At the beginning of March, the Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA) elected AJ Gerritson to serve as their new president.
Gerritson helped co-found BIBA, which was originally the New England chapter for the Ireland Chamber of Commerce United States (ICCUSA). He was a board member for the ICCUSA before helping re-launch the organization as the Boston Irish Business Association in order to better serve their members.
As BIBA president, Gerritson’s will be responsible for furthering the organization’s mission of fostering economic and professional growth among their members, while retaining and strengthening their connections to Ireland.
Gerritson, also a founding partner of the Boston-based agency 451 Marketing, says his experience there has helped prepare him for this position.
“I have learned a great deal about running and growing an organization through my work at 451,” said Gerritson. “To be successful you have to hire the best talent, recognize people’s strengths, empower and motivate them, and provide a clear vision for growth.”
It seems the new president is doing just that. Gerritson has implemented a “strategic growth plan” in order to further BIBA’s impact and value to the community and its members. The organization is currently comprised of about 500 members, but by the time Gerritson’s term is over, he aims for a total membership around 3,500. Beyond increasing membership, Gerritson hopes to hire an executive director by 2013 and increase the number of corporate sponsors.
Not only is BIBA benefiting from his experience at 451 Marketing, but Gerritson believes 451 would not be the same without the BIBA.
“I have developed some amazing relationships and secured some of our larger contracts directly through my connections at BIBA.”
In 2010, Gerritson was recognized by Boston Business Journal as a member of their “40 Under 40” which recognizes forty of Boston’s most successful young professionals.
Born West Roxbury, Gerritson was raised in Dedham and eventually graduated from University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in journalism and political science. At UMass, Gerritson was a member of the men’s rugby team and where he was 2-time All-American.
Gerritson’s mother’s side originally hailed from Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, and has proved a source of great pride for AJ. He has also spent time in Ireland in his early twenties while playing for the Young Munster Rugby Club in Limerick.
Gerritson obviously encourages any one interested in joining BIBA to do so.
“Like many other Irish organization, BIBA retains and celebrates our connection with Ireland,” says Gerritson. “For those looking to grow a business or advance their career, BIBA is an incredible resource.”
BIBA helps foster lifelong relationships within its membership ranks, and, as Gerritson will tell you, they aren’t all business related.
“I made the single most important connection of my life at a BIBA event: my wife Meaghan!”