Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Big Cheese

In case you've been living in a sound-proof igloo the past 6 months or so, you know that the fledgling new year is one in which a presidential election will be held here in the U.S. In Iowa first and now New Hampshire, White House wanna-be's are slugging it out like boozy bridesmaids after a bounced bouquet.

They should learn from the Kansas City Irish Fest. We changed presidents this week with nary a whimper. Barney Walsh sidled up to a high stool at the Old President Pub where a silky black pint and the thanks of his staff awaited. And a brand new festival president moved into the shamrock-shaped office at Irish Fest HQ. And it is a great honor for me to introduce her to you. Ladies and gents, Laren Mahoney:

Danny asked that I write a few words to introduce myself now that I’ve officially taken office as president. I went back to see what past presidents Barney Walsh, Rory O’Connor, Ed Follis, Danny Regan, Bob Sullivan and Ed Scanlon wrote when they were in my position, only to find out that I’m the first to do this. Though, I do know these fine gentlemen would even dance for you if Danny asked them to. So I’ve taken the liberty to record their last retirement club party. You’re welcome.

So me in a paragraph: By day, for more than a decade, I’ve worked in public relations, been editor of magazines, helped plan big events, among other things. For KCIF, I’ve managed our public relations and social media efforts (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr) for the past six years. In addition, I manage our website, and helped get our streaming video, surveying and the Travel Area up and running. It was pointed out to me once that I tend to find things that we aren’t doing and implement them. I think that’s because the things we are doing, are being done so incredibly well. And that’s thanks to our dedicated and talented staff and hordes of volunteers that it takes to make this festival happen.

I’m talking with a lot of people about the role of KCIF president. Lot’s of big ideas and plans have come out of these talks. But the common theme I’m finding is: Everyone should have fun. Which, don’t we always? It’s the city’s best party, after all. But, over the next nine months, we have a big job ahead of us as a board and staff… create an epic celebration of music, culture and craic for more than 100,000 people for our 10-year anniversary. And, I’ll do my best to make sure we have a fun time along the way.

Please never forget that this is your festival – no matter if you’re an attendee, volunteer, staff, etc. I encourage you to be vocal. If you have great ideas or concerns, let us know. Our Irish Fest Answer Dude can forward emails to the correct parties. Or, email me.

We have a BIG party to throw this year. And I am humbled and honored to be by your side throughout everything.

Laren Mahoney

Thank you Madam President. We're looking forward to a great year under your leadership. Still don't know how you snuck into our retirement party, but I rock that little black dress.


Anonymous said...

With such a concise start as this, your tenure is bound to be epic. Cheers, Laren!


Mary Alice said...

Looking forward to another great year. And did you mention this is KCIF's first Madame President!

Best of Luck!

IFAD said...

Do what now? What's an email?