Celebrating Excellence 

Over 200 guests attended the Business Leaders’ Gala Dinner on Thursday 7th March at the Rose Hotel in Tralee to recognise the achievements of Kerry business leaders. Presented by Kerry Innovation Centre in partnership with Kerry County Council and EY Ireland, this annual event celebrates ambitious businesses and entrepreneurs from across the county.


2024 Award Recipients

The gala recognised the significant contributions of:

  • Thomas Fitzmaurice, CEO of TLI - Awarded the Business Leader of the Year 2024 for his innovative leadership and significant impact on the local and global business landscape.

  • Shane Hassett and Mariana Kobal, Co-Founders of WAZP - Named Emerging Business Leaders 2024, celebrating their entrepreneurial drive, determination and dynamism in the world of Additive Manufacturing 

  • Denis Brosnan, Founder and Former CEO of Kerry - Honored with the Lifetime Contribution Award 2024, acknowledging his enduring legacy and foundational role in Kerry’s economic development.


Emerging Business Leaders 2024

Shane Hassett and Mariana Kobal, co-founders of WAZP receiving the Emerging Business Leaders 2024 Award from Minister Norma Foley TD. Also pictured is Jerry Moloney, Enterprise Ireland. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Business Leader of the Year 2024

Thomas Fitzmaurice, CEO TLI receiving the Business Leader of the Year 2024 award from Ronan Murray of EY. Also pictured is Brid McElligott, Chair of Kerry Innovation Centre. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Lifetime Contribution Award 2024

Denis Brosnan, Founder and Former CEO of Kerry Group receiving the Lifetime Contribution Award 2024 from Brid McElligott, Chair of Kerry Innovation Centre. Photo by Domnick Walsh

A Night of Inspiration and Aspiration

Dr. Karen Weekes, a renowned Performance Psychologist and the first Irish woman to row the Atlantic Ocean solo and unsupported in 2022, delivered an after-dinner speech that captivated the audience with tales of resilience and ambition.


A Testament to Kerry's Entrepreneurial Edge

The Kerry Business Leaders' Awards celebrates individual achievements but also underscores the region's commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial talent and fostering an environment where innovation and leadership can thrive.

Commenting on the selection of the award recipients, Brid McElligott, Chair of Kerry Innovation Centre said: "We are delighted to present these awards in recognition of the entrepreneurial drive, determination and ability demonstrated by each recipient. Their personal stories serve as an inspiration for current and future business leaders and it is our privilege to be able to organise an event which honours these leading Kerry business entrepreneurs."

Ronan Murray, EY Strategy and Transactions Partner commented: "Tonight we are delighted to be one of the sponsors of the Business Leaders’ Gala Dinner in Kerry. We congratulate each of these leaders who continue to drive their businesses forward through constant innovation and global ambition."

Chief Executive of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell congratulated the winners, saying: "It is our honour to thank each of the winners in person for their role in creating significant employment and opportunities for the people of Kerry. Each has demonstrated incredible entrepreneurial drive, determination, and ability, as they led the growth of a global business from Kerry."

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