Over 250 members of the Waterford business community gathered at the Tower Hotel on Friday evening last for a very successful, Waterford Chamber Annual Dinner accompanied by a wonderful contribution from the guest speaker founder of Pieta House Joan Freeman who told the audience that the people of Waterford are an example of a community of coming together.
Opening the evening, Mayor of the City and County of Waterford, Cllr Adam Wyse said: “It’s important that we use these opportunities to network and to further improve relationships which allow us as Waterford Council, Waterford Chamber, local traders and as people to work as a collective for one goal. That goal is for the people living and working in this city to be happy and to enjoy what they have around them. That can only be achieved as a collective, I strongly believe that.
Very soon we will have one of our biggest and most entertaining events kicking off. Winterval will begin and we are confident that it will be another major success. I simply could not imagine Waterford without Winterval anymore. We have truly become Irelands Christmas location. This festive period is extremely important for all of our local traders and it’s their continued support and sponsorship which has made the festival so successful in the past and will ensure its success into the future. I would encourage everyone here to support Winterval as much as possible.
We are not just a retail centre. We are not just a festival city. We are not just a coastline and we are not just the Viking Triangle. We are Ireland’s Oldest City, we are a city of innovators, artists, statesman, and legislators and most importantly, we are a city of hard workers. So let’s continue on this path and ensure everyone sees that Waterford is vibrant, safe and also a whole lot of fun.” Mayor of Waterford concluded.
Speaking at the event and welcoming the guest speaker on the evening was President of Waterford Chamber, Mr Laurent Borla said: "This annual dinner is a great occasion for the business community to recognise and acknowledge what is good about Waterford. We face many challenges but we are also creating many opportunities. The story of Pieta House shows us that motivated and resilient people like Senator Joan Freeman can transform our community. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to demonstrate vision, courage and drive to shape a better future for all."
Speaking on the evening Joan Freeman said “From the beginning I felt part of a mighty community – a community who loved their neighbours and who in essence loved humanity. The people of Waterford are a perfect example of a community coming together to bring a life-saving service for the most vulnerable men, women and children in their city.”
The Annual Dinner was sponsored by Liberty Blue Estate Agents and the drinks reception was sponsored by McDonald Dwyer Reddy & Byrne Insurances.
Venue: Edmund Rice Heritage Centre, Barrack Street, Waterford
Cost: This is a free event with lunch included. Places are limited.
Bookings: Call Jemma at 051 311136 or email
One Law Society CPD hour available for this event.
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Waterford Chamber Industrial Technologies conference highlights planning for Tech Change
Waterford Chamber hosted its fourth annual Industrial Technologies conference today (Thursday, October 13) at the Tower Hotel in Waterford City.
The conference hosted in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology and sponsored by Vodafone Ireland saw a number of experts in the technology and industrial sectors take to the stage to discuss technologies such as Internet of Things, metal 3D printing, collaborative robotics and energy generation.
The panel of experts included Damain Finn General Manager of Waterford’s largest private sector employer, Bausch + Lomb, Jonathan Downey who is responsible for management and implementation of projects, which are of strategic importance to the Schivo Group, Mike Wilson, ABB who has over 30 years of experience in the application of automation to manufacturing, Rodger Greene lecturer in Energy Management within the Department of the Built Environment at WIT, Derek O’Connor Facilities Engineering and Structural Manager for Bausch + Lomb Ireland and Carol Stafford of Vodafone Ireland who addressed Leveraging Internet of Things in the Healthcare Industry.
The keynote address at the conference was delivered by General Manager of Waterford’s largest private sector employer, Bausch + Lomb Damain Finn. Speaking at the event Damain said, “According to a recent survey, 86% of executives anticipated that the pace of technology change will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate in industry over the next three years. Many companies will find themselves overwhelmed with the magnitude of the tasks ahead. It may be an old saying, but, in the words of Benjamin Franklin ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. The Bausch + Lomb, Waterford site recognized this challenge and worked with employees to develop a 5-year strategic plan “Vision 20/20” to embrace technology improvements, improve automation and increase capacity at the site. Today, 2 years into that journey, the site continues to execute to this strategic plan and to seek out new automation concepts at key manufacturing steps.”
Speaking at the Conference, Leo O’Leary, Head of Large Sales at Vodafone Ireland, said: “Vodafone Ireland is delighted to sponsor the Waterford Chamber Industrial Technologies Conference. Our Connected Futures Report, which is the first series of research reports commissioned by Vodafone, explores the impact and potential of digital connectivity in realising a vision for Ireland as a ‘Gigabit Society’. Vodafone’s vision is that every consumer, company and community in Ireland will be an equal member of the gigabit society and is able access to high quality services at high speeds. World class connectivity plays a crucial role not only when exploring the latest technology developments in the industry, but in society so people can connect to what matters most to them.”
