On April 9th to 12th, 2019 the Ireland Gateway to Europe ("IGTE") trade mission 2019 visited Chicago and Boston to promote Ireland as a destination for foreign direct investment. 

14 Irish businesses travelled to Chicago and Boston, and attended a series of events organised by IGTE in association with Notre Dame in Chicago and Boston College in Boston. The events attracted US based businesses with an interest in doing business with Ireland. 


The first part of the trip saw delegates travel to Chicago, where they attended the “Global Leadership & Investment Symposium” hosted by University of Notre Dame. 

The event saw addresses by Paul Slaggert (Director, Stayer Center for Executive Education, University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business) and Minister Michael D’Arcy, as well as a “Transatlantic Relations: Leading through Complexity” discussion between Geraldine Byrne Nason (Irish Ambassador to UN) and Robert MacGiolla Phádraig (CCO, Sigmar). This was followed by a fireside chat with Andrew McKenna (Chairman emeritus, McDonalds) who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting US - Irish Business Relations.

The wonderful Kevin Whelan got the great and the good of Chicago to attend many of the events and was a great ambassador for Notre Dame.


The first event on the agenda was the “Global Investment Symposium Dinner” excellently hosted by Boston College. The panel featured: Brian Cowen (Former Taoiseach / Irish Prime Minister), Mike Mahoney (CEO, Boston Scientific), Katie Burke (Chief People Person, Hubspot), Andrew Arnott (President and CEO, John Hancock Investments) and was expertly hosted by, Robert MacGiolla Phádraig (CCO, Sigmar Recruitment). Our wonderful host in Boston Robert Mauro (Global Leadership Institute, Boston College) and Jim Kelliher (CFO, Drift) also spoke.

Lastly, the trade mission was invited to a joint breakfast briefing held at the District Hall Boston, in association with The Kennedy Summer School. 

There were two excellent panel discussions:

The changing nature of politics and community in Boston
Sheriff Steve Tompkins
Rachel Rollins (District Attorney)
Billy Evans (Former Boston Police Commissioner and Chief of Police at Boston College)
Moderator: Professor Tiziana Dearing (Boston College)

Transatlantic Citizenship
Brian Cowen (Former Taoiseach / Irish Prime Minister)
Kathleen O'Toole (1st female commissioner of the Boston Police Department & Former Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate)
Dr Robert Mauro (Global Leadership Institute, Boston College)
Moderator: Robert MacGiolla Phádraig

Robert Mauro was key to the success of the Boston trip. He got the group access to the biggest hitters in Boston using his significant contacts from the Boston College alumni, including a Red Sox game!

We'd like to congratulate the organisers, especially Jamie Harnett from Sigmar Recruitment on an expertly organised trade mission and thank our wonderful crew of fellow delegates. Representing The Panel on this trip was Paul McArdle.

Photos - IGTE Chicago

Full house at the "Global Leadership & Investment Symposium" hosted by by University of Notre Dame, Chicago and "Ireland Gateway To Europe".

Conor Crowley (Director, Acumen & Trust) with Paul McArdle (Joint Managing Partner, The Panel).

Adie McGuinness (CEO, Sigmar Recruitment) and Geraldine Byrne Nason (Irish Ambassador to UN).

Michael D’Arcy TD (Minister of State at the Department of Finance) holding the Irish Government Address.

Geraldine Byrne Nason discussing the "Transatlantic Relations: Leading through Complexity" together with Robert MacGiolla Phádraig (CCO, Sigmar).

Keynote speakers Andrew McKenna (Chairman emeritus, McDonalds) fireside chat with Robert MacGiolla Phádraig.

Professor Kevin Whelan from Note Dame, Boston speaking with Andrew McKenna.

Matt Mohan, Kevin Whelan, Andrew McKenna (recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting US-Irish, Geraldine Byrne Nason, Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig, Minister Michael D’Arcy.  

Peter Carroll (Partner) and Kevin Doyle (Tax Partner) BDO Ireland.

Photos - IGTE Boston

The Global Investment Symposium Dinner, Boston, 11th April

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Robert MacGiolla Phádraig, Andrew Arnott (President and CEO, John Hancock Investments), Katie Burke (Chief People Person, Hubspot), Mike Mahoney (CEO, Boston Scientific).

Robert MacGiolla Phádraig opening up the Kennedy Summer School Breakfast event, 12th April, District Hall, Boston.

Robert MacGiolla Phádraig, Kathleen O'Toole (1st female commissioner of the Boston Police Department & Former Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate) and Brian Cowen (Former Taoiseach)

Closing remarks by Noel Whelan (Founder of the Kennedy Summer School​​​​​​).

Boston College's Chief Executive Club CEO Lunch

CEO interview between Tony Coles, M.D. (Chairman & CEO, Yumanity Therapeutics/Chairman, Cerevel Theraputics) and Kenneth Frazier (Chairman & CEO, Merck).

Paul McArdle, Linda Pizzuti (MD, The Boston Globe) and Domenic Hennessey (Client Sales Manager, The Sunday Business Post).

Paul McArdle and Rachel Rollins (District Attorney).

The trip was finished off with a visit to a Boston Red Sox home game. Paul McArdle, Domenic Hennessey and Fionán O'Sullivan (Corporate Sales Director, Employee Benefits, Acumen & Trust).