The Irish Americans
The impressions of immigrant struggle have never left Mike Gibbons’ memory.
"As a young boy I watched my mother wrap gifts of food and clothing to send to our Irish relatives who were having a hard time,” he recalls. While he was enjoying corporate success as executive vice president with Estée Lauder, many of his nights were devoted to giving something back to the immigrant community through his work at the International Center in New York City. “My whole family were volunteers there,” he said in an interview with Irish America. “It’s just a great thing to be able to do, to give back to people who really need help.”
Recently retired from Estée Lauder, Mike is still involved in the community, and as an Irish American – his father made his way to New York from Partry, Co. Mayo, while his mother emigrated from Nova Scotia to the U.S. in the 1920s – is very much involved with things Irish.
In 2002 he became president of the Ireland-U.S. Council, founded in 1962 to encourage business ties between the U.S. and Ireland. His wife Cynthia is an enthusiastic participant in Gibbons’ Irish life, as are their four grown children.
This St. Patrick’s Day they will proudly march beside him as he makes the trip up Fifth Avenue as Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
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