Conor Kenny & Associates was formed in April 2002. Unlike many stories of big picture vision and opportunity, it was created out of instinct and 3 simple principles. The first, that people will deliver the ideas and plans they create themselves. The second, is the talent already lies within and the imaginary perfect professional does not exist elsewhere. The third foundation stone was the desire to help people create better futures for themselves and, by default, their business.
Harvard Research told us very early on that the number 1 reason people leave their job is the lack of learning and development opportunities.
To this day, these are the core values of everything we do.
Like all businesses, our path has been a meandering route to today. We took many attractive wrong turns but we learnt from the old adage that “Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions”
A humble start working with Pubs and Publicans confirmed our love of all things service, sales and marketing. Our first clients, who were kind enough to trust us, were little rural Pubs in remote areas. Thankfully, we rewarded that trust with some success for these pioneering customers.
From there, a natural love for hospitality, customer focus and service, drew us seamlessly into the world of hotels and this is where we found our first niche.
For almost 5 years the ‘company’ was a one man band with a part time secretary but that was to change because of two unrelated events. The first was being commissioned by Grace Gallagher (our MD today) who was then General Manager of a Wexford hotel. It was easy to spot her enormous ability, leadership qualities and management skills. When Grace left Wexford to return to her native Limerick that triggered an instinctive invitation to work with us. It proved to be a very successful decision.
The second defining moment came in a hot room in Galway where our good friends, Padraig O’Ceidigh, Padraic Gilligan and Patrick Delaney (The 3 Saint Patrick’s) pushed us to define what we were, who we were for, where we were going and what we offered. Like many businesses, we stumbled and stuttered until they made sure the light dawned. More importantly, they put us firmly on the road to a scalable business.
Soon the recession of 2008 was to bite. We saw the storm coming and hammered down our plans.
That meant a few things. First, we had to manage our money. Second, we had to work harder and better for less. Third, and most importantly, we had to reinvent what we did to be relevant, value and impactful. We clearly remember saying that the recession would be the best thing to happen to us even if it didn’t feel like it just yet. Those words were prophetic.
Today, we are collaborating with Shannon College of Hotel Management, a College within The National University of Ireland – Galway on a Leadership Programme.
Our 3rd book ‘It’s Who I Am’ is published in 2017 underlining our interest in people.
Now, everything we have learnt in 15 years within the world of luxury hotels and exemplary service is about to travel into industries that have a high level of customer interaction.
We are growing rapidly but to a very clear plan, destination and goal. We are a long way from our confused beginnings and we work with lots of really good people and great world class brands.
Although we have achieved many goals we prefer to consider them as checkpoints. Yes, lots done but we always feel we are at the beginning.
We are lucky. We have great people and we work with great people. We are grateful, we are proud and we enjoy what we do.
Today, ‘Our History’ is simply work in progress. We have many mountains to scale and many things to do.
As the running quote goes “The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running”
We will and we will keep doing the very best we can.