The 2009 Women of Influence: CLICK HERE

Award Ceremony Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Welcome to our second annual Most Influential Women list, dedicated to saluting the ladies who make things happen in all walks of Irish-American life.

Times are certainly tough in our recession-wracked economy, but our women leaders have proven to be most resilient. Our 2009 list of achievers, in fact, has grown from last year’s initial 50 to 75-plus, proving yet again – as if any evidence was really needed – that the power of a strong and resourceful woman will shine through no matter how rough the going gets.

When compiling the profiles for this issue, it’s striking to note how passionate the honorees are about their Irishness. Far from being Irish in name only, our notable women share a deep and sincere appreciation for their heritage and all the benefits it has brought to their lives.

Those who came to the U.S. from Ireland seeking their American Dreams played by the hard work rule successfully employed by the immigrants who came before them. And our honorees with an Irish parent or grandparent are equally determined to carry on the proud tradition of those who came before them. 

This year we are delighted to pay tribute to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, selected earlier this year to fill the seat held by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a trailblazing woman if there was ever one. Gillibrand will address our honorees at our celebration later this week at the New York residence of Irish Consul General Niall Burgess – her first Irish event since taking office. 

The senator’s political instincts were first honed thanks to her Irish American grandmother Polly Noonan, founder of the Albany Democratic Women’s Club and a major player in state politics at a time when women were more used to wearing aprons around their waists as opposed to making their political voices heard.

The past year has certainly been a challenging one for any number of reasons. But we will persevere. The women on our 2009 Most Influential list wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Congratulations and best of continued luck to all of our honorees!