Meet the Board

Are you interested in becoming more involved with INSeattle? We are always looking for volunteers and potential Board members, and are seeking a diverse set of experiences and interests – so please let us know.

 

President: Aly Gardner-Shelby 

“Born, bred and buttered” in Phibsborough, Dublin, Aly has lived in the Seattle area since 1993. Aly is a Program Manager at Microsoft and was honored to assist fellow INSeattle Board and members with the hosting of President Michael D. Higgins and Sabrina Higgins to Seattle, and in particular to a meet-and-greet with Irish employees at Microsoft. She has also worked at Seattle start-ups and was formerly Exec Director of Alpine Ascents Foundation, raising funds for schooling children of disadvantaged families in Nepal.

“Working with INSeattle gives me the opportunity to meet and engage with some of the most interesting and inspiring people from all walks of life. I’m passionate about connecting with people, and connecting people with one another. Despite the proliferation of ways to communicate electronically, our human-to-human connections may not be developing over time. My goal is to help connect the people who have knowledge and experience with the people who want to learn new strategies for personal and career success. Building this network will benefit the individuals and also our community as a whole.”

 

Secretary: Bríd Nowlan

Bríd was born in Dublin, raised mostly in County Kildare, and has lived in Seattle for over 20 years, working in the non-profit and environmental sectors, most recently as a freelance writer and editor. She has served as facilitator/coordinator for the statewide Washington Wetlands Network and represented the environmental community on a number of state and federal committees. INSeattle meetings and gatherings are the only places where she does not have to have long conversations about her name and how it is spelled, which is one reason she keeps coming back! The other reasons are the people and connections – around Seattle and back to Ireland.

“INSeattle has a lot to offer the extended Irish community in Seattle (and Washington State) and I am passionate about building a structure that will sustain the organization into the future.”

 

Treasurer: Matthew O’Toole

Matthew is from County Galway and has lived in Seattle for almost three years. Matthew qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dublin, working with some of Ireland’s largest corporations. Matthew has worked in a finance role with Microsoft for the past five years. Matthew is also an active member of the Seattle Gaels, playing on the Men’s Gaelic football team.

“Since arriving in Seattle I have enjoyed attending numerous INSeattle events. I have appreciated the Network’s ability to bring professionals from various backgrounds together at these events. I see the role of Treasurer as crucial to ensure that the IN Seattle can continue to drive these relationships between existing and future members.”

Membership Officer: Kathryn O’Hora

Kathryn is originally from Ballina, Co. Mayo. After studying and working in Dublin for several years (Ernst and Young, CRH plc. and Microsoft) Kathryn relocated to Seattle in 2012. Kathryn is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in finance for Microsoft in Seattle for the past two years.

“Over the past two years, the INSeattle has been a wonderful resource for me to build a network with others interested in business, social, cultural and sporting happenings related to Irish-America in the Seattle area. I have been surprised by the size and diversity of the Irish American community in Seattle/Pacific NW and I would love the chance to leverage both to expand and strengthen the INSeattle membership. I think there is a great opportunity to build on the current membership base and increase the IN Seattle footprint in Greater Seattle/ Pacific NW area.”

 

Cultural Officer: Caroline Cumming

A native of County Leitrim, Caroline has called Seattle home for the past 20 years. Arriving at the height of the dot-com boom she spent eight years as a producer of online development and digital media technologies for various Seattle companies, including Microsoft. She moved to the non-profit sector in 2001 as Executive Director of the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network and then as Executive Director of 911 Media Arts Center from 2004-06. She continues to act as a consultant to business and non-profit leaders in the arts in various capacities, with a focus on strategy development and program management. Caroline is the co-founder and Director of the Irish Reels Film Festival, an annual event bringing new Irish films and filmmakers to Seattle audiences for the past 18 years. 

“The economic impact of the arts in Ireland and abroad is often overlooked and I’m passionate about changing that! After working with colleagues across the U.S. to set up a network of Irish American Film Festivals, and collaborating with other Irish arts and cultural groups over the years, joining the Irish Network was a no-brainer. INSeattle provides members the opportunity to deepen our relationships and strengthen our Seattle community while introducing us to new possibilities and collaborations nationally and globally.”

 

Marketing Officer: Brendan Shriane

Brendan was born and raised in Seattle, the son of Irish immigrants.  He has been involved in Irish events since … well, before he could remember. He was born into the Seattle Irish community; his parents helped found the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Seattle, so every year, you could find little Brendan walking in the parade, wearing a Carlow or Roscommon sash to honor the birthplaces of his parents. He continues to be involved in the Seattle Irish Community, serving on the boards of both the Irish Heritage Club and Irish Network Seattle.
As marketing officer, Brendan takes pictures of Irish Network-Seattle events, helping spread the word (in a visual sense, I suppose) about the organization’s great events.
He is currently a technical writer and copy editor for BluLink Solutions in Bellevue. He previously worked for as a sports reporter, copy editor and photographer for newspapers in Hawaii, California and Washington state. “Irish Network Seattle gives me an opportunity to explore a creative outlet and make connections with people in the Irish and business communities I might not otherwise meet.

