News Announcement - Longford Leader Article - 23rd June 2010
Brothers Hope to Scoop Top Business Award
Just when you thought Longford's chances of securing
at least one nomination for this year's coveted Ernst
and young Entrepreneur of the Year awards looked
decidedly ominous, two come along at once.
That's because the entrepreneurs behind both petfood
manufacturer C&D Foods and now timber processing
firm,Glennon Brothers, are getting set to take their
places in the final along with 22 other hopefuls
this coming October.
And like their Edgeworthstown counterparts, Glennon
Brothers have endured their fare share of economic
hardship along the way.
In fact, the similarities are almost identical. Both
companies were built on the endeavours of their
fathers, Albert Reynolds and Paddy Glennon.
The ashes left by fires within less than two years of each
other threatened their very existence while volatile
currencymarkets have simultaneously played havoc with
their balance sheets since the global credit crunch took
Yet, each, thanks to their respective owners, Philip Reynolds of C&D and Glennon Brothers' Mike and Pat Glennon have ensured their firms emerged as stronger,
more resolute outfits regardless of the recession.
"It is great from a Longford perspective and it's great to see C&D Foods in there as well," responded Mike during an interview with the Business Leader recently. "Fair play to Philip, they have reacted very well to various adversities they have had too. To think of Longford and it's size to think we have got two out of the 24 nominations, it's a big achievement."
Founded amid the blood stained battle fields of World War One, it's fair to say Glennon Brother's have seen off worse challenges than those posed by the current downturn. Headed up by brothers William and James Glennon, it wasn't until 1943 when Mike and Pat's father, Paddy, took over at the helm did the business really take off.
For the next forty years, Paddy along with his brother Mick helped safeguard and build the enterprise until the early 90s when Mike and Pat took over its stewardship. From then and until now, Glennon Brothers' rise to prominence has seen it expand from one saw mill site on the edge of Longford town to five sites in Fermoy, Arklow and Scotland.
"I think a few things probably helped us get the nomination for Ernst and Young," added Mike. "We have reacted and developed in times of adversity and we were the first saw mill to supply material to Japan.
"We were also the first Irish saw mill to acquire two timber processing plants in Scotland and secured a deal to France last October which was a very important move for us in that it allowed us to come back off a three day and two day week and back onto a five day week production."
The downturn has in many ways proved to be an eye opener for Glennon's. With its Irish business suffering an "absolute hammering", Mike and Pat were forced to look overseas and in particular at markets not unduly ruffled by the global economic backlash.
"The currency went against us at the time too," Pat claimed.
"Our sales reps would you believe have been at more receivership meetings
in the last six months than they have in the last six years so collecting
money was very difficult."
A couple of years later, the firm is thriving and with 340 staff on its pay roster, it's no surprise the eagle eyed judges at Ernst and Young hand-picked them from hundreds of other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Rather than dwell on their own achievements, the duo heaped praise on those around them. "Our father passed on a view to us there was no such word as 'can't'," added Mike. "You have to take risks, that is what the game is about. But Glennon Brothers isn't about Mike and Pat Glennon, it's about the people who are behind us.
"We have a guy working in Glennon Brothers today who was working for us even before I was born. That shows you what Glennon Brothers is all about."
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