Two Galway natives have just returned home from a successful CEO Retreat that took place across Chicago, University of NotreDame and New York.
Comprised of executive education sessions, networking and high profile speaker events, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ CEO Retreat gave attendees the opportunity to engage with top US entrepreneurs, investment bankers, economists, political advisors and academics across the east coast of America.
Representing Galway were Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2013 finalists, James Murphy of Lifes2good and Kerril Burke of Merit Software.
They were among the 110-strong group of attendees, which consisted of the 24 EOY finalists and over 80 members of the EOY alumni community.
“The CEO Retreat was like being welcomed into a new extended family I did not know I had,” commented Burke at the end of the week-long think tank. “Despite the fact that many of us had widely different businesses, there was a willingness to discuss, reveal and assist each other with business issues and opportunities from the outset.”
The 2013 CEO Retreat involved an ambitious itinerary that exposed the group of entrepreneurs to the very latest trends and shifts in business globally. The schedule included master classes with business professors from the University of Notre Dame; strategy workshops with top executives in Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and General Assembly; a visit to the New York Stock Exchange; and interactive problem-solving sessions at the Ernst & Young US headquarters in Times Square, New York.
“The CEO Retreat enabled Ireland’s best entrepreneurs to step out of their comfort zones and think about their businesses in an entirely new way,” said Frank O’Keeffe, Partner-in-Charge of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme.
“We centred the CEO Retreat on the theme of ‘thinking global, becoming global’ and guided our entrepreneurs through what it takes to unlock success on a global stage. It was hugely encouraging to see our entrepreneurs return home full of renewed inspiration, ideas and an enhanced vision of growth for their businesses.”
The high-profile speaker line-up included Pat Ryan, founder of AON Corporation; Jim Rohr, former CEO of PNC Financial Services Group; Dennis Boyle, founder of IDEO Design Thinking; HamdiUlukaya, founder of Chobani Inc and winner of World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013; renowned American Football Coach Lou Holtz; James McCann of 1-800 FLOWERS; Declan Kelly of TeneoHoldings; Wilbur Ross of WL Ross & Co; Michael Brewster, MD of Private Banking at Credit Suisse and Adrian Jones, MD of the Principal Investment Area at Goldman Sachs.
“I know I can speak on behalf of the EOY community when I say that the speakers throughout the CEO Retreat were truly inspirational and global market change agents,” said O’Keeffe.
“World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013, Hamdi Ulukaya, started his business in the US with nothing but a subway coupon and 25 cents in his pocket. Within five years, he grew his company, Chobani Inc, to a turnover of $1 billion, employing over 3000 staff. It was motivational stories like his and words of wisdom from the likes of Coach Lou Holtz that had our entrepreneurs taking notes and immediately connecting with their teams on home soil to share learnings.”
While the CEO Retreat marked a major milestone for the 24 EOY finalists, they will soon be making their EOY TV debut in the five-part RTE TV series ‘Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™’ that will start filming in July. The overall winner of the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title as well as the winners per each of the three individual categories will be announced at the EOY Gala Night taking place in Dublin on 24 October.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Programme is supported by Invest Northern Ireland, Intertrade Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, The Irish Times, RTE and Newstalk.