Home jpg

Immeasurable value of Irish diaspora to be recognized at Homecoming

Mark Dowds, founder of Trov, is an accomplished endurance runner and cyclist who keeps in touch with his Irish heritage when not investing, innovating and inspiring


By Maria McCourt

The immeasurable value of members of our global diaspora is to be recognized as part of this year’s Belfast International Homecoming, the business and investment conference at which global and local heroes are the beating heart.

The inaugural Belfast Homecoming Ambassador Medal will recognize fifty outstanding individuals who are helping to build a better Belfast, members of our global family as well as the local heroes building international bridges to our diaspora.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

The Homecoming ambassadors will be feted at a gala dinner in the Europa Hotel on Friday 30 November, where their efforts to build a better Belfast will be formally recognized.

These ground-breaking and selfless champions of the city range from tech entrepreneurs and start-up founders to transatlantic bridge builders and business leaders, and include Belfast-born Suzanne Aquino, who has long been a champion of her native city.

A global category manager with Chain IQ, an independent, global service company, Suzanne advises her clients on new ways to create value for their customers in a rapidly changing environment. Suzanne, who now resides with her husband in Manhattan, is an active member of the Irish Business Organization.

She will be joined on the night by Nicholas Malito, Counsel at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, a law practice which focuses on commercial leasing, bankruptcy, litigation, and advising emergent companies.

Chief Executive Officer of the Irish American Partnership, Mary Sugrue is also to be honored, having been with the Irish American Partnership for 27 years, serving as its Executive Director before assuming the role of CEO.

Originally from Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry, and an Irish teacher by training, Mary has furthered the Partnership’s mission through grants to schools, educational programs, and community development initiatives.

The founder of the world’s first on-demand insurance platform, Trov, will also be recognized with an Ambassador Medal for his motivational and inspirational strengths and the level of commitment he brings to the world of tech.

Mark Dowds has earned a reputation for motivating others to get ‘unstuck” and in two decades has helped get dozens of ventures off the ground through his Canadian-based incubators Fresh Initiatives and Creationstep.

Mark is also the chairman of Generation Innovation, a program designed to bring entrepreneurial experiences to high school students throughout the North.

Another of our valued diaspora who “hits the ground running,” is the Vice President of Concept to Consumer at Reebok, John Lynch.

Appointed to this position in December, 2015, John is responsible for Reebok’s Global Business and Marketing Planning, Retail Support, Licensing and Business Development and drives the Reebok brand through all global markets.

These diaspora champions will join others from across the globe and our great city to accept the Belfast Ambassador Award.

To nominate a standout individual for the Belfast Homecoming Ambassador Medal please visit https://belfasthomecoming.com/belfast-ambassador-medal-2018/

Tourism Ireland Banner Ad