RIGHT: Brian O’Sullivan of Zeus Packaging (left) pictured with EY Corporate Finance Partner, Ronan Murray (right) at the EOY CEO Retreat.

Cork entrepreneurs visit Texas and NYC for CEO retreat

Some of Cork’s top entrepreneurs were among a group who travelled to Austin, Texas, and New York for the annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year CEO Retreat.

Andy Mackin of Mackin Group, Brian O’Sullivan of Zeus Packaging, Colette Twomey of Clonakilty Food, Denise Tormey of PlanetNet21, Jamie O’Rourke of Mainline, and Jim Barry of Barry Group participated in Ireland’s largest unofficial trade mission.

The 2022 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists include Jamie O’Rourke of Mainline in the International category.

From 11-17 September, more than 100 of Ireland’s best and brightest entrepreneurs travelled to the US for the trip which was specifically focused on fostering entrepreneurship.

The aim of the retreat was to support, inform, and challenge the entrepreneurs – a cohort that includes a mix of this year’s 25 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists and alumni – through inspirational talks from international, political, and thought leaders.

The entrepreneurs spent the week between Austin and New York City, where they participated in an agenda of executive coaching and education, as well as sessions with the leaders of some of America’s most successful businesses.

Frank O’Neill, EY Ireland Tax Partner also attended the CEO Retreat and commented: “This year we celebrate 25 years of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland programme in Ireland. Our theme The Changemakers was top of mind when we selected the location for our annual CEO retreat, as we knew we wanted to host this key event somewhere that would truly inspire and invigorate our entrepreneurs.

“Austin is recognised as a nexus for technology, start-ups and innovation, so we knew there was no better place to kick off the retreat, and you can’t beat New York City for its energy and enthusiasm, as well as its incredibly diverse and vibrant business-friendly environment. With both cities home to some of America’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, it made perfect sense to bring our own entrepreneurs to the birthplace of many of the world’s most impactful and successful business ideas.

“Our entrepreneurs also had the unique opportunity to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to start the day’s trading. It was a truly incredible experience to open one of the most highly influential institutions in the global financial markets.

“The CEO Retreat was a rare opportunity for our entrepreneurs to learn from the very best in business, entrepreneurship and academia. Year on year, it helps generate hugely valuable relationships for the Ireland’s most prestigious entrepreneurs, and helps to create opportunities that fosters new relationships and helps to unlock the immense opportunities for Irish businesses in Ireland, and overseas.”

Since its inception, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year community has grown to a tight-knit network of more than 585 alumni who harness each other’s experience, with three quarters (75%) conducting business with one another. The EOY alumni community generates revenues of €21bn, and employs more than 170k people across Ireland.