As a community leader, entrepreneur, and mom, Ellen White has served as an integral resource for children with developmental disabilities on the South Shore. Through dedication, compassion and humor, Ellen has helped to create a community of inclusion and joy. Employing her passion for theater, Ellen and her five sisters developed BackYard Players, a summer theatre camp for children. The camp quickly sparked a drive in Ellen that guided her to become the creative force behind South Side High School’s successful Centre Stage Program. Centre Stage pairs special-education and general education students who perform an entertaining show each year. Since its founding, Ellen has helped write, direct and produce the all-inclusive play helping Centre Stage to become a popular collaborative community event. In addition to Southside High School Ellen has brought the Centre Stage program to Valley Stream and New Hyde Park Students with developmental disabilities attend HS until the age of 21 when they “age out” of the education system these students are then at risk to lose their network of friends, their social interactions and their community involvement. In response to this need, Ellen and her sisters, Cristine Daly & Joan Kelly, along with the expertise of Ryan Delaney, created Backyard Players & Friends. Backyard Players & Friends is an inclusive art-based community program located in RVC. This program fosters acceptance through the sharing of ideas, experiences, and creativity. Backyard Players & Friends seeks unity without uniformity, and diversity without fragmentation. They offer community enrichment classes in theater, dance, yoga, zumba and much more. BYP participants are invited to seasonal dances, field trips, and participate in community service events. The sense of joy found at Backyard Players & Friends is unparalleled. The program has proven to encourage lasting bonds amongst its members and the community. Ellen also worked with the RVC Lacrosse Club for years and helped start the Girls Program. Ellen is a loving mother, nana, wife, sister, aunt, and friend. She values the strength of family and will offer support to anyone in need. She has been a devout community member in Rockville Centre for over twenty-five years along with her husband, Chris, and their four sons: Tim, Christopher, Ryan, and Terence. Anyone who has had the privilege of meeting Ellen, knows how generous, kind and driven she is. Ellen has always put others first and her selflessness is something to be emulated.
Dr. Drew Bogner assumed the presidency of Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York in July 2000. Under Dr. Bogner’s 18 years of transformational leadership, Molloy College has reframed itself from a predominantly baccalaureate undergraduate institution into a comprehensive, graduate-granting institution, adding numerous Masters’ programs and three doctoral programs. Dr. Bogner is also credited for increasing the College’s enrollment from 2,200 to approximately 4,900 students. Dr. Bogner serves on numerous boards including the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation, LIRACHE (Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education), the Long Island Association, the Long Island Superintendents-College Presidents Partnership (S-CPP), the Boy Scouts of America – Theodore Roosevelt Council and on the advisory committee for the LIRR Third Track. Dr. Bogner is a member of the Long Island Stem Hub Steering Committee, a member of LHVCCC (Lower Hudson Valley Catholic College & University Consortium), serves on the ECC (East Coast Conference) and has also served as Chair of the NCAA Division II President’s Council and as a member of the NCAA Executive Committee. Dr. Bogner earned a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in History from Kansas Newman College. He later went on to receive his M.S. Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas School of Education in Lawrence, Kansas.
John F. Coghlan was raised in Baldwin, NY along with his three sisters. He attended St. Agnes High School where he met his wife Patti (nee Croutier). After high school graduation he attended North Adams State College in Massachusetts and received a Master’s in Education from Harvard University. He would later be awarded a Doctor of Laws from his undergraduate school. Patti and John have been married for forty two years. They have four married children and eight grandchildren. All reside in Rockville Centre, NY. John spent twenty-eight years in the financial services industry working at Lehman Brothers. He was a Managing Director and served in several senior management positions. He was a member of the Equity Division Management Committee as well as the Fixed Income Division Management Committee. He worked in similar capacities for two years at Barclays and retired five years ago. John shares his vast experience in his current role as Director at Data Storage Corporation. John has been extremely active in the community as well. He has coached CYO basketball for many years and served on the CYO board. He recently completed a twelve year term as a Trustee on the Molloy College Board. Both John and Patti are active members of Legatus, an organization of business leaders and their spouses dedicated to supporting the Magisterium of the Church. John has received recognition for his charitable works, including the Bishop McGann Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with Mercy Hospital and the St. Thomas Aquinas Award for his significant contributions to Catholic education.
