We proudly introduce our 2018 Board below.
Jessica Houghton President
Jessica was born and raised in Northern Ireland. She achieved a bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Queens University, Belfast before moving to Atlanta in 2012. Jessica is a now a real estate agent helping families in Atlanta buy and sell property. Beginning her career in 2013, Jessica earned the title of Rookie of the Year and has since gone on to earn a number of awards including Top 30 Under 30 for Coldwell Banker Worldwide in 2015, Top 10 agents in her office for 2015 and most recently Irish Top 40 Under 40 in the US.
Jessica serves on the PR and Events Committee with the Atlanta Board of Realtors and is an active volunteer with the Atlanta BeltLine. Jessica was involved early on in the formation of Irish Network Atlanta working alongside President Brian Boland. A massive component in her real estate business is communication and social media so naturally she has taken on these roles within the network too. Jessica is passionate about building connections and business relationships within the network and bringing people together.
She and her husband (Kedron, of Savannah GA) married in 2012 and they live in Grant Park.
Sinead Connaghton Vice President
Sinead Connaghton, a Roscommon native, brings a wealth of experience from her time in Belgium, where the community was exceptionally well organized and internationally recognized with Belgium GAA being European Champions now for 4 years in a row. Sinead is a CMO manager with the healthcare firm UCB in Atlanta and is passionate about being involved in the community. Her ideas and experience from Belgium along with carefully thought-out events around Thanksgiving, holidays and sporting events will be a superb addition to our 2017 board.
Golf Parade Fundraising Chair
Born and raised in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Brian completed his first class honors B&A degree in Accounting & Finance in Dublin City University, before training with KPMG in Dublin as a chartered accountant and tax advisor. He then moved to an international tax role with CRH plc, and subsequently transferred to its US headquarters in Atlanta, GA where he now works as a Business Intelligence Manager for Oldcastle Materials reporting directly to the CFO of an $8bn+ business. Brian works with senior executive management on business performance analytics and also supports the internal Investor Relations team in Dublin with communicating financial results to large public funds and public markets.
Brian has also been a strong influence with the growth of Atlanta GAA in recent years, as an active member and with his Executive Board role as Treasurer he has worked with the local team to help treble revenues and income in just 3 short years by sourcing different areas of funding and growing relationships with other Irish groups in the city. Brian was recently awarded on the 2016 list of Irish Top 40 Under 40 in the US.
Brian is committed to connecting Irish people in Atlanta and is passionate about bringing people together and the power of teamwork.
Michael Lynch (born 1947) moved from Ireland to the US in 1978 and was the 2nd employee of Oldcastle which was formed that year. Oldcastle is the North American subsidiary of Ireland-based CRH plc, which is now the 3rd largest building materials manufacturer/distributor in the world by market capitalization. When Mr. Lynch joined CRH in 1971 virtually all of its operations were in Ireland.
Oldcastle is now the largest building materials company in North America and has 40,000 employees. Mr. Lynch served as Oldcastle’s CFO from 1978 until 1996 when he headed the expansion of Oldcastle into the distribution sector and was in charge of Oldcastle’s distribution operations from 1996 through 2008. Since 2008, as he winds down his career, he has been involved in business development and strategic acquisitions.
Mr. Lynch is a native of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, has a Commerce degree from University College Dublin (’68), is a Chartered Accountant (’72), and completed the 4-month Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School in 1982. He has been a resident of Atlanta since 1998.
As The Aspire Group’s COO, Bill is responsible for overseeing Aspire Headquarter’s operations, several business units including the Sports Investment Optimization (SIO) division. Bill’s 27 year work history of all-encompassing sports industry experience includes senior executive positions with the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) and Time Warner Cable Arena, in which he oversaw the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena, and the National Football League, where he was instrumental in creating the league’s initial salary cap.
Bill is an undergraduate of Princeton University and received his Master’s degree from New York University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
A dual US-Irish citizen, Duffy’s green roots run deep including service on the Executive Committee of ICCUSA, Atlanta Chapter, and is currently President Elect of the Irish Chamber- Atlanta, the Executive Committee of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and he accompanied Georgia Governor Perdue on a trade mission to Ireland. Bill was selected as a Star of the South and Irish American Magazine’s Business 100 in 2011. He was honored to be chosen Grand Marshal of Charlotte’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2012. Bills feels a deep commitment to serve the community which has been demonstrated by his serving on the boards of Curing Kids Cancer, Assistance League of Charlotte, North Carolina Travel & Tourism, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (Treasurer).
