Glanbia Role for IT Sligo Alumnus Donard Gaynor
Top US-based businessman and IT Sligo alumnus, Donard Gaynor, has been appointed a non-executive director at Glanbia plc, the international nutritional solutions and cheese group which has its origins in the Irish co-operative movement.
The role marks another step in the stellar career of the Sligo chartered accountant who moved to the United States in 1978, subsequently taking up executive leadership roles in the international wines and spirits sector. He retired last year as Senior Vice President Strategy and Corporate Development with Beam Inc.
Beam is one of the top four global spirits companies. Its brands include Jim Beam Bourbon, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Teacher’s Scotch Whisky and Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam employs 3,200 people worldwide and generated sales of $2.8 billion in 2011.
Mr Gaynor was born and raised in Sligo and was educated in Summerhill College before studying Chartered Accountancy at Sligo Regional Technical College, which is now IT Sligo. When he later qualified, he was one of Ireland’s youngest chartered accountants.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, he joined Beam in 2003 as Senior Vice President and Managing Director-International. He had previously served in a variety of senior executive leadership roles with Seagram Spirits & Wine Group in New York and was also Auditing Client Services Partner with the New York office of Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
His first role at Beam was to expand its international business from 20% to near 50%. A major part of this expansion was through a partnership he negotiated with Pernod-Ricard to acquire Allied Domecq in a $13 billion deal.
After managing the international business for several years, he played a lead role in the company’s emergence as a standalone publicly-traded company in October 2011.
A figure with an impressive track record in closing business deals on both sides of the Atlantic, he personally negotiated the 2012 acquisition by Beam Inc. of Cooley Distillery for almost $100 million. That purchase gave Beam control of Cooley’s growing brands – Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell and Greenore.
Mr Gaynor (56) and his wife, Janet, have four children. He lives in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and retains strong family links in Sligo. Two of his cousins are on the staff of IT Sligo. John Gaynor is Programme Co-ordinator BA (Hons) in Accounting and Roddy Gaynor is Programme Chair, Bachelor of Business (Recreation and Leisure).
Mr Gaynor will be the guest speaker at the mid-summer gala dinner of the influential business group, the Ireland-US Council, in Dublin on Friday, June 28.
Photo caption: US-based businessman and IT Sligo alumnus Donard Gaynor, who has been appointed a non-executive director at Glanbia plc.