Patricia Ann Norris-McDonald has served for the past 10 years as Mayor of theIncorporated Village of Malverne. She first served in village government when she became a Trustee for the Village of Malverne in June of 1996. During that time, she served as Police and Fire Commissioner, Liaison to the Building Department, Merchants Association and Youth Board as well as a member of the Traffic Commission and Celebrations and Entertainment Committee. As Mayor, she is responsible for overseeing all activities of a Village of almost ten thousand residents. She appoints all non-elected officials, supervises Village employees and enforces the Village Laws and Ordinances. Mrs. McDonald was born in Rockville Center of parents of Irish decent. She graduated from Sacred Heart Academy and earned a degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandizing from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her maternal grandmother is from Cork and her maternal grandfather from Sligo. Her paternal grandparents are Dubliner’s and her grandfather a graduate of Blackrock College. Mrs. McDonald has been involved in countless activities and received numerous honors. She has served as coordinator and coach of girls’ basketball at Our Lady of Lourdes CYO and coaches varsity tennis at Sacred Heart Academy. She has served on the Board of the Diocese of Rockville Centre – Momma’s House and on the NYS Board of Visitors Helen Hayes Hospital. She is the recipient of the St. John’s University – Elizabeth Ann Seton Award and Presidents Medal, the National Mother of the Year Award, the Town of Hempstead Path Finder Award and the Holyoke National John F. Kennedy President’s Medal. Mrs. McDonald co authored the book, The Steven McDonald Story, with her husband NYPD Detective Steven McDonald and appears often with him to speak about faith and forgiveness. They reside in Malverne, with their son, NYPD Detective Conor McDonald.
Michael O’Reilly was born in Brisbane, Australia, the youngest of seven children, to parents John and Mary, who were both born and raised in County Cavan, Ireland. The family came to the USA from Australia in 1962 when he was six years old, settled in the Bronx and later moved to Manhattan. Michael has been a resident of Rockville Centre for the past 24 years. He was married for over 20 years to the former Colleen O’Sullivan, a lifetime resident of Rockville Centre and a graduate of both St. Agnes Cathedral Grammar School and High School. Colleen passed away in December 2004 after a long battle with leukemia. Michael and Colleen have three beautiful daughters of whom he is extremely proud: Caitlin, Kerry, and Erin. Michael’s community activities include being a member of The Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 14 of Rockville Centre and Lynbrook where he served as Chair of the Building Fund from 2000 to 2005. He served on the St. Agnes Cathedral School Board from 1996 to 1999 where he headed the Finance/Budget Committee from 1996 to 1998, and was elected School Board President serving from 1998 to 1999. He was also a member of the St. Agnes Cathedral School Fathers Club, The Friends of Mercy Medical Center, and The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick on Long Island. Michael began his involvement with the RVC St. Patrick’s Parade Committee shortly after its inception in 1996 and joined the committee in 1997, serving on the Fund. Raising and Journal Committee from 1997 to 2001, and Co-Chair of the Publicity and Marketing Committee from 2004 – 2005. In 2006 Mike was elected as the first President of the Board of Directors of the Parade Committee and Co-Chairman of the Parade’s General Committee where he served for three years.
Bob Williams is long-time Rockville Centre attorney and the Parade’s original attorney. Mr. Williams is a native of Rockville Centre who comes from a tradition of service to the Village, as his father was Deputy Mayor of Rockville Centre. He attended St. Agnes Cathedral School and Chaminade High School before graduating from Boston College and St. Johns University School of Law and being admitted to the Bar of the State of New York in 1967. Following law school, Mr. Williams served in the U.S. Army and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. He began his legal career as an attorney with the Town of Hempstead and then opened a law practice in Rockville Centre in 1986, twenty-eight (28) years ago, which he still maintains today. In addition to his local law practice, Mr. Williams served as a Rockville Centre Village Justice for sixteen (16) years, from 1991 to 2007, during which time he was elected and served both as President of the Nassau County Magistrates Association and as Chairman of the Real Property Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association. He also is a past President of the Nassau University Medical Center, and has served as a member of the Mercy Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Friends of Mercy Hospital, and the St. Agnes School Board. In addition, Mr. Williams served as counsel to the Rockville Centre Board of Zoning Appeals and currently serves on the Board of Ethics for both the Village and the Rockville Centre school district. He also found time to coach both Little League and soccer.
