Three Kerry business people have been honoured for their professional achievements and commitment to business in the county.
They were honoured at the Business Leaders Gala Dinner at the Rose Hotel, Tralee last night, which was organised by the Kerry Innovation Centre, and sponsored by Kerry County Council and EY Ireland.
The 2023 Business Leader of the Year was awarded to Sean Ryan, CEO of Aspen Grove, Tralee.
The fintech innovator was honoured for his incredible entrepreneurial drive, having scaled and grown a global company from Tralee, which provides property servicing technology solutions.
95% of Aspen Grove’s business to the USA is delivered from Tralee; it employs almost 100 people.
Aoife Ní Mhuirí, CEO and founder of health-tech company, Salaso was awarded the Emerging Business Leader accolade.
The Galway native was a physio with the senior Kerry team for over nine years, and worked with IT Tralee, before setting up Salaso in 2011.
It’s created a digital platform allowing clinics, hospitals and health systems to build a digital channel for their services; the company employs 20 people in Ireland, the UK and USA.
Aoife was described as being determined, a visionary, and passionate about embracing tech, and was honoured as her tech having an impact nationally and internationally.
She credited her parents for her determination and upbringing in a rural setting; noting that she came from the bog but could achieve.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Patricia Quane, former VP & General Manager of Astellas Europe in Killorglin, and current Chairperson of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs for Biopharma Industry, and Chair of the South West Enterprise Plan Steering Committee.
She was honoured for her impact at a local, national, and international level for transplant patients, and for being a strong advocate for Kerry being a place to live and work.
Astellas, which employs over 400 in Killorglin makes the number one drug in the world to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ; it’s shipped to over 144 countries.
Patricia noted how supply chain issues is often cited as a reason for a company not to locate in Kerry, but she said even though time is of the essence with their drug, there has never been an issue with delivery of product.