CELF Board Profile - David Irving

We recently started a series of blogs profiling CELF board members to give you insight into the people behind the Foundation. Next up is CELF's Co-founder David Irving. We asked David a series of questions, and these were his answers.

Describe your biggest obstacles in life and how you mastered them.
Firstly it's never occurred to me there were obstacles to my life. Lucky me. But on reflection I was always an average student yet I have achieved a reasonable amount. How I achieved that was through application.

What was your biggest epiphany: the moment of life-defining change that shaped you into the person you are today?
Making the case to my boss at Watties that I should run the sales, marketing and distribution for the company when I had never sold anything, marketed anything or distributed anything - and he agreed! I never looked back.

What is your life philosophy? How did you develop this philosophy?
Probably the parable of the talents. I used them all.

Who have been your strongest influences in life?
A boss at Watties, Richard Jeffrey who had come out from England to Head up the Goodman Fielder Wattie Consumer foods Group. He taught me how to look at running a Consumer foods Company.

What led you to your career?
An initial period in finance where I discovered it was not my "coal face". I walked into Watties and within a short time I knew it was me.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?
Enabling the Wattie company to successfully defend itself against three international competitors and founding The Icehouse.

What is your hidden talent or superpower?
I never walk away from a problem.

What book/podcast are you reading/listening to now?
Diaries of the Editor of the Financial Times from 2005-2020


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