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Margaret (Peggy) Dalton Prendergast
El Paso Texas by way of County Wexford, Ireland

Our grandmother and first inspiration for this book. A tough, independent and resourceful woman who lived to be 95 years of age. She shared the gift of her joy in life and her love of family. Peggy was an immigrant to America who loved her Irish roots. Most important, she embodied the idea of a positive, assertive, person who made the best of life.

Pat Prendergast Connorton,
El Paso, Texas

Tricia’s mother and the second inspiration for this book. Pat was just as strong and resilient as her mom, Peggy Prendergast and taught Tricia how to face life’s challenges head on with a spirit of tenacity and grace.

Laney De Jesus
Revere, Pennsylvania

Laney De Jesus is a poet, social media expert, entrepreneur, and a die-hard fan of everything Irish. In an effort to share this love Laney partnered with her cousin James Hayes. Utilizing her social networking talent, America-based Laney and Ireland-based James created the Irish Social Networking group "Friends of Ireland," one of the largest Irish social networks on LinkedIn. “In her spare time Laney writes poetry and records music. Her poem “Heart Elated” is a fitting beginning to the Wise Irish Women book. Laney can be reached at www.linkedin.com/in/elaineanndejesus

Mary Higgins Clark
Saddle River, New Jersey

Mary Higgins Clark's fame as a writer was achieved against heavy odds. Born and raised in the Bronx, her father died when she was eleven and her mother struggled to raise her and her two brothers. Mary was left a young widow by the death of he own husband from a heart attack in 1964. Mary went to work writing radio scripts and, in addition, decided to try her hand at writing books. Mary’s first suspense novel, Where Are the Children? was published by Simon & Schuster in 1975. It became a bestseller and marked a turning point in her life and career. She has sold over 80 million copies of her books over the years and is one of the world renowned mystery writers of our day. Mary advises ", "Somebody once said if you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, love what you do. That's the way it is for me--I love to spin yarns." Mary can be reached at www.maryhigginsclark.com

Jane Treacy
West Chester, Pennsylvania

The much loved host on QVC-the home shopping channel. Women of Irish heritage by birth and marriage who cherishes sharing a little bit of Ireland with all her viewers. Most important of all is the strong tie she has with her beloved mother. Though her mother has been gone for more than 18 years, Jane feels her presence in every aspect of her life. She shares her mother's wisdom and love with her viewers and has been able to help others deal with loss. Jane believes that family is the most important thing in the world and cherishes her beloved husband and children every day. Jane can be reached at www.qvc.com

Diane Stopford

New York, New York by way of Dublin, Ireland
Irish by birth and a transplant to America by choice. She is a professionally trained chef who has turned her love of food into a varied and interesting career. She is a writer and personal chef and always open to new adventures and change. Most of all, she values the importance of family and feels that food is a great glue th at brings people together. Diane can be reached at www.dianestopford.com

Rachel Gaffney
Dallas, Texas by way of Cork, Ireland

Rachel is a mother of two boys, wife, chef, philanthropist and an entrepreneur. Rachel has made it her life's mission to educate the world on the "real Ireland" through her business, Rachel Gaffney's Real Ireland. Rachel recognized the beauty and value of the many traits of real Irish people. She has embraced the principal that bringing the best of Ireland to America will help share the wonderful aspects of her homeland with the people of her adopted land. Most important, Rachel believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. Rachel can be reached at www.rachelgaffneys.com

Corinne Dillon
Beijing, China

A Harvard educated woman who lived a varied and interesting life that included living in China with her family as a child. This experience formed the basis for her desire to learn the beautiful and difficult language of Mandarin Chinese. After majoring in Chinese Corinne returned to China which led to her founding a company called, "Discover Mandarin." Her company is based in Beijing and has 10 full time teachers who give live one-on-one lessons over the internet to predominantly English speaking students located around the world. She credits her Irish heritage with giving her the courage and attitude that allowed her to venture out into the world and find her passion. Corinne can be reached at www.discovermandarin.com

Renee Gatz
Woodbridge, New Jersey

Renee has taken her love of things Irish to the next level by authoring a the book "Wise Words & Witty Expressions." Renee's willingness to take a chance and risk changing her career path has opened a new door. She now is an active speaker discussing the maxims found in her book. Renee's story inspires us all to follow a dream and embrace an opportunity. Renee can be reached at www.reneegatz.com

Marianne McDonald
San Diego, California

Professor, writer, mother and philanthropist, among her many accomplishments, she was instrumental in the founding of the Scripts McDonald Center which has an award winning program for the treatment of drug and alcohol dependency. Marianne has written numerous works including a semi-autobiographical play which was performed to rave reviews. When asked what is most important to her, Professor McDonald shared with us her most heartfelt belief...."do good to others. Do it so the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing." Marianne can be reached at mariannemcdonald.com