Speaking on the importance of hosting such an event and sharing best practice models President of Waterford Chamber Laurent Borla said, “The IndTech conference is a significant event on the Waterford Chamber calendar. It provides an opportunity for technology and engineering professionals to discuss about new developments and share experiences. It also provides a platform for local vendors, Waterford Institute of Technology and our sponsor Vodafone to demonstrate the services and goods on offer to the many manufacturing companies in the region. Topics such as Internet of Things, collaborative robotics, 3D printing and energy sustainability are critical to the competitiveness of Irish industry. We are grateful for the support of all our partners in organising this event."
Click on the links below to download speaker presentations.
Economists and the local business community to attract EU funding to the South East
Last Thursday two of Ireland’s eminent economists Patrick O’Riordian, European Commission Representation in Ireland and Loretta O’Sullivian, Chief Economist with the Bank of Ireland met local SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Europe Direct Centre at Central Library to discuss the EU Investment Fund which is available to local businesses. Proceedings were introduced and chaired by Nick Donnelly, CEO Waterford Chamber.
The speakers outlined how the Investment Plan for Europe aims to generate at least €315 billion of funding for projects in key strategic areas to get more people back to work.
Under the plan, major investors have better access to viable projects throughout Europe and it’s now easier for SMEs, local authorities, universities and individuals to source finance for innovative ventures.
The plan is already showing results, with around €50 billion of investment triggered during 2015, and dozens of Irish SMEs, start-up businesses and local authorities are set to benefit from the initiative.
The EU recognises that there are plenty of great ideas that can create employment and generate growth in the European Union, but sourcing finance to get them off the ground can be a problem. The Investment Plan creates new opportunities to bring together institutional investors, from both the EU and around the world, and project promoters with innovative ideas that need financial backing. Micro-loans and loans are available for entrepreneurs in Ireland looking for finance. EIF intermediaries in Ireland are Bank of Ireland, llied Irish Banks (AIB) and Microfinance Ireland.
Ireland is already benefitting from the Investment Plan for Europe as a major project to build 14 primary health care centres around the country (including one in Waterford City) was one of the first to receive pre-financing. The EIB and the EIF agreed to fund up to €70 million of construction costs for the centres, which will create thousands of construction jobs as well as numerous training and apprenticeship opportunities.
The Waterford Europe Direct Centre based at Central Library, Lady Lane is a service which helps the public find answers to questions about the European Union. It offers information on all sorts of subjects related to the EU including your rights and opportunities as an EU citizen. It can provide direct responses to general inquiries and, if you have more detailed questions, signpost you to the best sources of information and advice at EU, national, regional and local levels. You can contact the centre by email
Waterford Chamber hosted a Business After Hours at Bank of Ireland’s new branch at Ardkeen on Thursday, 23rd October. The new branch is part of a €2m investment for Waterford following major refurbishment and modernisation at branches in Lisduggan and The Quay in late 2015.
During the event, former Tipperary Senior Hurling Manager Liam Sheedy, Head of Bank of Ireland Munster interviewed Austin Gleeson, U21 All-Ireland hurling champion and Bank of Ireland Youth Ambassador for Waterford. This was warmly received by all in attendance with plenty of questions from the floor. Winner of the hamper kindly sponsored by Mulligans Pharmacy was Jeni Pim, Pims Business Systems.
The annual Waterford Chamber Golf Classic took place at Faithlegg Golf Club on Friday, 15th July.
The classic four-person team event with a shotgun start began at 2pm and prizes were awarded for first, second and third place as well as for nearest the pin and the longest drive, all sponsored by the House of Waterford Crystal.
The prize winners include KBC Bank in first place, followed by Anderco in second place and Sun Life Financial in third place.
Commenting on the Golf Classic event at Faithlegg Golf Club, Laurent Borla, Chamber President said, “This has been another fantastic event for all of our members, existing and new to come along and enjoy a great day of sport and network. It is great to have the House of Waterford Crystal return as sponsors of the fantastic prizes again this year and we would like to thank them for their continued support. We also thank KBC Bank for supporting this event for the first time this year, as well as all our members who sponsored tee signs and helped out with the event in many different ways. We were also delighted this year to raise funds for Waterford Hospice as part of the event and our appreciation to all the golfers who contributed to this worthy cause.”