16th January, 2014

Young Leaders Summit 2014

Young Leaders Summit 2014 – YLS3

Over 120 Young Leaders from four countries and 11 cities around the world gathered in New York City for the 3rd Annual Global Young Leaders Summit took place from January 16-19, 2014.

Day 1

They kicked things off at The Refinery Hotel Rooftop Lounge with the Steering Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs from around the world along with the new Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick, for an open forum discussion to plan out the year ahead in terms of communications, financial goals and membership benefits.

The meeting rolled into the welcome reception which was also held at the rooftop lounge. As Young Leaders mingled and networked over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, they received their welcome packs which included mugs and Barry’s Irish tea courtesy of Young Leader Tom Kennedy and his company ET Kennedy Coastal Construction.

The Young Leaders were welcomed by National Director of the Young Leaders, Pat Tully and Director of The Ireland Young Leaders, Caitlin Duffy, who recognized special guest, actor Holt McCallany, who was the Young Leaders “Irish Spirit Award” winner in 2011. They then introduced Ireland Funds Worldwide President and CEO, Kieran McLoughlin, who thanked the Young Leaders for their dedication and continued support of the Promising Ireland Campaign, which has now raised $150 million for charities across the island of Ireland. Kieran was followed by Ireland’s Consul General in New York, Noel Kilkenny, who praised the Young Leaders as the next wave of great supporters of charities in Ireland. Noel was then followed by Scott Nichols, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Boston University. As one of the preeminent minds in the world of fundraising, Scott gave sound advice on setting and reaching fundraising goals, which set the stage for conversations throughout the weekend. The American Ireland Fund Chairman, John Fitzpatrick followed up with more words of encouragement and by New York Steering Chair, Rob MacGoey encouraged his Young Leader peers to immerse themselves in the work of the Summit help each other to reach their fundraising goals.

Day 2

The Young Leaders were up early on Friday morning as they headed to Goldman Sachs Headquarters where they mingled and networked over breakfast and coffee, they were welcomed by the host of the morning session, American Ireland Fund Board Director and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, Adrian Jones. Adrian spoke about the need to reconnect to Ireland and how despite some reports of a full recovery, the need in the non for profit sector is greater than ever. Adrian was followed by Kieran McLoughlin who gave an overall look at the state of the Fund now as it approaches  its  40th anniversary. Kieran was followed by David Jones, Co-Founder of the One Young World Summit which is taking place in October, 2014 in Dublin. David spoke about the important need for young people to connect with each other across the globe and encouraged the giving spirit of philanthropy amongst the group. He said “Giving back is the new competitive advantage. “ David followed his presentation with a Q&A along with Kieran McLoughlin where David encouraged the Young Leaders to join him in Dublin for One Young World and fielded questions about his new technology start-up venture (David was CEO of Havas Worldwide until Jan 9th).

The session continued on with a morning networking game “Know Your Young Leaders” which provided the opportunity for Young Leaders to interact and ask fun questions to find out the answers to the quiz. Siobhan Gallagher of Mason, Hayes and Curran in Dublin was the eventual winner.

The morning concluded with Adrian Jones providing a tour of the 43rd floor of the Goldman Sachs tower with sweeping views of New York Harbor. The Young Leaders then got on the coaches and headed to the lunch session at the historic New York Athletic Club.
Following a buffet lunch, the Young Leaders heard from Young Leader Richie Huggard of Dublin, who is the VP of International Relations for Connect Ireland, sponsors for the day’s lunch session.

Richie spoke about how the Young Leaders could help drive jobs to Ireland and help with the economic recovery by simply introducing their companies to Connect Ireland. Richie then hosted the “Connect Ireland Forum” which was a roundtable conversation about business in Ireland and Philanthropy as a growing initiative in Ireland. Richie was joined on the panel by Kurt Bandenhausen of Forbes magazine, who wrote the article recently naming Ireland as the best country for business. Also joining the panel was a great supporter of The American Ireland Fund, Kathleen Kelley, who is the founder and CIO of Queen Anne’s Gate Capital, a commodities based macro hedge fund. The panel was also joined by Lawrence O’Donnell, host of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC.

The panel discussed the merits of doing business in Ireland and the benefits of the youngest, most tech savvy, educated workforce in the Eurozone. They also talked about the difference between “Charity and Philanthropy” and what the future of philanthropy will be in Ireland.  The panel then fielded questions from the Young Leaders.

