Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame Names 2024 Members

The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame has announced its 2024 class of inductees. The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame recognizes Irish Americans with significant ties to Michigan who have made important contributions in various fields in Michigan life.

Category of Public/Community Service:

Margaret Cudihy Strzelecki
A native of Grand Rapids and a longtime resident of Kalamazoo, Margaret Cudihy Strzelecki has been a major leader in promoting the Irish spirit and culture in Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan for more than 25 years. She is the President of the Kalamazoo Irish American Club, which supports several charitable causes, is a founder of the Kalamazoo Irish Festival and St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and a planner of the Hooley for Healing fundraiser for cancer patients and their families. Margaret is also active in many other community service organizations. She traces her Irish lineage to Tipperary and Roscommon Counties in Ireland.

Maureen T. Root
For more than 30 years Maureen Root has devoted herself to serve the Irish community in the Detroit metropolitan area. She is President of the McCauley Division of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, was the 2023 Pallotine Fathers Woman of the Year, the 2023 Ancient Order of Hibernians Woman of the Year, and with her husband Norm, was 2024 Co-Grand Marshal of the Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Maureen is a leading coordinator of the annual Irish heritage events of the Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Pistons, which have raised more than $75,000 to help fund the Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Maureen’s father, John Moriarity, was from Dingle, and she is the eldest of eight children in her family.

Mary Alice Williams
Three of Mary Alice William’s grandparents were from Ireland, and after growing up in Rhode Island and attending college and living in Milwaukee, she moved with her husband Michael and their children to the Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids in 1974. Since then, in that community and beyond, she devoted herself to organizing public efforts to address issues such as racism, social justice, public safety, healthcare, and economic opportunities. She was a founder of the Eastown Neighborhood Association, and served for four years on the Grand Rapids City Commission. She and her husband, Professor Michael Williams, were active in the Ireland Study Abroad Program at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

Category of Business & Industry:

Mark Fazakerley
A native of Muskegon, Mark Fazakerley traces his Irish heritage to his great-great grandparents in Ireland during the famine times of the mid-1800’s. After serving in the U.S. Navy, in 1979 Mark co-founded in Muskegon a small foundry called Eagle Alloy. With Mark serving as a Co-President, Eagle Alloy soon earned a wide reputation for exceptional excellence in quality and service. Over the next 45 years Eagle Alloy has grown into three sister companies employing 330 persons, with customers such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Harley Davidson, and many others. Among numerous awards received, in 2015 Eagle Alloy was named North America Metalcaster of the Year, and in 2018, honored as the Michigan Manufacturer of the Year. In addition to his business career, Mark and his wife Christine have been most generous benefactors of charitable causes in the Muskegon community, especially in healthcare and for the USS Silversides Submarine Museum. Eagle Alloy is an annual Music Festival Sponsor.

Category of Sports:

John Treanor
John Treanor was born 100 years ago in County Monaghan in Ireland. At age 20 he was attracted to immigrate to Detroit to play Gaelic Football for the Detroit Padraig Pearse team, where he was the star fullback for the next 20 years. He was known by his opponents for his “sharp elbows.” After his playing career, for 40 years John was a team manager, coach, and mentor for generations of youth. In 1992 he was honored by the North American GAA for his support of Gaelic Football in Michigan, and in 2006 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting youth sports. Beyond Gaelic football, John and his wife Kathleen were always generous in supporting charities, especially to help the poor. In 2003 John was honored as Pallotine Man of the Year, and in 2010 he and his wife Kathleen were the first couple to become Grand Marshals of the Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In his employment career, John worked for 40 years for the Michigan Consolidated Gas Company.

Category of Arts and Entertainment:

Chris Lea McCarthy-Zahrt
A Muskegon resident whose great grandfather hailed from County Cork, Chris Zahrt is well-known throughout the Muskegon community as an active supporter of many organizations and events benefitting the Muskegon area. But she is best known near and far as a founder and the President of the Michigan Irish Music Festival for more than 15 years. It was her passion as the driving force behind the Music Festival that kept the festival alive, and it was her inspiring leadership that grew the Michigan Irish Music Festival from its humble beginnings into one of the most successful annual celebrations of Irish music and culture in the United States. Starting 25 years ago with 1 stage and 5 performers, the Music Festival now has 4 major stages and over 30 artists, many of whom are from Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. Annually, more than 30,000 people attend the festival. Among the numerous awards Chris has been honored with are Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship and the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award.

The new members for 2024 of the Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame will be inducted at a public ceremony at 11:30 AM on the Grafton Stage of the Michigan Irish Music Festival in Muskegon, Michigan, on Saturday, September 14, 2024.

The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame was founded in 2012 by the Muskegon Irish American Society. The Hall of Fame currently has 69 members, and is permanently displayed on the Hall of Fame website. A digital exhibit of the Hall of Fame is being planned to be available in locations across Michigan. To see the members of the Hall of Fame, please visit the Hall of Fame website at http://www.michiganirishamericanhalloffame.org/. Nomination forms for membership in the Hall of Fame are available at the website.