15th November, 2011

27th Annual Chicago Gala Dinner 2011

The 27th Annual American Ireland Fund Dinner was held Tuesday evening, November 15, 2011 at the Four Seasons Hotel. A record crowd of 450 came together to pay tribute to three outstanding Chicago honorees. Denis J. Healy, Co-Chairman, Turtle Wax, Inc and one of the founders of The American Ireland Fund in Chicago received the 2011 Leadership Award. Allstate was the recipient of the 2011 Corporate Social Leadership Award. And Michael Flatley, world renowned dancer, creator, producer and director, was honored with the 2011 Performing Arts Award.

Denis Healy, surrounded by wife Sondra, three children and eleven grandchildren talked about what his Irish heritage has meant to him. He noted his work on the Korean War Museum allows him to honor both the country of his birth and his ancestors as hundreds of the soldiers who served were sons of Ireland.

Michael Flatley acknowledged his parents as his heroes. He credits his father with instilling in him a tireless work ethic and drive. Michael began his career as a construction worker on Chicago’s South Side and has become one of the world’s most accomplished artists. He treated the guests to an impromptu song on his flute. The program then segued into an electrifying performance by one of Ireland’s top bands, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan .

It was however, more than just an evening of Irish fun. It was about raising funds to support hundreds of worthy programs that promote peace, advance reconciliation, preserve Irish culture, strengthen community development and support those in need.

Regional Advisory Board And Dinner Committee

Thanks to all who helped this fundraiser designated to support the important charitable causes of The American Ireland Fund succeed.

Chairman Thomas F. Meagher, Jr, Managing Director/Partner of Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P.

  • Devon Bruce, Partner, Power, Rogers & Smith, P.C.
  • Tom Cashman
  • Terrence A. Duffy, Executive Chairman, CME Group
  • Stephen J. Grady, Executive Vice President, MF Global Inc.
  • John D. Hartigan, Principal and Co-Chief Operating Officer, EnTrust Securities, LLC
  • Denis J. Healy, Co-Chairman, Turtle Wax
  • John L. Keeley, Jr. President and Chief Investment Officer, Keeley Asset Management
  • James C. Kenny, Executive Vice-President, Kenny Construction and Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland
  • Thomas R. Kiley, Managing Director, Great Lakes Advisors, LLC
  • John Lahey, Chairman, Solomon,Cordwell Buenz
  • Patrick C. Lynch, President, Chicago Equity Partners LLC
  • Brendan P. McDonagh
  • Eamonn McGrath, President, Gaelectric North America, Inc.
  • Andrew J. McKenna, Chairman, Schwarz Supply Source, Chairman, McDonalds’s Corporation
  • John J. Murray, Partner, Accenture
  • Jack O’Callahan, President, Beanpot Financial Services, Inc. and Olympic Gold Medalist 1980 USA Hockey
  • James J. O’Connor, Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ComEd
  • Michael D. O’Halleran, Executive Chairman, Aon Benfield
  • Thomas E. O’Neill, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer,Treehouse Foods
  • Thomas S. O’Neill, Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Energy Policy and General Counsel, Com Ed
  • Nicholas B. Parrish, Chair, Chicago Young Leaders
  • Douglas P. Regan, President, The Wealth Management Group, The Northern Trust Company
  • Courtney A. Thompson, Director, Corporate Relations, The Boeing Company
  • Gavin Tierney, Chief Executive Officer, Bimeda, Inc.
  • Joseph A. Walsh, Jr., Partner, Winston & Strawn