A South Roscommon man has been awarded the RDS Gold Medal for Industry. CEO of Aryzta, Owen Killian, a native of Drum, Co Roscommon, picked up the prestigious award last Friday.
Best known in Ireland for Cuisine de France brand, Swiss-based Aryzta has exceeded expectations since Killian took charge, most recently reporting 6.8 per cent growth in revenues in 2014 to €4.8 billion, with pre-tax profits up by 16 per cent to €481.5 million.
The RDS Gold medal is awarded annually to an individual who has an outstanding track record and has shown considerable vision and leadership skills.
Drum native Owen Killian has amply demonstrated this in leading IAWS to stability and success, before creating frozen bakery specialist Aryzta in 2008 by successfully merging Irish-based IAWS with Swiss-based Hiestand and subsequently leading Aryzta during a challenging time for consumers and food markets with multi-annual growth.
Speaking at the presentation of the RDS Gold Medal, Mr Killian said: “The RDS is an organisation that I respect because it has stayed true to its core mission and that core mission is trying to make a difference to the country. Because of this I feel genuinely honoured and appreciative of this award. But I am taking the award on behalf of Aryzta and the people I work with. No company can be successful in creating wealth and jobs alone, trust and reliance on the team around you is vital and I am grateful to the exceptional team that I have with me.”