Stars Of The South – 2011 – Irish America Irish America Magazine Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 82361074 William J. Todd Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:34:06 +0000 Read more..]]> William J. Todd has been President and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition since 2003. A strategic public-private initiative to move Georgia to the leading ranks of cancer care in the nation, the Coalition has invested more than $300 million supporting research and prevention efforts to reduce cancer deaths.

Todd’s 39-year career has focused on healthcare and technology management in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the founding president of the Georgia Research Alliance in 1990, nurturing the independent not-for-profit organization that has helped build Georgia’s reputation as a center for discovery and invention and fostered major advances in science, medicine and technology. He founded Encina Technology Ventures in 2000. His career began at Emory University hospitals, clinics, and the medical school, where he held a variety of administrative posts over two decades, ultimately serving as Assistant Vice President for Medical Administration at the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

A 1971 graduate of the College of Management at Georgia Institute of Technology, Todd attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. In 2000, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. In 2010 he was awarded the Ivan Allen, Jr. Prize for Progress and Service by Georgia Tech.

Todd is past Board Chairman of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association and a Board member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the American Cancer Society, the Georgia Tech Foundation, and Georgia Tech Ireland. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and a member of the Commerce Club, and Druid Hills and East Lake Golf Clubs. A fourth generation Atlantan, he has been named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Georgia” by Georgia Trend for seven years.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two sons, both Georgia Tech graduates. Hayes is senior project engineer with Holder Construction Company, and David is a supply chain engineer with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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John F. Timoney Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:32:41 +0000 Read more..]]> John Timoney, the Dublin man who became one of America’s top cops, retired as Miami’s chief of police in 2010 having served in that position since 2003. Prior to that he had served as Commissioner of the Philadelphia police department. However, the majority of John F. Timoney’s 29-year career was spent in New York City, where he rose through the ranks to become the youngest four-star chief in the history of that department.

Timoney, born in 1948, emigrated in 1961 with his parents, younger brother Ciaran and sister Maria. His father passed away in 1966 and a year later, when John graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School, his mother and sister returned to Ireland leaving the two brothers in New York to support themselves. John passed the entrance exam for the police department. While working as a patrol officer in the 44th district he put himself through college earning a master’s degree from Fordham. In 1994, he was named Chief of the Department, the youngest officer to hold the title. The following year he was appointed First Deputy Commissioner, the second highest rank in the New York City Police Department.

Timoney is President of the Police Executive Research Forum and serves on the boards of the Penn Institute for Urban Research and Philadelphia University. He is also Co-Chairman of the FBI’s South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In 2010, Timoney authored a book, Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities. He was also chosen as a Harvard Fellow at the Kennedy School for the fall semester of 2010.

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J.J. Sheridan Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:30:32 +0000 Read more..]]> Long a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, J.J. Sheridan has made it his life’s mission to bring the soul of Irish music to the public through his concert appearances and recordings. Sheridan, one of Ireland’s leading concert pianists, composers and arrangers, founded Trigon Recordings in 1988 for the purpose of recording the major Irish music collections of primarily: Turlough O’Carolan, Edward Bunting, George Petrie and Patrick Weston Joyce. His eight-disc set, The Complete Works Of Turlough O’Carolan, was released in 2007 to great critical acclaim. This was the first and still the only complete edition of all 214 pieces by the great eighteenth-century Irish harper known as “the last of the bards.”

In the fall of 2011, Sheridan’s set of Edward Bunting’s 1840 complete collection of Irish music will be released. Bunting, the major nineteenth-century collector of Irish music, was a trained concert pianist and organist and believed that the great Irish airs, originally played on the harp, transferred beautifully to the piano. Bunting may have captured the sound of the disappearing harper, but Sheridan’s recording makes the work of Bunting available for modern audiences for the first time.

Sheridan, who was born in Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois, received high praise for his 2006 album, Soul of the Irish Piano, a 22-track collection of Ireland’s greatest slow airs. He is a graduate of The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin where he studied piano with the late John O’Sullivan and composition with A.J. Potter (himself a student of the great Ralph Vaughn Williams).

