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Finnegan named as IBO's Sean McNeill Award winner

Paul Finnegan.

By Irish Echo Staff

The Irish Business Organization in New York has named Paul Finnegan as the winner of the 2020 Sean McNeill Award.

Finnegan is a longtime leader in service to New York’s Irish community and was revealed as the winner at the Irish Business Organization of New York virtual Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 16.

The award celebrates individuals who exemplify the values of three-term IBO president Sean McNeill, his extraordinary generosity, his commitment to community, and his support of the IBO 'Network, Communicate, Reciprocate' ethos," said an IBO release.

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“Sean McNeill was a tireless supporter of New York’s Irish community through his leadership of the Irish Business Organization of New York and well beyond. We are so pleased to honor Sean’s good friend Paul Finnegan with this year’s McNeill Award, in thanks for his exemplary community service,” IBO president, John Lee, said.

Added the release: "From 2009 until recently, Finnegan led the Queens-based New York Irish Center as its executive director. Guided by his motto 'Community, Culture, Care' and working with the NYIC board he led the improvement of the organization’s infrastructure, developed increasingly progressive programs for the LGBTQ community and mixed-race Irish, forged a strategic partnership with the mental health services provider Solace House, and played a leadership role with NYIC in the collaboration with four other New York Irish organizations, ultimately delivering a half-million dollars in community donations to those in financial need after the Covid-19 economic shutdown."

Said Finnegan: “I am extremely honored to be the recipient of the 2020 Sean McNeill Award. I owe much to the many people who helped me over the years, especially Sean himself, who was a great supporter of my work and my friend. I continue to miss him dearly.

"Congratulations to the Irish Business Organization for their great work throughout this tough year and I look forward to my greater involvement in the IBO in 2021.'

Finnegan will join the 2021 IBO Executive Board as its first vice president in January.

The Galway City native’s commitment to his community continues with the recent launch of his new podcast CenterPieceNY, an exploration into the stories of long-standing members of New York’s Irish diaspora, the IBO release added.

Founded in 1973, the Irish Business Organization of New York works to promote, foster and advance the business interests of Irish and Irish Americans in the tri-state area and beyond through its networking events, speakers’ program, online communication, and community engagement.