Tell me about your time at ACB Group so far. 

Yeah, nice leading question there Luke. It’s been a bit of a, I won’t say rollercoaster, I don’t mean that in that there’s ups and downs, but it’s been fast and furious I suppose.  

It’s been brilliant, engaging with such a young dynamic team and instead of a lot of talk shops, there’s a lot of action which is refreshing from my point of view. I enjoy the challenges and the diversity both within the company and the diverse spectrum of works that we do, based in Germany and Copenhagen and here [in Ireland]. It’s been a pleasure, really, it has been a pleasure and a reawakening. 

Why did you choose ACB Group? 

Well, I think it was very much a mutual thing. I think it was a hand in glove scenario and I hope that’s reciprocated from ACB’s side. They ticked a lot of boxes that I wanted so much so that I’ve said, I won’t say off record, but you know, in casual communications as, ‘how did you find ACB’ in that, if I was to compile a list of checkboxes that I would have required to move from Dubai back home – without me asking for those, ACB provided them as their normal due course, and that meant a lot more than any benefits.

It reflected the mindset and the thinking of the leadership within the company that you know they had considered this is what employees would look for, or certain employees would look for, and they ticked nearly every box that I would have had put down. We didn’t even get to that as I said it was just a hand in glove scenario, so, there was that. 

Then there were a few personal issues in relation to my mother for coming back, which also was the tipping point for me to consider because I did leave a good position. Nearly 20 years of living in Dubai – friends and family. My daughter knew nothing else except there, so it needed something special to bring me back and I believe that that’s where we are now. 

Would you recommend ACB Group and why? 

I’m coming up to my six months here. 

  • It’s been exciting
  • It’s dynamic
  • You’re appreciated

You know, we all don’t want to say it, but it’s a fact of life, we all like a tap on the back to say, “well done, Luke”, “well done, John, I appreciate that effort”; you know everything is appreciated. Everybody is encouraged to participate. 

You know, we have morning huddles. The non-talkers are encouraged to talk, you know, not everybody does [does give their opinion], but they are encouraged to give their opinion. 

And a lot of times it’s the non-talkers that come out with the arrow in the bullseye comment you know, which is really good. 

There’s a real genuine sense of the company wants everybody to engage at all levels. You know, everybody has a contribution to making that’s valued so 100% [I would recommend ACB Group]. You know, look, if it’s easy, anybody would do it, but you know, there’s hard work involved, but the team are jovial. 

It’s always time for a wisecrack and a laugh which makes life much better. Yeah, people are personable, and you know it’s professional. That’s really it.  

What, in your opinion, is the best thing about ACB Group? Be it the people, experiences, support, teamwork? 

Yeah, I don’t look at it and I couldn’t put my finger on, you know, going back to your second question of why I chose it. It’s a gut feeling. You know it’s, call it a, I won’t say romance, but you know what I mean, that you’re building a relationship with somebody or some entity; and you know there isn’t anything I haven’t enjoyed. 

You know from day one with the team get together in Cavan to now there hasn’t been a bad day on the books. There’s been stressful days. There’s been, you know, worrying days about how to get stuff done and you know, looking at super projects that you know will demand a lot of time. 

But that’s all the challenge. You know that’s not a worry really. 

And you know, knowing and looking left and right, so to speak, or across the dressing room, in sporting terms, you know you’ve got a team that will back you up, that for me, that’s the best thing really – Is that there’s a support system. Nobody thinks ill of you if you put your hand up and say, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand that” or “I’m sorry, I need help”, or “I’m sorry, can you advise me on this?” 

It’s all hands to the pump but in a really professional manner.  It’s not chaos, it’s controlled. 

What are your funniest anecdotes about your time with ACB Group? 

There’s nearly one every day, Luke. It’s just general banter. I don’t know, but I’ve got a few. 

If we even think back to what our day or two in Copenhagen was like, you know, there were probably 50 of them alone.

You know it’s just the general good nature of people. There’s always time for a chuckle. There’s always time for a laugh, you know, and that’s not demeaning the professionalism or the business-like manner that we go with what we have to do, but we’re all human. We all like a laugh you know it’s always good to laugh.

You know, I wouldn’t have one in particular, and if I did, it’d probably revolve around Will Morrison. But you know, more or less it’s every day there’s a classic somewhere. 

This interview was recorded in February 2022