Earlier this month, the Grants Pass-based company’s founder Chris Fain and his wife, Valerie, traveled to Belfast in Northern Ireland to attend a business conference.
They were among 50 chief executive officers of U.S. companies invited to meet with United Kingdom officials including former First Minister Ian Paisley of Northern Ireland and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of England.
The conference objective: to persuade these companies to consider expanding. US ‘interested in NI investment’
Investment conference to be held in Belfast in May. President George Bush said America would send a strong delegation to the conference.
*Note ….. Years before I had bought this beaded dress on OnlineAuction. Made in Paris heavily beaded from the 50’s with matching purse and shawl. It is an amazing dress, hard to tell in this photo. Hey thanks for reading my blog….. xoxo !!! 🙂
The landmark USNI investment conference took place on 7-9 May. Around 150 business leaders representing 90 companies attended the events during the three days.
Among the visiting dignitaries attending the events were UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown; the RoI Taoiseach, Brian Cowen; Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, Ambassadors and senior diplomats. Delegates at the main business session were also greeted by messages relayed from US President George W Bush and President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.
The visiting business leaders discussed and explored the exciting business opportunities in the vibrant, new Northern Ireland on the first anniversary of the new devolved administration. The conference provided a unique opportunity for delegates to see the dramatic transformation that has taken place in Northern Ireland and to discover for themselves that this new, stable Northern Ireland is open for business The programme began with a welcome reception at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum on May 7 at which Northern Ireland community and enterprise was showcased. The Business Conference and exhibition on the morning of 8 May was followed by a luncheon at Parliament Buildings, Stormont. In the afternoon, visiting US delegates engaged in a discussion session with Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and Republic of Ireland Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.
A gala dinner held that evening at Hillsborough Castle was addressed by the Heads of Government.
On Friday May 9 the conference concluded with a number of sector specific sessions, and a visit programme which allowed delegates to experience some of the delights of Northern Ireland’s landscape, culture and leisure.
“The event is fully endorsed by UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, the US administration, the Government of the Republic of Ireland and the European Union.”
*Notes. I wasn’t supposed to bring my camera….ooops! Greeted Ian Paisley, loved his testimony! He talked of being in prison and his beliefs in God. I got lost trying to find the “Cloak Room” Secretary of state showed me the way. Stayed in famous Europa, 12 story hotel in Belfast. The most bombed hotel in Europe bombed 16 times. Went to Queens University founded by Queen Victoria, The Bush mills Inn, Stormont Parliament for lunch, Transport museum conference.