Last night the board of directors of the Kansas City Irish Fest met for the final time in 2013. It was a fond and sad farewell to two of our leadership team and a warm welcome to three more as the board expands to 11 members.
Today, the farewells.
Departing the board on December 31st is Carrie Slattery, longtime Irish Fest treasurer. Carrie has been with Irish Fest since the very earliest days and is our longest serving treasurer and second longest serving board member. Carrie's job during Fest weekend kept her largely out of public view high above the festival grounds in our offices but she has truly been the driving force behind keeping us solvent and successful for our 11 years. No mere bean counter, Carrie is also one of the warmest, sweetest, sunshiniest people to ever sit at our board table. She did a thankless job with a constant and unwavering smile and rare grace. I'm proud and honored to call her a friend and colleague and so glad that she'll finally get to come down form the tower and enjoy the fruits of her labor at Irish Fest 2014 and in the years to come.
Also leaving the board is our 2013 president, my buddy Davey Colgan. Davey will be the first to tell you that he joined us reluctantly but once in, he served with dedication, humor and passion. Dublin born and bred, Davey kept us authentically Irish and made it his personal mission to make sure that while building our little hooley into one of the nation's and the world's largest Irish events that we never, ever took ourselves too seriously. As an employee of the Boulevard Brewery we knew that Davey would be invaluable in the hospitality side of our event, but he enthusiastically leapt into every area of the festival, an effort which lead, much to his chagrin, to the presidency in his final year. As our president in 2013 he continued to take on every task, no matter how mundane, with the Irish joie de vivre (or whatever the Irish version of that is) that he's known far and wide for. Davey will be sorely missed by the board of directors, but will be a welcome addition to the retirees' club in the whiskey lounge on Fest Friday.
Carrie and Davey, slán agus beannacht leat. Go raibh maith agaibh.
Tomorrow, we'll meet the newbies.