ICLF President Message

Shamrock Summary 2021 – A Challenging and Optimistic Year!

Summary: Operating income continued to be down, leveraged PPP, Grants and Fundraising to avoid staff furlough and cover all operational costs, offered programs and events online and in person to the community under City of Phoenix COVID guidance, established the ICLF Endowment Fund with Merrill Lynch, nominated Doreen McPaul for the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, continued partnerships with Irish Cultural Centers across the US. Future plans are the Retail Space (started), ESP (continue) and Anniversary Celebrations (started). “The space is beautiful, and I am looking forward to future collaborations with you and across the south-western states.” – Marcella Smyth Los Angeles Consul General

By the numbers:
– 5% increase in membership (528->554 active members)
– 12% increase on Social Media profile and official business status on Twitter, also leveraging Linked In (Facebook 5753-6251, Twitter 567-603 and IG 803-1130)
– $53k PPP loan which accounted for 20% of salary burden
– $51k in grants including $16k from ESP and $8k from E-rate
– $43k in wedding rentals
– $17k in ICLF Board Donations
– 54 events with 4,936 participants and 524 hours of programming
– 168 volunteers with 838 volunteer hours
– 115 tours
– 3 awards including the PDSA from the President of Ireland and 2 awards from the Irish Echo
– 100 books/items sold, 194 Ask a Librarian requests supported, and 30 new library cards issued
– Community Blanket Drive resulted in 3 boxes of donated items
– Other items of note
– We welcomed the new LA Consul General at our Anam Cara event in November
– The city of Phoenix approved our Letter of Intent to begin work on the Retail Space
– We doubled our general contributions
– We installed Library exhibits on multiple floors
– We signed the One Community Pledge
– We are fully booked through 2022

2022 Focus:
– Develop the 600 sq ft Retail Space
– Continue to provide ESP initiatives (includes onsite services on Third Friday in the cottage, St. Brigid and Women Conference event, relocation, travel/VISA/passport guidance, bereavement and
emergency support, Family Day, sports and summer camp)
– Celebration and Anniversary Events leveraging International Artists (includes 100yr Irish State, 100yr Ulysses, 100yr Shamrock Foods, 50yr Ennis-Phoenix Sister City and 10yr McClelland Library)

2021 Accomplishments:
– Continued to adjust to COVID environment and partner with the City of Phoenix to evolve our safety and security plans. Currently closed to the public/walk-in but hosting pre-scheduled events and tours.
– ICLF Endowment is established with Merrill Lynch and a starting fund of $100k.
– Nominated Doreen McPaul for the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for her work with the ICLF and the Navajo Nation during COVID. She accepted the award at a ceremony at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin from President Higgins.
– Received two awards from the Irish Echo – the Rebuilders Award to the ICLF organization and the 40 under 40 to Ciara Archer, our Operations Director.
– Library programs and Genealogy workshops continued online with Story Time outside on occasion. Work is complete on the Sister City, Immigration, 1916 and Irish in AZ exhibits which were show cased at Anam Cara and the St. Brigid’s Day Women’s Conference event. New selves were also installed (ESP grant) along with expansion of the fiction and immigration collections. We also saw an increase in books circulated and curbside will continue.
– ESP committee provided support for bereavement including Mass at Mount Claret to honor those lost during COVID followed by lunch at the center, St. Brigid and Women’s Panel event, travel and VISA guidance, business connections, and summer camp. Confidentiality is maintained.
– Multiple partners have come forward to help us develop the 600 sq ft Retail Space. We submitted our Letter of Intent to the City and have moved into the quotes and plans phase.
– Retained FT and PT staff under the streamlined organizational structure. Enabled flexibility for all employees with WFH and reduced hour options. Evaluating Event Set-up, Academy and Book-keeper PT support and the scope of work for a library employee that has moved to another state. Hired a new PR PT to support media. Leveraging volunteers for Docents, Tours, Events, Visitor Center and other work.
– Continue to be an active member of the Irish Cultural Centers across the US. Established new partnerships with Mango Skies Productions, San Patricios expert, Kerry Productions and the new LA Culture Officer.
– ICLF Treasurer resigned and a new one was elected that has finance experience. Progress has been challenging with some items escalated for resolution and action. The ESP (close) and Payroll (move) accounts are being addressed to resolve compliance issues and align to NP best practice. Plans are in place to move to Quick Books Online and for a new Point of Sale with EOY financial close and available net of expenses funds. Online fund-raising continued and one donor pledged amount was not received.
– Continue to leverage the closure to complete projects including housekeeping, moving items to local storage unit, visitor center redesign, merchandise in online and onsite store (temporary), and installation of the new shelves and exhibit displays in the library.
– All weddings and private rentals were rescheduled, or deposits returned. Very positive feedback from the Bridal Parties on flexibility and the events themselves. Income from this continues to support operating expenses. Adjusted annual events as needed (in person, online, hybrid) and our Currach Event was cancelled.
– New Affiliate Program launched with positive feedback on consistent rates and benefits. Most groups have started to return in person.
– Volunteer training program in place with online test required and dress code planned for when we reopen to the public (tbd).