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Sharon Ryan Rodi Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:27:32 +0000 Read more..]]> Sharon Ryan Rodi has strong Irish roots from both her mother’s (Conway) and father’s (Ryan) families. Pride in their Irish heritage and commitment to their Catholic faith were paramount in her family while growing up and continue to be so in her own family. She was raised in New Orleans although she spent summers in other cities while her father, Connie Ryan, was a major league baseball player, coach and scout. She has visited her Ryan family’s hometown of Knigh, near Nenagh in Tipperary, and viewed the baptismal records of her great-great-grandfather and his siblings.

Sharon retired three years ago from the practice of law at Adams & Reese, a large defense firm with offices in nine cities. She took a circuitous path to her law career. Upon graduating from college in 1964 and marrying Mark Rodi, she taught at a secretarial training school for disadvantaged women to help them enter the business world and support themselves and their families. This was at the height of desegration in New Orleans and an all-white staff with an integrated student body was not the most welcomed school in the city. However, the school was a tremendous success and for eight years provided education and opportunities to women transforming their lives.

In 1973 came the Roe v Wade decision. Sharon, now the mother of two young daughters, volunteered at the archdiocesan’s prolife pregnancy center to counsel women with unwanted pregnancies to choose life over abortion. She became president of the center and remains on their board today. She has served as president of Louisiana Right to Life, continues on that board, and is the Louisiana delegate to National Right to Life.

1976 saw the end of the Vietnam War, and thousands of Indochinese refugees arrived in New Orleans. Sharon became director of Catholic Charities Refugee Social Services program, the most comprehensive refugee social services program in the country.

Ten years later, in 1986, Sharon enrolled in Loyola Law School’s night program and after graduation she joined Adams & Reese where she practiced for 17 years. She maintained her community involvement doing volunteer work and in retirement she continues daily involvement with prolife activities, serves on numerous community boards, plays a little golf with her husband, and enjoys every minute she spends with her six precious grandchildren, her daughters, and their husbands.

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Ed Moran Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:25:05 +0000 Read more..]]> Ed Moran’s keen interest in his Irish heritage has led to ongoing involvement and service with Atlanta’s Irish organizations. Known as a “go-to” person for all things Irish in Atlanta, Ed has spent the last 30 years in the printing and marketing industries. For the last 20 years he has been self-employed with typesetting, printing and web design.

Ed is currently the President of the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta, Atlanta’s oldest civic organization, established in 1858. He is also active in supporting many other Irish groups, including the Metro Atlanta Police Emerald Society, Firefighters Emerald Society of Metro Atlanta, Clan Na nGael, Irish Music Traditions, Irish Arts Foundation and others. Ed also serves on the board of the Gold Shield Foundation, which supports first responders and their families.

For over ten years, Ed served as the Chairman of Atlanta’s St. Patrick’s Parade, Inc., helping build the 154-year-old parade into one of Atlanta’s largest community-wide events.

Ed grew up in Bradenton, Florida. His paternal Irish ancestry traces back to Gabriel Moran, who was transplanted from Co. Offaly to Co. Clare in 1654 by the Cromwellian Acts. Gabriel’s great-grandson, also Gabriel Moran, came to the Maryland colony in 1710 at the age of 18. His descendants fought in the American Revolution and were landowners in what became Milledgeville, Georgia. Ed’s mother, Mary Bodiford Sheppard, was a granddaughter of Roderick Kilpatrick Shaw of Quincy, Florida, who was a descendant of Gospero Sweet and Anne Munnerlyn, an ancestor of Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell of Gone With the Wind fame.

Ed’s daughter, Susan Kathleen, works with autistic children in the Gwinnett school system. After ten-plus years as a competitive Irish dancer, she also teaches dance, sings with Irish music groups, and plays Celtic harp.

