The Big Interview

Councillor Eugene Reid, President, Ballymena Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Where were you born and raised?

I am a Ballymena man born and bred, I went to school in Ballymena, studied at University in Belfast and spent a couple of years in England but most of my life has been based here in the town.

What was your first venture into the world of business? 

As a young graduate, I got a job as a Medical Sales Representative, originally I accepted the job for the company car! Within a couple of years my role had grown to cover the entire Island of Ireland and I was training other sales people, eventually moving into sales management. 

What role did you perform in your main career? 

From my early career as a sales representative, I moved into various roles with various large Pharmaceutical Companies…. Sales Management, Sales Training, Marketing, Market Access for Innovative medicines, Government Engagement to name a few! The enjoyment lay in the variety and challenges that they presented!

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 

I saw huge changes over my time in the Pharmaceutical Industry. The most challenging were the difficulty in getting funding for innovative medicines, especially those for oncology conditions. The key to trying to get these medicines funded was getting engagement with the right people. Many of these people were with senior roles in our Healthcare System including Department of Health, The key, as with many aspects of business, is about establishing relationships of mutual trust, respect and benefit.

Why did you join the Chamber of Commerce? 

I was Vice Chairman of the local Police and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and a fellow member (Ald Audrey Wales) heard me talk about business and my passion for making business work. She approached me and suggested I should get involved in The Chamber. As someone who has other business interests in Ballymena as well as my background in Pharma, I thought it would be a good experience. 

As President what do you see as the key objective for Chamber in the coming months?

I see that Chamber has a hugely important role to play in supporting our member businesses as we emerge from the Pandemic. We will lobby on behalf of our members at Local and Regional Government level as across a huge range of other stakeholders. We will also get information to our members on all of the support available to them as well as advertising on our social media channels. I also feel that as President I have a role in engaging with members on a personal level to ensure they can see that they have our support.

Have you any hobbies or other interests? 

I enjoy a round of golf at Raceview and am a keen runner and cyclist, if only I could lose the lockdown pounds!! 

Lastly if you had a piece of advice for new or existing businesses what would it be? 

Engaging with likeminded and driven individuals can be a huge benefit…I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché but I really do believe, “It’s not always what you know, but who you know..” that can get things done!

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Contact Us

Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 4 Wellington Court, Ballymena, BT43 6EQ

Email: office@ballymenachamber.co.uk

Tel: 07801 738 359

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