Panel Discussion - "Playing the long game, strategies to stay the journey"

Panel Bios

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About Brent Pope

Brent Pope is a former New Zealand rugby player and professional coach, best known for his work on RTE rugby for over two decades as well as appearing on many of Ireland’s top television and radio programmes. Brent is also an accomplished author publishing 8 children’s books, an award-winning autobiography, and this year a mental health book entitled “win”. Brent has curated his own art gallery for marginalised artists, and his own fashion shoe and shirt brand called POPE. Brent is an ambassador for many Irish mental health charities and is one of Ireland’s leading speakers on mental health. He has recently completed qualifications as a psychotherapist and councillor.

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About Graham Shaw

Graham Shaw took on the role of Head Coach for the Irish Women's Hockey team in July 2015. Shaw is one of Ireland's most decorated players, earning 151 caps between 2002 and 2009, before embarking on an already impressive coaching career. In 2010, he carved out a unique piece of history by coaching Loreto to the women’s Irish Senior Cup title before, on the same day, winning the men’s man of the match title in Glenannes success. More recently, he coached Monkstown to their first national title in 99 years with their 2013 Irish Senior Cup. The club have subsequently become the first to win three Irish Hockey League titles in succession under his tutelage. Since taking the helm of the Green Army, Shaw has guided the Irish Women's team to the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup final, winning the silver medal. 

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About Noelle O' Connor

Founder and Managing Director, Noelle O’Connor, is a glowing advocate for TanOrganic, the world’s first and only Eco-certified organic tan and skincare line, which she developed herself. An ITEC qualified beauty therapist and lecturer, Noelle has been in the beauty industry for over two decades. From humble beginnings, she began her career with a two-thousand-pound loan from her local credit union in a single cubicle beauty room behind a hair salon in rural Ireland. She single-handedly built her business into Ireland’s first beauty chain, Ealu Spa Therapy, while simultaneously setting up a skincare distribution company, Skin Logic, supplying leading mineral beauty products to Ireland and the UK. Launched in 2010, TanOrganic quickly shot into the public eye and gained significant publicity by participating on Dragons Den Ireland in 2011 where Gavin Duffy invested €50,000 for a 45% share of the company. Today, TanOrganic is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate with overall sales figures growing in double digits year on year. The product suite has grown from 1 to 14 individual innovative world-first products with the latest 3 launching onto the market this year. TanOrganic is now a global leading self-tan company with products sold worldwide.

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About Brendan Kiely

A native of Dún Laoghaire Brendan Kiely is co-founder & CEO of ThinScale Technology.  Developing solutions that enable IT to deliver the modern digital workplace, ThinScale was founded just over 4 years ago and now has customers in 25 countries with 99% of its sales export driven.  Having just entered its scale up phase, ThinScale was ranked this year as the 4th fastest growing technology company in Ireland in the Deloitte Fast 50 and in the top 200 in the EMEA Fast 500.  Bootstrapping was critical to its success and required a lot of resilience and perseverance requiring the team to dig deep. Having successfully come out the start-up phase Brendan is more than happy to share his experience and strategies with other entrepreneurs.