In March 2023,  Patricia Quane was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Kerry Business Leaders Gala Dinner. This coveted recognition celebrates individuals for their outstanding professional accomplishments and steadfast dedication to the business landscape of County Kerry. Patricia's illustrious career path, which includes her role as a former Vice President & General Manager at Astellas Ireland Co., Ltd, a Japanese Pharmaceutical company employing 400 people in Killorglin, stands as a shining testament to her remarkable commitment to regional economic development in County Kerry.

A Journey from Summer Placement to CEO

A native of Killarney, Patricia embarked on her academic journey by studying Science at the University College Cork. Little did she know that a summer placement following her graduation would lead to an extraordinary career in the Pharmaceutical Industry, fueled by the arrival of the global Japanese company in 1990. Patricia's dedication and hard work saw her progress through various roles until she achieved a milestone in 2008 by becoming the first non-Japanese Head of Plant at the manufacturing site responsible for producing the world's leading immunosuppressant, Prograf. Throughout her tenure, Patricia demonstrated exceptional leadership by selecting, nurturing, motivating, and inspiring large teams to take ownership and pride in their work, consistently surpassing expectations. Under her guidance, the plant secured approval for several multimillion-dollar expansions in an intensely competitive landscape.

A Beacon of Sustainability

Sustainability held a prominent place on Patricia's agenda, and her work in Killorglin resulted in the plant receiving global recognition for its leadership in the Corporate Environmental Initiative program. By harnessing renewable energy and implementing measures to safeguard the environment, the plant not only garnered international acclaim but also earned several major National Awards for sustainability from SEAI, IBEC, and Chambers Ireland. Patricia's passion for sustainability even caught the attention of Japanese national TV Channel, NHK World, where she eloquently explained how a small Irish town's company made a significant contribution to reducing the carbon footprint.

Championing STEM and Regional Development

In recent years, Patricia has embraced numerous voluntary roles within IBEC, BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI), and the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment. She dedicated herself to fostering collaboration with the IDA and supporting their endeavors to attract new businesses to the Kerry Region. As the Chairperson of BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI), Patricia seized numerous opportunities to represent and present at pharmaceutical industry events on both national and international platforms.

Patricia's retirement from Astellas in April 2020 marked the beginning of her involvement in a range of voluntary roles with state bodies, all with the common goal of nurturing and sustaining enterprise growth in Ireland. In 2020, Minister Damien English TD appointed Patricia as the Chairperson of the Southwest Regional Enterprise Plan (SWREP) committee. This committee, comprising representatives from various state bodies and educational institutions, is charged with developing and implementing a plan that nurtures collaborative and innovative enterprise projects in the region while facilitating sustainable job creation.

In March 2022, Patricia took on yet another crucial role within the remit of the Labour Market and Skills unit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment. She was appointed as the Chairperson of the Expert Group for Future Skills Need (EGFSN) for the Biopharma industry. This pivotal project aims to identify the forthcoming skills needs and gaps in the BioPharma sector in Ireland over the next five years.

Patricia Quane's remarkable journey from a summer placement to a CEO, her unwavering commitment to sustainability, and her dedication to regional economic development are a testament to her exceptional leadership and devotion to County Kerry. Her legacy serves as an inspiration to all who aspire to make a lasting impact in their communities and places of work.