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Kieran McGill Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:24:07 +0000 Read more..]]> Kieran McGill is the President and CEO of Fadó Pubs Inc., a group of authentic Irish pubs headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Kieran and his partner founded the company in 1996, having identified a market for a truly authentic Irish pub experience in the U.S. The company’s pub interiors are designed and constructed in Ireland, and are installed in the U.S. by Irish craftsmen. The first Fadó opened in Atlanta in 1996 and quickly became known for offering the best of Irish beer, food, design and, especially, Irish hospitality.

Kieran was born in Ireland and moved to the U.S. with his family in 1999 to run the business. A Chartered Accountant by profession, prior to Fadó Kieran was CEO of the managing consulting practice of a mid-market accounting firm in Dublin. In many ways, Fadó was a return to his roots, as Kieran’s father owned a small pub in the center of Dublin.

Fadó Pubs Inc. has two Irish pub brands, Fadó (Gaelic for “long ago”) and Tigín (meaning “small house” or “cottage”), and has fourteen locations in thirteen states across the country. The pubs have become focal points and social centers for the Irish and local communities in each of these areas. Fadó has been named a “Top Irish Pub in the U.S.” by USA Today, Sky magazine, MSNBC, City Search, and many local publications.

Early on, Fadó started a partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that funds children’s cancer treatments. In 2011, Fadó was St. Baldrick’s #1 corporate partner, hosting events nationally during the St. Patrick’s Day season that raised nearly $800,000. Kieran has been a member of a number of not-for-profit and industry boards and committees in the U.S. and in Ireland. A keen golfer, he lives with his wife, Louise, and children Laura and Stephen in the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta.

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Nancy Logue Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:19:51 +0000 Read more..]]> Nancy Logue is a native Atlantan and an avid supporter of Irish dance and Irish music. For the past ten years, she has been helping to promote Irish culture by organizing festivals of Irish music and dance.

Even though Nancy’s children descend from Donegal, Ireland, on their father’s side, Nancy herself is of Scots-Irish descent. Her grandmother, Ossie Imogene Caudell, is a direct descendant of the Caudells that came from Scotland and migrated to the province of Ulster in Northern Ireland. In the 1800’s the Caudells came to North America and settled in North Carolina, then traveled down through the Blue Ridge mountains and eventually settled in North Georgia.

Nancy has served as President of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade for the past four years and served on the committee for four previous parades. Nancy also was Vice President of the Atlanta St. Patrtick’s Foundation and is a member of the Hibernian Benevolent Society and the Shamrock Society.

She was Chairman of Feis ATL for five years (one of the largest feiseanna – Irish Dance competitions – in the Southeast) and member of the North American Feis Commission which is a member of An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha in Ireland.

All of her children (Ashlee, Ryan and Katie) have taken Irish dance lessons. One continued in competition and competed in the Regional Championships, National Championships and World Championships in Belfast, County Clare, Glasgow, and Philadelphia. This allowed her family to get in touch with their Irish roots and they continue to enjoy the journey.

Nancy resides in Roswell, Georgia and continues to organize events with associations and groups. She is also Staffing Consultant for a staffing company in Roswell.

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Michael J. Kelley Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:14:41 +0000 Read more..]]> Michael J. Kelly is president and CEO of The Weather Channel Companies, the world’s largest weather-focused media and technology company, reaching over 160 million viewers. With nearly 30 years of experience in the media industry, Kelly most recently served as senior advisor to Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a $3 billion, media-focused private equity firm. He also served on the board of several fast-growing digital media companies – MediaMind (formerly Eyeblaster), Visible World and American Town Network – and as an advisor to the board of Contextweb.

Previously, Kelly was president of AOL Media Networks from 2004-2007, where he was responsible for all of AOL’s advertising properties globally. Under his leadership, AOL was repositioned in the media and advertising marketplace and experienced significant advertising revenue growth.

