After previously holding Company Directorships in Waterford Stanley and Pierce Engineering, Tom Kennedy now has his own HR Consulting & Recruitment Business. The business is located in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny and helps businesses improve their people management capability and HR processes through tailored HR Consulting support.
Born in Carrick on Suir and educated at Carrick on Suir CBS and WIT, Tom began life as a trainee industrial engineer in Carrick’s Plunder & Pollak leather factory, part of the Irish Leather Group and became Plant Personnel Manager at the age of 24. He later moved to Smurfit Masser Ironfounders as Personnel Manager. Following the closure of the Ironfoundry, he was delighted to be part of the small management team, that in 1983 rose from the ashes of a written off business, and grew the new Stanley business from 3 to 500 people over the following 10 years in Waterford, Wexford, nationally and internationally. Stanley developed into a very successful business in the 1990’s, winning many high profile national awards for the excellence of its management initiatives and the research & design that went into the development of technologically advanced new style oil / gas cookers and a range of superb new stoves for home and international markets. Two All Ireland Inter firm hurling titles were also won during the 1990’s, when social activity and workplace relations reached new highs.
35 years of senior Recruitment & HR management experience, including 14 years at executive board level, was gained across sites in Ireland, N.I., UK, Europe, Eastern Europe, US & China. Tom was delighted to work with a succession of great management teams, workforces that yearly embraced change to survive and improve competitiveness; and global Brand names including Stanley, Waterford, Glem, Rayburn, AGA, Rangemaster, Pierce, Smurfit & Irish Leathers. During his years in industry he delivered HR Services across many sectors including Manufacturing, Sales & Marketing, R&D, Warehousing & Distribution, Retail, Customer Services Call Centres & Hospitality.
He chaired a Stanley Relocation Project Committee of 20 for 18 months of pre-planning (2004-2006), which included external architects, engineers, building contractors, quantity surveyors and a cross functional in-house team of managers & in 2006 led a successful relocation of Waterford Stanley 2 miles across the city, from the old city centre site, to 2 newly fitted-out IDA units.
Following two successful years 2006-2008 in the new IDA units, Tom managed Stanley operations through the next five very challenging recessionary years; including moving main production from range cookers to stoves in response to changing market demands brought about by the recession and a sharp rise in oil prices, several restructurings, performance management system, staff re training, introduction of annual hours, MRP system, lean manufacturing / six sigma manufacturing & significant reductions in capital tied up in raw materials, WIP and finished stocks.
Extensive HR senior management expertise was also gained in recruitment up to board level, CEO & senior team mentoring, employee engagement, productivity & change management, collective bargaining, compensation and benefits, management buy-ins, growth planning, managing redundancies, HR policies & processes, learning & development, employment law and pension schemes.
Tom is a Chartered Fellow (FCIPD) and was particularly proud to be elected the first National Chairman of the CIPD in Ireland in 1993. He held this office for three years. He was awarded a Badge of Merit by the Governing Board of CIPD UK for outstanding service and was a member of an Advisory Board to the University of Limerick covering change in Irish Employee Relations.
He lectured part time in Productivity subjects at WIT for 8 years and was a guest speaker at CIPD, IBEC &ICM events around Ireland. He was also Ireland's representative to the European Association of Personnel Management and a member of various S.E. Regional and National Committees of IBEC for 20 years. He is also a qualified Industrial Engineer and holds a Diploma in Total Quality Management (TQM) from the University of Limerick.
Tom lives in Piltown with his wife Maureen and is past member of Carrick on Suir & St Annes Waterford Tennis & Badminton clubs. To relax nowadays, he plays golf with Waterford Golf Club.