Sean O’Rourke is long-time Rockville Centre resident. Mr. O’Rourke was the oldest of eight (8) children born to Bridget and Thomas O’Rourke in County Galway, Ireland, and came to America in 1971 at the tender age of 19. A mere two (2) years later he had risen to become the President of Division #3 of the Nassau County Ancient Order of Hibernians, making him at that time the youngest Division President in the country. He was honored as Division #3’s Man of the Year in 1980. By 1993 Mr. O’Rourke had acquired a controlling interest in and became President and Chief Executive Officer of Coast-Line International Distributors Ltd., a supplier of raw materials to the aircraft and aerospace industries, where he remains today. On the charitable side, for approximately the last thirty (30) years, Mr. O’Rourke has been a member and one of the main sponsors of the Galway Mummers Festival, which promotes traditional Irish music, dance and storytelling. In 1987 he was a founding member of the Eire OG Gaelic Football Club, and is presently a member of the Long Island Gaels Hurling and Football Club and a Selector of the Hurling team. Both the New York State Gaelic Athletic Association and Ards Friary honored Mr. O’Rourke in 2010 as their Man of the Year.
Thomas Glynn is a lifelong resident of Rockville Centre, born fourth of six children to the late Thomas Sr. and Madeline Glynn. After graduating from St. Agnes Elementary School and the Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, Tom attended St. John’s University before graduating from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. Tom and his beloved wife Eileen were married on June 24, 1967. Tom is a life- long parishioner of St. Agnes Cathedral where he serves as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector and where he attends Mass every morning. Tom is a fourth degree Knights of Columbus member of the Father Joseph O’Connell Council and is a long time member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Tom is honored to serve the residents of the Village of Rockville Centre as a fifty-one year member of the Rockville Centre Fire Department, during which time he was elected Chief of the Department. He was also elected to the Rockville Centre Village Board of Trustees and as Nassau County Legislator for the Fifth Legislative District. Tom’s greatest honor, however, has been in service to his community as owner and manager of the Thomas A. Glynn & Son Funeral Home in Rockville Centre.
Kathleen Alcock is a long time Rockville Centre businesswoman and owner of “Kathleen’s of Donegal.” She was born in County Donegal as the oldest of three children. In 1958, at the tender age of 19, Kathleen set sail to America and an uncertain future. During the next three years, Kathleen lived with her aunt in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and worked in the hotel industry. In 1961, Kathleen set off for New York and another uncertain future, working for the next four years in Schraff’s Restaurant in Manhattan. After returning to Ireland just before Christmas, 1965, she met her husband, Thomas Alcock, by chance on a trip to England to meet friends. They wed in February 1967. In the early 1970s, Kathleen decided to follow her dream and opened her own Irish handcraft and gift shop business as an extension to her own home in County Donegal, allowing her to run her home and business at the same time. In the early 1980s, Kathleen opened her second Irish craft shop in Donegal town. After the opening of this second shop, Kathleen became involved heavily in organizing tours and events for various Irish American associations and produced a visual travelogue of Donegal’s history, scenery, and folk traditions for tourists. While visiting New York in 1986 to promote her completed video of Donegal, Kathleen visited Rockville Centre where she instantly felt a connection to both the town and the people. This instant connection led Kathleen to open Kathleen’s of Donegal at 10 North Park Avenue in March of 1987. During its long tenure in Rockville Centre, the shop has provided a hand knit sweater to the late President Ronald Reagan and Belleek porcelain china to former President Bill Clinton. In addition, Kathleen’s of Donegal has donated hand knit sweaters to New York Governors and traditional Irish walking sticks to the Grand Marshals of the St. Patrick’s Parades in both New York City and Rockville Centre
Joe Kelly and Bud Cosgrove – were original founders of the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Joseph F. Kelly and his wife, Dianne, have lived in Rockville Centre for almost 40 years. Mr. Kelly is a graduate of St. John’s Prep, Niagara University, did postgraduate work at the NYU Graduate School of Business and served as a First Lieutenant with the U.S. Army in Korea. Professionally. On the charitable side, after helping organize the first Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade, Mr. Kelly served as Chairman of the Parade Committee, and his wife Dianne served as the Committee’s Secretary. He has also served as Chairman of the Maple Avenue Task Force, Chairman of the Rockville Centre Environmental and Beautification Committee from 1978 to 1983, and he is a past member of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick on Long Island. Mr. Kelly received the Edward D. Riley Award and the Joseph P. Molinari Award from the Villanova Educational Foundation and is Chairman of The Reverend Thomas Concagh Scholarship Fund at St. John’s Prep in Queens. Bud Cosgrove and his wife Suzie have lived in Rockville Centre for 42 years. Mr. Cosgrove is a Vietnam era Army veteran, serving with the 269th Signal Company in Orleans, France during the Berlin Wall and Cuban missile crises. Professionally, Mr. Cosgrove began as the Assistant Director for Recreation for the Town of Hempstead, where he played an integral role in the planning and implementation of the Town’s nationally recognized ANCHOR program. After leaving the Town of Hempstead, he served for 25 years as one of the founders and executives of the Nassau County Department of Recreation and Parks. As Deputy Commissioner of Nassau County’s Recreation and Parks Department, Mr. Cosgrove had responsibility for the operations of Nassau County’s active park system. Since 2000 he has been the Director of Senior Wellness and Special Needs Programs at Sportset Health and Fitness Club in Rockville Centre, and he has been an Adjunct Professor at C.W. Post University in its School of Management Health Care and Public Administration for over 30 years. On the charitable side, after helping organize the first Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade, Mr. Cosgrove served as Co-Chairman of the Parade Committee for ten years, and he remains active on numerous sub-committees of the Parade to this day.