A Chicago native, whose great-uncle was the first Irish mayor of the city, Kelly is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He began his media career in 1980 at the Chicago Tribune. In 1983 he began a 17-year run at Time Inc., first at Fortune magazine then as part of the launch team of Entertainment Weekly, eventually becoming EW’s publisher. Kelly was named Publisher of the Year twice during the four years he served in that role.

Kelly currently serves as a board member of the Ad Council, The American Advertising Federation and is the Chairman of the AAF’s Advertising Hall Of Fame.

A proud Irish American with roots in Mayo and Galway, Kelly has five sisters, one of whom is author and filmmaker Mary Pat Kelly.

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Brian P. Kelley Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:13:32 +0000 Read more..]]> Brian Kelley was the third born of seven children (six boys and one girl) to an Irish Catholic family on the west side of Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Tom, is the second generation of his family in the US, since his grandfather, Eugene, emigrated from County Cork in the mid-1880s. In fact, all four of his grandparents came from County Cork. Brian’s mother, Janis, is second generation Irish/German.

Brian graduated from Archbishop Elder High School in Cincinnati before heading to Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA on a football scholarship, where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He was elected captain of the Holy Cross football team his senior year and was awarded the Judge John P. Cooney Memorial Award as scholar/athlete upon graduation.

His business career has spanned 28 years, with experience at Procter & Gamble, GE, the Ford Motor Company (where he was the President of the $14 billion Lincoln Mercury business), and 5 years as the President and CEO of SIRVA (a $4 billion global relocation company which Brian took public in 2003). Brian is now in his 5th year at Coca-Cola, after joining the company in 2007 as President of its $6 billion non-carbonated beverages business in North America.

Brian was selected in 2010 to lead the integration of the company’s $13 billion acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises and the formation of Coca-Cola Refreshments. He is currently the Chief Product Supply Officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments, where he leads the operations for the company here in North America and oversees nearly 35,000 Coca-Cola associates.

Brian has served on a number of boards, including Hertz, Mazda, SIRVA, VWR and the Internet Capital Group. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Erin and Gwen. Erin is a 2011 Wake Forest University graduate who will be joining the McKinsey Consulting Group in August. Gwen will be a junior this fall at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

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Geraldine Higgins Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:11:47 +0000 Read more..]]> A native of Ballymena in County Antrim, Geraldine Higgins joined Emory University’s English faculty in 1996. Her courses on Irish literature focusing on the themes of creativity and conflict have attracted students from across the college and converted many to Irish Studies.

Higgins has published widely on Yeats and the Irish Literary Revival , and on Ireland’s renowned living playwright, Brian Friel. Most recently she contributed an essay to Southern Cultures on “Tara, the O’Haras and the Irish Gone With the Wind.”

Higgins earned a first-class Honors degree in English and history at Trinity College, Dublin and went on to receive her doctorate in English from Trinity College, Oxford. While a graduate student at Oxford, she taught for several years with Emory’s summer British Studies program and began to foster links with Atlanta.

Formalizing Irish studies at Emory was a project years in the making. In 2003, Seamus Heaney decided to place his correspondence archive at Emory. Heaney’s archive joined what he called a “dormitory” of Irish writers including W.B. Yeats and more than a dozen contemporary Irish poets. In the glow of this atmosphere, Higgins and the Irish Studies team made a presentation to the college, lobbying for the addition of Irish Studies to the curriculum. They were successful, and Higgins was named the program’s first director in 2004.
Since then, she and her colleagues have organized numerous conferences, poetry readings, lectures and cultural events culminating in the 2007 visit of President Mary McAleese to Emory.

In May, Higgins, who grew up Catholic in Ballymena, traveled with a group of Emory students on a “Journeys of Reconciliation” program that coincided with the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama.  With her students, she met with politicians, religious leaders and former prisoners in an effort to understand the causes of the Irish conflict and its successful resolution.

Higgins and her husband, Robert, have two children, Liadan, 9, and Conor, 6, who consider themselves both “Irish” and “American-Irish.”


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