2021 GOLF CLASSIC HONOREE
John R. Greed
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mutual of America
On Monday, October 4th, The Ireland Funds hosted its 19th Annual New Jersey Golf Classic at Bayonne Golf Club. Over 100 golfers and supporters came together in what was one of the only in-person events hosted by The Ireland Funds since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After guests enjoyed brunch at the clubhouse, a hospitality reception hosted by Diageo and a morning on the driving range, President & CEO Caitriona Fottrell welcomed everyone before sending the golfers out on the challenging links of Bayonne.
Following a long day out on the course with some Irish like weather, guests gathered for a reception in the clubhouse and enjoyed the panoramic views of New York Harbor.
Caitriona Fottrell opened the program by thanking the Golf Classic Committee, the event sponsors and everyone who came out to support the work of The Ireland Funds. She welcomed Board Directors Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Shane Naughton and Mike Higgins and acknowledged former honorees in the room including Bob Garrett of KPMG, Gerry Boyle of Commodore Construction, Mike Higgins and Brendan Farrell of Broadridge
She thanked John & Theresa Greed and Mutual of America for their remarkable generosity in serving as this year’s Presenting Sponsors. Lead sponsors Broadridge, Diageo, the Conley Family, Chuck Reagan, KPMG and StructureTone were also thanked.
She highlighted that it was no surprise the event was shaping up to be the most financially successful in its 19-year history with Bob Garrett of KPMG at the helm as this year’s Golf Classic Chair. Caitriona closed her remarks by inviting guests to give up an hour of their time on their next trip to Ireland so The Ireland Funds could show them what their generosity is allowing us to achieve in communities across the country.
Gene McQuade, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America, echoed Caitriona’s thanks and highlighted the fact that the New Jersey Golf Classic was the only Ireland Funds event anywhere in the world that was not knocked down by the pandemic. It took place in 2020 and 2021 thanks to the dedication and commitment of all those gathered in the room. Gene said that the golf classic was an example of the camaraderie and friendship amongst our network which makes The Ireland Funds so special.
He highlighted the tagline for the event – “Come for the Golf, Stay for the Mission” – and said how this mission has never been more relevant and that the work of The Ireland Funds continues to change lives every single day.
Gene noted that since the pandemic began, The Ireland Funds had made grants of over $18 million, provided COVID-19 relief support to 140 nonprofits in addition to awarding 220 scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend university.
Gene then invited Bob Garrett, Chair of the 2021 New Jersey Golf Classic and KPMG’s New York Area Managing Partner, to introduce this year’s honoree. Bob thanked his fellow Committee Members, key sponsors and guests who made this year’s golf classic possible and a resounding success. He spoke warmly about the work of The Ireland Funds, and his professional and personal relationship with the 2021 Honoree, Mutual of America’s Chairman, President & CEO John R. Greed.
Having worked closely with Mutual of America for two decades, Bob said he couldn’t think of another organization that has given back so generously and thoughtfully to the communities where it has a presence. Like The Ireland Funds, Mutual of America understands the power nonprofits can play in building thriving, inclusive communities and he described the organization as one that has a “heart as big as New York City”.
Chris Festog, Mutual of America’s Chief Financial Officer accepted the award on behalf of John Greed who was unable to attend. He spoke of how honored John was by this award, and his disappointment not to be able to be there as his two biggest passions in life were helping people and playing golf! Chris spoke of his 35-year friendship with John Greed, and how John was a man of integrity and heart who was a true humanitarian like his predecessors Tom Moran and Bill Flynn.
At its core, Mutual of America has a culture of caring and giving back which The Ireland Funds has seen first-hand through its 20 year partnership with Mutual. Chris spoke of how when Mutual was first founded, supporting the nonprofit sector was at the heart of its business and that culture continues today with John Greed at the helm.
Pat Tully then hosted a lively auction with prizes including two trips to Ireland to attend the All Ireland Hurling and Football finals with airfare provided by Delta, a fourball at Old Head Golf Course in Cork with accommodation at Ballyvolane House (the home of Bertha’s Revenge Gin), tickets to see the Giants in action, and a foursome at Hamilton Farm. Special thanks to Ballyvolane House, the GPA, Old Head Golf Course, Delta, Martin Kehoe and Hamilton Farm for kindly donating prizes for this year’s auction.
Following the auction, Bob Garrett announced that thanks to the generosity of those in the room, this year’s golf classic was the most successful in the event’s 19-year history.
Bob then presented the golf awards, with Ronan Byrne winning Closest to the Pin and Carl Caminske winning Longest Drive. 1st Net went to Rich Downey, Mark Fanell, Craig Miller and Tom Kennedy Jr. while 2nd Net went to Ron Vigliotti, David Kelly, Dennis Gleason and Marty O’Boyle. The 1st Place Gross winning team was Lee Armstrong, Dan Healy, Ryan Tendall and John Turner.
Bob Garrett and Caitriona Fottrell closed out the evening by thanking everyone and encouraging them to join us in 2022 for the 20th Anniversary of the New Jersey Golf Classic.
The Ireland Funds wishes to thank Invest Northern Ireland and Loretta Brennan Glucksman for their longstanding support of this event, and Chris Bailey of Mutual of America for his contributions as a member of this year’s Golf Classic Committee.
We are also grateful to the following Foursome Sponsors: Bank of Ireland, Commodore Construction, Brian & Joelle Kelly Family Foundation, Children’s Medical Research Foundation, John O. Elizabeth & Degnan, Conor T. McCoy, Douglas Management & Realty, Gibbons, Michael Higgins, Kelley Drye, Kennedy Computer Consulting, KPMG, McQuade Family Foundation, Shane Naughton, Thomas J. Quinlan, The Padded Wagon, PickUp, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation and Trident Construction.
Special thanks to our 2021 New Jersey Golf Classic Chair Bob Garrett of KPMG and the 2021 Golf Classic Committee who made this year’s event possible: Christopher Bailey (Mutual of America), Anthony Callaghan (Gibbons P.C.), Dan Conley (Northern Litho), Kevin Curley (Curley Financial Group), Ed Dowling (The Padded Wagon), Brendan P. Farrell, Jr. (Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.), Michael P. Higgins, Martin P. Kehoe, Thomas N. Kelly (KPMG LLP), Tom Kennedy Jr. (Kennedy Computer Consulting), Conor T. McCoy (Wells Fargo Advisors), Angus Miller (UBS Financial Services, Inc.), Patrick Murphy (Trident Construction), William M. Murphy (Douglas Management & Realty), Charles P. Reagan and Pat Tully (Pat Tully Inc.).
Photographer: Nuala Purcell