2010 40 Under 40 – R-Z
Biography: James Reid was born in Belfast, Ireland where he lived for a few years before his family moved to Fintona, Co. Tyrone. James is the second eldest of four children born to Seamus and Angela Reid. He joined Fintona Pearses Gaelic football club at young age while attending local schools continuing his education at the local college and training center in Omagh where he earned his City and Guilds craft certificate and advanced craft certificate in carpentry and joinery. James began his career as a carpenter and moved to London where he soon became an independent contractor. While leaving in London, James worked on projects including Barclay’s de Zote Web. Soon after, James moved to Barcelona, Spain and worked on the Hotel Olympia in preparation for the 1992 Olympics. James’ next stop was New York, before eventually arriving in San Francisco, California. He became a licensed contractor in California and started his sucessful construction company, Tycon Builders Inc. Despite all the moves, James has stayed consistent with his training in Martial Arts for over twenty two years and recently received the rank of Master Black Belt in the art of Tang Soo Do. He is excited about his newest venture the opening of Health & Wellness Arts Center to teach martial arts, yoga and chi kung. James’ connection to Ireland has remained important to him throughout all his travels. Upon settling in San Francisco, he quickly became involved in local Irish organizations, including the Ulster Gaelic Club, Pearse and Connelly Fife and Drum Band and Irish Northern Aid. James is currently on the Board of Directors of the United Irish Societies, which organizes many Irish events throughout the year such as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival. James is passionate about the reunification of Ireland and the end to partition. Most recently he has helped to organize the Campaign for a United Ireland. Their goal is to promote and educate Irish America and gain popular support for a united Ireland at both the local and state levels across the country. Many of Irish American organizations have already become actively involved. At present, their have been a number of resolutions adopted supporting a United Ireland including one by the California Democratic Party.
Biography: Gina Reilly is a Business Studies graduate from Trinity College Dublin. Gina has worked for 7 years in financial services, initially in the accounting practices of KPMG, where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant, and PricewaterhouseCoopers and more recently with the Australian investment bank, Macquarie. Gina is based in the New York office of Macquarie and works on the Finance team for the Macquarie Infrastructure Funds and the newly launched renewable energy fund initiatives. Gina is Vice Chairperson of the Irish Network NYC (IN NYC), and has been a member of the committee for 3 years. During this time she successfully organised a number of high profile events and has recently undertaken the challenge to expand the Irish Network across the United States and form IN USA. Gina has obtained many significant personal goals over the last number of years including running the New York City Marathon and four half marathons and completing the climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the worlds tallest free standing mountain.
Biography: Melissa is 5th generation Irish. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, a Minor in Nonprofit Management and a National Certification in Nonprofit Leadership. She began her career in 2002 and currently still serves as the Director of Volunteer Services for Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. She helps to direct people’s passion for ending family violence into action at her organization. She is in her second term as President of the San Antonio Volunteer Administrators, and a proud Board Member of the Harp & Shamrock Irish Society of Texas.
Biography: Robert Tierney is currently employed by the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, a non-profit that promotes mutual understanding of the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Northern Ireland and economic development throughout all Ireland. As Director of Training he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Wider Horizons, J-1 Summer Work Travel Program and other IIP Programming. Previously, Rob was employed by the Tallaght Partnership, a community-based organization in Dublin, where he supervised training programs, helping disadvantaged young adults from Tallaght and Belfast. Throughout his career, Rob has been instrumental in helping hundreds of young people from Ireland, develop the tools necessary to kick-start their lives, realize their full potential and improve their chances of being successful. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sean McBride Division 32 in Carnegie, PA and is currently the Chairman of the Pittsburgh Celtics Gaelic Football Club.
Biography: Lucy Wainwright Roche was born in New York, NY into a family of musicians. She rebelled against her family by going to college and becoming an elementary school teacher in NYC. In late 2007 she began writing songs and eventually left her teaching post and began playing music. She is currently living in Brooklyn and touring around the USA and abroad.
Biography: Amanda Wetzel grew up in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Amanda is sponsored by the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LL.P. to work as a litigation associate at the Open Society Justice Initiative. Amanda holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and a Maîtrise in French law and Master 2 in international commercial law from Université Paris I-Panthéon, Sorbonne. In 2002-2003, Amanda was a George J. Mitchell Scholar at the Queen’s University of Belfast School of Law, where she earned a LL.M. in Human Rights Law and volunteered on the Bill of Rights Project at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
Biography: Erin Young is the Political Director of Workers United, Philadelphia Joint Board. She is responsible for making sure that the union’s nearly 9,000 members are heard effectivley at the Ballot box. In her position as Poltical Director, Erin is also responsible goverment relations on the local, state and federal level for the union. Erin has stayed true to her Irish roots, traced back to County Cork, by being a founding member of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and serving as an aide to the Deputy Grand Marshall of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee in 2003. Born in New Jersey, Erin is the daughter of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s First Female Secretary-Treasurer, Laurel Brennan. Erin resides in Flourtown, Pennsylvania and is the proud mother of six year old Jack Young.