Tuesday 23 January 2018

The Punt: Schmidt set to reach Summit

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt has been added to the speaking roster for the Pendulum Summit, which takes place in Dublin on January 8.

He joins US motivational speaker Tony Robbins, and author and speaker Rasmus Ankersen, who is also chairman of the Midtyjlland football club in his native Denmark, as well as a director at Brentford FC in England.

Pendulum, organised by former rugby star Frankie Sheahan, is billed as a leading self-empowerment event. It is the largest event of its kind in Ireland, with a capacity for around 3,000 at the Convention Centre Dublin.

New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has coached Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations Championships wins since taking up the head coach position in 2013. Before that he was head coach with Leinster Rugby, where his leadership helped bring unprecedented success to the province.

Schmidt is known for his forensic approach and the high levels of expectation placed on players. He's hoping to learn from fellow speakers as well as share his insights at the event.

"I am always looking to learn and at the same time it'll be good to share a few ideas on January 8," he said.

Entrepreneur walking tall

The founder of a company specialising in walking holidays has been crowned JCI Galway Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

James Byrne (34), inset, set up Hillwalk Tours in 2008 and the first holiday was sold in March 2009 to a Swiss couple who explored the Beara Peninsula. In 2012, the company started selling walking holidays in Scotland before expanding this year into England.

From small beginnings of one person and a total investment of less than €10,000 in 2009, Hillwalk Tours now employs 14, works with more than 500 B&Bs and other local suppliers in Ireland, England and Scotland, and organised walking holidays for people from 33 countries this year.

Mr Byrne said the award was recognition "for the whole Hillwalk Tours team".

The awards, which began in 1999, are the longest running of their type in Galway.

Other winners included Barry Duff (Super Pixel), winner of the one-to-watch award, Katie O'Loughlin (Bubbles and Bark) winner of the most improved award, Aisling Kearney Burke (Beechmont Art Studio), second runner-up and Noel Kelly (Creva Agri International), first runner-up.

ISME wants to hire deputy

Business group ISME - which represents small and medium-sized firms - is seeking a new executive for the combined role of deputy chief executive and chief marketing officer. And the pay isn't bad either - €100,000 to the right candidate.

Whoever gets the role will be working hard for their money. ISME, whose chief executive is Mark Fielding, has nearly 10,000 members and the new executive is expected to build ISME's brand and membership.

Interestingly, Fielding turned 65 last week. Undoubtedly he and the ISME board have been pondering who might eventually succeed him. In 2009, the Thurles native recalled how he began his first business. "It was Christmas time and I had been selling penny candles to my friends and classmates in Mother Dolores' class and spending my profits in Mrs Condon's shop on ice cream and bubble gum and sharing my largesse with all the other children on the Square," he said.

"Christy Deegan, the sacristan, collared me with a jumper full of candles on the steps of the cathedral.

"Word had got out and my first venture ended. It was 1954 and I was four years old."

Irish Independent

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