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The Irish American Archives Society
Walks of Life Awards Dinner
February 22, 2007

Every year since 1997, the Irish American Archives Society (IAAS) hosts a fund raiser and awards dinner. The awards honor people who have stood out in their efforts to impact and promote Irish heritage in Northeast Ohio.

This year there were four honorees.

Thomas C. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan is an industrialist. His father founded Republic Powdered Metals in 1947. Tom went into the business and at the time of his father's death in 1971 the business was making approximately $11 million a year.

In addition to his previous roles in the company, Tom became Chairman of the Board after his father's death. He changed the name to RPM Inc., and created a holding company. When Tom retired in 2002 there were 40 independent operating units under RPM. RPM had become an international leader in specialty coatings.

Included in RPM's holdings are Rustoleum and Day-Glo. The company, at the time of his retirement, was worth $3 billion.

J.C. Sullivan and Honoree Thomas Sullivan

J.C. Sullivan and Honoree Thomas Sullivan

Tom has received many awards and has been affiliated with many charitable and non-profit organizations including Malachi House, Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation and City Year.

He and his wife Sandra are the proud parents of four sons and two daughters.

Sr. Maureen Burke, SND. Sr. Maureen is a teacher and a principal at Regina High School in South Euclid. She joined the Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon in 1973.

She is the daughter of Irish immigrants and is one of eight children. Sr. Maureen has taught Irish History in various venues, including the Padraic Pearse Center. She has also led retreats in Celtic spirituality.

Honoree Sr. Maureen Burke and brother Mike Burke

Honoree Sr. Maureen Burke and brother Mike Burke

She is a member of the East and West Side Irish American Clubs, The Padraic Pearse Center, The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Pioneer Total Abstinence Society. Read more of her story.

George E. Condon. George Condon wrote for the Plain Dealer for over 40 years, including his time as the first television critic the paper ever had. Many of his articles focused on Cleveland's Irish neighborhoods and customs.

Honoree George Condon

Honoree George Condon

He has written eleven books about Cleveland, including a book preserving the Irish nicknames from the area.

He and his late wife Marjorie had seven children. Read more of his story.

Gerald M. Quinn. Gerry Quinn was born in Ireland. He is a founding member of the Irish American Club, East Side (1978) and the Mayo Society (2004). He was also a founding trustee of the IAAS.

He can be heard on WHK 1420 on the Gerry Quinn Irish Radio show, which has been on the air for 27 years.

Gerry and his wife, Nellie, own QIP Mechanical, a process piping, air conditioning and heating company. They have one daughter and five sons.

Gerry and Nellie Quinn family

Gerry and Nellie Quinn family

Gerry is well known for his efforts to keep Cleveland area Irish in touch with their Irish heritage and culture and to pass it on to future generations. He is a strong proponent of Irish music and the fine art of story-telling.

Past honorees of the Walks of Life Ward include people from all walks of life: politicians, lawyers, doctors, judges, teachers, religious, dancers, parents, writers, construction workers, office workers and more.

The honorees of all eleven years have one thing in common. They love their Irish heritage and want to share it with future generations.

The event, held at Windows on the River, was well attended, as always. Family and friends of the honorees joined with supporters of IAAS to make this year's event a success.

View more photos of honorees and attendees at the event.

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