Sir Michael W.J. Smurfit
Founder and International Chairman
Sir Michael Smurfit, KBE (born 7 August 1936), is a businessman holding Irish citizenship. In the 2010 Irish Independent Rich List, he was listed at 25th, with a €368 million personal fortune. During his tenure at the helm of the Jefferson Smurfit Group, Smurfit led the early expansion of the Group in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
He followed this with a series of acquisitions in the U.S., Latin America and Continental Europe, creating in the process Ireland’s first international company and a global leader in paper-based packaging. As chairman, Smurfit has recently overseen the merger of the Smurfit Group with Kappa Packaging BV to form the Smurfit Kappa Group, employing 42,000 employees in 33 countries on 5 continents. The group had sales of €6 billion in 2009.
He currently owns 4.9% of Smurfit Kappa. He is also a director of Ballymore International, a property development and investment group, and has investments in other small companies.
Brian O'Dwyer, Esq.
Mr. O’Dwyer’s 40 year legal career is distinguished by many outstanding accomplishments and his knowledge and experience have been recognized by his peers. He has been recognized by the National Law Journal for having achieved the largest single personal injury award for a single client. He has been cited four years in a row (in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010) as a New York Super Lawyer, for his work as a personal injury lawyer, an honor conferred on only the top 5 percent of the profession, as surveyed by the Bar of New York City.
The Martindale Hubbell Directory of Attorneys has also awarded him the designation of “AV.” The AV designation is awarded after an extensive survey of the profession and signifies that the honoree possesses the highest standard of legal ethics and professional competency and is awarded to a select few in the United States. Additionally, in 2009 Irish America Magazine recognized Mr. O’Dwyer as one of the Top 100 Irish-American Lawyers in the United States. In recognition of his experience and knowledge in the field of Employee Benefits Law, he has been chosen to serve as a member of the Attorneys committee of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Funds.
After years as an accomplished litigator, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial and employment litigation, Mr. O’Dwyer now supervises the Firm’s litigators. Mr. O’Dwyer currently serves as Counsel to the Benefit Funds of The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Service Workers Union Local 74, Bricklayers International Pension and Health Benefits Funds, and numerous other ERISA benefit plans. Mr. O’Dwyer has also served as counsel to the Department of Community Affairs of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
In 2008 Mr. O’Dwyer and his firm were designated as Counsel to Trustees of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters United Parcel Service Full Time Pension Plan, which was established for the benefit of those 55,000 participants who were formerly part of the Teamsters Central States Plan. Mr. O’Dwyer is a frequent lecturer at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Funds, where he has spoken on such topics as fiduciary responsibility and plan administration. He is regularly called upon to be a commentator on legal issues for Fox TV, Court TV, CNBC, New York 1, and CNN en Español. Consistent with his firm’s immigrant-centric approach to the practice of law,
Mr. O’Dwyer is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award and the Outreach Project Annual Service Award. He serves as Board Chair of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center and the Associacion Tepeyac de New York, a Mexican immigrant rights association. He serves on the Boards of numerous charities including Cristo Rey School and the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. He has been named to the Board of Visitors of the Law School of the City University of New York. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation, which funds civil rights and immigration rights groups.
During his career, Mr O’Dwyer has received numerous awards and commendations for his work. He was cited by the Governor of Puerto Rico for his work on behalf of Puerto Rican farm workers. He and his wife Marianna were given the Humanitarian Award of the Catholic Home Bureau for their work in child services. He has three times been awarded Papal Honors, most recently being named Knight of the Holy Sepulcher (Grand Cross) in a ceremony presided over by Cardinal Edward Egan and Archbishop Timothy Dolan. He has received the New York City Council Spirit of New York Award for his work in bringing New York’s ethnic community together, and was honored with the Director’s Citation for Exemplary Public Service by the Office of Personnel Management, United States and Government, citing his work as Commissioner on the President’s Commission on White House Fellows.
Maurice A. Buckley
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President
Maurice A. Buckley, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of the The Ireland Chamber of Commerce – United States which promotes business between USA & Ireland and has played an important role in the success of the Celtic Tiger, making Ireland one of the most successful economies in the world today.
He is a former President of NECO (National Ethnic Coalition) which presents every year the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The Medal is presented to outstanding American citizens from all walks of life that have distinguished themselves among their specific ethnic groups. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among this country’s most prestigious awards officially recognized by both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives.
Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Pamarco Technologies, directing the growth of that firm from $25 million in annual revenues to more than $130 million in four years.
In 1965, Mr. Buckley founded MAB group, a European manufacturer in the graphic arts field. In 1974, he became chief executive of a publicly traded industrial firm listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange. He currently serves as a consultant to several international business operations.
He is also a Knight of Malta. He is a recipient of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is committed to the ICCUSA Foundation, Inc. which is the sister charity to the Ireland Chamber of Commerce – USA, who hosts the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference in Ireland every summer.