Patricia Gunn was a founding Board Member of the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project, and served on the Board from 2008–2014. In 2014 she stepped down from the Board to become the Executive Director of the Project. Patricia is proud of the work that BBBP has done thus far and is very excited for the future of the Project: “BBBP has grown exponentially in the past year, and I am thrilled about the possibilities that are ahead of us. With the development of a diverse and enthusiastic Advisory Committee and a commitment to fundraising, I believe that in the coming years we can start to partner effectively with other organizations who work with at-risk youth. Our goal is to follow through with the young men who participate in our exchange program, and connect them with real resources in mentoring, job training, and education that can improve their lives.”
Patricia is a graphic designer for clients ranging from campaign to corporate. She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and a B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C.
Emmanuel Quinn is the founder of the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project, president of the Board of Directors of BBBP-US, and a BBBP-NI Board Member. After learning from family in Belfast that their community’s youth were committing suicide at an alarming rate, he gathered up a group of people in Washington that he knew could help and formed BBBP. In reaching out to boxing clubs and youth groups in the Washington D.C. area, he found that many of the youth here face similar hardships — poverty, lack of opportunity, family histories of substance abuse, and community violence. As a youth boxer himself, he recognized that the lessons of discipline and structure that boxing provides go beyond the ring.
Emmanuel came to the United States by himself when he was just 15 years old. Many of the youth with whom he grew up in Belfast had never left their neighborhood. One of the foundations of this project is to provide each year’s participants with the opportunity to see another part of the world, learn about different cultures, and to broaden their horizons in hopes that it will put them on a path to succeed.
Sean Brebbia is a member of the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project’s Board of Directors and has served in that capacity since its inception. “The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project is a unique charity that provides a tremendous experience for everyone involved. The Project’s participants come from diverse communities on both sides of the Atlantic. I cannot overstate the value for the individuals that are involved. For many, BBBP provides a cultural experience they would not have otherwise. Travel broadens the mind, and we are committed to providing valuable experiences and resources to everyone involved in the Project. I hope BBBP can continue to grow and expand its efforts to support our young people.”
Sean is Senior Counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to that, he was a trial attorney for both the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Brockton, Massachusetts. Sean is a graduate of Colgate University and The George Washington University Law School, where he graduated with high honors and was a member of the Law Review. Originally from Marshfield, Mass., he now resides with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.
BBBP-US Board Member Timothy Curry is the Deputy Director for Counter Terrorism Policy in the Office of the Counterterrorism Coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mr. Curry has been recognized for his efforts receiving the 2012 DHS Thought Leadership Award and several Distinguished Services Awards over his tenure at DHS, and he has spoken at conferences hosted by the European Commission, academic institutions, private sector and government agencies in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to his work at DHS Mr. Curry worked as a Program Coordinator for the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Mr. Curry’s work focused on areas such as critical infrastructure protection, cyber security, emerging technologies, space as well as homeland and national security.
Before working at CSIS Mr. Curry lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland where he worked for Weber Shandwick Worldwide and taught American Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. This was after working in Congress for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and at the Irish Institute of Boston College. Mr. Curry received a Masters with merit in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University in Belfast, and a B.A. cum laude in Theology with a minor in Art History from Boston College where he was a four year member of the Division I Varsity Lacrosse Team. His Masters dissertation was a comparative analysis of the IRA and Hezbollah and his undergraduate Scholar of the College project focused on the role of religion in conflict. Mr. Curry is a member of the Clover Club of Boston and is on the Board of Directors of the Welles Remy Crowther Memorial Trust and the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project.
Patrick Lyden is the Founder and President of Current Government Relations, a strategic services and business development firm. As a governmental relations professional, Patrick draws upon his wide-range of policy, political, and advocacy experience to provide clients with high level strategic guidance and access to a broad array of policymakers. With over 18 years of experience both inside and out of the federal government, Lyden possesses a keen understanding of the legislative process and the political factors that influence it.
Patrick has worked with some of the best and brightest during his time in Washington, including Speaker John Boehner, while Boehner was chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Tom Davis, then chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Lyden has also served as Chief of Staff for two Members of Congress: Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and former Congresswoman Mary Fallin (R-OK), who is the currently the Governor of Oklahoma. Prior to that, Lyden was a lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the leading small business advocacy group in Washington, DC.
