The EACC was honored to support the December 1-2 visit to Cincinnati by Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States. The opportunity arose when EACC Cincinnati Executive Director Todd Schwartz met the Ambassador at a June reception at the Residence of EU Ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrindinis, where Mulhall noted he’d been invited to participate in the Irish Heritage Society’s “Green Tie Dinner” on December 1. Schwartz suggested the Ambassador stay an extra day and let the EACC introduce him to the vibrant commercial ties connecting the Cincinnati Tri-State region and Europe.
We started with breakfast at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, with business leaders from across the region as well as Irish companies operating here (Synergy Flavors in Hamilton) and local companies with links to Ireland like Alltech and Bon Secours Mercy Health. Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, REDI Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport were all at the table. Discussion focused on bilateral opportunities for business as well as on US-EU trade links and Brexit (which presents both challenges and opportunities for Ireland). Also at the breakfast were Paul Veale and Karen Healy from the Chicago office of IDA Ireland (the Irish government’s economic development agency) and Sarah Keating from the Irish Consulate General in Chicago.
Other important elements of the visit included a meeting with Cintrifuse, CincyTech, and HCDC to talk about programming to help local start-ups better understand and prepare for growth of their businesses into Europe (using Ireland as a base) and also how to help Irish firms recognize the value Cincinnati provides as a entry point into the US market. And there was an impromptu visit to the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library to view its collection of work by Lafcadio Hearn. Hearn was born in Greece in 1850 to a Greek mother and Irish father and moved to Ireland at the age of 2 (including time in Tramore, County Waterford – Ambassador Mulhall’s home). Hearn emigrated to the US in 1869 and ended up in Cincinnati, writing for the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer from 1872-1875 among other projects. He left Cincinnati in 1877 and, after stops in New Orleans and the French West Indies ended up in Japan where he became an important literary figure until his death in 1904. The Ambassador also had private meetings with a number of local firms.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the visit and particularly to Candace McGraw, Bobby Spann, and everyone at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport who provided so much support.