Joanna Wilson Vargas
Manhattan, New York

Joanna runs a world renowned business located on New York's famous Fifth Avenue, Joanna Vargas Skin Care Sanctuary She has developed a line of products and created a program that provides for a unique spa experience. She claims her Irish roots from her father's side and credits her Irish perseverance with her ability to make a success of her business and giving her the courage to commit to doing something she loves. Joanna recognizes the important premise that each woman has her own beauty. Women need to have the confidence to believe it. Joanna can be reached at www.joannavargas.com

Judy Daly
New York by way of the Midlands, Ireland

Growing up in Ireland's Midlands, Judy learned from her mother that families are built not only on blood but on love as well. That Irish love is what formed a connection between Judy and a young child from South America creating her own unique family connection in New York. Judy’s story is a testimony to her mission in life, which she states as, “I enjoy life’s journey and remind myself every day that I am only passing through.”

Mary McAuliffe
Dublin, Ireland

Mary McAuliffe, Department Member of Social Justice at the University College in Dublin has made history her life’s work, focusing on aspects of social justice. Mary believes that women must never forget where we have come from and guard our rights so we do not lose what we have gained. Mary attributes her success to a loving home, solid upbringing, education and a strong family foundation. She uses that strength to tell the stories of others. By shedding light to the stories and history of the wrongs of the past, Mary contributes to improving the future.

Janet Stephenson
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City native Janet Stephenson knows firsthand about the cultural influence of Ireland. Embracing her Irish roots to provide a foundation for her life, she is an example to her friends and family of how to live for faith and family. Taking great pleasure in the little things in life, she makes every day a celebration. Janet is an example of a woman living her life on her own terms, even at the age of 93.

Karen Rankin
Dallas, Texas

As a Business Development Executive working with C-Suite executives, Karen Rankin defined success as the completion of an action item or a goal. Through a desire to make a difference and a connection with a little girl named Elizabeth fighting to survive cancer, Karen dedicated much of her time to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Team in Training. Little did Karen know that her work to help families with cancer would prepare her for one of the biggest challenges in her life; facing the loss of her own father to cancer. She lives by the words she heard from her Irish upbringing: “To finish is to win.”

Nannette Rundle Carroll
San Francisco Bay Area, California

Nannette Rundle Carroll is a popular speaker, management trainer, and author of The Communication Problem Solver. She is also a top-rated faculty member with the American Management Association. Nannette remembers her parents and Irish grandparents and the sacrifices they made so Nannette would have the best gifts of all – faith and an education. These gifts enabled her to design a career around her passion for writing and communicating. Nannette can be reached at www.communicate2go.com

Elaine Ní Bhraonáin
New York, New York by way of Dublin, Ireland

Elaine Ní Bhraonáin has designed her career around her life’s’ purpose - to reconnect people of Irish ancestry to their native tongue, Irish Gaelic. Through the language classes she teaches in New York, she hopes to increase not just the fluency level of her students, but cultural pride as well. Elaine is enrolled in a PhD program at the Institute for Irish Studies at the Queens University in Belfast. Her research is focused on “The Negotiation of Irish Identity in New York.” Elaine can be reached at irishlanguage@gmail.com

Lulu O’Sullivan
Dublin, Ireland

Founder of the successful internet shopping website www.giftsdirect.com and www.siopa.com, Lulu O’Sullivan started her business with a great idea and a little Irish luck during the heart of the Irish recession over 20 years ago. Lulu maintains that a combination of a dedicated team, determination, hard work, willingness to take risks and, above all, a belief in the company has enabled GiftsDirect.com to remain the leader in the Irish gift market. Lulu attributes much of her success to the business lessons she learned from her entrepreneurial grandmother. She also prides herself on creating realistic expectations to raise her family while running a successful business.

Mary Gosling
West Cork, Ireland

Upon being presented with a challenge, many Irish have embraced it as an opportunity to begin a new or more successful life. This is true for Mary Gosling founder of Gosling Games. Mary believes that the life blood of the economy is entrepreneurship. Out of necessity people become creative with ideas and start businesses to move forward. Mary opened a bed and breakfast at the age of 19 and has created several games and products that have expanded throughout Europe and North America. All of this while raising her daughter and anchoring her family’s life in Ireland. Mary can be reached at http://goslinggames.ie.

