Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce has just appointed their new CEO - John Hurley - in a move which more than indicates that the organisation is heading back to a strong financial footing.
Mr Hurley, a native of Tralee, has been living in Kilkenny for over ten years now and brings 35 years of business experience to the role - as he says using his “skill-set” in a new direction. He is a qualified Chartered Insurer and also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Limerick. John has successfully held a variety of management roles including Underwriting, Sales and Business Development in the General Insurance industry. In line with his passion for professionalism and service excellence in business he is also a lecturer to Financial Service Industry professionals on a wide range of business modules. A former Chairman of the Board of Management, KSP N.S. and a Chartered Toastmaster, he is currently the President of the Rotary Club of Kilkenny.
He takes up his role at a time when he sees a definite upturn in the economy locally. “You would get that from various commentators, and then to hear people like AIB CEO David Duffy at the recent Chamber lunch, it all adds up to a greater positivity. And in Kilkenny, streets are busier, festivals are better than ever, there is just a greater positivity,” he said.
“We are here to represent business, and one of the top concerns is job creation and job sustainability. Many firms have had to rationalise in the downturn, and now they need to gear up. We want to help them maximise fully any opportunity, and there is strength in numbers. That is what Chamber is for.
“But overall I will spend the present time listening to business, finding out the key issues, and working through them,” he added.
Chamber will continue its push to spread its message and involvement county wide and have set up five key areas outside the city where they are looking for representation from - Callan, Thomastown, Castlecomer, Graignamanagh and Piltown/Mooncoin. “Getting members involved from these areas is high on our agenda,” said Mr Hurley.
The backbone of Kilkenny’s economy is exporting goods and tourism, so trade with the outside world is vital and being able to seal those deals an imperative. Chamber, who supply the Export Certificate of Origin play a key role in this and as leading members of the South East Chambers Network have a major role to play in the tourism sector.
John is certainly what you would call an early riser. Married with two children, he is regularly seen on the bike, and enjoys swimming. He will certainly be determined to begin his tenure with a strong message and on a positive note.
President of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce Donie Butler stated “We are delighted to have secured the services of John for the Chamber. He has all the attributes and acumen required to ensure that the Chamber has relevance and credibility with both our extensive membership base and the larger business community across Kilkenny City and county.”
The Board of Kilkenny Chamber expressed its gratitude to Sharon O’Gorman who has just successfully completed her term as Chamber Administrator over the past 18 months. President Donie Butler said “Sharon came in to do a specific job for the Board in reorganising the administration arm of its services under an 18 month contract and we now thank her for a job well done and we wish her well in her future career path”.
The Kilkenny Chamber AGM takes place on April 17.