Liz Shanahan Named as Kerry / London Person of the Year

Castleisland native, Liz Shanahan is this year's Irish Person of the Year of the Kerry Association in London.
Castleisland native, Liz Shanahan is this year’s Irish Person of the Year of the Kerry Association in London.

A Castleisland woman who advises some of the world’s leading health organisations has been chosen as the 2017 Person of the Year by the Kerry Association London.

Report: The Irish Post Newspaper

Liz Shanahan – like so many other Irish emigrants – arrived in Britain in the mid-eighties on the Slattery’s Bus.

The Castleisland native, who lives in London with her husband Tim Lacey who hails from Tralee, is a member of the well-known Shanahan Chemist family and spends time in her home near Killorglin.

Ms Shanahan was the first woman and first Kerry Global Chair of the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) – a leading Irish business diaspora network abroad.

In 2016, recognising the importance to Ireland and business in Britain, she co-chaired Ireland4Europe, to galvanise the Irish vote around Britain’s EU membership referendum.

Kerry Focused Business

She has also been pivotal in initiating a number of Kerry-focused business forums in London and Kerry in the last few years.

Recognised as a leader of the Irish business community abroad, Ms Shanahan has been hugely successful both in business and in building networks between people and businesses with Irish, especially Kerry, connections.

She founded her first company, Santé Communications in 1994.

It became one of the world’s leading healthcare consultancies, advising leading pharmaceutical companies on corporate, financial, brand, medical and internal communications.

Her Irish graduate programme has resulted in Santé Alumni holding senior positions in international organisations around the globe.

A Senior Consultant

Following the sale of Santé to the NYSE listed FTI Consulting, Liz became Global Head of Healthcare & Lifesciences.

She is now a senior consultant to pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, an angel investor and speaks regularly on both topics, as well as the implications of Brexit, including to Radio Kerry on a regular basis.

Ms Shanahan is a member of the Global Irish Economic Forum, The British Council Provocation Group and a non-executive director of a UK hospital, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust.

“I’m incredibly proud of being from Kerry and when Denis Nolan rang me to tell me I’d been chosen as Kerry Person of the Year, I was humbled and honoured,” Ms Shanahan said.

Proud Kerry People

“One of the first events I ever attended when I arrived in London was the Kerry Association Annual Dinner with my husband, his aunt and uncle, Dorothy and James O’Shea, both also proud Kerry people.

“It’s a wonderful award and I’m genuinely delighted, as are my proud family in Castleisland and my many in-laws and Kerry friends.

“Kerry is a county that punches well above its weight in the business world,” she added.

“I come from generations of Kerry business people; my grandfather, father and brother all established their own pharmacy businesses, my aunt, Margaret Geaney established Crag Caves, so being in business is in the blood.”

Kerry’s Business Spirit

She added: “More Kerry entrepreneurs are shortlisted for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award than any other county, a testament to Kerry’s business spirit, and evidenced by organisations like Kerry Group, DairyMaster and Fexco.

“As John B said, being a Kerry person, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that God can bestow on any person.”

Kerry Association London secretary Tara Cronin added: “It is always a difficult task selecting our Kerry Person of the Year and we had so many worthy nominations.

“Liz will be a fantastic ambassador the Kerry Association London and we are looking forward to working with her through the year. “

Ms Shanahan will be presented with her award at the KAL’s annual dinner and dance in the famous Crown Hotel in Cricklewood in October.

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