Sally Miller
West Cork, Ireland

Sally Miller is an Irish transplant who was happily engaged in a career she loved as a trauma nurse when a terrible automobile accident required that she change direction. Drawing on her skills and her love of helping people, she embarked on a new career focusing on relaxation and skin therapy. Now she is the successful creator of the Sally Miller Collection, a line of skin care products sold all around Ireland and the world. Always looking for ways to give back, Sally worked with the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) to create business opportunities for Ghanaian women in Africa to set up their own businesses and improve their quality of life. Sally can be reached at www.sallymiller.ie

Naomi McMahon
New York, New York by way of Dublin, Ireland

Naomi McMahon exemplifies the modern day Irish Woman. Educated, hard-working, intelligent, stylish, confident and kind, Naomi personifies the best of what Ireland has to offer. Combining her love of Ireland and her love of New York, Naomi is creating a platform for the world to see and hear about the “New” Ireland. Through her Irish Community she embraces the richness of Ireland and is constantly seeking new ways to share the wonders of her home country with the rest of the world.

Patricia Parks DeNucci
Austin, Texas

Patti DeNucci spends her life connecting people. As an entrepreneur she teaches the art and science of intentional networking and attracting strategic referrals. She recently released her book “The Intentional Networker” and is a speaker and business coach. She attributes her ability to connect to others in business to her Irish heritage and skills she learned from her father and ancestors. Patti can be reached at www.IntentionalNetworker.com

Audrey O’Gorman
Austin, Texas by way of Dublin, Ireland

Audrey has been an American citizen now for a decade, and has embraced the idea of pushing beyond preconceived cultural limits. She encourages women of every nationality to claim the right to make their own decisions and define the quality of their lives on their own terms. After many starts and stops Audrey found her niche in Austin, Texas studying at the Seminary of the Southwest in the Masters of Arts in Counseling program. Audrey purpose in life is to encourage women to create their future on their own terms and to learn from the limitations of our past ancestors.

Eileen Lynch
Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Meet Eileen Lynch, whose son Jack tells the story of a young widow and mother who not only never gave up, but lived a life of joy. Eileen Lynch faced many challenges yet she met each one with dignity and grace and left her family a legacy of strength. Eileen found herself a young widow and made a conscious decision to raise her children on her own. Her long career at Hyatt Roller Bearings in New Jersey brought her a great sense of fulfillment. Eileen passed away in 2010 and her son Jack Lynch pays a touching tribute to his mother’s strength, sense of humor and love and how one person can touch the lives of so many. Jack can be reached at www.seahunterpearls.com.

Anne Martin
San Francisco, California

Reinvention is a necessary part of life and Anne Martin learned it from her Irish grandfather. Coming to America he had to reinvent his entire life and essentially start over from scratch. Anne pursued a career in law in honor of her grandfather. After spending years as a Jag Attorney for the US Navy and a corporate lawyer in Pennsylvania, Anne left a fifteen year legal career to start a business as an independent consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics. The move transformed her as a person. Her decision gave her one true gift that meant more to her than anything; the flexibility to be a mother. Anne’s mission in life is to inspire others to view their challenges as invitations to explore new possibilities for their lives and to recast them into ones abundant with joy, hope and fulfillment. Anne can be reached at www.lawtolipstick.com

Susan Claire McBride Rothman
Kent, CT.

As one of only four women in the 1990’s to achieve the title of Vice President in the male-dominated National Football League, Susan McBride Rothman changed her corner of the world. Susan attributes much of her success to her Irish immigrant grandmother and her first-generation Irish father. Susan approached her career options with the belief that all people should be given an opportunity to succeed. Her attitude, work ethic and skills changed the face of the NFL. Susan has recently entered the world of entrepreneurship and assists small business in creating branding, financing and growth opportunities to achieve success.

Kathleen Onieal
New York, New York.

Kathleen was brought up to believe that everybody was either Irish or in their hearts wanted to be Irish. Her parents were immigrants from Ireland who embraced the best of both worlds in America and Ireland. Kathleen learned her most valuable life lesson from her mother; the lesson of discernment. The trappings of a life of perfection come at too big of a price. Her Irish upbringing helped her to realize that all she needed to make tough decisions in her life was courage. The courage to steer through the turns and know that somehow she would come out alright and even better for the journey.

Barbara Campbell
Dublin, Ireland

Barbara’s career in marketing took her first to Japan where she honed her business skills. A longing for home brought her back to Ireland where she found a career with Fragrances of Ireland. As a spokesperson on QVC, Barbara has an uncanny ability to use television to inspire people to try the Fragrances of Ireland line of perfumes. Through the power of storytelling, which creates a sincere connection with the audience, Barbara reaches out to uplift and make people happy. Barbara can be reached at http://www.perfume.ie

Melanie Fitzpatrick
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Melanie Fitzpatrick grew up looking Irish, feeling Irish and had the charm of Irishwoman. She identified with Ireland so much that she did the next best thing and married an Irishman. Melanie’s search for her identity and her own brand took her down a path to help others identify their own unique personal brand.

