Joe works and plays with a smile on his face
What was your first job?
My first job was in a petrol station and washing cars in my home town of Bellaghy when I was about 16. Since then I’ve worked with some of the top businesses in Northern Ireland including Tobermore, Brett Martin, firmus energy and now Fibrus, with roles covering marketing, branding and campaign management.
What qualifications do you have?
After graduating from University of Ulster with a BA (hons) degree in business studies, I went on to study a masters in marketing. I place great importance on continuing academic and personal development, so I have been a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM) for six years.
What do you attribute your success to?
Perseverance, consistency and never giving up. Everyone has their ups and downs; for me I try my best to respond to each in the same way. When I focus on improving myself each day - whether that’s at home or in business - everything seems to work out for the best.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Big! I’m 6ft 5 and was once described as the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). For some reason when I played football I turned into something quite the opposite though. I’ll put that down to being quite a passionate person and wearing my heart on my sleeve. I’m generally very happy, so most days you’ll find me with a smile on my face.
Who do you look up to in business?
I have had the pleasure of working with some great people over the years. One in particular was Brian Wilson, who has recently retired from his role as Tobermore sales and marketing director. Brian was a role model for anyone that met him and he always had something positive to say. I wish him all the best in his retirement - he has earned it.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I respect and treat everyone the same. I also try to create a good environment for all my colleagues, helping us all to be happy in our work and to grow as individuals.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Your people should always come first. That’s what people buy into, so it makes good business sense too. Flexibility and encouraging remote working can be one way to support staff and help provide a healthy work-life balance. Now we are having to do just that, but it is evident that we are behind on providing the necessary resources, such as a reliable and super-fast broadband service, to properly enable remote working. That’s exactly what we are working on at Fibrus, ensuring residents and businesses remain connected, wherever they are in Northern Ireland.
What website or app could you not do without?
Social media. Our work at Fibrus is all about connecting people and connecting with people, and the easiest way to do that at the moment is through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
What was the last book you read?
The Skilled Helper by Gerard Egan. I am interested in the psychology of self-improvement and of course the skills described are so easily transferred to the business world too.
What car do you drive?
2017 Audi A5 S Line. I had promised myself a nice car one day, but I really loved the car I had before and drove it until I clocked over 200,000 miles!
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I had a fairly decorated football career with Derry which included a National League title in 2008, an Ulster final in 2011, as well as an Irish News Ulster All-Star in the same year, and was vice-captain in 2012. I played with Derry for seven years before age caught up with me. But my most prized medal is my 2005 Championship medal with Bellaghy. That was a very special day as I somehow managed to get man of the match in the final. those memories I will cherish forever.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Home. My wife and I have built our dream house in Bellaghy and have invested a lot of time and effort into it over the past number of years. When people talk about blood, sweat and tears during a self-build, they are not lying!