Born into an Irish immigrant family and armed with a dual undergraduate major in agriculture and business administration, Norman McClelland took a small dairy farm founded by his father in Tucson, AZ. and transformed it into the largest dairy in the Southwest and the seventh largest food distribution company in the United States.
Shamrock Foods Company was started by Norman’s father W.T. McClelland in 1912 with a Model T truck and a couple of cows. Today, Shamrock is one of the top five privately held Arizona-based companies. Norman believes that a company’s duty is to give back to the community. Shamrock Foods Company supports more than 80 non-profits every year – many of which are education-focused – and donates more than 80,000 pounds of food per month.
Norman serves as a role model supporting the University of Arizona, Goldwater Institute, and Valley Presbyterian Church among others. This Phoenix resident is dedicated to ensuring that the Irish culture is thriving in Arizona through his work with the Irish Cultural Center and the Irish Cultural Center Library.
James Patrick Cunningham
Jim Cunningham’s family has been keeping the Irish flag flying ever since they moved to Arizona when Jim was five. He grew up in Phoenix and became president of the Sons of St. Patrick, an Irish club formed by his father. After Jim graduated from the University of Arizona law school, he was chairman of the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Phoenix in 1984.
Jim is constantly looking for ways to introduce Irish culture to the citizens of Phoenix. In 2001, he helped build the Irish Cultural Center located at 1106 N. Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. Jim serves as chairman of the board of the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation, the nonprofit that operates the Center. Jim was named one of the top 100 Irish Americans by “Irish in America” magazine in 2007.
He married his high school sweetheart, Judy Hurley. They have five children and 13 grandchildren.
Bill hitchhiked to Arizona from Los Angeles in 1937 where he then worked as a cowboy for three years, corralling and breaking wild horses. He entered the University of Arizona in 1940, until World War II and U.S. Navy interrupted his education. Bill returned and graduated in 1948 from the College of Agriculture.
Bill's career has included that of cowboy, international Boston wool merchant, rancher, and business entrepreneur for 45 years. He and his wife, Sada, were one of the founders of the town of Paradise Valley and raised their children Wendy and Justin there. The O'Briens have lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona for more than 50 years.
Bill was also one of the founders of the non-profit Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation in 1998. He raised money to build the Irish Cultural Center and Irish Cultural Center Library. He is chairman emeritus of the board of trustees for the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation and was the 2003 Grand Marshall for the St. Patrick's Day Parade
Robert K. O’Neill
Robert Keating O'Neill is director of the John J. Burns Library and part-time faculty in Political Science at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. He has been the John J. Burns librarian since 1987. Bob holds both the Ph.D. in History and a Master in Arts degree in Library Science from the University of Chicago.
Bob has written numerous articles, reviews and prefaces, including “Treasures from the Burns Library’s Irish Collection Celebrating Phoenix Art Museum’s Exhibition of Irish Paintings from the Brian P. Burns Collection,” in A Century of Irish Painting, (Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Art Museum, 2007).
Bob is a past president of the Manuscript Society and the Eire Society of Boston and continues to serve in both. He also serves on the board of the Charitable Irish Society of Boston.
F. Phillips Giltner
Phil Giltner has more than 40 years of varied financial experience. The past 20 years he has held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Shamrock Foods Company, a top five privately held Arizona-based company comprised of Shamrock Foods – one of the top 10 largest foodservice distribution companies in the United States, and Shamrock Farms – the largest dairy in the Southwest.
Shamrock Foods specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of 16,000 food and other related line items. The company serves restaurant, hospitality and institutional foodservice customers across the western United States out of its Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico distribution centers. Shamrock Farms produces and distributes dairy products for sale in all 50 states under the Shamrock Farms brand.
Shamrock Customers include Bashas’, Albertson’s, Burger King, Subway and other well-known local and national companies.
Giltner also serves as Treasurer for Shamrock Farms dairy farm, one of the top five dairy farms in the United States and boasting a herd of more than 10,000 traditional and organic milking cows milked twice daily.
Giltner earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1971 and a year later, he earned his master’s degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.