Photo courtesy of Tom Dunn Photography
Meet the Irish Network Minnesota Board of Directors
Mary McFarland Brooks – President
Occupation: Communications Manager for Minnesota Department of Transportation. Responsible for aeronautics, passenger rail, and civil rights communications and community engagement. In addition, has served as an adjunct professor in public speaking at Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Irish connection: Mary is 100 percent Irish-American (4 corners are McFarland, Reagan, O’Hanlon & Farrell). Mary is the founding president of Irish Network Minnesota chapter. Serves on St. Patrick’s Association, founding member of Failte Minnesota and is editor of Irish Gazette Media, an Irish American publication and social media company.
Desmond T. Keogh – Vice President
Occupation: Medical device industry consultant and previous president and CEO of Keomed Companies Inc. Keogh has more than 30 years’ experience in medical device sales and marketing, specializing in anesthesia and critical care products. Keogh also worked with International Health Service in Honduras and Nicaragua and with Children’s Heartlink, Minnesota. Keogh also served two years in the US Army Medical Corp.
Irish Connection: Desmond and his wife of 58 years, Patricia, were both born in Dublin Ireland. They immigrated to the U.S. in 1958 and became U.S. citizens in 1967. They have five adult children.
Martie McMahon – Treasurer
Occupation: Martie works for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the Accounting Services Department. Responsible for payroll and accounts payable. In addition, she has lead tours to Ireland, is an avid volunteer for the Irish Fair of Minnesota, travel writer for the Irish Gazette and taught a travel writing class.
Irish connection: Martie is Irish-American on her father’s side from County Clare.
Jane Hall – Secretary
Occupation: Jane works as a Data Reporting Analyst with a background in computer programming, medical lab technology and fine art. Her past experience includes work in computer programming, medical technology, graphic design and research.
Irish connection: Irish American family with roots in Donegal, Cork, Tipperary, and Mayo.
James Elliott Brooks
Occupation: Founder of Irish Gazette Media, the largest Irish media in the Midwest. Brooks has an extensive background in brand journalism and has been a board member of numerous organizations in both Minnesota and North Dakota, where he was a US Congress candidate.
Irish connection: Brooks has Irish ancestors on both his mother’s side, Elliott and McKone and his father’s side who hailed from Armagh. Brooks has served on the St. Patrick’s Association and the Sons of St. Patrick Society among others. He serves as a spokesman for Irish issues throughout the Midwest on radio, television, print and social media.
Laurie Ingram McCrory
Occupation: Laurie is an Art Director for an academic book publisher in Minneapolis MN. In addition, Laurie is also the company’s principal for Laurie Ingram McCrory Design, a design firm specializing in trade and academic book cover design and has spent over twenty years working with book publishers. Laurie stays active in the AIGA, Graphic Artists Guild, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Book Publishers’ Roundtable, Bookbuilders of Boston and Minnesota Bookbuilders. Laurie also serves on the Board of Directors for Minnesota Book Publishers’ Roundtable as Social Media Manager.
Irish connection: Laurie’s Irish background includes ancestors on her mother’s side (Houston) from County Tyrone. She loves everything Irish, and volunteers at various local Irish events. She is the proud mother of three boys, three grandchildren and currently resides in Saint Paul, MN.
Patrick Duffy – Director of Membership
Occupation: Thirty-three plus years of experience working in a number of roles at commercial truck dealerships. Pat served on the Minnesota Trucking Association Board of Directors, is a past president of the Holy Spirit parish Men’s Club, and volunteered for many years at Edgcumbe Youth Hockey Association.
Irish Connection: Pat’s mother, Catherine O’Brien Duffy, came to the America from Carraroe, Ireland. Pat’s cousins who are still in Carraroe operate Aran Island Ferries. His father, Leo Patrick Duffy Sr., was born and raised in St. Paul. Leo’s grandfather came to America from the Roscommon area of Ireland. Pat’s parents were very involved with the Twin Cities Irish American Club, and were owners with Pete and Maureen O’Brien of Irish Import Store from 1971-1977.
Advisory Board of Directors
Neill O’Neill-Legal Counsel