John D. Lee
New York, NY
John Lee’s communications career ranges from fine art to fast horses, from an early stint as a museum educator at The National Gallery of Art in Washington to a later role as Director of Communications, Media Relations and Broadcasting for New York Racing Association, America’s premier thoroughbred racing circuit.
He’s now the Executive Director of Goodman Media International, providing public relations counsel to professional services, digital media, emerging technology, and higher education clients.
Previously he was with TallGrass Public Relations, where he also produced the CBS podcast ‘All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett’. A highlight of his earlier work for his PR consultancy John Lee MEDIA was promoting the Off-Broadway run of ‘Brendan at the Chelsea’ for Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.
A long-time member of the Irish Business Organization of New York, he has served as its Communications Officer, Second Vice President, First Vice President and as Chair of the Board of Advisors. He was a board member of the Irish American Writers & Artists for several years and has been an Honorary Chair and panel moderator for the New York/New Belfast conference and moderator of Ireland Day at the New York Stock Exchange.
John’s grandparents were from County Offaly (from Shane Lowry’s hometown of Clara!), County Clare and County Cork.
What, for you, is the importance of our global diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?
The Irish Business Organization of New York motto says it best: “Network, communicate, reciprocate.”
My diaspora involvement started in earnest ten years ago when I contributed my PR services to the effort to save New York’s historically important, Irish Famine Church. That led to my joining the board of the new and growing Irish American Writers and Artists, an organization dedicated to fostering and promoting this branch of the diaspora’s expression in the arts.
I tapped into New York’s vibrant Irish professional networks, including the Irish Consulate’s First Friday Breakfasts, the Irish International Business Network, Digital Irish, and especially the aforementioned Irish Business Organization of New York, where I’ve served in multiple board roles.
I’ve strengthened global diaspora ties at conferences such as New York/New Belfast, Ireland Day NYSE and Tangible Ireland, volunteering as a panellist and moderator and actively amplifying key messages on social media.
For many years I wrote on a wide range of Irish diaspora topics in my ‘Irish Media Nation’ blog published by both Huffington Post and Irish Central.
I’ve always worked to be available as a sounding board and resource for businesses and job seekers from the island of Ireland looking to enter the US market, and always strive to “network, communicate, reciprocate” in my embrace of our diaspora.
Tell us how you connect to Belfast:
I connect to Belfast through its compelling story, its impressive progress, its vibrant energy, its diverse traditions. I connect to this city through the forward-focused Belfast people I’ve met – politicians, publicans, executives, entrepreneurs, actors, artists, taxi drivers and tour guides – the people finding common cause despite divergent histories, working to better lives for all in the city they love. I connect to Belfast in awe of its potential and in solidarity over its challenges.
You know you’ve got Belfast heritage when…:
You have a strong opinion on whether the game is called kerby or cribby.