The American Chamber of Commerce is a powerful network of like-minded people who work together to make Ireland the best location for US companies to thrive and grow. As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the organisation this year it allows for a timely reflection of the impact the Chamber has had on communities across the country at that time.
When you do this, you realise that there is hardly an aspect of our community or society that has not benefitted in some way. From how the next generation is educated, to how we work, spend our leisure time, communicate, stay informed to the career possibilities now available – without having to leave our region or our shores – the scale of the transformation has been truly remarkable.
Dell Technologies is a proud member of AmCham, and it was a personal privilege of mine to serve on the board of AmCham and a career highlight to be chosen as President for 2016.
As a company with operations in Cork, Limerick, and Dublin, we work closely with the American Chamber of Commerce on many of its objectives from creating a positive business environment to supporting a focus on reskilling and lifelong learning as well as the focus it places on cultivating a more diverse and inclusive environment across the industry.
Working with higher and further education institutes across Ireland, the Chamber has helped to fuel collaboration between industry and academia in order for us to remain a leader in skills, talent, innovation, and inclusion. The launch of Cork Institute of Technology’s Masters in Cloud Computing is a great example of a program that was created out of this sense of collaboration to help upskill Ireland’s workforce. This year another milestone was reached with the announcement that the Institute of Technology Tralee and Cork Institute of Technology are coming together to form a new singular institution known as Munster Technological University. This is a great development for the region and one that will most certainly impact the level of talent companies have access to with graduates being job-ready with in-demand skills.
Moreover, each year the Chamber celebrates these growing ties through the US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards.
The transformation of the business community in Ireland, thanks to US investment, did not happen in a vacuum. Pro-enterprise Government policies, far-thinking education reforms, innovation in our third level and research sectors, and smart collaboration between the public and private sectors are among some of the factors that have led to Ireland’ success – it is striking that a country with 1% of the EU’s population attracts over 12% of US investment into the EU.
Dell Technologies has been at the heart of the innovative business ecosystem which has emerged over recent decades. We have developed a strategic presence here in Ireland with 6,000 digital experts in global and regional functions working here.
Our three campuses in Ireland’s three largest cities have become one global hub for Sales, Services, Centres of Excellence Solutions Development, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Operations, Engineering, IT, and Finance.
From testing new solutions to cutting-edge 5G research, Dell Technologies Ireland is in a unique position to drive innovation at every step of the digital transformation journey for organisations across the globe.
In my role at Dell Technologies and my involvement with AmCham I have been fortunate to also learn about the growth and development of other multinationals in Ireland and the impact their teams have had thanks to my time as Chair of AmCham’s Southern Region and – in 2016 – having the honour of serving as President of the American Chamber.
It is both humbling and inspiring to see first-hand the dedication and commitment of the over 160,000 talented people that make up the inclusive and innovative teams at AmCham member companies who are helping to save and enhance lives globally every day. We have 0.06% of the world’s population but we are the fifth largest producer of products combatting the current pandemic.
During my year as the President of AmCham in 2016, I was fortunate to see a number of new initiatives launched by AmCham which have since gone from strength to strength.
In particular, I saw first-hand how the Chamber has played an active role in inspiring the next generation of global leaders. The best example of this is the AmCham Emerging Leaders Development Programme – launched in Cork in May 2016 – and which has grown into one of AmCham’s largest annual programmes helping future leaders of multinationals here hone their skill set. Top-class talent fostered through programs such as this will prove vital in propelling innovation and research into our digital future.
In partnership with IDA and Enterprise Ireland, we also launched our Emerging FDI programmes – these provide mentorship guidance and support to companies beginning their growth journeys on both sides of the Atlantic.
During my time as President, AmCham also launched the “Beyond Business” Report which shone a light on the impact AmCham member companies had on their communities. Our independent researchers found that AmCham members support over 7,000 community projects in Ireland in areas ranging from education and culture to sports and social inclusion.
For me, one of the most impressive elements of AmCham over recent years has been its regional focus. Great local leaders bring members together to share experiences, address challenges, seek new opportunities, and build great networks. I have and continue to be active in the southern region in my capacity as Site Lead for Dell Technologies in Cork.
As we reflect on 60 years of AmCham, I am struck by the many leaders who have worked tirelessly to strengthen business ties between Ireland and the US. Former US Ambassador Kevin F. O’Malley is one such figure.
One of his many initiatives during his time in Ireland was to develop the Creative Minds programme where he brought together creative artists and thinkers from the US and Ireland to explore and reimagine the transatlantic relationship. I feel very passionate about the possibilities that arise when the creative arts are fused with STEM and I know this passion is shared across AmCham members.
When I consider for a moment how my life and the opportunities for those around me might have been so different were it not for the brave decisions taken 60 years ago and the brilliant creative minds that have built world-class teams in Ireland – in every sector – in the six decades since I am filled with optimism about what the coming decades will bring.