Chamber News

Danette Connolly takes over as President of Waterford Chamber

AGM 2020Danette Connolly, National Clinical Lead and MD of the Home Instead Training Academy and Chairperson of Waterford Hospice, was elected President of Waterford Chamber at the 233rd AGM in the Granville Hotel on 24th August.

As a business owner, Danette has been actively involved with Waterford Chamber at Board level for nearly ten years and is looking forward to bringing her own ideas to the organisation as we face into a new normal.

Speaking via a Zoom forum, Danette said: “I am honoured to have been asked to take on the role of President of Waterford Chamber and look forward to working with you all over the coming months. I would like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing President Jonathan Earl for his commitment over the past year and especially for the additional months he remained in the role due to the current crisis.

“My presidency should have started in May and we have missed out on many opportunities to meet since then, but that makes me even more determined and commitment to fulfilling this role to be best of my ability until my term ends next May.”

Speaking on the importance of working together as a business community during the pandemic, she said: “Let’s just pause for a moment and reflect on what you have been achieved in business since earlier this year. Businesses have adapted and responded to the changes, you have networked and helped each other, you have been incredibly resourceful and innovative.

“It would be remiss of me not to mention the HSE Tracing APP which was developed by NearForm in Tramore. As a business community of high achievers, we have done well and should take pride in that. And what’s even better is we can do more. Collaboration is the key to success.

“The topic of the HSE is always a potentially controversial one, but it’s important to note the local HSE and all the frontline have done a tremendous job. Though the Dunmore Wing at the hospital that houses the Palliative care services isn’t operational in the manner we have been striving to, this wing of the hospital played an important part in the hospital’s ability to manage during the worst of the crisis.

“During Covid, we have also seen work continuing on getting the North Quays developed, the Greenway extension to New Ross, the appointment of Tom Boland to get the University over the line, the Big Little ideas campaign which we led, bringing the ideas of the public together to create a roadmap for change.

“We need our city to grow and with that comes many challenges but also opportunities. We must embrace all we can and lead by example as the Capital of the South East Region. Yes we have to be realistic, a lot has been put on hold, but with a strong collective voice we can realise the vision set out in the National Planning Framework.

“And who knows maybe that pause button might be a good thing. It allows us to re-evaluate and look at things differently. I know I certainly have both personally and professionally.”

Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley outlined that in light of Covid-19 it has been a tough year financially for the organisation, but it has seen them grow as a team, becoming more innovative and connecting a lot more with members.

Speaking at the AGM, Gerald said: “The past number of months haven’t been easy but we have made every effort to support our members along the way.

“For me, one of the best things about these past few months has been the willingness for collaboration. We see it daily among the various stakeholders, including Waterford City & County Council, Waterford Local Enterprise office, Enterprise Ireland Waterford Business Group, ourselves and Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber and many more. We have a common purpose – to beat this thing and come back better than ever. It has afforded us the opportunity to engage with our members, be more creative, to get back to basics in wanting to support our business community and to genuinely help those around us who are the lifeblood of the economic life in Waterford.”

As the meeting concluded, John McSweeney, AIB Bank and Ciaran Cullen, were deemed elected as Deputy President and Vice-President respectively.


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What Our Members Say

“Tom Murphy Car Sales Ltd has been a member of Waterford Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years. It’s a membership that serves us well as we find it gives us a platform to interact with similar businesses and puts us in front of a wide audience. Having staged a number of very successful Chamber events, both at our dealership on the Cork Road and at venues chosen by the Chamber, it really puts into perspective the value of networking and meeting with potential customers face to face. We intend to continue the partnership between Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Tom Murphy Car Sales into the future, as the results speak for themselves and we see the value in being a member of Waterford Chamber.”

Tom Murphy, Tom Murphy Car Sales



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