Bernie O’Brien was born in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY to Frank and Madeline O’Brien. He is one of 5 children. After graduating from Hastings High school in 1950, he attended Brockport State Teachers College and graduated with a BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1954. He served in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1954- 1956 and was stationed in Berlin, Germany. He then continued his education at NYU and earned a secondary Administration Degree in 1957. Mr. O’Brien has been married to his beloved wife Marilyn Logan of Rockville Centre for 49 years. They are the proud parents of seven children; Tim and Steve both worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and sadly were victims of the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. Bernie has been a parishioner at St. Agnes for 49 years. He has served his fellow parishioners as both a lector and Eucharistic Minister. Bernie has opened the Cathedral at 5:00am for 33yrs, 7 days per week where he prepares the church for daily Mass to assist the Priests of the parish. In addition, he ministers to the homebound and has trained potential altar servers for 18 years. The O’Brien’s were the first couple from St. Agnes to receive the “St Agnes Cathedral Diocesan Medal” given for service to the church and presented by the Bishop. He was an original member of the St. Agnes Grammar School Board. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion Post 0303. In 1983 he received the NYS Athletics Administrators Honor Award. In 1984 he directed the opening and closing ceremonies for the International Games for the Disabled at Mitchell Field. In 1985 he received a Special Service Award from the NYS Athletics Administrators Association. The National Interscholastic Athletics Association gave Mr. O’Brien a Special Honor Award in 1986. As the Grand Finale of his career in Athletics, Mr. O’Brien was inducted into the NYS Public High School Athletic Association Hall-of-Fame as an Athletic Administrator on August 5, 2009. “
Honorable Francis Murray was born and raised in Rockville Centre, and is one of eight children of former longtime Rockville Centre Mayor Eugene Murray and his wife, Marylou. After graduating high school from Cardinal Farley Military Academy, Fran attended the University of Dayton before returning to live in Rockville Centre. He is the President of F.X. Murray Cleaning Services of Rockville Centre, and has been an active member of the Rockville Centre Fire Department for over 36 years, currently belonging to Floodlight & Rescue Co. #1. Mr. Murray also served as an Emergency Medical Technician, and is the 2008 Co-Chairman of the Environmental & Beautification Committee for Rockville Centre. He has also been involved in the Rockville Centre Community Fund as a member of its Golf Committee for over 20 years. He is a long time member of the RVC Council of the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Holy Septechre and of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s of Long Island. On the charitable side, Mr. Murray was co-chairman of the St. Agnes Parish Celebration 1982, served on the St. Agnes Cathedral School Board, and was on the Celebration Committees for the 75th and 90th Anniversaries of the school. He is also a member of the St. Agnes Father’s Club and received its St. Thomas Aquinas Award in 2001. In addition to his work at St. Agnes, Mr.Murray has been a member of the Friends of Mercy Board of Sponsors for more than 30 years, serving as its president in 1999. He is also a member of the Mercy Medical Center’s Board of Governors and has served as Chairman of its Community Relations and Development Committee for more than 10 years. Mr. Murray also served as Chairman of the organization’s St. Patrick’s Dinner in 1995 and 2000.
