June 24 marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Ireland Portugal Business Network and what a journey it has been! We have been inspired by leaders such as Ryanair's Michael O'Leary, Carlos Moedas, Pat McCann, Daniel Traça, Professor Brian Norton, and Paschal Donohoe amongst many, many others.
We have been supported every step of the way by the Embassy of Ireland, particularly former Ambassador Orla Tunney, and current Ambassador Ralph Victory, and Tom Redmond. The support of the State Agencies such as Enterprise Ireland by Alberto C. and Raul Marigorta and in Dublin by Susana Cardoso of Turismo de Portugal and Luís Reis of AICEP Portugal Global is incredible.
But away from the big headline acts, we continue to make connections every day between Irish and Portuguese people and businesses. At its heart, the network is about helping its members to make meaningful connections and to make doing business across the countries easier. We have supported our members with information, opportunities to showcase what they do, and participation in events that advance their business opportunities.
This is a huge team effort. On the occasion of our fifth birthday, I want to acknowledge and thank all of our board members, past and present for their generous and ongoing contribution of time and expertise to making the network "work". I thank Arnold Delville for wholeheartedly embracing the Irish in him he never knew he had and doing all of the groundwork on behalf of our members. I thank Ellis Dixon for revolutionizing our communications to and for our members.
Most of all, I thank our members whose enthusiastic participation and willingness to contribute are ensuring the relevance, growth, and success of the IPBN into the future.
I look forward to seeing you all at some event soon! - Aoife Healy