Brian Leslie Seaquest Systems. Picture: Richie Stokes
Killybegs man, Brian Leslie, is among the 24 shortlisted finalists who will compete for the coveted title of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 on Thursday, November 21 in Dublin. Collectively, the 24 finalists employ more than 13,000 people and generate annual revenues of €1.2bn.
Brian is a company director at SeaQuest Systems, and is involved in product design, sales, and future planning in the company. The company was established in 1986 by his father Bert, with the intention of creating employment for his family.
Brian was always interested in machinery workings, in general, and studied mechanical engineering in DIT Bolton Street. As part of this, he went to Seattle on a J1, and was offered a permanent position there on completion of his studies.
While his father agreed it was a very good opportunity, he suggested he try it at home for six months first, and since that he has remained with the company for over 20 years.
In that time, he has learned a great deal about trading internationally, and since moving to new purpose built premises five years ago, along with other family members, and key personnel, he has enjoyed the rapid expansion of the company in turnover and employment as the company expands, stablishes its brand recognition, and increases the product range into both existing and new markets across the globe.
2019 marks the 22nd anniversary of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in Ireland. The prestigious business awards programme is divided into three categories - emerging, industry and international - with eight finalists chosen per category.
The 24 finalists have been selected by an independent panel of judges made up of former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners including Anne Heraty, chief executive of Cpl Resources plc and chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ judging panel.
A winner will be selected from each of the three categories and from these three winners, an overall winner will be announced and crowned as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019.
The overall winner will then go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ awards in Monaco in June 2020, competing against over 60 leading entrepreneurs from across the globe. This year, Ireland was represented by Cork men, Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger from Teamwork.
Chaired by Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources plc. The panel includes previous EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (overall and category) winners Brendan Mooney, Michael Carey, Mark Roden, Evelyn O’Toole, Dr Edmond Harty, Joe Hogan, Jerry Kennelly, Harry Hughes and Denis O’Brien as well as Jenny Melia from Enterprise Ireland and Jeremy Fitch from Invest Northern Ireland.
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