The 2014 Committee

Chair: Jason O’Brien 

Jason’s resume encompasses various operating and management positions in bars and restaurants in Ireland, Australia and the famed steak house Smith and Wollensky’s in NYC.

Jason moved to NYC in 1997 and having built experience in the industry, partnered with Katie Connelly who has worked in the hospitality industry for 19 years, to open Dublin 6 (formerly Papillon) in the West Village, a popular bar amongst the locals which received a two star review from the New York Times.

Their success grew with the opening of Trinity place in 2006 and their latest venture, The Bailey Pub & Brasserie just off Wall Street, which is known for its lively hustle and bustle of Wall-Streeters throughout the day and in which a magnificent porcelain Bull stands proud on raised platform shadowing the 65ft bar.

Jason joined the board of IN-NYC in 2013.

Vice Chair: Emily Conway

Emily arrived in New York from Dublin, in March 2010, having obtained her Masters in Management Consultancy from Smurfit Business School. She currently works as a manager at Ultramar Travel Management, a leading multi-national travel management company.

Emily loves to travel and is a member of the New York City Field Hockey Club. Emily was Co-Secretary on the 2013 IN NYC Committee.

Treasurer: Brendan O’Sullivan

Brendan O’Sullivan grew up in Tarrytown, New York and currently lives in Manhattan. Brendan’s parents emigrated from Co. Kerry in the 1970s.

In Brendan’s Junk Box Fraud Technologies, he manages a global team of technology professionals based in Belfast Manila, Singapore and New York. Brendan has more than 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Brendan joined NYSE Technologies in 2008 through the acquisition of Wombat Financial Software, where he managed a highly skilled team of engineers supporting business critical systems for financial firms around the world.

Brendan is a graduate of Fordham University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

Brendan has been an active member of IN-NYC since early 2013. In addition, a longtime supporter and previous volunteer for charity organization like Project Children and Irish Christian Youth for Charity.

Co-Secretary: Sarah Fitzpatrick

After graduating with an MSc in Sociology from the University of Sydney Australia in 2008, Sarah began her career in charity, working as Volunteer Manager for The Haven Community Foundation in Ireland (“Haven”) in 2009. Established in 2008, Haven is an Irish based non-profit organization with a focus on the provision of shelter, water & sanitation, training and education to vulnerable Haitian families.

In 2012, following her tenure in Haven Ireland, Sarah was appointed as Director of Development for Haven US, a newly established US operation, based out of New York City. Since its inception, Haven US has successfully raised significant aid funds for Haiti, touching the lives of thousands of impoverished families.

In addition to a commitment to Haven US, Sarah is an avid golfer, and is a member of the New York Road Runners Club.

Co-Secretary: Gillian O’Rourke

Originally from Dublin, Gillian arrived in New York in 2011. She currently works as a business development manager for Invest Northern Ireland, attracting new investment to the region. Gillian received both her BA (Hons) Psychology and MSc (Hons) Management Organization from UCD.

Gillian understands the importance of ex-pat communities and networks (particularly Irish ones!), as growing up she and her family relocated from Ireland to both the UK and Germany.

Director: Katie Gassert

Originally from Boston, Katie moved to New York to attend NYU where she received her B.A. from the Tisch School. She is currently the Business Development Manager for Self Help Africa, a non-profit organization that promotes enterprise and small business development among poor communities in rural Africa.

Katie started her career in the hospitality industry at Aretsky’s Patroon where she worked for many years, before leaving to manage Beckett’s Bar and Grill on Stone Street, where she was introduced to New York’s strong Irish community.

In addition to being an active member of IN-NYC, she is also an active member of the AIF Young Leaders, the Irish Business Organization (IBO) and the Irish International Business Network (IIBN), and she is a founding board member of the Manhattan Gaels GAA club. She is a resident of Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan where she lives with her roommate and dogs, Laila and Jacob.

Director: Kate Hickey

Kate moved to New York in 2010. She originally moved to New York working on fundraising for the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. She has ten years experience in journalism in print and online and is currently the Editor of IrishCentral.

Throughout her career in Ireland and in New York, Kate worked on publications such as The Irish Independent, The Herald, The Irish Times and New York Arts among others.

At IrishCentral, Kate is responsible for sourcing, commissioning and managing content of the site.

Director: Ciaran Kennedy

Ciaran Kennedy is originally from Belfast, County Antrim. Currently Ciaran is COO of the Wombat business for NYSE. Ciaran has over 10 years experience in the financial services industry and joined NYSE in 2009 through the acquisition of Wombat Financial Software where he was global head of Presales and Managed Services.

Ciaran has a Bachelors degree in Software Engineering from University of Ulster. He was a committee member for IN-NYC in 2013.

Director: Jillian Saperstein

Jillian has been a member of IN-NYC for the past two years and has had a wonderful experience meeting everyone and enjoying all of the Irish Network events. She would be thrilled to increase her involvement and help the group grow and expand.

As a native New Yorker, and a former museum/gallery employee, she has got lots of ideas of activities and outings to do as a group. As a staff member of Concern Worldwide, she has been all over the city, meeting people and encouraging those who don’t know the group to join up and get in on the fun.

Director: Grainne Saxe

Grainne Saxe from Dublin, Ireland has been living in New York City since 2007. Grainne attended University College Cork, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology. Grainne currently works in HR Administration for the Delphi Financial Group and prior to this, has worked in the media industry in New York, Sydney and London.

Director: Lorcan Shannon

Lorcan Shannon, from Doolin, County Clare, moved to the United States in 2009. After graduating with an LL.B. from National University of Ireland, Galway, Lorcan obtained an LL.M. from Duke University in North Carolina.

Lorcan is an associate attorney at O’Malley and Associates focusing primarily on immigration law and has been on the IN-NYC Board since 2012.

Director: Brian Whelan

Originally from Co.Laois (Midlands Finest!) Brian studied Commerce at NUI Galway and graduated in 2009. After graduating he moved to Oregon in 2010 to work for his uncle- in pursuit of the American dream! He traveled to Melbourne Australia later that year and met up with friends, stayed working in Oz for eight months before arriving back in the US in November 2010, this time on the East Coast in the NYC area.

Brian is now working for Pinnacle Environmental (Irish owned Environmental Construction firm) as a Project Accountant since 2010.
He has been a member of the IN NYC since 2012 and attended several networking events.

A proud member of the Manhattan Gaels football team who enjoyed great success in our first year (Up the Gaels!), Brian is also a proud member of the Celtic Golf Club, we play at Blue Hill Golf Club in Rockland County. He is studying Real Estate part time and hopes to sit the state exam in February in order to become licensed in NY and NJ.