Patrick has a long interest in giving back to the community and supporting Irish and Irish-American causes. He has served as a marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Washington, DC. He also currently serves as a Co-Chair of the American Ireland Fund Young Leaders of Washington and is a board member of the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project.
Originally from York, Pennsylvania, Patrick graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Washington, DC with his wife and two daughters.
John helped found the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project, and serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of BBBP-US. “Working with Emmanuel Quinn and a first class group of men and women to start the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project has been a highlight of my time living in Washington, DC. As a DC resident, it has been very rewarding to be involved with a group committed to providing young athletes with opportunities to travel and compete, and to building relationships with young men with different life experiences. I’m very excited to see how we can take the BBBP’s success in the ring, and expand the charity’s offerings to young people in both the DC and Belfast communities to help them develop leadership skills, and become role models for the young boys and girls in their neighborhoods.”
John currently serves with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security where he advises Members of Congress on financial services, technology, and national security matters. Previously, John spent nearly 10 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Special Agent where he conducted national security and criminal investigations while assigned to the Buffalo and Washington Field Offices. John served on active duty with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific and Middle East as an airborne reconnaissance officer, and has private sector experience in business development and technical support with leading technology and cybersecurity firms. John received his BA in Government from the University of Notre Dame, and has an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John first fell in love with boxing when his father took him to see Sugar Ray Leonard train in Buffalo, NY. His boxing experience is limited to surviving 12 rounds of ‘Bull in the Ring’ at the FBI Academy with all his teeth, and nose generally in the same place.
BBBP-US Board Member Reilly O’Connor co-chaired the 2014 and 2015 D.C. Boxing Classics, and has been involved with the Project since its early days. He appreciates the unique experience BBBP brings to young men from Belfast and Washington: “The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project brings together young men committed to improving their lives through sport. The pursuit of excellence and commitment to their communities both in and out of the ring demonstrate a positive path forward for all involved with the Project.”
Reilly is the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA). Created in 1943, WSWA is the national trade association representing 349 wine and spirits wholesalers and brokers who operate in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. Prior to joining WSWA, Reilly was the Director of Government Affairs for the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) where he worked on Medicaid reimbursement issues, patent reform and drug importation legislation. Prior to his tenure at GPhA, Reilly worked on numerous political campaigns and in the offices of Senators Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). In addition to his work at WSWA, Reilly is active in numerous Irish-American activities and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the American Ireland Fund’s Washington DC Young Leaders. Reilly is a 2004 magna cum laude graduate of Lake Forest College. He resides with his family on Capitol Hill.
BBBP-US Board Member Eric Silva has been one of the Project’s strongest fundraisers, serving most recently as co-chair of the 2014 and 2015 D.C. Boxing Classics, and is very passionate about the project: “The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project boils it all down to what really matters— giving young men from D.C. and both Belfast communities the chance to train together, learn from one another, and compete for their cities and countries. In the end, what you see are people from very different parts of the world finding out that their life experiences are in a lot of ways alike. New friendships are forged and respect is earned, both in and out of the ring. In a small way, this project gives us a glimpse into what’s possible when communities get together, set aside differences, and work for a common purpose.”
Eric is an attorney and lobbyist who represents clients as an advocate and strategic counsel before the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government. Prior to his private sector work, Eric worked as an aide to the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and to the late Senator James M. Jeffords (I-VT). He got his start in Washington as a fellow for the Congressional Hunger Center and now serves as one of their board members. A proud Bostonian, Eric attended Boston College and did a stint at the District Attorney’s Office while attending the University of Notre Dame Law School. He is the recipient of Boston College’s John Joseph Moakley Award for International Service and Winston & Strawn’s Pro Bono Commitment to Service Award. He remains active with the American Ireland Fund Young Leaders Society and serves as a gift committee chair to his alma mater. And finally, lest the Portuguese surname fool you, he also hails from the Fitzpatrick and Cotter clans of East Boston and Charlestown, MA.