Gary Halpin – Commercial Director
Hello, I’m Gary, The Commercial Director at Foursquare Group. I thought I’d share a bit of my story and what motivates me. I’ve tried to keep it short, but I’ve packed quite a bit into a long career and there’s still a lot more to come.
I’ll do the career highlights first but then tell you the important thing, what it is that motivates me, my values and why I have such a zest for life.
I worked in the food industry for 25 years and in that time:
- Developed factory layouts for Golden Wonder
- Made cost savings at Fox’s Biscuits that generated a third of the net profit in a year
- Hold an unofficial world record for launching a product from concept to in-store in just 16 days and two hours (if you want to be bored ask me about Fox’s Crinkle Crunch!)
- Was part of the team that launched cookies as we know them today into the UK;
- Have many successful products launched into the retail and food service sectors
including the concept and products that make up the various cheese dippers now seen in McDonalds.
Back in the early noughties I started to think more about some big issues surrounding the environment, multinationals versus local suppliers, climate change and the impact of food miles, provenance in food, regionality and so on. I put that down to having three young daughters and wondering about the legacy we were leaving for the next generation. It made me question a lot of things about what I did and seek a way that I could play my small part in addressing some of these issues.
I had a major career change and started a business to help SMEs in all sectors of the economy in my local area, this happened to be the West Midlands and Shropshire at that time. I enjoyed real success working with hundreds of businesses and individuals over the next ten years, creating many hundreds of jobs through the companies that my business supported and delivering a boost to the local economy.
But I always wanted to return to my hometown and make a contribution in the North West, so I moved back to Liverpool in 2018. I grew up in Dingle, in the 60’s and used to walk along the then derelict dock area and listen to my dad telling me stories of how in his youth it was a thriving port and I had been always wanted to see those good times return. The city has been through some bad times but there is a character, wit, resolve and communal pride in this region that can’t be beaten. Things have improved so much in the last 15 years. At the moment we are all facing a global crisis but we will get through it together. I’m glad and excited to be back home and able to play my part.
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