 

Communications Officer: Áine Richards

Áine grew up in Seattle with close ties to her family in Co. Wicklow. She earned a BA from the University of Notre Dame in Arabic Studies and then moved to Dublin, where she earned an MSc from University College Dublin (UCD) in Human Rights. She currently resides in Seattle, where she works in travel & tourism, helping Americans travel smartly around Ireland and the rest of Europe. She is a co-founder of the Seattle chapter of the UCD alumni club, a member of CascadiaNow!, and is passionate about progressive causes, especially those focusing on improving the lives of women & LGBT people. 

 

Board Member: Amanda PrivittAmandaPrivitt

Originally from Arizona, Amanda moved to Dublin to attend University College Dublin (UCD) in 2013 where she completed her Postgraduate degree in Cultural Policy and Arts Management. While there, she became involved in international student groups and found she truly enjoyed creating relationships with people from different nations and building a community where students could network and connect, not only academically but also socially. INSeattle has been an extension of that for Amanda and what drew her to become involved in the organization.

“Irish Network Seattle is a great way to cultivate connections with people from varying backgrounds, both professionally and socially, that share a strong bond of heritage, similar interests and ideas and I am very excited to be a part of that.”

Amanda now lives in North Seattle where she works in marketing for an electrical contracting firm.

Volunteer Officer: Fionnuala O’Sullivan

Fionnuala was born in Zambia, grew up in Co. Kildare and has been a Seattle resident since the early 1990s. In 1999, she became a Real Estate Broker and joined GBK Realtors LLC, an independent full-service brokerage on Capitol Hill. Since 2012, she has been a part owner of this company.
She has served on numerous boards in Seattle for a variety of issues ranging from equity in education to local community issues.
Fionnuala remains closely tied to Ireland- her parents and youngest sister live there. She is a new member to the INSeattle board.
“I am delighted to be involved in a network that emphasizes and understands the importance of continually reinforcing both working and personal relationships to further enhance the ties that bind the Irish in Seattle to those in Ireland.” 

 

Board Member: Padraic Jordan
“I moved from Co. Roscommon, Ireland to the Pacific Northwest in 1987, and have made Seattle my home for more than 20 years. The Emerald City wooed me with its awe-inspiring views and its charming architecture. After 7 years enjoying the vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood, I moved to my dream home, a classic 1924 Seattle Bungalow in the heart of the Central District.

I’ve been a realtor with Windermere Real Estate for the past 12 years and I love every minute of it. I’m co-founder of Rain City Referrals- a local business network, and am enjoying being a board member of Irish Network Seattle since 2016.”

 

Board Member: Kris CollinsKris_Collins

Attending several events, including a holiday party, an Irish trade ministry event, and horse racing sealed the deal for Kris Collins. Kris thinks networking, whether low-tech or high-tech, can be informative and social.

Kris works at the University of Washington, designing innovative programs and technologies for working professionals. Previous experience includes learning consulting at Ernst & Young and Boeing, among others, and Irish business publisher Lafferty Group.

Kris’ nonprofit experience includes serving as a trustee for a Seattle historical society and a World Affairs Council affiliate. “I’m passionate about preserving cultural history and connecting people in the present — both particular strengths for Irish and Irish-Americans! I enjoy exploring ways in which Irish Network Seattle can entertain, inform, and connect people.”

Board Member: Colin Mooney

colin_mooney_profileColin is from the village of Termonfeckin near Drogheda in Co. Louth. He moved to the Pacific Northwest from San Francisco in the summer of 2015 along with his wife Katie, who is a Redmond native, Seahawk, Sounder, Mariner and Husky! They now live in Bellevue with their Bernedoodle… Bell!

Previous to joining the board of the Irish Network here in Seattle, Colin was also Secretary of the Irish Network Bay Area in San Francisco. He has a passion for supporting Irish connections in the US diaspora and is a big fan of Irish music.

Colin moved to the United States permanently in 2013 and works all over the country with Salesforce.com

Board Member: Emma CullenEmma_Cullen

Emma was born in Dublin and moved to the Seattle area when she was only a year old. Relatives in Dublin and County Meath kept her busy jet-setting back and forth to visit Ireland. A former Irish dancer, Emma has been active in Seattle’s Irish activities for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Seattle University with a double major in political science and French language. After graduation, Emma moved to Dublin and learned first hand how the Irish health care system works. Emma moved home to Seattle, two years later, and joined the Western Regional office of the national union, American Federation of Teachers. At AFT she is responsible for budgets and the human resources of over 30 employees located throughout the region.
Emma is passionate about the outdoors and Seattle keeps her busy with the hiking and snowshoeing opportunities available.  Currently, Emma travels as much as possible because she loves it. Other interests include progressive politics and the Seattle music scene.

Past President: Noreen McCormackNoreen McCormack

Noreen is first generation Irish from Montana, her parents were born and raised in Co. Mayo. She is a past President and founding Board member of INSeattle, a founding Board member of IN USA and a former Board member of the Irish Heritage Club. She is currently the President of the Seattle/Galway Sister City Association and serves on the City of Seattle Sister Cities Coordinating Council. Noreen is Vice President/Human Resources for Entercom Communications Corp, a position she has held for 16+ years.