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The Punt - Ikea's winning manager to take on Dublin


IKEA, Ballymun

IKEA, Ballymun

IKEA, Ballymun

Marsha Smith has been formally appointed a director of Ikea's Irish arm, the Punt notices, after being named manager of the retailer's Dublin outlet in Ballymun recently.

Ms Smith hit the (retail) headlines in September, when named store manager of the year at the Retail Week rising stars awards. The award was in recognition of her management of Ikea's Birmingham store, for the 51,000-plus sq ft store category. Asked if she had any advice for next year's entrants, Ms Smith said they needed to be true to themselves. "Be honest about how you really look after the co-workers and customers in your store. Be enthusiastic and take part," she urged.

Duo's Core values

Keep an eye on Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O'Brien, who were the Irish winners at this year's 'Join Our Core' competition.

It's run by ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's in conjunction with social entrepeneurship network Ashoka.

Ms Ward and Ms O'Brien, are the co-founders of Foodcloud, a non-profit organisation that has been making waves of late.

They also bagged an 'Impact Award' at the 'Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards' last week.

The company seeks to encourage businesses to give their food waste to a good cause.

Ms Ward, Foodcloud's chief executive, was among the youngsters featured in Time Magazine's 'Next Generation Leaders' series.

For winning the Irish section of the 'Join Our Core' competition, Ms Ward and Ms O'Brien have won a €10,000 investment and will see their business logo featured on a Ben & Jerry's tub in 2015.

They even got some praise from the ice-cream maker's co-founder Jerry Greenfield: "Foodcloud had an impressive business model and their passion and drive really shone through. Join Our Core is all about finding the next big thing in sustainable business."

Ms Ward studied business and economics at Trinity College Dublin and was named its business student of the year in 2013.

Ms O'Brien is an environmental consultant and previously worked for JP Morgan.

Irish Independent