves as Chair of the Board of Population Health and Public Health Practice.

James and his wife, Juanita, have two adult children and have lived in Atlanta since 1978.

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Trish Crowe Fri, 04 May 2012 17:58:57 +0000 Read more..]]> Trish Crowe found her calling in environmental conservation when the stunning landscapes near  her farm in Charlottesville, Virginia inspired her to invite artists to her and husband David’s home to create artwork based on the environment. “The quality of light reflected off the mountains was intense and brilliant.  I knew that artists would respond. I turned the old milking parlor into a studio and began inviting artists to join me on Thursdays,” she said. This small group has become the Firnew Farm Artist Circle.

Soon Trish, who is a graphic designer and illustrator, was involved with Blue Ridge Conservancy which focuses on voluntary land protection in central Virginia. “It seemed such an obvious and easy decision to create an exhibition of [works that described] these lands under conservation easement, using the talents of local artists,” said Trish, who is now president of the Conservancy.

With photographer Larry Behunek she created an exhibition which spent a year traveling to local venues. The group of artists dedicated to this work has grown tremendously since and with Trish’s guidance has opened several installations.

“Last spring when we opened our finally restored farm house for the Dolley Madison Garden Tour, we held a Native Virginia Plant exhibition in the studio showcasing botanical artist Lara Call Gastinger, the chief illustrator for the Flora of Virginia Project.  With 1,200 visitors our art shows had outgrown our milking parlor,” Trish said.

Upcoming plans include a Christmas Show that will involve  local school children, the proceeds of which will go to Madison’s Emergency Services Association.  “It seems such a perfect combination of art, community and the land that embraces us,” said Trish.

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