17 February 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Cork Business Association has elected Mr Pat O Connell, of K. O’Connell Fish Merchants in the English Market, as our new President. Pat’s term will last until February 2017.
Pat is taking over the reins from Claire Nash, of Nash 19 Restaurant, who had a hugely successful two year term as President. She was instrumental in renewing the Christmas parking promotion and for re-organising the Cork Business Association into areas that would most benefit the city, including Retail, Tourism, Infrastructure, Security, Movement, Policy, Social, and Communications.
She will continue to play an active role with the Cork Business Association and as immediate past president she will be one of its representatives on the Cork City Centre Partnership during 2016.
Commenting on his new appointment, Mr. O’Connell stressed the opportunities for economic development in the city, “I am absolutely honoured to take up the post as President of the Cork Business Association. This is a very exciting time for Cork. Business is picking up, investment is flourishing in the city, various bodies are re-grouping for the betterment of Cork, and there is a really positive sentiment in the city. It’s time to build on that and position ourselves with a competitive edge over all other cities. As a business owner myself, I want to stress how beneficial it has been to be part of this organisation over the years and to remind owners and managers that we are here for you, to promote your interests at local and national level. We will continue to work with all the key stakeholders to revitalise our city and make it a place people want to work, visit and live in. We all need to work together to have one strong voice and this is the voice of business in cork city. So please pick up the phone and see how we can help you and your business”
Pat went on to identify a number of priorities that he will concentrate on during his term in office,
“Food and fresh local produce is close to my heart. Cork is known as the Food Capital of Ireland so we need to ensure we promote our food offering in the right way at all times – the food that we sell in our city is representative of our city, so I will be advocating that upcoming festivals and events in Cork use local produce whenever possible.”
“I am also really ambitious for the city to be seen as a hub for entertainment, music and the arts and look forward to working with all involved in these sectors to fully maximise their potential”
“We will continue to work with Cork Airport to increase connectivity and we hope the first transatlantic flight from Cork will become a reality this year.”
“Finally we will continue to work with Cork City Council and other stakeholders on issues facing our members including Movement, Parking, Rates, Security, Marketing of Cork and the improvement of our streetscape.”
Pat concluded by saying, “I would like to thank Claire Nash for her commitment to the Cork Business Association. She has been a highly motivating and dynamic president and has delivered a considerable amount for the association. Claire is leaving me with a much stronger and more relevant organisation and I thank her most sincerely for that. I look forward to working closely with our Chief Executive, Lawrence Owens, who has brought fresh thinking to the CBA since he took up his post more than 2 years ago, and to our executive members who represent all business sectors in cork.”
Commenting on the appointment, Lawrence Owens, CEO of Cork Business Association, said,
“I would like to congratulate Pat O’Connell on his election as our new President and I look forward to working with him during 2016. Pat is a great ambassador for cork he is well known and well liked however he will not shirk tackling the issues of the day. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Pats calibre to lead our organisation as cork enters an exciting New Development phase”.
The Cork Business Association is a not for profit organisation that represents the interests of businesses in Cork. We are the voice of businesses in Cork and we are dedicated to promoting their interests at local and national level and Cork City as the premier commercial and tourist destination in the southern region of Ireland. For further information see www.corkbusiness.ie