The deadline for eVoting on the 2019 National Executive Committee Election is this Friday. All CSNA members are strongly encouraged to use your vote and have your say. A total of five candidates are in contention for three seats and each of those candidates would very much appreciate your vote today. Noel Kelly, John Paul Lonergan, Derek Moran, Denis O’Flynn and Joe Tierney are all in contention for the three seats available on the National Executive Committee(NEC). Here’s a little about each of the candidates running for election and why they feel they would serve you well on the NEC.
Noel opened his newsagency in Monasterevin in the ’70s when the retail bug took hold and he’s enjoyed trading ever since. He was approached to join the NRFN, the representative body of the time that defended retailers and their right to a successful and profitable business for their considerable efforts. In 1988, an Irish association was required so Noel and others launched the Irish Retailers Newsagents Association.
In his role as founding Chairman, he worked with then CEO Pat McKeown to build membership to 650.
Over the years, Noel has taken occasional leave of the NEC but he has also served as President three times. During his ‘90s Presidentship, the business was moving towards the convenience model and Noel was a big supporter of modernising the brand to The CSNA. Furthermore, when The CSNA needed a new look and HQ, Noel together with a talented board achieved those objectives also. In his most recent Presidential term, Noel focused on the development of the 2020 Plan which has assured the Association’s place at the forefront of our industry.
Noel commented “I have no doubt that my fellow running mates offer both talent and new blood. I am asking for your vote because I get the job done, my track record speaks for itself and I would genuinely like to see the 2020 Plan out.”
John Paul Lonergan
John Paul has been a member of The CSNA for the past 16 years and is honoured to have been nominated by Gus O’Hara to run for election.
Involved in retail his whole life, John Paul’s retail education began in the family-run store in Howth, Co. Dublin. He then spent many good years managing a store for Andrew Kelly, a former CSNA NEC Member, from whom he learned a lot.
16 years ago, John Paul teamed up with BWG and opened his own store. The store has all the services you would expect in a Spar store today and they also run a full off licence. During his time with Spar, he has gained great experience.
John Paul turned the big 4-0 last year and is married with two beautiful children. Speaking of why you should lend him your vote he said: “I believe with my retail background, knowledge and experience of operating my own stores, balanced with family life, it will make me a valuable asset to the Executive team, knowing only too well the issues that challenge retailers on a daily basis. I will bring a fresh new energy to the Executive and we will get results together. What is good for retail is good for us all.”
Derek started his retail career as a trolley boy in Quinnsworth, Artane Castle in the late 1980s where he was bitten by the retail bug.
After attending D.I.T. College of Marketing and Design, he managed some Supervalu stores for Aidan Crowe in Dublin. After that he went to work in the wholesale side of the grocery business as General Manager of Value Centre Cash and Carry Limerick. In 2000, Derek moved back to Dublin where he headed up Roches Stores Flagship Supermarket in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre with over 180 employees. When Roches Stores closed in 2004 he teamed up with BWG Foods to open Eurospar in Drogheda. He has traded there successfully ever since and employs 40 people. In addition to all the usual services you would expect, the store includes a full in-store butchery, bakery, off licence and comfortable seating area.
Derek has been a member of The CSNA since he opened for business and feels strongly on the many increasing issues affecting retailers, he said “all independent retailers are facing massive challenges in the short to medium term. Brexit, recruitment and retention, insurance costs, ever-increasing legislation and compliance demands. I would like to assist CSNA in keeping a ‘ level playing field’ on these and other issues.”
On a personal note, Derek is married to Niamh, they have two children, Oscar aged 6 and Pippa aged 4 and he enjoys sailing in his spare time.
Denis owns a busy Top Oil Retail Forecourt, Mace Convenience and Post Office in Ladysbridge, Co. Cork, and has been on the CSNA National Executive Committee for the past number of years, having served as president in 2015/2016. Denis previously served on the Cork City and Cork County Branch of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association.
Denis provides an even-handed assessment at National Executive and Sub-Committee meetings, no doubt due to his experience as a GAA Referee of over thirty years standing. Denis is on The CSNA Legislation and External Sub-Committee, the Lottery and Services SubCommittee and is the Association’s official (unpaid) photographer.
Speaking of the upcoming election, and why voters should consider lending him their vote Denis said: “I am currently serving on the National Executive and have strived to help and formulate policy for the benefit of members of The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association over the last number of years. I have the commitment to the purpose and values of our Association. An Association run by retailers for retailers.”
Joe owns Tierney’s in Trimgate Street, Navan. This store has the distinction of being the longest established newsagency in the country operated by the same family. Joe is the former President of The CSNA on two occasions and has served as Secretary and President to his local branch.
Although the business would still be described as a “traditional newsagent”, Joe has not aligned himself with a symbol group so in that sense, it is anything but traditional. In over 40 years behind the counter, Joe has seen his business evolve to the point that Lottery, Bill Pay and Card payments are as important as the old reliables, Tobacco, News and Confectionery. Add into the mix some Ticketmaster, Western Union and Parcel Service and it’s easy to see how varied every day can be and the challenges those days bring for the retailer.
Joe considers The CSNA to be the only trade body that can truly represent his concerns and those of his fellow retailers. Commenting on his candidacy, he said: “I believe that I have the experience from many years in trade to identify and challenge the issues that the members need assistance with and through the position of Executive member of the Association, I can help achieve those goals.”