Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Dan Jensen is one of the owner directors of Passion for Creative, an award-winning marketing company based in Waterford. They specialise in brand strategy and web design for a wide range of business sectors. Born in Nigeria, he spent his early years in the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus before his family settled in Piltown, County Kilkenny. After working in Dublin and overseas for a few years, he returned home and now lives in Ferrybank with his wife Maria and their three children. 

Life in a Day  

I usually get up at 6am. I like to have some time to myself before the rest of the house wakes up. We have three young children so mornings can be a bit hectic getting everyone out the door. I usually get to the office around 9am but it depends on traffic and who’s doing the school run. My job is very flexible so I can also work from home if need be. Most of my working day is spent managing website projects with clients and brainstorming creative ideas with my colleagues. It’s a nice mix of left brain and right brain activity so I’m never bored. 

I try to get to the gym two to three times a week, usually at lunchtime. I’m a wheelchair user (as a result of an accident when I was 27) so keeping fit is important. Evenings are spent cooking dinner, tidying up, bathing the kids and reading bedtime stories. If it’s not too late, we might watch some TV for an hour or so. My wife and I both like foreign drama series, especially Scandi-noir. I’m not really a night owl so I’m usually in bed by 10pm. 

What school did you go to? 

I went to the CBS in Carrick-on-Suir (now the Edmund Rice Secondary School). It was a great mix of townies and culchies. I thoroughly enjoyed it and made many long lasting friendships. 

What teacher do you remember most vividly? 

There were some great teachers, such as John Heffernan and Michael O’Donoghue, but I especially remember Noel Casey. He was a Physics teacher and career guidance counsellor. He also ran the school magazine (of which I was the editor), the Northern Ireland Project and Junior Vincent de Paul. He was an unconventional (some might say contrarian) teacher and ahead of his time. 

What advice would you give your 15-year-self? 

Relax a bit. I was very self-conscious when I was younger, and a bit nerdy. It took me a while to find my tribe and be comfortable in my skin. 

How do you relax? 

I’m not very good at relaxing. My attention span is quite short so I’m always jumping from one thing to another. That said, I enjoy politics and current affairs so I like to watch the news. I envy people who have interesting hobbies. I’d love to learn a musical instrument but I know I never will. 

When was the last time you cried? 

I’m not really a crier. That said, I just finished Claire Keegan’s book, ‘Foster’ on which the recent Irish film ‘An Cailín Ciuin’ is based. For such a short book, it was very powerful, and the ending brought a tear to my eye. 

What has been your happiest moment of recent times? 

After my accident, I never imagined I’d meet someone or have a family. Fast forward 20 years and I have a wonderful wife and three children. I’m also part of a successful business with work colleagues who have become firm friends. 

Do you pray? 

Not in the conventional sense. My father died suddenly when I was 18 so I talk to him sometimes. Also, my two grandmothers passed away in recent years. I was very fond of them both and think about them regularly. 

What is your biggest fear? 

That I get sick and am not able to support my family. I’m only 48 , which I know is not old, but my family is still very young and I want to be healthy and strong for as long as possible. 

What is your most treasured possession? 

I’m a bit of a minimalist and not very materialistic. I have a few keepsakes from my travels and younger years but nothing expensive, just sentimental value. The things I treasure most are memories of good times with family and friends. 

What is your favourite thing about Waterford? 

It’s not too big and it’s not too small. I like the fact that not everyone knows your business but at the same time, whenever you go into town, you’ll always meet someone you know, and that’s nice. 

If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?  

The dereliction. I know it’s not unique to Waterford. Many of our cities are plagued by it and it’s such an eyesore. We have a wonderful Medieval Quarter, which has been magnificently restored, but we have neglected our more recent past, which is a shame. 

In conversation with Dermot Keyes 

Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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