THIS week’s High Flyer is Bronagh Clarke, marketing director at Kestrel Foods.
What was your first job?
At the ripe age of 12 I used to caddy in the local golf club, making a tidy sum of pocket money as well as learning the game.
What qualifications do you have?
I have a 1st class honours degree in Consumer Science as well as various postgraduate qualifications in management and marketing.
What do you attribute your success to?
I’ve been really privileged to enjoy a progressive career path where I have worked with and learnt from brilliant business and marketing heads, and where I have been coached by some superb leaders. I also have an amazing support network of family and friends.
How would you describe yourself to someone who had never met you?
Passionate, dedicated (some may say stubborn!) and hard working.
Who do you look up to in business?
I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek, who champions some great principles in business and life. I also follow Sheryl Sandberg, who has been such an influential advocate for women in the business world. And Elon Musk for his sheer tenacity at pushing the boundaries.
How do you get the best out of people that work for you?
I’m really fortunate to work with a team of seriously talented people that I really value and respect. I try to make sure they are clear on their roles and give them the autonomy to own and deliver on projects, so they develop their own skillset as well as adding value to the business.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would that be?
Some of the restrictions on HFSS advertising are very frustrating, for example you can’t advertise natural cheese to kids, but you can advertise low calorie, artificially sweetened fizzy drinks. Similarly, the way VAT rules are set up where many healthy products like dried fruit snacks and nuts are VAT-able versus other unhealthy products like cakes that aren’t. The whole system needs an overhaul to be made relevant for consumers today.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Seeing people develop and thrive in the right environment first and foremost. I also get a huge kick from seeing consumers enjoy our products. And from seeing the sales line go in the right direction of course!
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I got engaged on Mount Everest; I often remind my husband the altitude affected my decision making that day!
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I love running and I love the mountains – it’s even better when I can combine the two.
Have you any unfulfilled ambitions?
Plenty, but that’s what gets me up every morning. Outside of career, someday I would like to complete the world marathon majors.
If you could swap jobs with anyone else for the day, who would it be and why?
I already have my dream job!