Left: Frank and Dolores Kiernan pictured with former GAA President Liam O'Neill
Frank and Dolores Kiernan, the driving forces behind Longford firm Kiernan Structural Steel have been named as one of over 20 finalists in line to be crowned Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mr and Mrs Kiernan are one of eight nominees vying to take home the award ceremony’s Industry mantle having been shortlisted from more than 100 nominations by an independent judging panel.
The Killoe based couple will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the judging panel’s chair and fellow Longford native Ann Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources Plc who was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006.
Kiernan Structural Steel Ltd (KSSL) was established in 1989 manufacturing agricultural sheds. Since then, KSSL has developed into one of Ireland’s largest structural steel manufacturers.
Ms Heraty said the process in selecting the finalists had not come easy.
“2020 so far has been a strange and challenging time for all of us in business, and this year’s judging process has taken place against a very different backdrop to the last number of years.
“The judging panel again had the unenviable task of coming to a final shortlist of 24 finalists from an incredibly talented pool of nominees, but we’re all in agreement that those we’ve selected represent the very best of entrepreneurial talent across the island.
“This year’s finalists are at the start of what will be such an exciting journey, not just this year but as they become part of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community.
“I’d like to wish them the very best at the beginning of an unforgettable journey through the programme and beyond.’’
Roger Wallace, Partner Lead for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme said despite the barriers confronting firms over the past 12 months, the outstanding achievements of the competition’s nominees illustrated the durability that still exists throughout the business sector.
“2020 has been a challenging year so far for many businesses but we know that if there is one group that will rise to that challenge, it’s our island’s entrepreneurs,” he said.
“The judges have selected an exceptional group of businesspeople from a very impressive pool of nominees.
“This year we’ve seen lots of newer, cutting-edge tech and life sciences businesses nominated, as well as more established and traditional players. This year’s finalists are a diverse group, representing a huge range of industries, all of whom share an insatiable hunger for growth and incredible resilience to challenges.
“As we begin reopening our economies, North and South, our entrepreneurial businesses will be essential to recovery. We at EY are proud to play our part in supporting the island’s entrepreneurs and I am delighted to formally welcome this year’s finalists into the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year community.”
Now in its 23rd year, the programme has established itself as a world-class development programme that supports, promotes, and connects an extraordinary community of entrepreneurs, championing entrepreneurship throughout the island of Ireland and around the world.
Since its inception, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community has grown to a tight-knit network of more than 525 alumni who harness each other’s wealth of experience, with 77% now doing business with one another.