The Punt: Aoife climbs the ad ladder
Advertising giant MEC has appointed a new deputy managing director for Ireland.
Aoife Hofler, inset, joined MEC in 2013 at a senior management level, following a two-year stint in Vizeum London.
She held the position of account director and chief liaison for the UK and Ireland for existing business and new business pitches, primarily working across IKEA and Kerryfoods business.
Prior to this, she was based at Vizeum's Dublin office.
MEC's clients include Vodafone, Netflix, SAB Miller, Netflix, General Mills and Visa.
"It is a very exciting time for MEC, and we are delighted to appoint Aoife to deputy managing director," said chief executive David Hayes.
"Aoife is an invaluable asset to the business, bringing huge energy, passion and innovation, and we look forward to delivering even more for our clients in 2016."
Hofler graduated from UCC with an honour's degree in sociology and psychology.
Following this, she secured a place in the competitive MSc in advertising at Dublin Institute of Technology.
Lidl US debut edges closer
Can Lidl succeed where other European retailers have failed dismally? The German chain has been plotting its entry to the US market for a number of years, and is gearing up for a 2018 launch.
Irishman Brendan Proctor is spearheading the charge from Lidl's US headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
It's targeting its first stores in a broad reach from the south-eastern US states to the mid-Atlantic. Among those who'll be getting a taste of the chain are residents of South Carolina, where a number of Lidl stores are planned. A local news station there reports this week that Lidl intends to open at least three outlets.
"We plan to build on the foundation that has made Lidl so successful in Europe, while creating a unique experience for American consumers that will be unlike anything else in the market." Proctor was quoted as saying.
An architectural consultant for Lidl recently told a local council in South Carolina that the retailer will feature locally-sourced products in its US stores, as well as those that are "uniquely European".
Could be a chance for enterprising Irish food firms to expand their geographic footprint.
Dangerous curves ahead
Johnny Ronan has been up and down some challenging gradients on the road of life, but he has always had the look of a man who enjoyed the ride.
The larger than life developer took some time out from his property market comeback to hit the roads of Kerry this week.
He was among the host of riders who joined in the An Post Rás yesterday as it travelled a gruelling stage that included a traverse of the Connor Pass.
That's a tough climb in a car, let along travelling by pedal power.
Having the right equipment helps, of course.
The Punt doesn't know much about bicycles, but we reckon Ronan is unlikely to have ridden anything other than a top of the range model.
After all, the man used to have a Maybach.
Ronan, pictured, looks comfortable in the saddle, in fact we hear he was recently riding in Italy too.