Philly Mayor urges Irish to lead immigrant welcome

By Irish Echo Staff

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has told an Irish American business audience that the Irish should lead the way when it comes to welcoming immigrants to the U.S.

“Part of the problem in the immigration debate is that too many of our own people don’t know our own history,” he said in his address to the Irish Small Business-Big Impact 50 Awards in the Union League of Philadelphia.

“And when they take somewhat unfortunate positions on who should be able to come to this country now, I think they need to go read the 1840s history book about what happened in Philadelphia and in America. We were a Papist plot to take over and overthrow the United States government according to the know-nothings. Two of our churches in Philadelphia were burnt to the ground.”

To read the full article, please click HERE.

Congratulations to Irish Chamber members named to the Irish Small Business Big Impact 50! We had a wonderful night celebrating the contributions of Irish and Irish American Business owners and operators from across the U.S.

Irish Echo Small Business - Big Impact 50

– Brian & Jenn Cleary of McKenna’s Kitchen and Market​
– Daniel Cronin​ of Chorus Comm​indications
– Ed Brennan of The Brennan Collective
– Ed Sullivan of Trust Exchange
– Jack Glacken of TGI (Today’s Graphics, Inc.)​
– Jim Logue of ThermOmegaTech
– Joe Callahan of Ciright​
– Kate Shields of Vault Communications​
– Kathy Bellwoar of PPT Consulting​
– Kathy Brunner of Acumen Analytics, Inc​
– Kevin Connor of Modern Strategic Branding + Communications​
– Marion Ryder of Plough & the Stars​
– Norbert McGettigan of Impact Dimensions​
– Paul Murtagh of Murtagh Brothers, Inc
– Ron Kerins of GREYHAWK
– Shannon Breur & Don Riley of Wiley Group​
– Shawn Swords​ of Irish American Films​
– Susan Stipa​ of McDAY​
– Tom Coffey of United Floral Service

Check out MRP’s latest blog: A Q&A with Jack Butler, CFO of MRP and Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, chair of the Irish Echo on the Irish Small Business Big Impact 50 and Irish American Businesses

Moderated by James Regan, CMO & Co-Founder at MRP

Jack, can you talk a little about this upcoming event, the 2018 Irish Small Business Big Impact 50, and what MRP’s involvement is?

I’d be delighted. It’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. On Friday, May 18th, MRP, along with two distinguished organizations, The Irish Echo and the Irish American Business Chamber and Network, will host the 2018 Irish Small Business Big Impact 50 Awards right here in Philadelphia at the Union League. This is the only event in the U.S. of this scale that honors Irish American small businesses and we are proud to sponsor this first occasion where it is being held here in Philadelphia.

Each of the 50 companies nominated has displayed entrepreneurial skills and the ability to create companies that are leaders in their field. We have two amazing speakers lined up – Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Ciarán Madden, Counsel General of Ireland.

The event honors companies from all across the U.S., including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and New York. They span a broad reach of industries, including technology, engineering, vineyards, florists, hotels and resorts, and caterers. But one thing they all share is a commitment to business excellence and a pride in their Irish heritage.

Can you provide a little background on MRP’s Irish roots?

MRP was founded in 2002 by Kevin Cunningham and James Regan, both Irish American entrepreneurs, with the initial goal of helping companies expand their sales footprint beyond major enterprises and into the midmarket. Early success led to the opening of MRP’s first location in Philadelphia and the rapid growth of the U.S. team.

After six strong years of growth and building our brand in America, MRP became part of Newry, County Down-based First Derivatives, which is a public company traded on the London Stock Exchange and a great success story in its own right across Ireland. This union set the stage for MRP’s entrance into the global market, beginning with its 2011 expansion into Belfast. We started out with 10 team members, and today we are over 200 strong in Belfast with another 15 based in our Dublin office which opened last year. We are proud to be one of the largest employers in Belfast and to serve a global market from Ireland.

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