Chamber News

Chef Paul Flynn inspires at Regional Leaders Lunch


Waterford Chamber’s second Regional Leaders Programme drew to a close at Faithlegg as the mentors and participants came together one last time for a networking lunch.

Guest speaker chef Paul Flynn of the Tannery and Waterford Ambassador of the Year spoke about his own personal journey in business, having left Dungarvan at the tender age of 18 and returning from the highs of running Michelin starred restaurants to going it alone. In a witty and frank presentation of the life of the self-employed, Paul spoke of the highs and lows and the constant need to do better.

“There’s no doubt it was tough and there were very lean years along the way but my wife Maire and myself had a vision to create a restaurant that offered great food in my home town that appealed to locals and visitors alike.

“You have to be driven to always want more, to be better and you need a bit of luck thrown in. For me that bit of luck came when I was asked to write for the Irish Times. From there came the books and TV shows and while I never sought out the limelight, in some ways it was what saved us. As people began to travel to our restaurant, the constant need to better the offering took hold and from that came the Townhouse and Cookery School.”

As one of Waterford’s most famous sons, Paul says his success is in no small part to the incredible chefs and mentors who inspired and guided him along the way.

While the second programme drew to a close, Waterford Chamber President Jonathan Earl also announced details of the third programme, which is due to begin in September, and will see participants from year one and two still very much involved in the programme.

“Having been mentored and having mentored others for years, I know how important a programme like this is. We all need someone to turn to for advice, to share ideas and to confide in. It’s that shared learning experience which helps us all to grow and develop within our chosen careers. We are delighted to have two of our three speakers already confirmed for next year – Gerry Cahill of Roche and Google’s Edwin Rowan and we look forward to the Regional Leaders network growing with our new participants in September, alongside our alumni.”

Partners Bausch + Lomb played a pivotal role in developing the programme and speaking at the lunch, Head of HR Mark Fitzgerald said: “People and relationships make the positive difference. This programme is all about improving us as leaders and people.

“Building a support network across a wide variety of businesses where participants can leverage from the experience and knowledge of the mentors and mentees is a key part of the Regional Leaders Programme.”


Responding to the need to develop a pipeline of future leaders in the South East region, Waterford Chamber, with the support of Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Institute of Technology and Waterford Chamber Skillnet, designed the Regional Leaders Programme to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing.

The programme is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands.

The third Regional Leaders Programme gets underway in September, offering one to one mentoring sessions, group mentoring masterclasses and inspiring speaker lunches. For more information please contact Lynda Lawton or Kelly Cummins on 051 872639.


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What Our Members Say

"Both Waterford Chamber and Bausch + Lomb understand the importance of leadership for the achievement of business success. Working with Waterford Chamber on the Regional Leaders Programme demonstrates just how effective it can be to come together and work collaboratively. The Regional Leaders Programme provides an opportunity to share our talents and expertise with the motivation to really ‘make things happen’."

Jackie Roche, Learning + Organisational Development Manager, Bausch + Lomb




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