Gerry Staunton_Enda_Kenny

Photo: Consul General of Ireland, Gerry Stanton (right) stands with fellow Mayo man, Taoiseach(Prime Minister) Mr. Enda Kenny.

Consul General of Ireland, Gerry Staunton, recently announced that he will give up his post
at the Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco after summer and retire to Ireland.
“After 5 great years, I finish my assignment at the end of September,” said Staunton who added,
“My successor as Consul General is Philip Grant. The new Vice Consul is Kevin Byrne.”

Staunton took the role of Consul General of Ireland, for the Western United States August, 2008.
A representative of the Irish Government, Staunton’s primary role is to provide
assistance to Irish citizens in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Guam & The Marianas, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

In addition to his responsibilities to Irish citizens, Staunton quickly gained a reputation for reaching out to the Irish American communities in his territory in hopes to create and strengthen economic, social, and cultural ties between the U.S. and Ireland. He made noticeable trips to Colorado where he was instrumental in coordinating a visit by Irish Ambassador Michael Collins as well as spearheading the development of the Irish Network Colorado (INCO). INCO is a business network that connects Irish expatriates, Irish-Americans and friends of Ireland, to provide a forum for social, business, and professional networking.

Maura Clare, of Conference on World Affairs, and current INCO Vice President , spoke of Staunton’s involvement in Colorado’s Irish community with appreciation. “Gerry Staunton put the hyphen in “Irish-American” for our community. Through him, Irish expats in Colorado have had a solid connection to home, and we of Irish descent have discovered a substantive link to our heritage. I hope Gerry will continue to visit often, as we would otherwise dearly miss our charming friend.”

Tom Burke, co-founder of INCO and current board member said this about Staunton’s departure, “Gerry Staunton has been a unique resource for the Colorado Irish American community. His strong communication skills and physical energy always made our Colorado community feel that he was nearby, even though he has been stationed in San Francisco. You could be at an Irish American community luncheon in Denver and never be surprised to see Gerry Staunton walk in and join you for lunch. He will be sorely missed.”
Fellow INCO co-founder and Denver businessman Ciaran Dwyer (from Killkenny) added. “Gerry combined professionalism, guile, vision, humor with a steadfast commitment to furthering Irish causes. He has a natural gift for connecting and influencing people. Our own Irish Network Colorado (INCO) was his brainchild. We will miss the lively banter and will look him up on our visits home.”

Staunton reciprocated his appreciate for his Colorado friends. “I always enjoyed my trips to Denver, and met some wonderful people there. I was most happy to have been centrally involved with the establishment of the Irish Network-Colorado and in the appointment of Jim Lyons as Irish Honorary Consul in Denver.”
Irish Honorary Consul , Jim Lyons, who is also a Denver based Attorney who has worked in Ireland as Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State for Economic Initiatives in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland, added his perspective and sentiments. “I think it’s fair to say that Gerry, one of the more senior and experienced officers in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, brought gravitas and his stature to the San Francisco consular position . We were lucky to have him. He sharpened the interest of the Irish government in the Rocky Mountain and Southwestern regions of the US, as highlighted by the highly successful visit of Ambassador Michael Collins to the West. Gerry is a true friend of the United States and of mine; I wish him all the very best in his next chapter(s).”


(Photo caption) Denver native (via Belfast) Susan Morrice, Chairperson of Belize Natural Energy (BNE), embraces Erin Ryan, Human Resources Manager, and Dr Gilbert Canton CEO, as their company was announced winner of GetEnergy Global Education and Training in Exploration Award June 4th in London.

On June 4, company representatives for Belize Natural Energy (BNE) traveled to London to receive the GetEnergy 2013 Global Education and Training in Exploration Award. GetEnergy is a global education and training marketplace for the oil and gas Industry. The GetEnergy Annual Global Event is unique, in that it is the only place where oil and gas companies can meet and build partnerships with education and training providers from all over the world.

