After being cancelled by the snowstorm, the Queens Chamber of Commerce's annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon finally was able to happen. Even though the holiday was over, the guests had no problem extending the holiday and the Irish spirit.
The day started off with great music by the band Brogue as guests came in, and had time to network with each other. After everyone settled in, there was some opening remarks by Chamber Executive Director Tom Grech and President Melinda Katz. They both spoke about how the Chamber has grown over the years and they hope they will continue their fast growth.
While enjoying the classic meal of corned beef and cabbage, guests were entertained by the students of the Fitzpatrick Academy of Irish Dance with their director Kelly Fitzpatrick. The Fitzpatrick Academy of Irish Dance has produced incredibly dedicated and talented dancers who are not only eligible to compete at a Regional, National, and International basis, but have already ranked highly at these levels. This clearly showed as they took the stage at the luncheon.
Finally, Michael J. Dowling was introduced as the keynote speaker by fellow American immigrant success story, Queens Chamber President and Cuban-born Mayra DiRico. Fresh off his role of Grand Marshal at the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, Dowling talked about his start in Ireland as he moved to America. Dowling paid his way through college after he finally understood what college was. "I knew I had to go to college because everyone kept talking about it. I got on a bus, and got off at the stop that said college, and when I asked someone where the college was, she told me I was standing right in the middle of it." Dowling was so afraid to go to a liberal arts school because he couldn't draw! Dowling then talked about his journey after college to the Cuomo administration with no background in politics. He ended his speech by saying that America is the only place where someone like him could climb up the leader and become the CEO of a successful company.
Bridget K. H. O'Brien
Bridget O'Brien PR & Events
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