Thursday 24 January 2019

Ergo: Analogy between Lyons and da Vinci centre stage in US

Avril Bannerton, organiser of Taste, the annual food and drink shindig in the Iveagh Gardens. Photo: Andres Poveda Photography
Avril Bannerton, organiser of Taste, the annual food and drink shindig in the Iveagh Gardens. Photo: Andres Poveda Photography
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Entrepreneur Pearse Lyons was honoured at the Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 last week in Kentucky - the first since the billionaire founder of the brewing, animal health and ingredients company died in March.

His son, Dr Mark Lyons, president of Alltech said that innovative change takes leaders with the ability to see what others cannot, something both Leonardo da Vinci and his father had in common, according to reports in local press.

"He and dad 'happened to things,' as dad put it," he said. "And that thing was called 'life.' Sometimes life happens to us. These two individuals seemed to impact life as much as it impacted them. If we start to think like him - if we can get 10 people, 100 people, 1,000 people thinking like him - imagine what we can achieve together," added Lyons.

While Pearse Lyons was a man of big ideas and vision, I hear the next generation is in the process of reviewing the diverse group, which could result in non-core and non-performing businesses being sold off.

It emerged earlier this month that an algae fermentation plant in Kentucky will close. Will more of Lyons's innovative projects also be wound down?

A spokeswoman for the company said the business would continue to grow both organically and through acquisitions, but added that "Alltech, like any business should, is always reviewing its operations to ensure optimum performance".

Young gun Craddock on the up with apartment plan

It's onwards and upwards - literally - for one property developer who in 2015 made the Sunday Independent 30 under 30 list of young business people to watch.

At the time, Keith Craddock was an asset manager at Green Reit but he has since set out on his own, founding Red Rock Developments, which has been involved in a number of interesting projects on the south side of Dublin. But Craddock's focus has turned north and he is now seeking permission to build a seven-storey apartment block with 42 units close to Smithfield, in the markets area of the city.

The development is planned for a prominent site currently occupied by a vacant two-storey former food supply hub. Building upwards in a location next to a Luas line seems like a very sensible approach to planning, in contrast to the old idea of building an estate on a greenfield an hour's drive away. Let's see if the planners agree.

High-fliers head to Taste's corporate hospitality

Taste, the annual food and drink shindig at Dublin's Iveagh Gardens, kicks off on June 14, and according to organiser Avril Bannerton corporate sales are booming.

Most corporate tickets were sold in October and sales are up 25pc on the previous year.

She said that the type of companies buying tickets for clients were more or less the same as during the boom years, with banks, financial services and legal firms all splashing out on packages, which can include Taste's florins, the currency visitors need to buy food at the various stands. There is a new post-recovery addition to the sectors splashing out on the corporate hospitality - the air-leasing sector.

Sponsors have been strong also, with Cathay Pacific coming on board as an airline partner.

Bannerton also said interest from tourists was on the rise. So expect plenty of high-fliers at Taste this year. She plans to add an extra day to the event aimed at the food trade, while plans are in the works for the Christmas-themed Taste Festive from November 2020.

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