News & Insights

Connamara Employee Celebrates Landmark

Executive Assistant proves you are as young as you think you are.

Mary Holligan, who works as Executive Assistant at Connamara Systems in Chicago, celebrates her 100th birthday. Holligan grew up in the small farming community of Emmett, Kansas.  She graduated from St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, Kansas, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

After arriving in Chicago in 1956, Holligan worked as an Executive Assistant at Continental Bank. During her tenure at Continental, Holligan held titles of Executive Assistant to the Chairman and Office Assistant to the Division Manager for the Oil and Gas Group.

Upon leaving Continental in 1985, Holligan held the title of Office Assistant to the Divisional Manager at Sanwa Business Credit Corp.

In 1999, Holligan joined Connamara Systems where she currently holds the title of Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer.  At Connamara, she is responsible for human resources, employee benefits, accounting and office services.

Until 2015, Holligan took the BNSF train from La Grange to Union Station, near Connamara’s office at Jackson and Wells. Today, utilizing the remote working benefit offered by Connamara, Holligan works  from her home office in La Grange Park.

Jim Downs, Connamara CEO says, “Mary has been instrumental in the success of Connamara. She has brought the professionalism she gained through her years working at large financial institutions to Connamara. Her optimistic outlook and “can do” attitude continues to help drive our company forward. Throughout the years, Mary has easily adapted to new office environments and eagerly embraced new technologies.”

John Vatianou, Connamara COO adds, “Mary treats all of us like family. She knows our kids names and ages and makes personal goody bags for each of them every Christmas.”

Holligan says of her longevity, “It’s  difficult to give a specific reason for my reaching this milestone.  However, over the years with the love and support of my family I tried to put forth my best efforts and lead a successful life.  Most importantly though, I’m a firm believer that our destiny is planned by a Higher Source and whatever will be, will be.”

About Connamara:

Founded in 1998 by Jim Downs, a long time index options market-maker at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Connamara offers solutions to exchanges, swap execution facilities, CTAs and Hedge Funds. Connamara delivers next generation, end-to-end trading and risk management solutions, including matching engines, order and execution management, algorithmic trading, and market data integration. Incorporating the client’s specific needs with the most advanced, tested technologies, Connamara takes a made-to-measure approach to its software. Connamara is headquartered in Chicago.

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Dan Curry


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