The immeasurable value of members of our global diaspora is to be recognized as part of this year’s Belfast International Homecoming, the business and investment conference at which our global and local heroes are the beating heart.

The inaugural Belfast Homecoming Ambassador Medal will recognize 50 outstanding individuals who are helping to build a better Belfast: members of our global family as well as the local heroes building international bridges to our diaspora.

The Homecoming Ambassadors will be feted at a gala dinner in the Europa Hotel on Friday, November 30, where their efforts to build a better Belfast will be formally recognized.

Those ground-breaking and selfless champions of the city range from tech entrepreneurs and start-up founders to transatlantic bridge builders and business leaders, and include Belfast-born Suzanne Aquino, who has long been a champion of her native city.

A global category manager with Chain IQ - an independent, global service company - Suzanne advises her clients on new ways to create value for their customers in a rapidly changing environment. Suzanne, who now resides with her husband in Manhattan, is an active member of the Irish Business Organization.

Read more: Game On! for Belfast International Homecoming

She will be joined on the night by Nicholas Malito, an associate at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, a law practice which focuses on commercial leasing, bankruptcy, litigation, and advising emergent companies.

Chief Executive Officer of the Irish American Partnership, Mary Sugrue is also to be honored, having been with the Irish American Partnership for 27 years and serving as its Executive Director before assuming the role of CEO. Originally from Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, and an Irish teacher by training, Mary has furthered the Partnership’s mission through impactful grants to schools, educational programmes, and community development initiatives.

The founder of the world’s first on-demand insurance platform, Trov will also be recognized with an Ambassador Medal for his motivational and inspirational strengths and the level of commitment he brings to the world of tech. Mark Dowds has earned a reputation for motivating others to get ‘unstuck’ and in two decades has helped get dozens of ventures off the ground, through his Canadian-based incubators Fresh Initiatives and Creationstep. Mark is also the Chairman of Generation Innovation – a programme designed to bring entrepreneurial experiences to high school students throughout the north.

Read moreBelfast – a city of the young

Another of our valued diaspora who ‘hits the ground running’, is the Vice President of Concept to Consumer at Reebok, John Lynch. Appointed to this position in December 2015, John is responsible for Reebok’s Global Business and Marketing Planning, Retail Support, Licensing and Business Development and drives the Reebok brand through all global markets. These diaspora champions will join others from across the globe and our great city to accept the Belfast Ambassador Award.

To nominate a standout individual for the Belfast Homecoming Ambassador Medal please visit

This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributors network by a member of the global Irish community. To become an IrishCentral contributor click here.