The category for which BNE was nominated and won is ‘Learning at the Core.’
According to a company statement, “TheGetEnergy Awards Committee recognized the significant and sustainable quality of the work in which (BNE) have been engaged and its benefit to the wider oil and gas energy industry over the past year.”
BNE also said, “This success would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the
Adult Education Programme participants, video production team, the Belize Natural Energy family and all those in Belize and throughout the world who took the time to place their votes. It was reported that your overwhelming support “crashed” the GetEnergy Awards website.

Among those on hand for the awards ceremony was BNE Chairperson Susan Morrice. A native of Belfast Northern Ireland, Susan’s home base is Denver, Colorado. Susan was one of the founders on BNE and helped put together a team of Irish investors to help fund initial drilling, gave credit to the people of Belize who “rose to the occasion to not only make BNE an award winning company, but to make it an award winning Belizean owned company!” Susan said that BNE is unified by “The philosophy that we all have the oil within us in the form of our dreams and just like the oil in the ground, while it was always there, it takes the right mindset to draw it out.”

Erin Ryan, Human Resources Manager, who was also at the awards recently posted to the company website, described this BNE vision:
“At Belize Natural Energy, our vision is to be a leader in the oil and gas industry by creating opportunities for our employees to mine their potential within. When the company commenced drilling operations in 2005, the oil and gas industry did not exist in Belize; labor had to be imported. The owners of B.N.E. decided to make it a Belizean company—a place where Belizeans with the right attitude could find a home. Today we have two hundred and four employees; ninety-six percent of whom are Belizean. We are led by a Belizean C.E.O. and fifty percent of our management team are women. This was only possible because of the deep rooted commitment to training and educating our people. We are particularly proud of our primary education literacy program. The lack of adult education services in Belize is a huge obstacle for anyone that couldn’t finish primary school. We knew we had to be a part of the solution.”
Dr. Gilbert H. Canton, who is a Belizean and President & CEO of BNE said on the company website, “…Even though BNE is still in its early stages of development, our efforts have made a significant impact on the socio-economic development of Belize through income and employment generation, foreign exchange earnings, health and education support activities, and community development.

For more information on BNE go to or

Bourke erica and jules

ireland made simple (5mm bleeds)-2Planning a trip to Ireland but don’t know where to start? Wish you knew a local? Someone who you could sit down with and pick their brain about traveling right in Ireland? Well meet your new Colorado based travel consultant, Ireland Made Simple!

Ireland Made Simple is the brainchild of newlyweds, Julian and Erica Bourke.
Julian from Limerick, and Erica from Dublin, moved to Colorado this past April on a bit of a whim.
According to Julian, their original thought was to take an extended visit somewhere laid-back and close to the great outdoors -maybe Canada. While on their honeymoon in Thailand, the Bourkes mentioned the idea to a fellow tourist from the States who advised that they check out Boulder, Colorado. Wind beneath the wings was given by the fact that Julian already holds dual citizenship with the U.S. and Ireland since his mom was born in Tennessee. Now, the Bourkes love the Rocky Mountain Region so much that Erica is in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

One thing the Bourkes noticed about their new home, was the lack of Irish accents in the western United States; and, of course the first thing their new friends recognize are the Bourke brogues.
Not long after initial greetings, the conversation would soon turn to Ireland. “Some of the people we’ve met say that they want to go to Ireland but are unsure how to plan ,” said Julian, “and others tell about their travel to Ireland and what they did – all the while I’m thinking ,right, went to all the tourist traps and spent too much money.”

The Irish couple at Ireland Made Simple promise to provide folks with local inside knowledge on Ireland, along with the right connections to get the best deal for their money. “We can give an Irish person’s perspective on what the tourist‘s options are and try to save a little money on top of it.”
Julian gave an example, “When they go to Dublin they would go to Temple Bar, which is a tourist trap, where you will spend a lot of money – and if you stay there you are going to spend a lot of money on accommodations and everything is expensive, when you can pay less a couple of streets over.”