Frank Darcy was born in Brooklyn, has earned a B.S. from St. Francis College, an MBA in Taxation from Pace University and completed postgraduate study at NYU School of Business in Financial Accounting as well as an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Molloy College. He is a Vietnam veteran. Mr. Darcy was the President and Chief Operating Officer of SAZ Corporation and Realty and Equipment Corporation before creating The Realty Asset Group, Ltd. in 1979. Mr. Darcy built up The Realty Asset Group, Ltd. to a nationally recognized company in the real estate industry, managing, owning, and operating commercial real estate. On the charitable side, Mr. Darcy is Molloy honored a Trustee Emeritus of Molloy College, having served on the Board for over ten (10) years and in 1991, with its “Lifetime Achievement” award. Mr. Darcy is also an advisor to the St. Albert’s Education Fund, a Trustee of the Passionate religious order and St. Gabriel’s Retreat House for children in Shelter Island. He has been a member of the Friends of Mercy Hospital for over twenty three (23) years. He is currently a Trustee of St. Martha’s Parish in Uniondale, N.Y. and a member of the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s real estate, renovation and construction committees. Mr. Darcy is a long-time resident of Rockville Centre with his wife, Anne.
Jack Irwin was one of Long Island’s most popular and prominent Irish Americans ~ and for 11 years special assistant to Governor George Patakj for Irish affairs ~ John Joseph Irwin is a first generation Irish American. His mother was born in County Kerry, his father in County Limerick. Irwin was no stranger to the spotlight. A child actor, he appeared on Broadway in “Life With Father,” and also had roles in movies and on radio. He is a veteran of the Korean War, and retired as a Vice President of Merrill Lynch after a 38-year career. Irwin has been an active and tireless leader in a wide array of Irish organizations ~ not only on Long Island, but statewide and even nationally. He has served the Ancient Order of Hibernians as its National Director, New York State President, Nassau County President, and for 8 years President of Division 14 ~ Lynbrook~Rockville Centre. He has also chaired the Nassau County AOH Feis. He has been Director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center; Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Irish American Republicans; Vice Chairman of the Irish American Heritage Museum; and an Officer in the New York Guard, Irish Brigade. In addition, Irwin has been a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Long Island; the Irish Immigration Working Committee; the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens; the County Limerick Society; Irish Americans in Government; and the Irish Historical Society. He was instrumental in coordinating adoption of the McBride Principles and McBride Contract Compliance Act for the New York State and New York City areas, and was also a member of the Joe Doherty National Committee. And he has also served as moderator for Presidential, State and City Irish American political forums. Irwin has also given considerable effort to supporting youth and education programs. He has been a trustee of the Professional Children’s School, a director of United New Yorkers for Choice in Education, and Director of the Physically Challenged Irish American Youth Team. Jack and his wife Maryann lived in East Rockaway.
David Crowe was the founder of the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade and had the honor of leading the parade on its 10th anniversary in 2006. Love for both his native Ireland – where he had served four years in the Irish Army Reserves – and his adopted American homeland was something David felt from the moment he first arrived in America in 1982; and something he knew he shared with so many other Irish Americans. And so, with the active support of Mayor Eugene Murray, the village board and many hard-working volunteers, David Crowe initiated what has come to be known as “the parade that cares and shares” – an event that not only celebrates that shared Irish American heritage of so many Long Islanders, but also raises significant funds for charity. Through his many successful business ventures – a partnership in the Irish Coffee Pub in Commack, Lily Flanagan’s restaurants in Islip, Wantagh and Rockville Centre, and an arcade he opened in Ireland in 1993 – he has helped create many employment and business opportunities for others. And in 1992 he traveled to Romania to help build an orphanage for underprivileged children. That same sense of personal responsibility has also led David to speak out and work against injustice. At age 17, having begun his apprenticeship as a steam fitter in Ireland, he started a work action and fought for all apprentices to have union representation and to be treated fairly. This led to his becoming the fm apprentice ever to join the National Electrical and Engineering Trade Union. More recently, David created an international stir when he spoke out against the novel “Angela’s Ashes,” a book he found “degrading to Limerick women and all mothers.” All of those personal attributes – David’s patriotism, his business acumen, and his commitment to helping others – are evident in what the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade has become: an immensely popular celebration of Ireland and America, whose financial success raises thousands of dollars every year for charitable causes. W1th all his accomplishments, the most important part of David Crowe’s life is his family: his wife Talmadge, whom he married in September, 2003.
