PHILADELPHIA – PA – July 2018 The first ever Irish Echo Big Impact Awards ceremony was held last month in a setting designed to inspire – the historic Union League of Philadelphia. The entire McDAY team – individuals from as far away as San Diego, CA and Cape May, NJ – held the largest table at the event. It was loud and a bit chaotic, as the audience translated Mairtin O’Muilleoir, Chair of the Irish Echo’s and Master of Ceremonies for the evening’s, strong but lovely Belfast accent.
Midway through the event, after the Small Business-Big Impact awards were announced, and accepted by McDAY and others in the room, a surprise series of awards were announced: The inaugural Emerald Awards.
Susan Stipa, McDAY’s president, was presented with the first ever Emerald Award for Ingenuity. Mairtin welcomed Susan to the podium with this introduction:
“The Irish Echo Editorial Team who selected our special honorees are impressed with your ability to identify a gap in the market not only for a technology PR company but for a hard-driving company led by women.We also admire your commitment to your Irish roots and Irish values. Your time has truly come.”
Susan’s speech quieted the crowd of rowdy Irishmen and women with a heartfelt thanks to her grandmother and grandfather, who were born in the same town in County Cavan, (but who met only after their emigration to the States), and to McDAY’s founders, Bill and Natalie McLaughlin. She also led the crowd in applause for her father, George Schnitzer, whom she credited with leading her to the field of engineering, a speech which stressed kindness and connectivity.
The, a popular newspaper for the Irish community and beyond, is pursuing an increased presence all around the US. After leaving Philadelphia, they hosted the New York New Belfast Conference at the American Irish Heritage Foundation on Fifth Avenue on June 7-8th.