A senior independent Director of Norish plc, Willie has worked with Cooley Distillery from shortly after it’s establishment in 1987 to the present and is a shareholder and Executive Director with the company.
He was also the Managing Director of the family textile company WP McCarter & Co Ltd in Buncrana, Co Donegal, from 1972 to 1987 and having successfully led a joint venture in the US was Chief Executive of Fruit of the Loom from 1987 to 1997. He served as Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland from 1993 to 2005.
While the domestic market for spirits remains difficult in the midst of the economic downturn and deep recession, the export performance of Irish spirits products remains strong, he said.
“As the new Chairman of the ISA I intend to build on the work of Jim Breen and my colleagues to profile and emphasise the significant role that our spirits products have in the export market. Irish whiskeys and cream liqueurs are among our leading international brands, appearing in over 100 markets and countries throughout the world.
“At the same time, this export success is built on a solid domestic market. As ISA Chairman I wish to work with the Government, the wider drinks industry and relevant agencies to support our products at home and abroad.”
A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, in Economics & Political Science, he also holds a Masters Degree in Management from MIT in Cambridge, Mass, USA.