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James Kilbane The Loss of an Industry Legend

James Kilbane The Loss of an Industry LegendThe recruitment industry has lost a life long ambassador following the sad news that James Kilbane, co founder of Grafton Recruitment has passed away. James was one of the recruitment industrys true pioneers, driving professional standards up across the world through his work with Grafton, the National Recruitment Federation of Ireland and CIETT.I will always remember him for his gentle disposition, ready smile and the calm manner in which he conducted himself with an absolute passion for our industry. Charismatic and charming he was a real gentleman and an absolute inspiration. David Head.His business partner Ken Belshaw who knew him the best said, In our industry James was a beacon of professionalism, a leader of standards. He was a shining example of how recruitment should be done.John Callagher, General Manager at Kelly Services said: I have known James for nine years and am proud to have worked with him for over seven years. In that time, we travelled together visiting Grafton and SpenglerFox offices around the world and James passion, enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge of the staffing world was immense, as was his passion for our staff and their families. Not only have I lost a true friend, but also a mentor and source of inspiration I will always look back fondly on the time we spent together. Our industry has lost a true giant and gentlemen and my thoughts are with his wife Paula and family at this time.The RECs Tom Hadley, who worked with James Kilbane on the CIETT Council, says: James was a pioneering advocate for the industry, establishing branches worldwide and helping new markets to develop. He was passionate about enhancing the perception of recruiters and actively supported the work of CIETT and Eurociett as well as the REC and the NRF in Ireland. Above all, James was a hugely charismatic and engaging man. He will be sorely missed but remembered fondly by all those who had the privilege to spend time with him."James KilbaneJames founded the Grafton Employment Group in 1982. He was joined one year later by Ken Belshaw and together they then opened their first office in Dublin. Since then, the company has expanded into an international recruitment network spanning 70 offices in 16 countries, making it Irelands largest independent recruitment company. Following his retirement last April James had put in place a strong team to lead the company into the future.Born in Achill Island, James made a significant contribution to the business community not just in Ireland but internationally. Throughout his career, he continually supported business, local entrepreneurs and local communities and his continuing vision and inspiration will be missed by all who knew him, in both a personal and professional capacity.Under James leadership the success of the Grafton Employment Group was recognised a number of times by the British Government. The Company received the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise twice - in 2002 and 2006 and on both occasions James was invited to Buckingham Palace to accept the award from HM Queen Elizabeth II but chose to give up his place so that Grafton staff could attend on his behalf.His work at the European Commission on behalf of CIETT (the European Confederation of Temporary Agencies) was recognized publicly in 2003 when he was named Man of The Year by the NRF Irelands National Recruitment Federation.In 2007, James was named as a finalist in the International category of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition. As part of this initiative, James, along with the other finalists, travelled to Haiti to offer their expertise to local communities in a bid to improve their economic and social circumstances in a practical way. This experience further reinforced his belief in the importance of corporate social responsibility both at home and internationally. James was also a keen Rugby fan and his talent for innovation was further expressed through his pioneering involvement and sponsorship of both Belfast Harlequins and Ulster.


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