Castleisland Native Named Kerry Association London Person Of The Year

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Liz Shanahan.

A woman who advises some of the world’s leading health organisations has been chosen as the 2017 Person of the Year by the Kerry Association London.

Liz Shanahan , a Castleisland native, arrived in London in the mid-eighties on the Slattery’s Bus.

She lives in London with her husband, Tim Lacey who hails from Tralee. Liz is a member of the well-known Shanahan Chemist family and spends time in their home near Killorglin.

Liz is recognised as a leader of the Irish business community abroad, she has been hugely successful both in business and in building networks between people and businesses with Irish, especially Kerry, connections.

Liz was the first female and first Kerry Global Chair of the renowned Irish International Business Network, the leading Irish business diaspora network abroad.  In 2016, recognising the importance to Ireland and business in the UK, she Co-Chaired Ireland4Europe, to galvanise the Irish vote around the UKs EU membership referendum. She has been pivotal in initiating a number of Kerry focused business forums in London and Kerry in the last few years.

The Irish Times has named Liz as one of Ireland’s Women of the World and a global leader in Healthcare & Life-sciences.

She founded her first company, Santé Communications in 1994.  It became one of the world’s leading healthcare consultancies, advising leading pharmaceutical companies on corporate, financial, brand, medical and internal communications. Her Irish graduate programme has resulted in Santé Alumni holding senior positions in international organisations around the globe. In addition, the IIBN Future Leaders Programme, which has a number of Kerry members, has paired young entrepreneurs with business mentors and is already reaping rewards.

Following the sale of Santé to the NYSE listed FTI Consulting, Liz became Global Head of Healthcare & Lifesciences. She left a few years ago and is now a senior consultant to pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, an angel investor and speaks regularly on both topics, as well as the implications of Brexit, including to radio Kerry on a regular basis.

As a testament to Liz’s extensive influence in the business community, she is a member of the Global Irish Economic Forum, The British Council Provocation Group and a non-executive director of a UK hospital, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust. She was a founder of Techlink, a science and technology network connecting the UK & Ireland, chairing the group before merging it into the IIBN.

Liz uses her network to help support a number of Kerry based charities including Kerry Hospice Foundation, Build4Life, Talbot Grove, St Josephs in Killorglin and the Kerry Sports Academy. She is a regular participant in the annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.

She continues supporting Kerry and Ireland worldwide as a networker, investor & mentor.

Shanahan commented: “I’m incredibly proud of being from Kerry and when Denis Nolan rang me to tell me I’d been chosen as Kerry Person of the Year, I was humbled and honoured.

One of the first events I ever attended when I arrived in London was the Kerry Association Annual Dinner with my husband, Tim Lacey and his Auntand  Uncle, Dorothy and James O’Shea, both also proud Kerry people. It’s a wonderful award and I’m genuinely delighted, as are my proud family in Castleisland and my many in-laws and Kerry friends.

Kerry is a county that punches well above its weight in the business world. I come from generations of Kerry business people; my grandfather, father and  brother all established their own pharmacy businesses, my Aunt, Margaret Geaney established Crag Caves, so being in business is in the blood.

More Kerry entrepreneurs are shortlisted for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award than any other County, a testament to Kerry’s business spirit, and evidenced by organisations like Kerry Group, DairyMaster and Fexco.  As John B said, being a Kerry person, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that God can bestow on any person.”

Kerry Association London secretary Tara Cronin added: “It is always a difficult task selecting our Kerry Person of the Year and we had so many worthy nominations. Liz will be a fantastic ambassador the Kerry Association London and we are looking forward to working with her through the year. “

Liz  will be presented with her award at the KAL’s annual dinner and dance in the famous Crown Hotel in Cricklewood in October.

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