Bill resides in Druid Hills with his wife of 34 years, Cathy.
Father of 6, Grandfather of 2 and Chairman of the Atlanta-based agency, Fitzgerald+CO; a $250 million communications company, employing 100 people. Major clients include: Coca-Cola, Navy Federal Credit Union, QUIKETE, Synovus, Pergo, Carrabba’s, Checkers & Rallys.
Dave holds a BS, MBA from the University of Dayton and founded Fitzgerald+CO in ‘83. He is currently a member of numerous boards including St Joseph’s Health System (Chairman), Emory/St Joseph’s Hospital, Buckhead Coalition (Former Chairman), Road Safe America, Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc. (Chairman), Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School (Development Chair), National Advertising Review Board. Dave has also served on a number of previous boards including American Assoc. of Advertising Agencies, Marist School, St. Joseph’s Mercy Foundation (Chairman), National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (Vice Chairman), University of Dayton, St. Pius X Catholic High School, Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center (Chairman), Catholic Foundation of North Georgia.
Dave has achieved many recognitions over his career including, 1992 Silver Medal (Lifetime Achievement) Award – Atlanta Ad Club; 2000 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award – University of Dayton; “Best Agency Marketing Person and Director” / “Best New Business Person” / “Most Admired” – Atlanta Business Chronicle: 2 time Grand Marshal – Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Magazine – Southeast Advertising Agency of the Year; Best Company To Work For In Atlanta – 2004, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09 – Atlanta Business Chronicle; National Kidney Foundation – Public Service Award 2009; Irish America Magazine – Top 100 Irish American Business Leaders – 2005, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15; Member – Global Irish Economic Forum – 2016 Mercy Moves Through Me – An annual award from the Sisters of Mercy.
Nancy Logue Woods Director
Nancy Logue Woods is the current President of the Hibernian Benevolent Society in Atlanta and Southern Region Representative of the North American Feis Commission. She is a native Atlantan and is an avid supporter of Irish dance and Irish music. She chairs a feiseanna in Atlanta called Feis ATL and Hotlanta Feis which continues to be one of the largest Irish dance competitions in the south. Nancy’s family descended from Donegal, County Westmeath, and Ulster, Ireland. Nancy was selected as a Star of the South and Irish American Magazine’s Business 100 in 2011 and President of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade for five years. Nancy works for Worldpay US and has 3 children and resides in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Dale Woods. Nancy is committed to helping HBSA keep the history of Irish in Atlanta alive.
Teresa Finley Director
Teresa M. Finley is the recently retired Chief Marketing and Business Services Officer and member of the UPS Management Committee, the company’s executive leadership group
Teresa is a transformational leader experienced in diverse corporate, non-profit and international environments with specialization in global logistics and key market segments, specifically retail and healthcare. She has over 25 years of experience in the disciplines of Finance & Accounting. Teresa offers a deep understanding of how finance, investor relations, marketing, technology and revenue development intersect, drawing on her 30 plus year career at UPS. As Corporate Controller, Treasurer and a Divisional CFO, Teresa is accomplished in working with the Board of Directors on areas of financial controls and the development of strategic and operational roadmaps.
Teresa has been active in the community for nearly 15 years, serving as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, GA; Chairperson of IrishFest Atlanta, a start-up annual community festival supporting the preservation and advancement of Irish culture; Chairperson of Irish Traditions Atlanta, a branch organization of the Dublin, Ireland-based group Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann that promotes Irish Traditional music, dance, and language of Ireland; and Chairperson emeritus of Synchronicity, an Atlanta-based theatre group. Additionally, she was previously Chair of the advisory board of Catalyst: a global nonprofit research and advisory organization focused on expanding career opportunities for women in business based in New York, NY.
Teresa holds dual citizenship with the United States and the European Union (Ireland). She is a retired Irish Dance Instructor, T.C.R.G Ireland. Teresa is married to Foster Finley and they are the proud parents of Patrick, who is a 2-time All-Ireland Fiddle champion.
Sinead Lynch Sanders is an active CPA in Georgia and currently holds the position of Senior Manager, AirWatch Finance at VMware Inc. Sinead’s parents immigrated to California in the 1980s, and she is a dual US-Irish citizen. She stayed connected to her Irish heritage by returning home each year as well as competing around the world as a Champion Irish Step Dancer. Sinead was the first Georgia representative during the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Rose of Tralee festival.
