James T. Brett, president and CEO of The New England Council, will receive the 2018 Gold Medal Award from the Eire Society of Boston at the Irish organization’s dinner on Saturday, April 7, 2018. A tireless public servant, a legislative leader and lifelong advocate for public policy on issues such as health care, education, financial services and working on behalf of those with disabilities, Brett joins a long list of those who have represented Boston’s Irish community in receiving the award.
Each year the Society bestows its Gold Medal Award to individuals the organization believes have made “significant contributions to benefit society and to their chosen fields of expertise.” The 2017 recipient was novelist, short story writer, playwright, journalist and literary critic Colm Tóibín. In 2016, the Gold Medal Award was presented to Mary P. McAleese, who served as the eighth President of Ireland—the second female president and the first from Northern Ireland.
“It is fitting that Jim Brett is being honored with the Gold Medal Award from the Eire Society, given his tireless work over many decades on behalf of vulnerable members of our community,” said Fionnuala Quinlan, Consul General of Ireland.
A leader in Boston’s Irish community, Brett was named one of the “Top 100 Business Leaders” by Irish America Magazine and has been honored by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, the Sligo Association of Boston, and the Boston Irish Business Association. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Irish International Immigrant Center.
Kevin Cullen, columnist at The Boston Globe who will return in 2018 as the dinner’s emcee, said of Brett: “With his compassion for our most vulnerable citizens, and for immigrants from all lands, Jim Brett embodies the best of the Irish. He gets it from his mother Mary Ann, who brought from Ireland a strength and a decency that she passed on to her children like DNA.”