St. Patrick's Day Parade
12:30 pm, Saturday, March
16, 2013 On 4th Ave from Jefferson, downtown Seattle
GRAND MARSHAL Frank Finneran
The Grand Marshal of Seattle?s 2013 St
Patrick?s Day Parade is Frank K. Finneran. Finneran is credited with significantly
expanding tourism in the Puget Sound region over the course of his three decades in
hotel management, development and consultation, convention center stewardship and a
broad spectrum of group and leisure travel leadership. Proud of his Irish ancestry,
Finneran actively promotes and participates in Irish community activities.
Finneran has served on the Washington State Convention Center?s board of directors since
1988. In 2003, he was appointed Chairman and CEO and he continues to serve as Chair today.
Finneran was instrumental in helping build the convention center in downtown Seattle and,
during his 25-year tenure, has worked to promote its success and expand needed meeting and
exhibit space. In 2010, Finneran oversaw the state convention center?s successful
transition to a public facilities district.
Finneran?s hotel experience ranges from management of the Olympic and Westin Hotels in
Seattle and the Plaza in New York, to development of the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, the
Seattle Waterfront Marriott and the Monterey Marriott Hotels. He is twice past president of
the Washington State Hotel and Motel Association. He served as Chief Operating Officer of
the Space Needle Corporation and is a past president and past board chair of Seattle?s
Convention and Visitors Bureau. Finneran has served on tourism commissions at the request
of Governors Spellman and Gregoire. In 2011, he was the recipient of the inaugural Tourism
Leadership Award, the regional tourism industry?s highest honor.
For nearly 25 years, Finneran has operated an independent hotel consulting company, Frank
K. Finneran & Co., providing asset management, development and other executive-level
advisory services to hotel owners and lenders.
Finneran?s Irish roots run deep. The Kennedy branch of his family tree hales from Anascaul
on the Dingle Peninsula and the Finneran branch from County Roscommon.
He holds dual American and Irish citizenship and travels to Ireland regularly with his
wife Susan. They are especially fond of visiting Irish coastal towns, with Kinsale,
Mullaghmore, Dunfanaghy and Youghal among their favorites. Finneran serves as a board
member with the Seattle Galway Sister City Association.
Susan and Frank Finneran have been married for 43 years and have one son, Frank Finneran
III, who has followed in his father?s footsteps and currently serves as the manager of the
Crowne Plaza Hotel at Sea-Tac airport. They have two grandchildren, Killian (9) and
Quinn (6). The Finnerans also lead the Seattle chapter of Bicycles for Humanity, which is
dedicated to shipping thousands of bicycles to South Africa every year to help poor and
impoverished villagers improve their lives with transportation.
HONORARY GRAND MARSHALS
Dan and Joan Flanagan
Dan and Joan Flanagan first met at a St. Patrick?s Day party in Portland in 1948 and they
were married four years later, also on St Patrick's Day, on March 17, 1952. This year, they
are celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary as Honorary Grand Marshals of Seattle?s St.
Patrick?s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16, 2013.
Seattle residents for over 60 years, Dan operated Flanagan's Automotive, an independent
auto repair facility on Capitol Hill near Seattle University until the later 1980s. Since
then, he has served as a national consultant to the National Institute for Automotive
Service Excellence. After raising five children, all of whom are now married in the
Seattle area with their own homes and families, Joan went into teaching and until two years
ago served as a substitute teacher for over 45 years at various Seattle area Catholic
Each year over the past 20 years or more, the Flanagan children and their families have
participated in the Flanagan section of Seattle?s annual Seattle St. Patrick's Day parade
and also in various other Irish events throughout the year. They are very proud of their
Irish heritage and have made many wonderful new friends through their involvement in
Seattle?s Irish community.
SPECIAL GUEST FROM IRELAND
Deputy Mayor of Galway, Ireland Cllr. Frank Fahy
Paul Gallagher is Ireland?s
Galway City Councillor Frank Fahy was appointed a member of the City Council in February
2011 when the previous incumbent was elected to Dail Eireann, the Irish Parliament. Last
July, he was appointed Deputy Mayor of Galway City.
Councilor Fahy grew up in Menlo, a suburb of Galway city, and attended Coláiste Iognáid and
St Mary?s College. His cousin John Fahey (spelt with an ?e?) is the former Premier of New
South Wales in Australia and is currently heading up the Reconstruction Inspectorate, which
is responsible for ensuring that value for money is delivered during the rebuilding of
flood-ravaged regions in Queensland.
Councilor Fahy has worked as a taxi-driver in Galway City for the past 20 years and is a
fluent Irish speaker. He is accompanied on his Seattle visit by his wife Geraldine Fahy and
by Galway City Finance Director Edel McCormack.
We extend a sincere welcome to
him on his first visit to Seattle.