About Us

About the St Patrick’s Festival Trust

The festival was started by a group of passionate Irishmen in 1995 in order to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and New Zealand’s rich Irish connections.

The festival has evolved over the past couple two decades and now encompasses a broad range of cultural, sport and entertainment events.

Governance

Russell O’Brien – Chair

Russell is an entrepreneur, investor and innovator. A native of Dublin, he has lived in Auckland since 1989. He has founded, grown and exited two New Zealand technology companies, and worked at both central and local government in setting and implementing innovation and entrepreneurship policy. Russell’s passion and time is now spent advising startups and larger businesses on growth and commercialisation strategy and working with a number of international agencies on innovation policy. Russell is a trustee and chairman of the St Patrick’s Festival Trust.

Trustees

Jonny Broderick

Jonny is the company director of Broderick Printing and Design, a locally owned and operated print company on the North Shore. John (Jonny’s father) is a Dublin man and was on the festival trust for 12 years before stepping aside. Jonny enjoys all sports and all things Irish and supports the Auckland Irish Society and works with Enterprise Ireland.

Dermot Conlon

Dermot hails from Cill Dara (Kildare) and is a relative newcomer to the shores of New Zealand, arriving in 2015. He has held a number of leadership roles in the technology industry and was involved in a number of Telecommunications start-ups in London where he spent 12 years prior to his NZ arrival. Today, he works in a Cyber Security role for one of New Zealand’s major technology providers. He is passionate about Irish history, culture and sport, although supporting the Irish rugby team during World Cup competitions isn’t for the faint hearted.

John Lavery

John has lived in New Zealand since 2013, emigrating from the UK and is originally a native of Belfast, county Antrim. He is an economic strategist, advisor and analyst, with 13 years’ experience advising central and local government in the UK, Ireland, EU, US and New Zealand on economic development issues. John currently works for Auckland’s economic growth agency, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), and is a committee member of the Irish Business Network of New Zealand and Treasurer of Auckland Gaelic Athletic Association.

Brendan Lyne

Brendan is a New Zealand-born Irishman with an Irish father, mother of Irish/Northern Ireland descent and an Irish wife. He lived and worked in Ireland in the late 1980s and maintains his links with the occasional trip and a steady stream of Irish visitors. Brendan is a chartered accountant with a boutique firm specialising in independent financial opinions, expert financial evidence and business/company valuations. His outdoors passions include sailing, hiking, diving and fitness generally and indoors reading and art. He is also a trustee of a Northland based environmental trust.

Sheila McCabe

Sheila is originally from near Dungannon in County Tyrone. Having studied law at Aberdeen University she first came to New Zealand when she was awarded a Rotary Foundation Scholarship by the Rotary Clubs of Ireland. She completed a Master of Jurisprudence at Auckland University and moved permanently to New Zealand shortly thereafter. Sheila now practises as a barrister based in Ponsonby. She has been a trustee of the St Patrick’s Festival Trust for many years and was also a trustee of the Ronald MacDonald House Auckland for over 15 years. She is the current chairperson of the Waiheke SPCA.

Kevin McCaffery

Kevin is Executive Director at EY. He was previously Managing Director of Effective Governance New Zealand. His areas of expertise involve strategic planning, governance reviews and governance training. Previously Kevin was the lead partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting NZ. Born in Ireland and raised in New Zealand, Kevin maintains strong family links to Ireland. As well as being a trustee for the St Patrick’s Festival Trust, he is president of the Auckland Irish Society.

Cathy O’Sullivan

Cathy is a native of Cork and has lived in New Zealand since 2006. She is a digital strategist and editor and has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for 16 years in newsrooms in New Zealand and Europe. As well as being a trustee for the St Patrick’s Festival Trust, Cathy is chair of the Irish Business Network of New Zealand.

Brian Sheridan

Brian is a chartered accountant and a director for Jolly Duncan & Wells, with primary responsibility for the firm’s audit portfolio. He also advises small and medium sized businesses in financial and taxation matters. He has experience in valuing businesses and company shares. Brian was born and educated in Ireland and settled in New Zealand in 1985. Brian and his wife Jane have a daughter Grace and son Conor. His interests include Gaelic football, sport and being involved in the Irish Society. As well as being a trustee of the St Patrick’s Festival Trust, he is a committee member of the Irish Business Network of New Zealand. Brian speaks Gaelic as his second language.

Festival Organisers - Crackerjack Promotions

The St Patrick’s Festival in Auckland has been managed and run by Crackerjack Promotions for 22 years. Pam Glaser, her team and the St Patrick’s Festival Trust have a great working relationship and each year collaborate to bring this much loved festival to Auckland.

Some words from Pam Glaser – Founder and Managing Director of Crackerjack Promotions and the St Patrick’s festival Manager:

“We are a small quirky team of enthusiastic and experienced individuals. Due to our group dynamic we bounce off and work with each other perfectly. We all bring unique qualities and diversity to the company and are actually very good value to have around. We genuinely love what we do and love getting in and amongst all the action as we prepare and execute your dream event. No event is too small or too large – we always come together for larger events, so rest assured we will have you covered from bases.”
“A client once described me as having ‘the precision of a general and the delicacy of a diplomat’. Organising an event is my ultimate ‘high’. My marketing background and years of event experience makes me good at it”.