RICHARD Kennedy, chief executive of Belfast-based agri-tech firm Devenish, has been appointed as chair of cross-border trade and economic development body InterTradeIreland with immediate effect.
Regarded as an expert in growing a business in new markets, he has transformed Devenish from a company focused on the regional Northern Ireland market to an international research, development and innovation business trading in 40 countries.
InterTradeIreland chief executive Margaret Hearty said: “Richard has an outstanding record of achievement and we look forward to his innovative vision and considered input.”
Co Sligo native Mr Kennedy said: “I am delighted to be appointed chair at a vital organisation that helps power economic prosperity across the island of Ireland.
“This is a pivotal time to be joining, as InterTradeIreland builds on the next chapter of its evolution and growth.”
Mr Kennedy began his commercial life on the family-owned livestock mart in Aclare, and went on to secure a B.Agri.Sc from University College Dublin.
Two years ago he was overall winner of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year, recognised for his courageous entrepreneurial spirit and ambition which has enabled Devenish to become a global agri-tech leader.
More than 48,000 small businesses have been supported by InterTradeIreland to identify and develop trade and innovation opportunities.
The body has created 18,000 new jobs and generated £1.2 billion in business development value, with cross-border trade currently sitting at £7.4bn, its highest level in 20 years.