On Valentine’ Day, The American Ireland Fund will host its 23rd Annual Black-Tie Dinner Dance, “The Palm Beach Emerald Valentine Celebration,” co-chaired by Michael Gibbons and Thomas C. Quick at The Breakers on Thursday, February 14, 2013.  The Honorary Co-chairmen are Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Michele and Howard Kessler, and Hillie Mahoney.

This year, The American Ireland Fund will honor William B. Finneran, Founding Partner, EXOP Capital LLC; and Chairman and CEO, Edison Control Corporation, with its 2013 American Ireland Fund Business Leadership Award in recognition of his business acumen and philanthropic commitments.

Prior to founding EXOP Capital, Mr. Finneran was a Managing Director at Wachovia Securities.  Before joining Wachovia, he spent 30 years as a Managing Director at CIBC Oppenheimer Corp., an investment banking and securities brokerage firm in New York
Mr. Finneran serves as Vice Chairman of the Partnership for Inner-City Education of the Archdiocese of New York, and sits on the Board of Trustees at Villanova University.

He is also a board member of the National Board of Operation Smile in Norfolk, Virginia; is Director of the Palm Beach Civic Association, and a member of The MD Anderson Board of Visitors and The Anderson Assembly.  Mr. Finneran also serves on the Board of The Ireland-U.S. Council and was on the Board of Directors of Covenant House.  Mr. Finneran was a member of the Board of Trustees at Villanova and is a former President of the Colony Beach and Tennis Association.  He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Commercial Science from Villanova University, where he also earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics
In addition to being a highly accomplished business leader, Mr. Finneran is a philanthropist who supports numerous causes and organizations that include the Partnership for Inner-City Education of the Archdiocese of New York; Operation Smile, and is a longstanding supporter of The American Ireland Fund, for which he served as the Palm Beach Dinner Dance Dinner Chairman  in 2010.
A staunch proponent of education, Mr. Finneran fixed his gaze on Sacred Heart, a private school in Lake Worth that serves children from preschool through eighth grade.  The school was in dire straits and on the verge of closing until he and other philanthropists lent their support and resources.  Among Finneran’s goals is to ensure the school’s progress and “help it thrive and become one of the best in the county.  Anytime you have a chance to help a diverse community, lift it from poverty and offer opportunities through education to further itself, it is deeply satisfying,” said Mr. Finneran, a full-time Florida resident, father of four and grandfather of six.
Over the years, the Fund has honored the Palm Beach Dinner Chairmen and Honorees by allocating a portion of the Palm Beach Dinner Dance proceeds to benefit local charities. Toward that end, AIF has contributed more than $300,000 to Florida-based causes. This year, in Mr. Finneran’s honor, a portion of the Dinner Dance proceeds will benefit the Sacred Heart School in Lake Worth. Other local charities that AIF PB has had the privilege of supporting include Hospice of Palm Beach County, Home Safe, Childcare Resource and Referral, Glades Academy Charter School, The Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County, and the Palm Beach Civic Association.

“We are delighted to give something back to a State that has given so much to Ireland,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds.
The 2013 Dinner Chairmen

Michael Gibbons retired from the Estee Lauder Companies as an Executive Vice President in 2006.  He is the former President of the Ireland/US Council, a business organization. Mr. Gibbons is the current US National Seniors Croquet Champion, and the Vice President of the Croquet Foundation of America, which runs the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach.
Mr. Gibbons has served on the Board of The American Ireland Fund, and he and his wife, Cynthia, are former Dinner Co-Chairmen of The Ireland Fund’s Palm Beach Gala. The Gibbons live in Palm Beach, and have four children and four Grandchildren.
Thomas C. Quick is a retired Vice Chairman of Quick & Reilly/Fleet Securities, Inc. From 1996 to 1998 when the firm was acquired by Fleet, Mr. Quick was President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Quick serves as a Trustee of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, the National Corporate Theater Fund. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Inner-City Scholarship Foundation, a member of its Endowment Fund, and the Partnership for Inner-City Education of the Archdiocese of New York. His other Board affiliates are The American Ireland Fund, Palm Beach and Boston; Hospice of Palm Beach County, The Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, The American Cancer Society and Best Buddies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Senesco Technologies, Inc. and B F Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Quick, a long-time supporter of The American Ireland Fund, lives in Palm Beach.