President’s Blog – May 13, 2019 – Leadership and High Performance

Hello Members – After the excitement of the Chamber Team visit to London and the success of the Sligo-London Business Networking event, it was back to Sligo and back to normality and to the routine during the past week.  Although not quite.  Given the short working week with the May Bank Holiday on Monday there were two important events on the Sligo Chamber calendar over the course of the four-day working week.

Thursday evening saw the Annual General Meeting hosted at the Sligo Chamber offices.  It was refreshing to have so many members in attendance.  Thanks to all who gave of their time to be there on what was a lovely sunny evening.  Under strict instruction to move the meeting along, we managed to conduct all business within 45 minutes to allow everyone back to the norm of their evening activities.  Working from the accounting information prepared by our dedicated Finance Chairman and Treasurer, Shane Kelly, an overview of the Financial Report was outlined by the Chamber Auditor, Martin Coggins.  It was a good year with a healthy set of accounts and a significant increase in turnover due in no small measure to the activity of Sligo Chamber Skillnet and the extent of education training activities provided to member firms and their employees over the course of the year.

Building on the success of the Sligo Chamber “Life is for Living #Life is Sligo” mini film, Storylab were commissioned in February to prepare a PowerPoint presentation based on the theme of how Sligo Chamber is delivering for its member firms and their employees, as well as for Sligo.  We used the President’s Address to the AGM as an opportunity to go through this presentation and to share with those in attendance how the Sligo Chamber Team has been delivering over the past year through advocating, communicating and educating on behalf of our over 300 member firms and their 7,000 employees.  And all this based on our vision in Sligo Chamber that by the year 2040, Sligo will be a major regional centre in Ireland serving a population of 400,000, a Sligo that is fully sustainable and where our children can live, work and thrive in a safe environment that is community led and offers real quality of life.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday morning, Sligo Chamber held a Masterclass in the Clayton Hotel.   It is the objective of our Events Manager, Mary Harty to host three bespoke Masterclasses for our member firms during the year.  The topic on Wednesday was High Performance Leadership in Business.  The Masterclass was delivered by Caroline Currid.  From Grange in North Sligo, Caroline has already attained a remarkable CV for one so young, having worked as a sports psychologist with among others, Paul O’Connell; double Olympian, David Rudisha; the Dublin and Tyrone football teams; Tipperary and most recently the Limerick hurling team as they soared to their all-Ireland success last year.  Caroline held the assembled audience of over 70 Sligo business leaders and emerging leaders attentive throughout, hanging on every word, as she explored the 7 Fundamentals of High Performance.  Thanks is due to IT Sligo for their partnership with Sligo Chamber for the Masterclass.  Dr. Breda McTaggart, Head of Department of Social Services and Dr. Tomas O’Flaherty from Department of Engineering at IT Sligo, used the Masterclass as a platform to launch their new Masters of Arts in Professional Leadership, a course designed specifically for this region in response to the advances now emerging in business in Sligo and the need to cultivate the leaders of the future.  Part funding for those interested in this exciting new course is available through Sligo Chamber Skillnet.  In addition to IT Sligo, thanks are also due to the Clayton Hotel for the sponsorship of the breakfast which included a tastefully presented healthy option, and also for their thoughtful layout of the round tables from which everyone had a clear and uninterrupted view of Caroline during her talk.

And in breaking news on Friday afternoon, we learned that Sligo Chamber’s Life is for Living – Life is Sligo” mini film has been shortlisted for the prestigious Public Relations Consultants Association 2019 Awards for Excellence (#PRAwards19). An all-Ireland awards competition, this is a celebration of best practice in Irish public relations, public affairs and communications. Reading the shortlist which includes PR firms Drury Porter Novelli, Wilson Hartnell, Carr Communications, Fleishman Hillard, as well as AIB, Bord Gais Energy, Diageo, IKEA, Guinness, Lidl and McDonalds, it is a great achievement for Ciaran Byrne, Martha Kearns and the team at Storylab to have been shortlisted in such company. Another example of high performance from Sligo based companies and we wish Storylab every success in the awards. The awards ceremony takes place at a gala luncheon in the Mansion House, Dublin on Friday, June 21.

So that’s it for another week

Until next time

Life is for Living – #Life is Sligo.

 Conor McCarthy

President Sligo Chamber