Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea, today hosted a Civic Reception in honour of Chicago man Mr. Bill Gainer.
Bill is an active member in the city of Chicago and Cook County Irish Trade Missions. He has hosted Mayors, Members of the Irish Government and business leaders to promote trade and business development between Chicago and Ireland.
Mr. Gainer is Chairperson of the Cook County side of a partnership between Cork County and Cook County, and has been so since the establishment of this partnership in 1999. In the years since the initial Sister County Agreement with Cook County was signed, the enhanced commercial and cultural links have provided enormous dividends for Cork. There have been ongoing trade and political visits between Cork and Chicago which have focused primarily on Tourism, IT and Biotech.
One of the key creations of these collaborations has been the establishment of the Cork Convention Bureau in 2007. 40 international ambassadors promote Cork as an International location for conferences, congresses and meetings. Mr. Gainer was the first, and remains, one of these ambassadors. In latest figures, the Cork Convention Bureau generated €35m in business tourism, €11m in international conferences and saw over 6,000 international delegate visits.
Many Cork businesses have also been introduced to the US Market, a key mission and an ongoing success in this partnership. Only recently, a Cork software development company began working with US companies.
Galway is also involved in a sister agreement with Cook County and was represented by Mayor of the County of Galway, Mr. Frank Fahy, who thanked Mr. Gainer and complemented his unwavering work with the Irish Diaspora.
Derry Cronin, as a representative of the Irish side of the Agreement credited the lead Cork County Council have taken in this trade mission while recognising the doors that have been opened for the private sector through Bill’s assistance.
Mr. Bill Gainer thanked the many members of the Cook County side of the agreement together with Cork County, acknowledging the efforts of all involved and the positive years of alliance and connectivity, particularly in this world of global access. Mr. Gainer also noted the importance of finding few friendships and keeping them, adding the key to success is forming worldwide communities.
Mr. Tim Lucey, Chief Executive Cork County Council also noted ‘It is wonderful to welcome Mr. Bill Gainer to County Hall and acknowledge an individual who has opened so many doors for so many people, both from a business and recreational perspective. For nearly 2 decades Bill has turned opportunities into reality, and this reality is both delivering and growing every day for Cork County.’
Speaking at the Civic Reception, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea commented “Bill Gainer has worked tirelessly to foster and cultivate connections between Cook County and Cork County, connections that are extremely important and beneficial to our County. Bill promotes, and successfully delivers, in creating opportunities for Cork enterprises within US Markets. Bill Gainer continues to drive and encourage growth in economic and cultural exchanges between Cork and Cook County. We are both grateful, and honoured, to have such a relationship with Bill Gainer.”