Imelda McGratten
Dingle Bay, Ireland

Imelda had accepted the turbulent subtle stress of living in volatile Belfast as normal. A vacation to Dingle Bay Ireland prompted her to completely change her life for the better. Having the courage to speak out loud what her heart was telling her to do creating a sea of change that she and her family embraced as she pursued her dream of raising her family in peace.

Regina Lowrey Adducci
Denver, Colorado

Art is a connection to God and a sharing of the soul messages with the world. There is art in creating beautiful music, paintings, and even windows. There is also art in creating a beautiful life; a life that touches many with a quiet gift of acceptance, grace and most of all, love. Regina Lowrey Adducci brought her gifts of art to the world and shared it with many. Among the many outlets for her talents was a business devoted to creating spectacular stained glass windows. Regina, a masterful artist, always had a knack for creating a sanctuary of peace for everyone who knew her.

Rachel Arbuckle
Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany Italy

Irish artist Rachel Arbuckle draws inspiration from ancient Celtic manuscripts, stone and metalwork to create popular images in contemporary Celtic art. Rachel’s love of art and her good business sense allowed her to create a business around her talent. Today her art is celebrated around the world. Rachel can be reached at www.rachel.arbuckle.com

Ann Montieth
Annville, Pennsylvania

Ann Montieth began her career because of a passion for photography, but then she discovered that a love of something was not enough to make a commercial success of it. Business knowledge is critical to the success of even an art business. A unique connection to Ireland expanded her business to Ireland where she visits several times a year and teaches business to passionate artists. Ann can be reached at www.annmontieth.com

Jane Rundle
North Vancouver, B. C

Since almost winning the Rose of Tralee pageant in New York City in the 1950’s Jane’s life has taken many unexpected twists and turns yet resilience and faith is what has brought Jane through each and every challenge. From losing a child to surviving a stroke after the birth of her son, Jane knows what it means to face tough life challenges with dignity, grace and perseverance.

Diane O’Connor
Streetsboro, Ohio

Diane O’Connor and her husband Rob have spent the last twenty-five years changing the lives of the children of Belfast. Rob and Diane did what few people do. They used their backgrounds, talents, passion and faith to create a non-profit organization that helped the children of Northern Ireland. In the process they founded the catalogue company, Creative Irish Gifts. Through their commitment and tenacity their work created a rippling effect that changed the course of a country and played a part in bringing peace to Belfast.

Lorraine Suankum, Caliegh & Delia Fabro (Celtic Keiki)
Oahu, Hawaii

Lorraine Suankum and her daughters Caliegh and Delia Fabro took their love of Irish dance to Hawaii and brought its joy to the deaf. The furthest place from Ireland may be the paradise of the Hawaiian island chain. Irish Hospitality mixed with the Aloha Spirit and brought forth the force known as The Celtic Keiki. Twins Delia and Caleigh, and their brothers Tristan-Patrick and Gavin, make up The Suankum Clan or what is better known as The Celtic Keiki School of Irish Dance, Music & Culture. They are a family of performers. They introduced Irish step dancing to Hawaii’s Pacific Islanders and took the genre to a new generation and population. Along the way they discovered that this form of dance was especially appreciated by the Deaf. They can be reached at www.celtickeiki.com

Sr. Mary Anne Owens
St. Louis, Mo

Sr. Mary Anne is a Provincial (an official in charge of an ecclesiastical province acting under the superior general of the Religious Order) for a new province in her congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Sr. Mary Anne, served as Executive Director of Dallas Catholic Charities for the fourteen years and is described by colleagues, parishioners and friends as formidable, tenacious and a visionary. Having served as a sister in the School Sisters of Notre Dame for the past forty years, Sr. Mary Anne has chosen a life of service and education. She attributes her commitment to the Catholic Church as having been written into her bones by her Irish parents.

Marcia Wieder
Los Angeles, California

Now that you have experienced a bit of Irish wisdom, the next step is to take action to attain your own dreams. But how do you find the courage to go after your dreams? The creator and founder of Dream University, Marcia Wieder made it her lifelong mission to inspire people to “believe in your dreams simply because they matter to you.” Marcia’s commitment to helping people around the world qualifies her as Irish in spirit. We conclude the Wise Irish Women book with guidance from Marcia on how to make active steps towards change to move forward in action on your dream. Marcia can be reached at www.dreamuniversity.com.
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