Major General Joseph A. Healey (RIP) ~ had an extraordinary record of service to his country and his fellow man in the military, business, civic and philanthropic arenas. Born in Brooklyn, he attended Brooklyn Prep and St. John’s University, and joined the U.S. Army as an enlisted man and rose in the ranks to Sergeant First Class before becoming a commissioned officer. Serving on the General Staff and as a Unit Commander, he then headed the 69th Infantry (the famed “Fighting 69th”), eventually becoming Commanding General of the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow Division.” He retired from a remarkable military career with the rank of Major General. Joe Healey was no less successful in the world of business, having had an outstanding career with the New York Telephone Company, where he held positions as General Manager for Queens, Director of Economic Development and General Manager of Public Services. Along the way he furthered his education with graduate studies at the Brookings Institute and Harvard University. His contributions to New York were no less distinguished serving as President of the New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Chairman of Disaster Services for the American Red Cross of Greater New York. He has also been a Trustee of Molloy College, as well as taking leadership roles in the National Guard Association of the United States, the Militia Association of NY, and the 42nd Infantry Association. He served as Commissioner of the New York Base Redevelopment Corp. and as a Member of the Emergency Financial Control Board and the Mayor’s Management Advisory Board. Proud of his Irish and Catholic heritage, Gen. Healey has also been active in the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus
Joseph K. Collins ~ was President and Founder of Collins Building Services. Inc. of New York City, a company which he built into a multimillion dollar operation. Mirroring his management style, the company is well regarded in the building maintenance industry for quality, creativity and intention to detail. Proud of his Irish roots, which go back to Counties Tipperary and Meath. Joe Collins has been an ardent and generous supporter of the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade since its inception in 1997. In fact, being a St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal is not new to the Collins clan, since his grandfather, Patrick J. Collins, was Grand Marshal of the New York City Parade in 1917. It is also fitting that Joe is in the “service” business, since service, to his clients, his community, and his family has been his watchword since his younger days, when he started out as a milkman. His service to organizations helping children won him the Outreach Project Award in 1996, in recognition of his dedication to children’s causes and community leadership. A graduate of Baruch College and a U.S. Army veteran, he is also actively involved in professional activities with the Real Estate and Construction Board at Lincoln Center, and the Building Owners and Management Association. Joe Collins is known in his public and private life as one who cares and shares his talents and success, so it is indeed appropriate that he takes the reins as Grand Marshal for 2004 of “The Parade That Cares And Shares.”
Joseph Finton Roughan was a founder and inspiration for the parade since its inception in 1997. Born in Limerick, Ireland, Joe was one of six children born to John and Mary Cooney Roughan. Brought up to respect God, the Church, his family and country, he believed that honesty and hard work would be rewarded, and he has been rewarded with his beautiful wife Noreen. Joe served a carpentry apprenticeship while growing up in Limerick and excelled in hurling, soccer and rugby. But with poor Irish economy at the time, he decided as so many did before him to immigrate to America to practice his trade. Due to his youth, he was offered a “trial” job with a New York construction company, but soon showed his talents and eventually rose from entry level to management. After 25 years with the firm, he decided to open his own business, Roughan Interiors based in Rockville Centre. His reputation for honesty and fine work made the business a well-known success in the community. Having originally settled in Brooklyn, Joe and Noreen and their growing family moved to Rockville Centre in 1965. They “knew right away” that this was the best possible place to raise their family, He has contributed back to his community, being active in St. Agnes Church and School, and Mercy Medical Center. It was also important for him to maintain his Irish identity, staying in touch with his roots and proudly marching with his family, rain or shine, in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year. Mindful of his own experience, he was always willing to help young Irish immigrants find work or a place to stay. He was particularly proud to have worked with several RVC mayors to have St. Patrick’s Day recognized in the village, but he always dreamed of the day when Rockville Centre would have its very own parade, one that would help others while celebrating Ireland’s patron saint. He was one of the small group of visionaries who, with the blessing of the late Bishop John McGann, made it happen in 1997.
James F. Gill, Esq. is a Managing Partner of the prestigious New York law firm of Robinson Silverman Pearce Aronsohn & Berman LLP. He served as General Counsel for the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund Corp.; the Board of Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral; and the James Gordon Bennelt Memorial Foundation. He also served as Chairman of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, under an appointment by New York Stale Governor George Pataki; Chairman of Governor Pataki’s Judicial Screening Panel for the First Department, New York Stale; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Chairman of Group Health Inc. (GHI) which provides medical coverage for approximately 3 million New Yorkers. Mr. Gill is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross and Fordham University School of Law and holds an honorary doctor of letters degree from St. Bonaventure University. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a U.S. Marine Corps legal officer and then as an assistant district attorney of New York County under the legendary Frank S. Hogan. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his public service and charitable endeavors.