For the first time in its 16-year history, the Philadelphia-based Irish American Business Chamber and Network gave its top award—the Ambassador’s Award—to a company founded in Northern Ireland. The ceremony took place on Friday, February 26, at The Union League in Philadelphia with more than 400 people in attendance
The IABCN honored Almac, a pharmaceutical and health care development company with North American headquarters in Souderton, where it employs more than 1,000 people. The company was founded by Sr. Alan McClay in Craigevon, Northern Ireland.
Also honored were IACBN founder, Bill McLaughlin and his wife, Natalie, who run McLaughlin & Morgan, a business and development firm in Philadelphia (the Taoiseach Award) and Msgr. Michael Doyle, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Camden whose work has led to many improvements in the city’s waterfront area.
The awards were presented by Irish Consul General for New York, Barbara Jones. Ambassador Anne Anderson sent a recorded message to the group from Hollywood where a number of Irish actors and productions were up for Oscars this year.
Norman Houston, director of Northern Ireland Bureau, the diplomatic mission that maintains a small presence in Washington, DC, also addressed the crowd, remarking on the close relationship that’s formed between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic in recent years. Northern Ireland has even dropped its corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent, the same as its southern neighbor, to make doing business “on the island of Ireland” even more appealing to foreign investors.
Below are some of the photos from the event.
And some videos …