If ever guests left a Waterford Chamber event inspired, it was certainly at the President’s Lunch, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, as businessman John Moloney regaled the audience with tales of his career, from the infancy of Glanbia, to Smurfit Kappa and Coillte to now working for Larry Goodman.

As John and Chamber President Paul Nolan took to the floor, for what promised to be an insightful and entertaining engagement, a holler came from the back saying, “Ye’re like Laurel and Hardy”, and the duo certainly didn’t disappoint in the hilarity stakes.

But it was John’s story of coming from Sligo to Dungarvan each summer to stay with family, his struggle with academics in his formative years and his vision and determination to succeed, that won the hearts of the large crowd of business leaders.

He spoke of his passion for the GAA, his love of sailing and his pride in Waterford as an innovative and dynamic county.

Meanwhile, opening proceedings, President Paul Nolan, congratulated the Waterford Chamber team on winning the Local Authority Collaboration Award at the Chambers Ireland Awards recently, the second time in three years, they have led the charge in that category.

He went on to outline some of the collaborative work both organisations have done in terms of supporting the business community, not least the publication of two economic reports of late, by RIKON and EY, which earned them the award.

“These two reports are hugely beneficial to the business community and feedback suggests they are making a real difference in terms of selling Waterford. Revitalising the city centre is hugely important and reports show the potential and opportunities that are there for Waterford. Through the Chamber, we are looking at identifying a diaspora group in Ireland, the UK, the US and beyond. We all need to be Ambassadors for our city.”

Speaking on behalf of sponsors Bank of Ireland, Head of Waterford and Kilkenny, Derek Shannon said: “In the month that Bank of Ireland are celebrating 240 years since opening their doors to customers, 196 years of which they have been operating in Waterford, we are delighted to be here supporting Waterford Chamber’s President’s Lunch and congratulations to the Chamber on the work they do promoting Waterford as a great place to do business.”

On a beautiful summer’s day in the Strand Inn in Dunmore East, as guests sipped their cool drinks thanks to sponsor World Wide Wines, it was clear that the business community in Waterford is strong, working together and united in their goal to see our city thrive, not just as the capital city of the South East Region but as an international city of opportunity and prosperity.