After the panel discussion, Pat Tully presented on the current state of the Young Leaders, their current goals and setting even higher fundraising goals for the future. That was followed by an afternoon breakout session where each group was challenged to brainstorm on a new way that each city could participate together in a fundraising activity throughout the year. Each group presented on the one idea they agreed on and each Young Leader cast a ballot with their vote for the best concept.

After a late afternoon break, the Young Leaders gathered for dinner at the tower at 320 Park Avenue on the 35th floor with sweeping views of midtown Manhattan. The Young Leaders were entertained during the dinner by pianist Gabriel Donohue and Caitlin Duffy revealed the fundraising project they would be working on together for the 2014 year: the “Young Leaders Global 5K.” The race will take place in 12 cities around the world, starting in Melbourne, Australia and working its way around the world. The Young Leaders will raise awareness of the run and follow it through social media while raising money through personal and corporate sponsorships. The dinner was followed by an after-party at Tavern 29, hosted by Young Leader Croine O’Halloran and sponsored by Sixpoint Brewery.

Day 3

On Saturday, the Young Leaders gathered for a “Business Brunch” session at the Convene conference center steps away from the Fitzpatrick’s Grand Central Hotel, the host hotel for the third consecutive year.

While Young Leaders enjoyed their brunch, Caitlin Duffy welcomed them and laid out the day ahead of them, which started with a presentation by Vice President of The Ireland Funds in Ireland, Caitriona Fottrell. Caitriona shared the new plan for the grant round for 2014 and explained the new larger grants that will be distributed to outstanding Irish nonprofits this year. Caitlin followed Caitriona by discussing the Young Leaders work on the ground in Dublin and how the Young Leaders can connect closer to the Ireland Funds’ office in Dublin. This was followed by the next breakout session in which Caitlin presented the Young Leaders with 25 projects that were selected from the list of over 300 projects that had received grants from The Ireland Funds in 2013. Each breakout group poured over the documents and selected the one that was most compelling to them. Each group presented their findings and five projects were selected for highlighting at Young Leader events throughout 2014.

Following this breakout, a representative from each city took to the podium to present on behalf of their chapter and gave a “state of the city” address, highlighting the good work and progress happening in each market. The session ended with Caitlin Duffy giving everyone a little homework and asking them to share a successful Young Leader recruiting story with someone at the Summit they have yet to meet. This served as another great opportunity to network and meet.

After an afternoon break, the Young Leaders gathered at NeueHouse for a private cocktail party and dinner focused on the new Irish Arts Center (IAC) being built on the west side of Manhattan. The evening started with a thank you to our sponsors, American Ireland Board Director Shane Naughton, Lisa Sullivan and Jameson and Sixpoint beer. Pat Tully then introduced Young Leader Pauline Turley of the Irish Center – an American Ireland Fund-supported organization – who spoke about the new center that will be a point of pride for those connected to Ireland and an artistic oasis showcasing the best of Irish culture for all. The stunning architectural plan will take its place amongst other notable cultural institutions in New York City. Pauline then introduced fellow Young Leaders & Executive Director of the IAC, Aidan Connolly, who spoke about the need for funding and the great talent that will grace the stage when the center is completed. Aidan then introduced an example of that talent by welcoming award-winning singer-song-writer, Declan O’Rourke to the stage for an acoustic solo performance and some new songs of his newly released album Mag Pai Zai. After a commanding performance, the Young Leaders demanded an encore, which Declan graciously provided.

The evening continued on with an after-party back at The Fitzpatrick’s Wheel Tapper hosted by Chairman John Fitzpatrick.

Day 4

With the official work and business complete, the Young Leaders headed to Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square for the inaugural “Ryder Cup of Bowling.” The winners were chosen by their cumulative best scores after three hours of intense competition.  The top five were chosen and to the victors the spoils and the bragging rights until next year.

Special thanks to all of our Young Leaders who traveled in from around the world for the third annual Summit and to all of our great sponsors including: Adrian Jones and Goldman Sachs, Bob McCann and UBS, Shane Naughton, Tom Kennedy, The New York Steering Committee, The Fitzpatrick Hotels, Connect Ireland, Rob MacGoey and PWC, Tom Moran, Jameson, Sixpoint and Barry’s Tea.

Save the Date for #YLS4, January 16-18, 2015

Even more photos!

If you want to see photos from the Event please email us for access to the photos on the website of our wonderful photographer, James Higgins higginsphotonyc.com