Ronan has the right drive - and is a stickler for detail

Ronan Marshall of Shelbourne Motors

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Ronan Marshall, group marketing manager at Shelbourne Motors, one of Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned vehicle retailers which recently expanded its new £5m complex in Newry with the creation of 60 jobs

What was your first job?

I had a summer job when I was 16 on a production line in Moy Park in Dungannon. It was good preparation for my working life because it gave me real-life experience. My parents always encouraged us to work hard from an early age, which has proved an invaluable piece of advice. Having a good work ethic helps you achieve all your ambitions.

What qualifications do you have?

BSc hon degree in communications with PR from UUJ – this has helped me on my path to marketing. Meanwhile, I have also studied with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

What do you attribute your success to?

Believing in yourself and having a passion for what you do are essential personal skills. A good attitude drives you to achieve your career goals. I’ve always been creative and loved art and writing since I was at school. As a big fan of cars, working at Shelbourne Motors is a perfect match between my skill set and one of my passions in life. This, I believe, is why I secured a senior management position before the age of 30.

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

Being a driven and ambitious people person is how I like to think about myself. I’m also well known for being a little pedantic at times – in a good way – I think. Nothing wrong with being a stickler for detail.

Who do you look up to in business?

Elon Musk – with his passion for both digital and the future of automotive I find his leadership very interesting. He is one to watch and a constant source of inspiration.

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

Working as a team is key to my belief system. Being respectful and treating everyone as equal has always worked for me. People need to work together in business, and in marketing particularly, it’s critical to have good relationships across all departments within Shelbourne Motors.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

I’d like to see more businesses supporting each other – with the opening of our Newry dealership this month we have tried to keep it as local as possible, even appointing a main contractor from Newry.

What website or app could you not do without?

Skyscanner & Rome2Rio.

What was the last book you read?

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod which was recommended to me. For those who may not have read it, it’s in the motivational/self-help book genre. The theme is about making small changes which can help you be more productive and make a huge impact on your life.

What car do you drive?

I’m very lucky that this changes often – I’ve been driving a Megane RS 280 for the last number of months… perks of the job. Not many people get to indulge their passion for cars at work, it’s a real treat. Get in touch if you’re interested in buying it.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

Despite the fact I’d always thought of myself as someone who would never do a sky-dive, I did just that on a trip to New Zealand. We flew over Fox Glacier before parachuting out and I loved it – it was a pure adrenalin buzz.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

My love of travel. I like to visit at least four different countries every year, and have been known to book somewhere a little off grid on the spur of the moment. In October I’m going to Sicily – I only made my travel plans a few days ago. After university, I spent a year travelling and working in Australia and New Zealand, doing a variety of jobs from working in a sun-dried tomato factory to a super car race track. Since then I have had a real travel bug.

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