I hope this note finds you in good health, adhering to the difficult, but necessary protocols that have been established to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Though we are certainly not marking today the way we expected to, and indeed many of the celebrations that we not only look forward to have been cancelled, it is still St. Patrick’s Day.
Taking a step back from the onslaught of media reports of testing, social distancing, incubation periods, and all the other phrases that now roll off our tongues way too easily, I am reminded that for us, celebrating our Irishness is something we do 365 days a year.
Whether it’s gathering together for a networking event, welcoming an author to a book signing, assisting a delegation of Irish business leaders visiting the US to plant new roots, supporting a J1 student in their effort to get the most of their time in the US, enjoying the performance of a great Irish playwright or musician, or any of the dozens of other activities our chapters, and other like-minded organizations engage in regularly, strengthening Ireland’s bonds with the Global Irish is happening every day.
The phrase Ni neart go cur le cheile comes to mind during these challenging days, and indeed we can be confident that not only are better days ahead, but that we will get to those days together.
I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that when the day finally comes when COVID-19 is no longer the top news story, our bonds to Ireland will still exist, and with the continued support and commitment of each of you, be stronger than ever.
Better days are coming soon, and, if we want something to really look forward to, I am proud to offer a reminder that our 8th annual national conference will be held this year in Cleveland, and start on September 17. It takes only a quick look at the calendar to note that the day we will convene together again also marks the halfway point to St. Patricks’s Day.
The agenda for INUSA ‘17 in Chicago is beginning to take shape. This year’s conference will take place from September 14th to 17th at the historic Drake Hotel. We’re looking forward to a program packed with engaging speakers, high impact networking, workshops, and social events. But don’t just take it from us. Here’s what Taoiseach Enda Kenny had to say about iNUSA ’17:
“Irish Network USA’s inclusive and diverse approach to membership and chapter building has been an important part of Government’s efforts to engage our Global Irish community,” stated Taoiseach Enda Kenny. “I wish them the best for continued success and am confident that their 5th Annual Conference will yield more great results and lead to increased opportunities for investment in Ireland.”
Padraig Power, Commercial and Marketing Director for the Irish Rugby Football Union, joined INUSA to provide an insider’s look at the state of Irish Rugby, Ireland’s upcoming summer tour to the US and Japan, and Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. If you didn’t catch it the first time around, you can listen to the whole conversation exclusively on KonnectAgain. To listen to the conversation, get other exclusive content, and member-to-member networking opportunities, sign up for your invitation today: http://chicago.irishnetwork-usa.org/konnect-again-sign-up
Irish organizations from across the globe will gather from May 4th-5th at the Global Irish Civic Forum, in Dublin. The Forum offers these organizations a platform to discuss their efforts to engage the Diaspora. Over 220 individuals from 150 organizations globally will be in attendance this year. For our part, over half a dozen Irish Network USA chapters will be represented at the Forum.
We are proud to have grown to become a significant part of the conversation around engaging the Diaspora in the United States and are looking forward to having a strong presence at the Forum. You can follow along on Twitter and Facebook.
Strengthening the Digital Connection Between the Global Irish
As you may have heard, we are working hard to implement KonnectAgain, a new platform that will allow Irish Network members to interact, connect, and network more effectively online. KonnectAgain is an Irish startup that provides technology for companies and organizations to develop their own internal social network. During the Forum our delegation will be meeting with KonnectAgain to discuss our partnership. We are in the early stages of implementation, but are pleased to announce that we are opening a waiting list for access to the platform. If you are interested in becoming an early adopter, please click here.
The 2017 INUSA National Conference
We are also excited to announce that this year’s Irish Network USA National Conference will be held in Chicago. We’re looking forward to building on the successes of our past conferences in the Windy City. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more details. Stay tuned!
As always, the success of Irish Network USA depends on the hard work and dedication of our members and officers. Thank you for helping to be a part of something big!
On St. Patrick’s Day, communities across the globe come together to celebrate Irish culture. Whether it’s watching a parade, enjoying Irish music or dance, raising a pint or enjoying real Irish cooking, today is a day everyone truly can be Irish! To all Irish, Irish American and ‘friends’ of Ireland, we wish you a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Stay tuned for news on our 2016 Conference and a new initiative to help us learn more about and better serve Irish, Irish Americans and ‘friends’ of Ireland across the United States.