Wise Irish Women: A Journey of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship to Inspire the Irish Spirit brings together the voices of thirty-six women and their stories covering everything from Irish charm, Irish luck, and Irish love of family, to Irish gumption. “I witnessed the strength and character of the Irish from an early age,” says Patricia Connorton Kagerer, who co-authored the book with her cousin Laura Prendergast Gordon.
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The Vice President of Safety and Process Management at CF Jordan Construction in Dallas, Texas, Kagerer attributes her success in a male-dominated industry to the wisdom she learned from her Irish mother and grandmother. Co-author Gordon, who is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of El Paso, couldn’t agree more: “Our grandmother was a huge source of strength and inspiration for both of us. Patricia and I knew this particular rand of wisdom needed to be shared, along with words of wisdom from other women with deep ties to Ireland.” Whether it’s a story by acclaimed author Mary Higgins Clark, playwright Marianne McDonald, QVC Host Jane Treacy, or the authors themselves, each story is designed to inspire women to make a difference in their own corner of the world.
About the Authors
Patricia “Tricia” Connorton Kagerer
Serving as vice president of risk, safety, and process improvement for one of the country’s most elite construction companies, Tricia learned what it meant to be the only woman in the boardroom—and how to exceed expectations in a tough, male-dominated world. An expert in risk management, process improvement, conflict resolution, and business culture, Tricia climbed to the top of the corporate ladder and transformed the culture of the organization. Tricia attributes her success to her strong Irish Catholic upbringing and what she learned from her two role models: her mother, Pat Connorton, and her grandmother, Peggy Prendergast. Both women dedicated their lives to hard work, tenacity, and faith, serving to accomplish one goal—to give their children a better start in life. Tricia was born in the Bronx, New York, and was raised in El Paso, Texas. She has visited Ireland several times, where she spent time on the family farm, Clanevan, in County Wexford, Ireland. After suddenly losing her mom in 2007, Tricia decided to channel her grief into her book, Wise Irish Women. Tricia is an author, keynote speaker, and recipient of numerous awards, including the Dallas Business Journal’s “Women to Watch” and the Business Insurance Magazine’s “Top 25 Women to Watch.”
Tricia has a master’s degree in education and human development: conflict resolution from Southern Methodist University. She holds a business and public relations degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Tricia is married to Markus and they have two children: Tommy and Anneliese. They currently reside in Plano, Texas. Laura Prendergast Gordon Laura Prendergast Gordon is presently serving as one of two deputy city attorneys for the City of El Paso. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, she graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and then received her JD degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. After graduating from law school, she returned to El Paso and has spent the bulk of her career as a public servant working for the City of El Paso in the office of the city attorney.
Laura Prendergast Gordon
Laura Prendergast Gordon is presently serving as one of two deputy city attorneys for the City of El Paso. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, she graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and then received her JD degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. After graduating from law school, she returned to El Paso and has spent the bulk of her career as a public servant working for the City of El Paso in the office of the city attorney.
A fifth generation El Pasoan on her mother’s side, she has always cherished the strong influence of her Irish father’s family. Growing up in a close-knit family that enjoyed just being
together made her value the gift of time spent with loved ones. Many of her most treasured memories involved sitting around the table at her grandmother’s house enjoying a strong pot of tea and hearing family stories. After losing her father to a sudden illness in May 2007, she began to reexamine her Irish roots and felt a desire to explore the strong values and wisdom of her Irish family connection. The
Wise Irish Women project was a way of paying tribute to the women in her life who inspired her to strive for success and happiness. Laura is married to Patrick R. Gordon and has two children, a son, Patrick Thomas, and a daughter, Aidan.