As much as Julian would like to give his clients tips on getting off the beaten path, he does appreciate some of the tourist sights and that people desire to see them.
“What I really want to do for the customer is get a feel for what they want to do and base them in the right place, with the right transportation, and the right plan, so that they can have an amazing time in the Emerald Isle and save some money”

Whether you want to visit one or all of Ireland’s 32 counties, travel as an individual or group, Julian and Erica at Ireland Made Simple believe that they can help design your own unique trip.
If you are planning a trip to Ireland, Julian asks that you contact him and discuss budget and interests.

You can call 303-579-3011, Email at [email protected] or Facebook

Jul 242013
Josh XJetCo

XJet employees and family members gave XJet founder Josh Stewart a big surprise greeting last month as he returned to work at XJet facility Denver’s Centennial Airport.
With champagne bottles popping and the table set for celebration Josh arrived beaming ear to ear.
He had just returned from the United Arab Emigrates where he had sign an agreement to move the private jet club’s operational headquarters to Dubai World Central’s Aviation District.

A native of Belfast, arrived in the US in 2004, committed to realizing his dream of creating a new company to offer the highest level of services to private jet owners and users. That year, the United States was home to approximately 60% of the worldwide business aviation fleet supported by the Fixed Based Operator (FBO) business model. Mr. Stewart recognized there was a great opportunity to transform the traditional FBO model, which focuses on pilot relationships and relies heavily on fuel sales for its profitability, to a model that focuses on servicing the jet owner while providing more stable and predictable profitability. Thus, the concept for XJet was born.

With the support of some local investors and jet owners, XJet initiated development in Denver in early 2005. The goal was to develop a business model from the ground up to support the private jet owner, focusing on world class asset protection and security with hangarage, Seven Star Service, lifestyle support through dedicated 24/7 concierge and transparent economics.

XJet opened its revolutionary private jet club at Denver’s Centennial Airport (APA) in 2007, offering the aircraft owner the finest facilities and service available in the industry. At a time where many existing FBOs were struggling for survival, XJet continued to refine its unique brand of Seven Star Service and opened to transient customers in 2009. The company has achieved double-digit growth since inception and currently ranks as the #1 service provider in the US. The company has held that ranking for two years (AIN & Pro Pilot magazines).

XJet is now a global, internationally-focused company which has built upon its initial launch in the
U.S. The company identified the United Arab Emirates as a key market for global expansion early in its development and has now signed a deal with Dubai World Central (DWC) to build a world-class terminal and global headquarters. With a projected doubling of private jet movements within the next five years, this region provides a tremendous opportunity. In addition, the company is also in various stages of expansion to other U.S. and international locations, such as Kona, Hawaii and Paris, France.

“Dubai is the largest international airport in the world,” said Josh, “The market holds great opportunities for our company with the increasing number of private jet owners in the Middle East, as several more owners from around the world are interested in the region. We will provide special training to our team to ensure they are able to cater to various cultural sensitivities and work in our new facility.”


(Photo: Ambassador Collins (center) at November 2011 reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Denver. On the left is Jim Lyons, Ireland Honorary Consul General, Denver, on right is Governor John Hickenlooper)

Well liked Michael Collins has served as Ireland’s ambassador to the United States since August 14, 2007. According to The Washington Post and Irish Central the Ambassador Collins will make his farewell
this July. The Post said that Collins will head to a post in Berlin in August, and his successor will be Anne Anderson, now Ireland’s representative to the U.N. Ms. Anderson will be its first female ambassador to the U.S

Ambassador Collins visited Colorado in November 2011. He and his entourage spent a couple of days visiting regional government officials (including a reception at Governor’s Mansion), toured Covidien, the Irish-owned international medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceutical company in Boulder, met with local Irish organizations, and was given a backstage tour of Red Rocks Amphitheater by Barry Fey, the concert promoter who brought U2 to Denver and introduced them onstage at Red Rocks, the site of their famous Under a Blood Red Sky music video.

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