Sinead holds a Masters of Accounting from the University of Georgia. She has previously served on various committees for the Shepard Center, volunteered with Furkids (formally Atlanta Small Dog Rescue), and has worked on audits of several non-profit organizations, including CARE and the Salvation Army. Sinead currently lives in Brookhaven with her husband Aaron and their dog Tillie.
Secretary & Irish Language and Cultural Officer
Breandan Mac Mathuna is a project manger for GDS Associates, a multi-service energy consulting and engineering firm and advises on the power supply needs of municipal and cooperative clients across the country. He has 7 years of experience in the energy industry having previously been a senior regulatory analyst at EirGrid, the operator of the electricity grid in Ireland. Breandan holds a Masters in Strategic Management and Planning and a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Finance from the University College Dublin, Ireland. He also has experience in the nonprofit sector through his work for Atlanta’s Irish sports organization Clan na nGael as Executive Board member (Club Secretary). He moved to Atlanta in 2013 and is happily married to his wife Donna. Having been raised in the Irish language (Gaeilge) in Dublin he is keen to promote the language and culture in the south east.
St Patrick’s Day Parade Transition Chair
Originally from Dublin, Emer takes on the board position of Transition Chair for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. She will lead a group to support Dave Fitzgerald’s legacy in running the parade so successfully over the years. Emer’s group will shadow the preparations for the 2018 parade, investigate how the transition of the event would work, and ultimately report back to the board a recommended path forward for 2019 and beyond. Emer’s extensive background in media consulting, CNN management and coverage planning for global events will be well suited to this newly created position. Emer graduated UCD with a degree in Political Science and Economics. Then she did a graduate course in public relations at Dublin Institute of Technology. She worked briefly in Ireland in media before heading Stateside. Emer has over two decades of media and news experience at CNN, FOX News Channel, ESPN, and in Public Relations.
IN-USA Regional Vice President
Eadaoin Waller is a lawyer in the corporate group of Andersen, Tate & Carr. Originally from Bettystown, County Meath, she did her undergraduate work at Queen’s University of Belfast. Shortly afterwards, she moved to Athens, Georgia where she graduated from the UGA School of Law in 2005. While attending law school, Ms. Waller competed in various Moot Court competitions and mistakenly thought that she wanted to be a litigator. Since then, she has seen the light and enjoys a transactional practice providing corporate and employment advice to her business clients.
Ms. Waller resides in Watkinsville. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation, the Gwinnett Childrens’ Shelter, and the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) at the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce. When she is not helping her clients to avoid Department of Labor audits and EEOC investigations, she loves cooking and the gym (in unequal measures), and spending time with her family.
Community Development Officer & Fundraising Officer
Originally from Dublin, Dave Griffiths joins our board as Fundraising Chair. Dave who works with TriNet has over 12 years experience in national non-profit organizations and has led numerous fundraising initatives during that time. Dave’s skills and background will be invaluable as we look to develop creative plans to raise funds for our sports field and cultural center in the coming months.
Community Development Officer & Irish Chamber of Commerce Liaison
Siobhan Tinsley is Assistant General Counsel at Cox Communications where she leads the legal support for $2B annually in commercial sales. Siobhan has a B.A. and M.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, and a law degree from Georgia State University, Atlanta. Siobhan has experience with several non-profit organizations in Atlanta, including the Irish Chamber of Commerce, the American Heart Association, and Women in Cable and Telecommunications. Siobhan was raised in Ireland and emigrated to join her parents and brother in Atlanta, Georgia after she graduated from Trinity. Siobhan lives in Atlanta with her husband and two dogs.
Community Development Officer & Mentorship Program Lead
Born and raised in Mayfield, Cork, Paul Bradley achieved his Bachelor of Business from Cork Institute of Technology and Masters in Food Business and Development from University College Cork before moving to Atlanta in 2011. He began his career in the CPG industry at Ornua Foods North America (Kerrygold) as a Sales & Marketing Executive, and from there, became a Business Development Manager, where he launched Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur in to the US market. After five years with Ornua, Paul joined ARYZTA LLC in 2016 as a Director of Customer Development, where he managed and grew the retail distributor network, nationally. Now the Divisional Vice President of Corporate Accounts at ARYZTA, Paul is responsible for managing and developing retail Corporate Accounts, nationally.
Paul has been an active member of Atlanta Clan na nGael GAA for the past five years, previously as a Fundraising Officer on the Executive Board, and currently as the Atlanta Clan na Gael Hurling coach. Deeply connected to the Irish community in Atlanta, he is very passionate about developing the Irish culture throughout the Southeast. Paul and his wife Janan were married in 2016, and currently reside in Buckhead.