From spotting an albino polar bear to life in a castle hotel

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    In the spotlight this week is Terry Kelly, head of sales and marketing at Killeavy Castle Estate What was your first job? I was the paper boy for the local paper at age of 14 and at the same time also doing gardens with my grandfather who, although might not have paid me very well, did teach me the principles of hard work.

    In the spotlight this week is Terry Kelly, head of sales and marketing at Killeavy Castle Estate

    What was your first job?

    I was the paper boy for the local paper at age of 14 and at the same time also doing gardens with my grandfather who, although might not have paid me very well, did teach me the principles of hard work. I have always been a self-driven person and have always held more than one job at most times, whether it be a formal employer or working with my father – a combination of loyalty, the desire to make money and the drive for self-accomplishment. I recently joined the team at Killeavy Castle Estate in County Armagh, and my family moved to Newry to join me on this new venture. I am excited by this new opportunity to put a relatively new business (the castle/hotel opened to the public earlier this year) on the map as a world class destination for visitors.

    What qualifications do you have?

    I graduated from the University of Ulster with a first-class BSc hons in business administration. I also have an MBA, masters in business administration and hold a CMap (a certificate in marketing and advertising practice). I am also a qualified personal trainer with the National College of Exercise and Health Studies, which was my first love.

    What do you attribute your success to?

    As I grew up in a family of eight and lived in a house with plenty of garden space my parents instilled the fundamentals of ‘hard work’ in all their children. We each had chores which included the dishes, setting the fire before school or working on the garden at the weekend. These basic tasks taught me the value of hard work, morals and the right code of ethics for working in the real world.

    How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

    I am an incredibly loyal person who is dedicated to my job. I am an extremely focused person with a strong work ethic and passion for the hospitality industry.

    Who do you look up to in business?

    I believe that innovation is key to driving business, particularly in the ever-evolving world we live in. The value of today’s knowledge is worth less tomorrow, so we have to keep learning and adapting in business. In the words of Steve Covey who wrote the Seven Habits of Effective People you’ve got to ‘sharpen the saw’.

    How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

    It has to be more about leading people than managing them – too many managers over-manage and under-lead. We need to be more empathetic to personal circumstances and show wisdom through guidance whilst demonstrating experience-led strategies that succeed by involving everyone.

    What website or app could you not do without?

    Google analytics as it illustrates your digital position, success from campaigns and digital presence whilst showing current trends and insights into our customer behaviours. Having said this, my screen time would suggest I spend more time on ‘WhatsApp’! Due to life on the go I personally value the ‘Voice Memos’ – my wife used to think I talked in my sleep until she woke up one night to find me talking into my phone – I call it my nightly download.

    What car do you drive?

    Audi A4 S-line black Edition with a sunroof – love my spec!

    Tell us something interesting about yourself?

    I have a wonderful wife and two great kids – that’s my brownie points for the month. As I worked with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for five years, I have had the privilege of walking on five of the seven continents, swimming in five of the seven seas and spent time in over 50 of the world’s countries. Oh, and I once saw an albino polar bear!

    What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

    Yoga, as it brings me back to balance allowing me to conquer the next day with greater effect. Having done it for quite a few years, it provides me with physical exercise but more importantly it’s taught me how to switch off mentally.