SAN FRANCISCO WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON
The Ireland Funds Women in Leadership Luncheon was held on December 1st 2023 at the San Francisco Four Seasons Hotel. Ruth Cotter, Senior VP, Marketing, Communications & HR at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Marianne O’Shea, Vice President of Global Nutrition Science at PepsiCo. were the Honorary Speakers.
Consul General Micheál Smith welcomed the audience of 350 guests and spoke of his experience growing up in Co. Armagh at the height of the Troubles, along with the impact that The Ireland Funds has made in the region. Marjorie Muldowney, Vice President of The Ireland Funds, praised Ruth and Marianne, highlighting their exciting careers, and their rise to the highest levels of their Fortune 500 companies, while keeping philanthropy a big part of their lives. She paid tribute to the important role so many Irish American women have played in providing a hand-up to those in need of support throughout our history in the U.S., recognizing the many arenas today where women were leading organizations supporting the advancement of opportunities for women and children throughout the island of Ireland.
The Ireland Funds President & CEO, Caitriona Fottrell spoke of the pride and good example that women are providing as they lead groups like Belvedere Youth Club, and a myriad of non-profit programs across Ireland.
In an inspiring and entertaining conversation, journalist Janet Reilly, led the discussion ranging from career paths to flexibility and hybrid work, to investment in Ireland, as well as to whether we should be drinking aspartame – and to holding on to Irish traditions over the Christmas. The room was filled with friendship and goodwill and a wonderful sense that the Holidays have begun!
Honorary Chairs and generous supporters of this year’s Luncheon included Board Directors EJ Farrell and Maureen O’Brien Sullivan together with Mary Ricks and Jeannie Sangiacomo, along with Erin Doyle Ebeling, Theresa Driscoll Moore, and Mary Driscoll Toboni. Ireland’s Consul General of Ireland in Los Angeles Marcella Smyth joined us along with San Francisco-based Vice Consul Jen Chadwick. The Ireland Funds America Board Director Bart Murphy attended with his wife, Eileen Moore. Also joining us were generous supporters including Amy Roberti of Stripe, Clint Reilly, Liz Ferrari, Sheila Gleeson, Cinta Murphy, and Mary Conlon-Almassy.
Key sponsors included AMD, PepsiCo., Stripe, Diane B. Wilsey, Sheila MacLean, IDA, Invest Northern Ireland, Jeannee Parker Martin, ITLG, Alice Phelan Sullivan Corporation, Suzi Tinsley, Tourism Ireland and William Fry LLP & Grant Thornton. The event was also generously supported by Orla MacLean, Betsy & Bill McKiernan, Kerri Murphy Hogan, Janet & Clint Reilly, Sacred Heart Cathedral, with gifts gratefully received from Mary Hunt, Sandra Lanoie, Anne & Bill McNally, and Karen Quaglia. Thank you all!
Thank you to our wonderful singer, Grace Kelly, and big thanks to our generous Exclusive Drawing sponsors Cinta Murphy of Cinta Salon, Mary & Joe Toboni of Toboni Vineyards, Heather Cassady Martin at Four Seasons Hotel, and Mission Rock Resort.
A sincere thank you to all our guests for joining us at this sensational Luncheon supporting the work of The Ireland Funds. We look forward to welcoming everyone to another festive reunion at the San Francisco Gala Dinner on Friday, March 8th, 2024.
Photos: Cindi Stephan from Two Irises