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"ECITY: Engaging, Challenging, Inspiring, and Teaching Youth."; 2016 Irish American Archives Society's Walks of Life Award Dinner

On Thursday, February 25th, we went to a luncheon meeting of the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce that was held at Joey's Italian Grill on Hubbard Road in Madison.

IMG_8366On this day we had as our guests 13 students from Harvey High School's entrepreneurship program "Ecity" which stands for "engaging, challenging, inspiring, and teaching youth." The students had on display products that they, themselves, had created like unique Epsom salts, hand constructed LED flip-lamps, up-cycled t-shirt bags, seat belt pillows and twine décor. To help them, we filled out several surveys about what are the most important factors we consider before we make purchases.

The speaker for the day was Mr. Eugene Shatsman from the National Strategic Group talking about marketing trends and what criteria consumers use in making choices. Among his points that most impressed us was the importance of having videos on a company website that might contain coIMG_8371nsumer testimonials, product demos, explanations and tutorials, interviews with the leaders of the company, video blogs and event videos.

Mr. Shatsman also emphasized the importance of the consumer being treated properly when he/first calls the company and asks questions about it. Afterwards, we introduced ourselves to him and gave him our contact information.

We also gave our contact information to quite a few people at our evening event which was the 2016 IMG_8392Irish American Archives Society's Walks of Life Award Dinner held at Windows on the River in the Flats.

We sat at the Cleveland Cultural Garden table and had a good time getting to know Ms. Charlene Crowley, landscape designer and horticulturist; Mr. Bill Harkins, President of Amclo Group, Inc.; and Ms. Liz O' Neill, the cousin of Ms. Margaret Lynch who, as we know, is the Executive Director of the Irish American Archives Society. Ms. Lynch also had dinner at our table along with Ms. Sheila Crawford, President of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

When Ms. Crowley heard that we worked for Margaret W. Wong and Associates she queried, "where would we be without Margaret Wong?" due to Ms. Wong's steadfast support of so many wonderful projects in the Cleveland community.IMG_8381

Another person who we encountered there was Ms. Susan Hagan, a member of Mr. Tim Hagen's family, who is a Geneva City Council member who we had seen on Wednesday when we toured Geneva's municipal building.

Bishop Roger W. Gries gave the invocation in which he noted that many people from Ireland immigrated to Cleveland over the years and stressed the importance of having an organization like the Irish American Archives Society to act as custodian of the records that document the history of Irish American life so that its heritage can be preserved and passed along. Bishop Gries went on to praise the individuals being honored on this occasion who were Sister Margaret M. Gorman, SND who he described as "a wonderful woman" who was selected to be the provincial superior of the Chardon province of the Sisters of Notre Dame where she "oversees the welfare of 303 nuns in Northeast Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina.

IMG_8393The bishop then mentioned the "two politicians" who rebuilt downtown Cleveland (Mr. Tim Hagan) and represented the Cleveland area in the Ohio State Legislature (Mr. Patrick Sweeney) and two brothers (Mr. John F. McGarry and Mr. Lawrence J. McGarry) who have maintained "Mike Mc Garry & Sons, Inc." one of Cleveland's premier painting companies.

During their acceptance speeches all of the honorees talked about their Irish roots and how much their heritage mattered to their successes. Sister Margaret said that her father went to college on the GI Bill which really helped pull the Irish into the mainstream of American life. As for herself, she shares the religious faith of the Irish and their high esteem for education because "faith and education" will lift people out of poverty.IMG_8395

Mr. Hagan believed  that JFK's legacy included helping Catholics feel no longer left out. He recalled the discrimination that the Irish encountered when they first immigrated to the United States and indicated that these experiences served to make them more compassionate and caring towards others facing similar situations. "We stand with people who don't share our religion or our heritage," said Mr. Hagan, "because they stand with us."

Written by: Michael Patterson  Community Liaison, Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.