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My Background

My Background

  • I'm Irish but actually I'm a citizen of the world. Most of my friends are international and have started out in another country. I've learned so much about the world and about people this way.

  • I love mountains and sea. grew up with a sea view at the front of the house and mountains at the back of the house. I love both. In particular I love snow and ice. But give me nature of any kind and I'll be happy.

  • I'll talk with anybody and I make friends easily. That comes from growing up in a country where most people don't know when to stop (we call it the 'gift of the gab').

  • I'm close with my family. My favourite Whatsapp channel is the one with my four brothers and four sisters.

  • I geek out on linguistics. Although I'm interested in a wide variety of topics, I'm fascinated by the evolution of language. It's like 'geology of the mind.'

I've lived with change and transition all my life

  • Raised in Ireland, the eldest of nine siblings, we moved house 4 times. There's only so many brothers and sisters you can squeeze into a bedroom.

  • My student day shenenigans took me to Dublin, Oxford, Paris and Berlin.

  • I've lived in a dozen countries over the last 30 years, have visited over another 40, and speak 4 languages (well - 5 if I include the occasional curse).

  • Early in my career I worked in scenario planning and strategy for a Canadian telecoms company (Nortel), writing economic and financial forecasts.

  • I then led pan-European sales and marketing teams for two telecommunications software companies (Atos, Kenan Systems).

  • I also led the international expansion of a subsidiary of Worldcom (MKI) across 7 European countries.

  • For the last 15 years, I was a travel industry exec. Airports are breeding grounds of innovation in hospitality, security, technology, and retail. I was involved in incredible ventures - in retail, hospitality and technology. I've raised millions of dollars in VC funding, from seed investment and crowdfunding through to VC and family offices.

  • I became a Certified Scrum Master and led two remote software development teams.

  • This gave me the opportunity to be involved with other startups on the side. I ran a support group for founders and CEOs on the more personal side of running a business. I've mentored and coached over 70 founders to date.

  • When flights were grounded during the pandemic, I caught a glimpse of an alternative lifestyle. The thought of drifting towards retirement doing just one thing and potentially missing out on so many other paths filled me with horror. I didn't want to arrive at a point in my life where I would look back on my life and be full of regrets. I knew there were so many other things I was missing out on. That's why I've decided to go offroad and forge my own path and since then I have never looked back.