Tramore man Larry Breen left for London at 17 with the plan to stay for four years at University but ended up taking 23 years to actually make it back to Tramore with this two teenage daughters (at the time). Once settled back into the region and as part of his role as senior executive of Routematch Inc. (acquired by Uber this week) based out of Atlanta, he set up Routematch Software Ltd and grew the Waterford side of the business to a team high performing developers. More recently he joined the senior team at NearForm in Tramore as Chief Commercial Officer and was delighted to be part of the team that delivered the covid-19 contact tracing app for the HSE and are now delivering similar solutions to multiple governments across the globe.
A life in a day
My day typically starts shortly after 6am, where I review overnight inbound activity, typically from our US region, over a nice cup of tea, before jumping into the day working with the various NearForm team members identifying and delivering on the various strategies for the business. The day is a mixed bag of activity and varies quite a lot. I try hard to make sure I get to sit down with the family for dinner at 6pm every evening, before taking any meetings with our North America Teams. Pre covid I would, typically travel internationally at least half the month, predominantly to the US, but also across Europe, Asia and Australia.
What school did you go to?
What teacher do you remember most vividly?
Mr. D. O’Brien, the school principal of the secondary school. He ran a tight ship and did a great job keeping a herd of teenage boys in line. But the most memorable part to him was that despite his authoritive presence walking the halls of the school, he was prepared to engage and give you a chance to voice your opinion about a range of matters, even if it was trying to talk your way out of trouble!!
What advice would you give your 15 –year old self?
Always be true to who you truly are and resist others attempts to change you to something you’re not. In business it is important to build trust in others, but it’s ok to underpin some of that trust with verification.
How do you relax?
Hang out with my kids, or should I say young adults now. I also love working in the garden, getting lost in some hard physical labour, is a great escape for the mind.
What is your favourite piece of music?
My Old Man (Zach Brown Band), it really makes me thing about my Dad and how much he influenced me over the years.
When was the last time you cried?
Recently my sister in law lost her fight with cancer and passed away. Although it was expected and we had said our goodbyes, it was really hard, made worse by not being able to give her wonderful three daughters the support and cuddles that help get you through these things in non-covid times?
What has been your happiest moment of recent times?
Joining the Cian and the NearForm Team. Being part of a Tramore based business with a global presence, at a very exciting time in their evolution. A company that can really make a difference, allowing me to leverage my experiences up to this point to join a high quality team and delivery solutions like the Covid contact tracing app.
Do you pray?
Yes. I have always have had a strong faith and find that being part of a faith has been a great help to me over the years and no matter where I am in the world I have been able to walk into a church and feel the comfort of belonging.
What is your biggest fear?
People not taking things like the pandemic serious. We are a great society and need to understand that there are perils out there that we can deal with in our stride, but people can be somewhat thoughtless at times and not appreciate how important the part each of has to play in keeping our world safe.
What is your most treasured possession?
My fathers wedding ring, which was passed onto me when he sadly passed nine years ago. It is a trigger for so many found memories that can really make me smile.
What is your favourite thing about living in Waterford?
The natural beauty of living beside the sea. I have spent time in so many different parts of the world and especially in a lot of cities and love the peace and tranquilly all year round of sitting on a beach or cliff top watching the ever changing sea.
If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?
We have so much going for us a region, but sometimes we lose sight of what we have. Spending so much time away, I always love coming back and being able to appreciate all we have. The one thing I would therefore change is getting everyone in the region to be able to see Waterford for the great place it is and therefore as a community come together to make it even better.