Fresh from his triumphant business mission to the North of Ireland in October, Special Economic Envoy Joseph Kennedy III is to headline the annual Golden Bridges conference luncheon in Boston next week.
During a whirlwind visit to the North, which took in not just Belfast but also Newry and Derry, President Biden's point man on the peace process was given a rapturous welcome by community and business leaders. Among the high-powered delegation accompanying the former Congressman were John Murphy, CEO of Coca-Cola, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Liberty, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and CaLPERS CEO Marcie Frost.
Great to connect at #GoldenBridges & talk tourism development & new opportunities in #Donegal & Northwest with Brendan McBride,Croithli whiskey distillery & Anne Marie Conlon Head of Economic Development @donegalcouncil @crolly180 @aislingevents pic.twitter.com/w2dQohNxzE— Alison Metcalfe (@metcalfealison1) November 18, 2022
While bringing the promise of increased investment from the U.S., the Special Economic Envoy stressed the need for politicians in Northern Ireland to reconvene political institutions collapsed by the DUP.
"If you are talking about making investments in the billions of dollars you need to have that political stability," he said. "We hope that we come to a point quickly that we can get that political stability, it's been a message we have heard a number of times from members of our delegation."
At Golden Bridges on Friday 17 November in the Seaport Hotel in Boston, the Special Envoy will get to report back on this groundbreaking visit and meet leaders from Northwest Ireland who have been using the annual conference as a springboard for transatlantic partnerships since its inception in 2008.
Among guests flying in from Ireland will be the Mayor of Donegal Martin Hanley, Atlantic Technological University Chair Maura McNally and Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, Director of Regional Development with the Irish language economic agency Údarás na Gaeltachta.
I felt closer than ever to our Irish American cousins in Boston this a.m. at our weekly meeting of Honorary Chairs of #GoldenBridges conference (on 17 Nov) and in truth I was as the time difference between Ireland and Eastern USA is just 4 hours this week, back up to 5 next week. pic.twitter.com/I5w5gpWr0M— Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (@newbelfast) October 31, 2023
Taking place in a conference-luncheon format, Golden Bridges is backed by both Invest Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland as well as the Northern Ireland Bureau. Featuring panels, presentations and and a keynote by Joseph Kennedy III, the event is supported by a strong cohort of Honorary Chairs including Martina Curtin, President of the Irish Cultural Center of Greater Boston, lawyer and government affairs specialist Eugene O'Flaherty, New England Revolution comms chief Cathal Conlan, UMass Amherst lecturer Kathyn Ellis, Jones Day partner Maureen Bennett and Irish American Partnership CEO Mary Sugrue.
The full Golden Bridges programme is available online where tickets can also be purchased.
Connla McCann, conference co-founder, says the Boston gathering plays a key role in forging partnerships between Northwest Ireland and New England. "Friendships and alliances built through this conference have proved enduring and mutually beneficial," she said. "We're particularly pleased to have the support of the Consulate General of Ireland in hosting an awards presentation the evening before the luncheon and are thrilled to have the Number One University globally for entrepreneurship, Babson College, strongly represented."