Graham believes that volunteering, no matter where or how you do it, is beneficial for you and your community. Whether you’re helping to clean up a road, working with people less fortunate than you, or providing mentorship to a group of young professionals, your time goes a long way towards improving the community around you. Graham sees the importance of giving back to the community, and feels happier because of it. Volunteering is also a valuable networking experience, introducing you to other people who, one way or another, can help you drive your career forward.
Graham joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and plays an active role with those responsible for the Chamber’s strategic direction and policy. He played an active role in the Chamber Building which was developed in 2015. The building was a project that needed funding and Graham was delighted to participate in this success, giving Wexford a place in which to do business for many years to come.
Graham was appointed Chairman of Wexford Motor Club in 2015, after holding the role of Vice-Chairman. A member of Wexford Motor Club since 1996, Graham enjoys contributing his time to maintain the Club’s strong presence in the South-East and develop the Club’s activities further.
Since taking on the role of Chairman of the Club, Graham has worked with the club to secure a new sponsor and base for the Wexford Stages Rally. His vision has been to develop relationships between Wexford Motor Club and local businesses, Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland and other organisations and State agencies, to acknowledge the broader role that the Club plays in the local Wexford community. Wexford Motor Club run four events each year, requiring huge amounts of cooperation, time and support from members. These events are great achievements for the Club, but in the wider context of the community, events contribute approximately €750,000 to the local Wexford economy.
The roll-out of the new Youth Academy in 2016 to nurture young talent has been an exciting development for the Club and its future, but it’s also a great initiative for reaching out to new members who may have no family background in motorsport. The Club Championship is also a historic part of Wexford Motor Club and will be an important item on the agenda for the new year.
But one of the Club’s key goals is now to develop a festival in Wexford around the yearly hosting of the 2-day Wexford Stages Rally from 2017 onwards, alongside partners at Wexford County Council and Wexford Volkswagen. This would be a family friendly event in the town with the Rally as its centrepiece. It would be a wonderful way to promote the Club and its work in the community, but also with an emphasis on promoting safe motoring and motorsport in Wexford.
There is a lot to achieve but to continue on from all the hard work to date, the Club with the cooperation of the Committee must strive to stay operating in a transparent, well-conducted and structured way. A lot can be achieved through the help, support and expertise of members in planning, development, administration, canvassing, marshalling and other supporting roles. The introduction of Sub Committees last year worked very well to get more members involved in diverse aspects of the Club and take on new roles of responsibility, so the same strategy will be followed in the coming years.
Graham is an Angel for the yearly event “The Angels’ Den” which provides selected start-ups with the opportunity to seek financial backing for their company from a panel of Angel investors.
With businesses of all sizes experiencing difficulty in obtaining finance to start and grow their businesses, Wexford Chamber has partnered with South East BIC and the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) to match local businesses with investors who are actively seeking companies to invest in.
The investors at this event are there to invest in the right business, but they all possess significant commercial experience which could prove to be invaluable in the development of a business.
Business owners interested in seeking investment will pitch their business to the panel and answer the ‘deal breaking’ questions posed by the investors.
For those not ready to make their own pitch just yet, it’s a great opportunity to come and support these brave entrepreneurs by taking their place in the audience and watching some entertaining presentations, as well as learning the do’s and don’ts of seeking investment.