Pictured at the Shannon Chamber/Connect Ireland lunch in Dromoland Castle Hotel (from left): Julie Dickerson, Shannon Chamber president; Joanna Murphy, chief executive, ConnectIreland; Paul Doddrell, chief executive, Pepper Ireland; Helen Downes, chief executive, Shannon Chamber; and David Evans, managing director, North American, Canyon CTS. Photo: Eamon Ward.
A recent Shannon Chamber lunch with keynote speakers Joanna Murphy of ConnectIreland and Pepper Ireland’s chief executive Paul Doddrell has the potential to deliver new investment for the Shannon region as a result of several new leads given to ConnectIreland by attendees at the lunch.
Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes was delighted with the output from the lunch in terms of the number of people willing to sign up as ConnectIreland connectors: “An initial show of hands at the lunch pointed to a lack of understanding about ConnectIreland’s role in attracting new investment to Ireland. However, once its chief executive Joanna Murphy took to the podium the audience were left in little doubt as to how they and their businesses could play a key role in seeking out live investment opportunities for Shannon. She left the room with a new cohort of connectors and some new leads to follow up on. Hopefully, in time, they will translate into new jobs for the area; it won’t be an overnight conversion but may happen over time.”
An infectious enthusiasm for a job she just loves, Joanna Murphy showed that inward investment does not always have to mean huge job numbers. The smaller international companies seeking a new European base may opt to start small and that’s where non-urban locations come to the fore.
“In the past four years ConnectIreland has helped to created 1,954 new jobs for 14 counties in Ireland, assisted by 63,885 connectors located in 147 countries, with each company creating an average of 135 jobs. While 114 jobs were initially announced for Clare, these have now reached 400 for Ireland overall as a result of Pepper Ireland’s increased investment in both Shannon and Dublin. Pepper Ireland’s decision to locate in Ireland was the result of a ConnectIreland connector identifying an investment opportunity in Shannon
Speaking at the lunch Pepper Ireland’s chief executive Paul Doddrell said: “As a global financial services company operating in seven countries with 1,500 employees, one important measure of our success is assets under management, which currently amount to €14 billion. The decision to invest in Ireland has greatly bolstered the company’s position and we look forward to expanding our employee level to 450 by the end of the year. Had we not been introduced to ConnectIreland, we may never have known about the benefits this location could offer us.”
Shannon based Canyon CTS outlined the assistance it offers small and medium sized international companies.
Managing Director, North America, David Evans said: “Canyon CTS provides critical project management, operational and infrastructural support to US clients seeking to establish a presence in Ireland.
“We work with various types of companies across a wide range of industries including software, medical device, pharma, med-tech, aviation finance, logistics and beverage distribution. We partner with clients and help them navigate the milestones and manage the project from start to finish. Over the past year, Canyon CTS has been instrumental in attracting US investment into Ireland and delivering international expansion projects in an efficient and timely manner, for clients including Abec, SmartBear, Vortex Aviation, Pozen and many others.
“We are proud to partner with both ConnectIreland and Shannon Chamber to continue to attract international clients to the Shannon region going forward.”
A ‘Women in Business’ networking evening held in Bunratty on the same day led to over 20 Shannon Chamber female members signing up as ConnectIreland connectors.
“Should any of these connectors introduce a business contact and ultimately result in delivering jobs for Shannon, this will be a first. All jobs delivered to date have emanated from male connector introductions. It would be great if Shannon could reverse this statistic and, in so doing, generate another first for Shannon,” added Joanna Murphy.